I am writing to highlight the soaring instances of fare evasion now reaching epidemic proportions on the Southern network.
I travel daily between Horsham and East Croydon and virtually every day I witness fare evasion, either by ‘doubling up’ through the barrier with an unsuspecting ticket holder, jumping over or crawling under the barrier, going through the luggage flap at Horsham station’s east side exit or the barriers just left open.
The following instances are typical of what is happening:
I have seen the same person double-up at Horsham in recent days. On a recent journey he refused to present a ticket to the conductor who then turned a blind eye to him.
A youth doubled up at East Croydon barrier and the nearby ‘station host’ took no notice.
In the previous week at around 8.40am a middle-aged man and woman crawled under the east-side barrier at Horsham.
And last night, Thursday 27th October, around 17.40pm, I was staggered to see a man come out of the trees at the southern end of the platforms at Three Bridges and run across the tracks to platform 4 to board a London-bound train.
Southern presumably run the business with a certain level allowed for fare evasion but as a full fare paying season ticket holder it is insulting to constantly see these people using the railway as a free travel service. Stations such as Ifield and Littlehaven are a joke. The east-side exit at Horsham and the south-side of Crawley likewise.
Quite frankly Southern should be offering me compensation because my fare is bank-rolling these people abusing the service.
Come on Southern, make more effort to stamp this out.
Editor’s note: a spokesman for Southern commented: “Fare evasion is a problem for the industry as a whole, although we would not expect our staff to put themselves at risk in such circumstances.
“However, we do work closely with British Transport Police in the prevention, detection and apprehension of evaders.
“We work hard on bringing fraud down and our fraud team has had a great deal of success in this area.
“We’d be happy to talk your reader through just what we are doing to combat fare evasion and fraud.”
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