PEOPLE who fail to pay their rail fares in Newport have typically ended up paying court fines a whopping 31 times the price of their tickets.

Court records show 17 people, either from the city or travelling by train through it, have ended up in court in the past year for not having a ticket.

They were charged with travelling on the railway without paying a fare and "with the intent to avoid payment thereof".

In all but four cases, the defendants were aged under 30.

The defendants' original ticket costs, had they been paid, ranged from £127.60 to just £4.90 - then the cost of a ticket from Rogerstone to Cardiff Central.

The 19-year-old man in that case ended up slapped with a £160 fine and ordered to pay further court costs of £218.90 when he appeared before magistrates in the capital last month.

The incident ended up costing him an eye-watering sum 77 times more expensive than the price of the original journey.


This was only exceeded by a 29-year-old from Newport who failed to pay for a £4.90 journey between Caerphilly and Grangetown, only for a court to impose a total fine of £437.90 - some 89 times the price he would have paid for the original ticket.

In other cases, magistrates ordered defendants to pay sums four times the cost of the original journey.

The disparity is generally because courts impose flat-rate penalties when calculating court costs and victim surcharges, which must be paid in addition to any fines handed down by magistrates.

In the 17 Newport cases, court costs were typically around £180, and the victim surcharge was most commonly £34.

It means the scale of financial punishment seems a lot larger for people who were caught without relatively cheap tickets, compared with passengers who failed to pay more expensive fares.

In all cases, however, defendants must pay compensation of the original ticket value.

And in most cases, magistrates imposed set fine amounts, ranging from £66 to £440.

Analysis of the court data shows the 17 people caught without tickets ended up paying an average total of £495 in fines and court costs, regardless of the price of the original fares.