Children in Hebden Bridge hit with £20 fines during crackdown on rail fare-dodgers

Hebden Bridge Train Station
Hebden Bridge Train Station

A crackdown on fare-dodging rail passengers has seen schoolchildren from Hebden Bridge slapped with £20 fines.

Parent Joey Miles, from Hebden Bridge, is urging train operators to “behave better” after youngsters were left upset and concerned by what he says is a change in way ticket rules are enforced.

“Young children have been given these fines - as young as 11 - and they were very upset at the way they were treated,” he said.

Pupils travelling to and from school are unable to buy tickets from Mytholmroyd Railway Station unless they have a bank card as the ticket machines do not take cash.

Up until recently, Mr Miles said children got on a train and paid when they when they arrived at Hebden Bridge.

But now youngsters - including Mr Miles’s own 12-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter - have been ordered to pay £20 and hand over their names and addresses.

“This brings up safeguarding issues for children, not to mention issues of fairness and justice,” said Mr Miles.

“How are children supposed to know if an adult asking for these type of details is legitimate? I would certainly tell my children to not give out that information to people they do not know.”

A spokesman for Northern said: “Penalty fares have been introduced on some routes to target those who persist in travelling without paying the correct fare. We do not seek to apply them without reason – and certainly do not target specific groups.

“Tickets can be bought on-board where conductors are available, but customers should first obtain a ‘promise to pay’ voucher from a ticket vending machine. We would always advise customers to get in contact or go through the independent appeals process if they believe they have been wrongly issued a penalty fare.”