PENALTY fares are to be introduced on the Mid Cheshire Line from the end of June.

The £20 fines – or double the cost of a single fare, whichever is the greater – will be enforced to deter passengers from travelling without a ticket.

The rollout on the Mid Cheshire Line will cover the route between Navigation Road and Chester, thus including Knutsford and Northwich stations.

Penalties will be enforced at destination stations by Northern’s authorised collectors, and will go live on Sunday, June 30.

Stations on penalty fare routes will have either ticket offices or ticket vending machines so customers will have the opportunity to purchase tickets before they travel.

In addition, tickets can be bought at any time before boarding via the Northern website or mobile app.

A Northern spokesman explained: "If these facilities are not available at stations, or if offices are closed or machines out of order, customers will still be able to buy a ticket from the on-board conductor.

"Where customers want to pay cash, but ticket machines are card only, they will be able to obtain ‘promise to pay’ notices from the machines which can be presented, along with cash to the conductor – the full range of fares will still be available on board.

"If customers board from stations with ticket machines or staffed ticket offices, but do not have a valid ticket, they will only be eligible for standard fares if buying from the conductor. If a customer chooses to do this, they may be issued with a Penalty Fare if an authorised collector is encountered.

"Where customers do feel a penalty fare has been applied wrongly there is a tried and tested, independent appeals process which is used across the country."

Other routes included on the new rollout are Lancaster to Windermere, Barrow to Lancaster, Barrow to Carlisle, and South Milford to Hull