Fines double for London fare dodgers

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The Independent Online

Fines for fare dodgers on the Tube, buses and Docklands Light Railway are to double to £20, the London Mayor Ken Livingstone announced today.

The increases, from June 12, will try to claw back more than £60 million which is lost each year from fare evasion.

Mr Livingstone hopes the increase will act as a greater deterrent to fare dodgers and bring London's fines in line with the national rail network, which is due to make a similar increase.

He said: "By doubling the penalty, for travelling without a ticket to £20 and increasing the number of inspectors, we are sending out a clear message that freeloading will not be tolerated."

The number of inspectors patrolling the bus and tram network will rise from 240 to 290 this year. They are supported by 1,300 members of the Transport Operational Command Unit, Transport for London said.

There were currently around 240 ticket inspectors working on the Tube, supported by 750 operational police personnel.

Around 50,000 penalty fares for travelling without a valid ticket are issued each year on London's buses, plus another 42,000 prosecution notices for more serious fraud and fare irregularity offences. This represents about one for every 19,000 passenger journeys.

Each year, around 40,000 penalties are issued on the London Underground for travelling without a valid ticket. There are another 6,000 prosecutions.

On the Croydon Tramlink, the fine is set to rise from £15 to £20 if paid within 21 days and from £25 to £30 if paid later.