Turton School on list for number of pupils who travel without train ticket

A Bolton secondary school has been named in the ‘top five’ for pupils caught fare dodging by train operator Northern.

Turton High School in Bromley Cross was among the schools named in the list, which covers Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside.

With Bromley Cross train station in close proximity to the school, it is a popular way for students to commute.

Northern says it is now working with the schools highlighted in the list to urge parents to buy the existing discounted ‘educational season tickets’ when schools return in September – rather than give their child money for the fare.

Northern say some students decide to pocket the money and take the risk of travelling without a ticket.

The purchase of an annual educational season ticket cost for a pupil who travels from Hall i’ th’ Wood to Bromley Cross would cost £98, which equates to a 50p per return journey per school day.

A child’s anytime day return’ costs £2.80.

The train operator says that many fare evasion incidents took place when pupils are 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, and schoolchildren ‘risk’ travelling without a ticket.

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

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.”

Turton High School declined to comment.

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