ScotRail passenger who travelled daily from Bellshill to Edinburgh forced to fork out more than £3,000 after dodging fares

A ScotRail passenger who dodged train fares during lockdown has been made to cough up more than £3,000 – the biggest bill for fare evasion to date.

Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 1:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th May 2021, 2:58 pm

The woman, who had been travelling daily from Bellshill to Edinburgh’s Haymarket, spent 53 days avoiding paying for her journeys.

ScotRail said she was falsely claiming to have boarded at closer railway stations – but was caught thanks to CCTV.

As part of an ongoing crackdown on customers attempting to travel without paying, more than 500 people have been caught, with more than 10,000 tickets confiscated via spot checks by mobile teams.

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ScotRail operates more than 350 stations across Scotland – but only 17 are equipped with ticket barriers, making it relative easy for passengers to get on and off without paying for all or part of their journey.

However, CCTV cameras can prove where their journey began.

Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “A minority of our customers have been taking advantage of the fact that due to coronavirus restrictions we have been unable to put ticket inspectors on our trains or at most of our stations.

“While most of the population is sticking to the rules, these passengers have been using the cover of Covid to avoid paying for their ticket.

ScotRail say CCTV cameras can prove where a passenger's journey began - and then it’s an easy task to work out how much they owe.

“Revenue on the railway is down by around 90% due to the pandemic, so it’s vitally important that in order to give the best value to the taxpayer, we collect as many fares as possible.

“We have caught a number of repeat offenders and the message to anyone thinking of dodging their fare is simple. We will catch you.”

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