A number of Arriva Trains passengers were accused of ‘dodging the train fare’ yesterday afternoon.
Around 10 – 15 people were approaching passengers as they left the train to inform them that they hadn’t paid for their ticket, before taking their contact details and making them sign a statement.
Joanne Jones contacted us to say that her 17-year-old daughter was approached by the group of men yesterday and was told that she was guilty of jumping the train. However the ticket had not yet been paid as the conductor had not been around the train to ask for her ticket.
Mrs Jones told us that when the group approached her daughter, they said “We want your name and address and don’t want any b*******.”
However Mrs Jones said that her daughter offered to pay the 60p when confronted rather than sign the form, but was told that this was not possible. We told Arriva Trains this and asked if it is possible to pay the fare rather than provide personal details, however they said ‘they were unable to comment without knowing all the details of the situation.’
After contacting the person in charge yesterday, Mrs Jones was told that it is the passengers responsibility to find the conductor to pay their fare.
Mrs Jones said: “If the conductor starts asking for tickets at Wrexham Central, that’s not our fault, it’s his. It’s the conductor’s job to do that, what happens if you have a pushchair or items with you? You can’t just ask someone to look after your shopping while you look for the conductor.
“I came away feeling quite angry. We have been told that we will have 21 days to reply to the letter or we will be taken to court.”
Another parent got in touch to tell us that his 16-year-old son and his friends were also stopped at the station and were told that they had not paid for their tickets.
The group said there isn’t a ticket machine where they got on and they couldn’t see the conductor. A number of the group were taken into some of the nearby cabins and had to sign a similar statement, providing their name and addresses.
One point that was raised was that ‘buses can take money at the start of a stop / journey, so why can’t trains?’.
A spokesperson for Arriva Trains Wales said: “Arriva Trains Wales employs experienced Revenue Protection Teams to randomly descend on station exits and trains to check that passengers have the correct ticket for their journey.
“It is the passenger’s responsibility to ensure they have the correct ticket for their journey and it is advised that where possible to plan their journey in advance or ensure they have enough time to purchase their ticket before they get on the train where ticket buying facilities exist.
“We will always take genuine reasons for not buying the correct ticket into account”.
(Pic: Gwersyllt Station earlier today when we dodged the rain and popped up!)