New data suggests Transport for London (TfL) are losing over £60m a year through fare dodging, with Labour revealing that ticket barriers at some stations are left open more than 60% of the time.
Research gathered by Labour’s London Assembly transport spokesperson Val Shawcross AM, also revealed that across the whole tube network, barriers were left open for nearly 7% of the time in June and July this year.
According to Labour research, in total 20 stations had barriers left open over a quarter of the time.
Val Shawcross: 'TfL are making life easier for fare dodgers'
TfL told Ms Shawcross that it estimated around £61m a year was lost to fare evasion, however while technical faults can cause ticket barriers to be left open, TfL's rules state that when there are no members of staff available to help passengers on the gateline the barriers must be left open.
Though there is no real time data gathered on ticket barriers, the transport body carries out regular unannounced ‘mystery shopper’ exercises to monitor when they’re left open.
London Labour warned that TfL plans to axe 950 station staff could exacerbate the problem and lead to millions more pounds in fares being lost. TfL has said there will be no involuntary redundancies.
Top 10 stations that left their gates open in 2015:
- High Barnet
- Harrow & Wealdstone
- Kew Gardens
- North Wembley
- Chalfont & Latimer
- Sudbury Town
Labour’s London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, Val Shawcross AM said: ‘The vast majority of Londoners are honest about these things but there will always be a small minority who take advantage and try to avoid paying their fares.
'By cutting 950 staff from stations TfL risks having to leave ticket barriers open more often, making fare evasion that little bit easier. It’s a total false economy if the money saved by reducing staff is then lost as a result of increased fare dodging.’
Steve Burton, Tfl’s director of operations and enforcement said: ‘We take fare evasion of any kind extremely seriously and communicate the consequences of being caught without a valid ticket.
'For every journey, customers must have a valid ticket or tap in and out using an Oyster or contactless card – even if the ticket barriers are open. If customers don’t tap in and out then they will be charged a maximum fee for the journey.’