A CRACKDOWN has been launched after York was highlighted as a hotspot for rail fare-dodgers.

Northern Rail said the journey where most people in the region try to travel without paying is between York and Leeds, and has released two online videos as well as posters at stations and on trains showing two scenarios where a person takes something for free.

Across North Yorkshire, 287 passengers were caught travelling without valid tickets on Northern Rail services last year, with 68 of those journeys starting in York and 62 from Harrogate.

Both these stations have staffed ticket offices, ticket machines or both.

“We know from talking to our customers that they have a real problem when they see others not paying for their journey,” said Northern Rail’s managing director Alex Hynes.

“We don’t want to see passengers get into trouble and want to make sure they understand the implications of taking a free ride.

“The videos show two situations which we know people wouldn’t do and show that not paying for a train ticket is the same, so why do it?”

Mr Hynes said excuses for fare-dodging included not having money or that a conductor did not come down the train to sell them one, but it was a passenger’s responsibility to buy a ticket.

“We know some of our smaller stations have limited opportunities to buy tickets, and we are investing in new facilities and carrying out independent surveys to gain information on how our customers want to purchase tickets,” he said.

“However, the highest number of journeys made without paying started at stations with open ticket offices and ticket vending machines.”

The videos can be seen at northernrail.org/getaticket.