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Bolton high school one of five ‘put on report’ by Northern rail for fare-dodging students

Most of the fare-evading incidents take place when students are travelling short distances between two stations that aren't barrier-controlled.

Emily Sergeant Emily Sergeant - 18th July 2022

A high school in Bolton is one of five to have been called out by Northern rail for having the most fare-dodging students.

Turton School in Bromley Cross, joins several other high schools in Cheshire, Merseyside, and West Yorkshire in being “put on report” by the region’s rail operator due to there being a high number of students caught evading fares on certain journeys.

Wilmslow High School and Wade Deacon High School in Cheshire, Rainhill High School in Merseyside, and Honley High School in West Yorkshire were the other schools rounding out the top five.

Northern explained that a large majority of the fare-evading incidents take place when students are travelling relatively short distances between rural and suburban stations, which are usually not barrier-controlled, and given the high number of students on-board and the limited journey duration, conductors cannot always carry out a full ticket inspection.

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This then leads to students deciding to “risk it” without a ticket, Northern claims.

Northern said students hop on the train at Hall i’ th’ Wood without a ticket and travel one stop to Bromley Cross station – which is right outside Turton School.

Turton School in Bolton features on Northern’s top five list / Credit: Google Maps

The train operator says it’s now working with Turton School and all the other schools on the list to urge parents to buy the existing Educational Season Tickets when schools return in September – which are heavily-discounted up to 75% off – rather than give their child money for the fare.

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Students given rail fares daily are instead deciding to pocket the cash, and choosing to risk travelling without a ticket, Northern says.

Commenting on its decision to name the top five fare-dodging schools, Mark Powles – Commercial and Customer Director at Northern – said: “Everyone has a responsibility to buy a ticket before they travel.

“But unfortunately, some students think that rule doesn’t apply to them – and routinely fare evade on our services.

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“It’s important they know that fare evading is a criminal act, and in the future they could end up with a criminal record for the sake of paying the heavily-discounted student fare.

“With the end of the school year almost upon us, we are urging parents from September not to give their child money with the hope they will buy a ticket, but to save money by ensuring their child has a ticket by buying it for a cheaper rate in advance.”

Featured Image – Northern