Most outrageous fare-dodging excuse ever? 'I had to use train ticket as toilet paper'

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Most outrageous fare-dodging excuse ever? 'I had to use train ticket as toilet paper'

A fare-dodging train passenger in Northern Ireland told an inspector that he didn't have a ticket because he'd had to use it as toilet paper while travelling - and blamed the rail service.

The passenger reportedly said: "There was no toilet paper in your toilet, so I had to use the ticket, that's not my fault."

The cheeky reason was revealed by train operator Translink in their round-up of the most outrageous excuses used by passengers attempting to travel without paying for their tickets.

Between January and December last year, 22 rail passengers were fined £2,508 over ticketing issues.

In addition, 70 penalties for fare evasion were issued, that were issue resulting in £1,579.40 in payments.

Other outrageous excuses revealed by Translink NI Railways include:

"I am only travelling one stop."

"I bought a ticket earlier but I've lost it!!"

"I didn't hear the conductor asking if I needed a ticket – I was asleep/had my headphone on/was looking out the window."

"You are a public service and I paid my taxes, now you are looking more money."

"I am a part-time Police Officer, so I don't have to pay." (He got fined and lost his job)

"My brother is a solicitor and you will be in big trouble."

"I thought it was still 2011." (Student with an out-of-date card by one year)

"I just bought this ticket before I got on the train, your machines must be wrong" (Customer with an out-of-date ticket).

"My Mum/Dad have paid for my ticket at the other end."

And finally: "My uncle is the line manager here." (Said to line manager).

All of the passengers who used the excuses above were issued with an on the spot fine and/or prosecuted by Translink for fare evasion.

Hilton Parr, Head of Customer Services, Translink NI Railways told Aol Travel: "We've really heard every excuse under the sun from passengers for attempting to travel without paying. Some of the best are included above!

"The majority of our customers are honest and pay the correct fare and as such it is only right that we take a tough line with those who try to fare dodge - the point I would make is that no matter who you are, if you want to travel on our services you have to pay."

The average fine issued to fare evaders in 2012 was £20 plus the value of the ticket for the distance they travelled. If the offending passenger does not pay on the spot and is unable to produce ID, the Revenue Protection Team may bring the matter to the attention of the police.

Non-payment of the penalty fare may result in a court appearance plus a fine of up to £1000. Aside from that, anyone caught and prosecuted will have a criminal record which could prevent them visiting countries like the US and Australia.

Hilton added: "Some passengers probably take a chance to see if they can get away without paying, just to save a few pounds, but anyone caught and prosecuted will have a criminal record which could seriously damage their long term future and ruin plans to work or even just travel abroad."

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