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Thursday, September 21, 2023

‘Fare dodgers’ costing UK rail network £240m a year

“I just got out of jail, and the police said I could travel for free,” is just one of a collection of bizarre excuses given by ‘fare dodgers’ in the UK.

ATOC has published some of the more unusual replies given by passengers found without a ticket alongside new figures that show the true impact fare evaders are having on the UK’s rail network.

Each year, fare dodging accounts for £240 million of lost revenue – enough to pay for the upkeep of about 450 stations for the next five years, ATOC has said.

Strange excuses include: “My mum’s got my ticket and we buried her this morning,” and “I only got on the train to use the toilet and it left while I was in there”.

David Mapp, commercial director for the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said: “For the large majority of honest passengers who do pay for their ticket it is frustrating that ‘dodgy’ excuses by a selfish minority end up sucking millions of pounds out of the railways each year.

“Where there is a genuine reason for someone travelling without a ticket, train companies will use their discretion.

“Strong deterrents are in place to ensure that the majority of passengers don’t end up paying for the few who think they can always get away without having to buy a ticket.”

Other excuses include:

“I just got out of jail, and the police said I could travel for free.”

“I’ve just been getting my nails done and I’m not going to get them broken by buying a ticket.”

“I don’t need a ticket as I’m getting a lift back.”

“I fell through the door and landed on a seat.”

“I thought it was free on a Sunday.”

“The bloke told me last week to buy a ticket, but this week I forgot.”

“The guy at the station said you don’t need tickets for these trains.”

“I’ve never paid before so I don’t see why I should pay now.”


  1. 240 Million?! I wonder how they come up with that conclusion. Utter rubbish. They conveniently forget to mention how extortionate their fares are. Anyone who believes this is a fool.


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