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Concern over free-riding commuters on Mid Cheshire line
THE operators of the trains running in and out of Manchester have said they are tackling the problem of people travelling without paying for a ticket.
Northern Rail has said the introduction of ticket machines, installed earlier this year at Knutsford train station, was helping in cutting down the number of people not paying to board the train heading in and out of the city.
Clr Tony Dean, told fellow members of Knutsford Town Council at a recent meeting, that after attending a talk with representatives of the Mid Cheshire line he was told that in rush hour the number of people not paying for tickets while travelling was ‘horrifically high’.
He added the meeting was told conductors were unable to walk up and down the train because of the number of people travelling.
The service – that runs hourly – is often served by a two-carriage train and in the morning and evening rush hours it is difficult to find a seat on board.
Northern Rail said it could not release the figures of how much revenue it was missing out on due to the over crowding but a spokesman said the new ticket machines, including one installed at Knutsford, were helping the situation. “Growing passenger numbers on this line easily reflect the increasing popularity of travelling by train,” she said.
“During our franchise, we have significantly expanded our revenue teams at stations and on trains. We have recently invested £70,000 in Ticket Vending Machines on the Mid Cheshire Line at Knutsford, Northwich and Greenbank.
“These machines offer customers more opportunities than ever to purchase their ticket before they board. Tickets can also be bought online for collection at stations as we appreciate passengers use a wide range of ticket purchasing options.
“We have one of the most robust prosecutions departments in the rail industry and where people are found to be genuinely avoiding payment we always prosecute.”
n What do you think about overcrowding on the Mid Cheshire line? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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