Are stiff new ticket penalties heading to the railways?
If you enjoy the luxury of first class train travel but would like a cast-iron guarantee that you won’t be joined by a bunch of marauding oiks who speak words and knock over your cheese board, you could be in luck.
New hard-hitting government proposals for dealing with rail fare dodgers could be implemented in the near future after a consultation period closes today. Among the proposals are plans to increase fines from £20 to either £50 or double the cost of a single ticket, whichever is greater. Removing the option to pay the difference between the ticket a passenger is carrying and the full standard fare is also on the menu of rail fare hate.
But consumer watchdogs London TravelWatch are scathing about the proposals and claim that train ridemakers operators would be penalising passengers who are forced to barge into first class due to the fact that peak services are running above capacity.
London TravelWatch said: “We consider that where there is clear evidence of overcrowding on a regular basis, or overcrowding due to particular disruption on the day, train operators and drivers should automatically declassify First Class accommodation and make appropriate refund arrangements for any passengers with First Class tickets."
To us, it certainly sounds better than fining every Tom, Dick and Harry who mooches through the golden curtain just in order to be able to breathe.
But what do you think? Should the great unwashed be kept out of first class so that the upper classes can enjoy their roasted swan and carbonated gull’s urine in peace and quiet. Or should we all embrace the idea that we’re all brothers and sisters and just get along together in peace and harmony. Should first class even exist any more? Put your thoughts in the little box then.