Northern rail: Under-16 students told to get valid tickets or risk being fined £100 - how to buy

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Northern says both parents and students should take advantage of its Under 16 Education Season Tickets by this Friday before the new rule comes into force.

Students across the North of England have been told ‘not to risk it’ by evading paying for their train fares or face being fined £100 under the new government rule that comes into effect at the beginning of next week.

In the wake of this, Northern has issued a ‘final call’ to students to take advantage of its Under 16 Education Season Tickets before sales end on Friday (January 20). According to the national train company, many fare evasion incidents take place when students are travelling relatively short distances between rural and suburban stations which are not barrier-controlled.

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Conductors frequently are unable to perform a thorough ticket inspection due to the large number of students on board and the short travel time, which prompts them to ‘risk it’. Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “Under 16 Education Season Tickets offer savings that can be worth hundreds of pounds per year.

“Having one also means a student always has the means to get to and from school – and won’t succumb to peer pressure, travel without a ticket and risk being issued with a £100 penalty fare. It’s no way to spend your pocket money – don’t risk it!”

The special ticket, which Northern has developed in partnership with over 124 secondary schools and university technical colleges (UTCs), offers students up to 75%-off the normal adult fare. On some routes, the savings are worth as much as £575 per year.

For a full list of participating schools and details of how to buy an Under 16 Education Season Ticket, please visit the Northern Railway website. Parents whose children attend a school or UTC not currently participating in the scheme are encouraged to email them so that Northern can make contact with them.

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The Department for Transport said a new penalty fare of £100 plus the cost of a ticket for the passenger’s journey on that train will come into force on Monday, January 23. If the penalty fare is paid within 21 days, this will be reduced to £50 plus the cost of a ticket for the passenger’s journey on the train.

East Midlands Railway has also issued advice to its customers, telling them to get a valid ticket before starting their journey, which they can buy at a ticket machine or online. Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director at East Midlands Railway, said: "The vast majority of our customers always buy a ticket, and they understand that for the railway to successfully operate, improve, and secure investment, fares need to be paid for.

Schoolchildren awaiting the arrival of a Northern service.Schoolchildren awaiting the arrival of a Northern service.
Schoolchildren awaiting the arrival of a Northern service.

"Sadly though, there are a minority of determined people who always look to evade paying or look for ways to work the system. Following direction from the Department for Transport and in line with other train operators, EMR will be increasing Penalty Fares. By doing so, we hope to provide a proper deterrent to those intent on travelling without a ticket.’’

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