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Penalties and enforcements

Penalty fares have changed

On Monday 23 January 2023 new penalty fares regulations came into force across our network (excluding South Wales). The penalty fare rose from £20 (or twice the price of the single fare to the next station) to £100 plus the full fare for the journey you take on that train. This will be reduced to £50 plus the full fare for the journey on that train if you pay within 21 days.

To find out more about the changes, check posters at our stations or download the penalty fares map (PDF, 542 KB).

As a train company, we have a duty to ensure that we are protecting the interests of our fare-paying passengers and the taxpayer investment in running the railway.

You must travel with a valid ticket

At stations that are staffed or have ticket machines, you must pay for your journey before boarding your train; please make sure you arrive in plenty of time.

Where a station isn’t staffed, or the ticket machines aren’t working, you must pay for your journey at your earliest opportunity; either onboard or at the first available station. Please see our ‘Buy Before You Board’ leaflets which are available at GWR ticket offices for more information.

If you buy a ticket that has restrictions, and/or a Railcard discount, you must ensure you adhere to any restrictions and have your Railcard with you; otherwise you’ll need to pay for your journey again at the full price.

If you don’t have a valid ticket

If you are travelling without a ticket or one that isn’t valid, you could be issued with an Unpaid Fare Notice, a Penalty Fare Notice or be interviewed under caution. The course of action taken depends on the circumstances.

As part of these processes, our staff will ask for your name and address; it is an offence not to provide this.

What happens next?

If you have been issued an Unpaid Fare or a Penalty Fare Notice, you must either pay or appeal within 21 days.

If you were interviewed under caution, a report will be sent to our Prosecutions Department; who will review the facts and then contact you in writing. If you do not respond or the matter is not resolved you may receive a summons requiring you to attend court.