Student forced to pay £562 for £2.20 train journey

A student is being forced to pay £562 for a train journey from Nottingham to Beeston, after she was caught using the wrong ticket.

Parys Lanlehin was caught using the wrong ticket for the £2.60 train journey, almost two years ago.

Now the 20 year old University of Nottingham student has been issued with a fine so large it would cover 255 journeys from Nottingham to Beeston.

Wrong direction

Parys was issued a £20 fine after she was caught using a return train ticket on the wrong day, traveling in the wrong direction.

When she failed to pay the fine, legal proceedings were taken against her.

The legal proceedings at Stratford Magistrates court, which Parys says she was unaware of and took place without her presence, found her guilty of boarding a train without a valid ticket. The court fined her £300 in prosecution costs, on top of the £200 fee, £22 government surcharge and the original £20 penalty.


Parys's journey will cost her more than the rent on a fairly decent flat.


Bailiffs

Parys has been given two weeks to pay the somewhat extortionate fine, despite the fact she was unaware the hearing at the magistrates court were taking place.

The collection order could be passed on to bailiffs if the outstanding fines are not paid in full.

The maximum you can be fined for fare evasion is £1,000.

Parys's fine is not that unusual, earlier this year a man was fined £886.50 for a £2.50 journey from Bournemouth to Christchurch, and another man paid £781.50 for a £7.50 journey in April last year.

Great Western Railway estimate that fare dodging costs the rail industry £240m a year. The best excuses they say they've heard for fare dodging include:

“I just got out of jail, and the police said I could travel for free."

“I’ve just been getting my nails done and I’m not going to get them broken by buying a ticket.”

"My mum’s got my ticket and we buried her this morning."

"I don't need a ticket as I'm getting a lift back."

“I only got on the train to use the toilet and it left while I was in there.”

“I fell through the door and landed on a seat.”

“I thought it was free on a Sunday.”

“The bloke told me last week to buy a ticket, but this week I forgot.”

"The guy at the station said you don't need tickets for these trains."

“I've never paid before so I don't see why I should pay now.”

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