Metro fare evasion fine: Penalty fare in North East 5x higher under new Government scheme

Nexus currently loses £1 million a year due to fare dodgers - but it’s the Government behind the penalty fare rise.

Fare dodgers using the Tyne and Wear Metro will face fines that are five times higher than before under a new Government regime.

The penalty for fare evasion on the region's busy Metro service will increase from £20 to £100 from January 23 as a result of a Department for Transport decision. It's the first increase in the fine since May 2005.

Higher fines come as part of a new effort to crack down on ticketless travel across Britain's struggling railways nationwide - fare evasion on the Metro currently costs Nexus an estimated £1 million a year in lost revenue. The Tyne and Wear Metro is part of the Government's national penalty fare scheme, so is included in the changes.

Travellers can expect to see a 'hard-hitting marketing campaign' at Metro station in the North East to warn customers of the change and encourage them to pay for every single journey in the coming weeks.

From Monday, January 23 anyone travelling without a valid Metro ticket will have to pay a £100 penalty fare, however, this is reduced to £50 if paid within 21 days.

Customer Services Director at Nexus, Huw Lewis, said: “The Government is raising the penalty fare from £20 to £100 and this change will automatically apply on Metro from Monday January 23.

“Metro is part of the Government’s national penalty fare regime covering train companies across the whole country.

Increased penalty fares will be introduced at the end of this month. (Image: Adobe Stock)Increased penalty fares will be introduced at the end of this month. (Image: Adobe Stock)
Increased penalty fares will be introduced at the end of this month. (Image: Adobe Stock)

“This is the first change since 2005 and reflects feedback from customers who want to see a strong deterrent against fraud. Anyone who is issued with a £100 penalty fare will pay £50 if it is paid within 21 days of it being issued.

“The Government consulted the whole rail industry and Nexus was among those keen to see an increase, because customers tell us they want tougher penalties for those who decide not to pay their fare.

“The simple message for Metro customers is to pay your fare every time you travel.”

Any Metro users found to be without a valid ticket will be asked to pay the penalty fare, which can be done online or via an automated payment line - with Nexus having withdrawn the ability to pay on the spot. The fine can also be paid in person at South Gosforth Metro Control Centre or by post. More details on the Nexus website here.

Failure to pay will result in court action with steeper fines for conviction and prosecution.