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TfL increases penalty for fare evasion

Transport for London (TfL) has increased the penalty fare for fare evasion from £80 to £100, reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days, to act as a further deterrent to fare evasion.

TfL published new data last month showing that it prosecuted 19,614 people for fare evasion in 2023, an increase of 56% compared to 2022.

The increase in penalty fares follows the Department for Transport’s decision to increase the penalty fare to £100 across National Rail. This ensures clear and consistent rules and penalties across different transport networks in London, maintaining the effectiveness of the penalty fare as a deterrent.

Fare evasion is a criminal offence and costs TfL around £130m – £150m annually, funds that could be invested back into the transport network. Around 96% of people pay the correct fare, and TfL aims to ensure that fare evaders, not taxpayers or fare-paying customers, bear the cost of fare evasion.

Fare evasion and ticket disputes are linked to approximately half of all reported work-related violence and aggression incidents towards frontline transport workers. TfL has a zero-tolerance policy towards violence, aggression, or threatening behavior towards staff or customers, always seeking the strongest possible action against offenders.

TfL employs over 450 officers for ticket inspection and revenue enforcement across every mode of transport daily. Transport staff provide insight and information about fare evaders to TfL enforcement and investigation teams for action.

Siwan Hayward, TfL’s Director of Security, Policing and Enforcement, said: “Around 96 per cent of people do pay their fares correctly and it is unfair on these people that a minority of people do not. This increase in the penalty fare will ensure that there are clear and consistent rules across the different transport networks in London, and that our penalty fare remains an effective deterrent.

“Fare evasion is a criminal offence which robs Londoners of vital investment in a safe, frequent and reliable transport network. It also impacts our customers and our staff, and can make public transport feel unsafe. We work to ensure that wherever possible fare evaders themselves, not fare or tax payers, pay the cost of fare evasion.”