Revenue Protection Policy: Travelling without a valid train ticket
With the right train ticket, you will avoid being fined or prosecuted; you will be able to travel when it suits you and may save yourself money.
If you do not have a valid ticket and are approached by a revenue protection officer, who is an authorised penalty fare collector, you may be liable to a penalty fare (of £20 or twice the full single fare to the next station at which your train stops - whichever is the greater amount), or you may be reported by an Officer of the Railway under the Regulations of Railways Act 1889; the Railway Byelaws 2005, the Fraud Act 2006 for Prosecution.
If you wish to continue your journey beyond the next station stop you may be required to buy a full fare single or return ticket for the remainder of your journey.
The vast majority of our passengers always buy a ticket before they join a train, but there is a small minority who do not. South West Trains aim to educate those who do not purchase the correct ticket rather than penalise those passengers. However, Fare evasion costs all train operators millions of pounds a year; that can be met by fare paying passengers in Government subsidies to all transport companies. This is unacceptable, and Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited, Transport for London and all other Train and Bus Companies will always pursue ticketless travellers, prosecuting when appropriate.
We aim to ensure that every passenger who travels by South West Trains holds a valid ticket for their journey and our strategy for achieving this includes:
- Continually reviewing the availability of ticket purchasing facilities;
- Reviewing the availability of ticket gates at stations; and
- Operating a penalty fares scheme.
- Prosecuting when appropriate
We operate a Penalty Fares scheme for three reasons:
- To build upon the public support of the principle of tackling fare evaders;
- To encourage passengers to buy a ticket before their journey, rather than to wait until they have to, or are challenged to do so; and
- To reduce fraudulent travel, i.e. those who do not intend to pay, regardless of the opportunity to buy a ticket.