Crackdown on bus fare dodgers

Bus passengers throughout Norfolk and Suffolk can expect spot checks as part of a crackdown on fare dodgers by First Eastern Counties.The company, the largest bus operator in the region, will be putting a team of inspectors on board its fleet in a bid to eradicate the problem.

Bus passengers throughout Norfolk and Suffolk can expect spot checks as part of a crackdown on fare dodgers by First Eastern Counties.

The company, the largest bus operator in the region, will be putting a team of inspectors on board its fleet in a bid to eradicate the problem.

The inspectors will work throughout the network, checking tickets and passes to ensure that every passenger has paid the correct fare for their journey.

Any passenger found not to have the correct ticket for the journey will have to pay a �50 surcharge.


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Alan Pilbeam, managing director of First Eastern Counties, said: “Each year there are in excess of 25 million passenger journeys on our routes and the vast majority of those passengers travelling do so honestly.

“However, we believe it is not right that dishonest travellers are, in effect, subsidised by those who pay the correct fare. It is imperative that we safeguard ourselves against fraud to ensure the best deal for our passengers.”

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Marketing and communications manager Gussy Alamein said inspectors were needed because, while drivers did inspect buss passes, not every incident of evasion involved a travel pass.

There had been instances of people lying about their age to claim concessionary fares and staying on the bus for more stops than they had paid for, he added.

The number of inspectors is still being finalised. They will work across the network rather than on specific problem routes.

Asked the annual cost to the company of fare-dodging, Mr Alamein said: “Since this is a new initiative we will need to look at the results.”

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