Wilmslow High School 'placed on report' by Northern for train fare dodging

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Wilmslow High School is one of  five secondary schools in the North West which has been placed ‘On Report’ by Northern as students 'repeatedly fare-evade' on region’s train services

Secondary schools in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside have featured in a list of the ‘Top 5’ schools for students caught fare evading by Northern.

The train operator is now working with the schools to urge parents to buy the existing heavily discounted (up to 75% off) Educational Season Tickets when schools return in September rather than give their child money for the fare – which some students decide to pocket and take the risk of travelling without a ticket.

The ‘Top 5’ schools for student fare evaders are:

Rainhill High School in Rainhill, Merseyside
Honley High School, Holme Valley, West Yorkshire
Wilmslow High School, Wilmslow, Cheshire
Turton School in Bolton, Greater Manchester
Wade Deacon High School, Widnes, Cheshire

A spokesperson for Northern said "Many fare evasion incidents took place when students were travelling relatively short distances between rural and suburban stations which are not barrier-controlled.

"Given the high number of students on-board and the limited journey time, conductors cannot always carry out a full ticket inspection, which emboldens students to ‘risk it’."

Northern is now deploying revenue protection teams to undertake random ticket checks to tackle the problem.

For more information about educational season tickets, and to purchase one for the new academic year in September, visit: www.northernrailway.co.uk/tickets/educational-season. Annual season tickets for the 22-23 academic year will go live on 1st August 2022

Examples of the savings, based on a child’s return fare being used on the 195 days that schools are open per year, include: an annual education season ticket for Alderley Edge to Wilmslow High School costs £78, reducing the daily return fair from £3.30 to 40p.

Commenting on their decision to name the ‘Top 5’ schools, Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “Everyone has a responsibility to buy a ticket before they travel. Unfortunately, some students think that rule doesn’t apply to them – and routinely fare evade on our services.

“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.”

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Comments

Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Jonathan Follows
Monday 18th July 2022 at 10:28 am
I believe the problem insofar as Wilmslow High School is concerned will only have started in August 2018 when Northern introduced a "penalty fares" system on the Crewe line and stopped having 2 staff checking tickets in the mornings every day. That's not to condone fare evasion, of course, and clearly random checks do take place.
Laurie Atterbury
Thursday 21st July 2022 at 10:37 pm
Out of interest, is honesty now part of a school's curriculum? Isn't it the role of parents?

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