NORTHERN is blowing the whistle on ticketless travel and reminding all customers to buy a ticket before they board the company’s trains.

The rail operator has spent millions of pounds improving the Northern network over the past 12 months meaning travellers now have more options for purchasing tickets.

It has never been easier to buy a ticket with Northern significantly improving its website and mobile app and more than 600 new ticket machines have been installed across the network.

Jason Wade, head of rail operations at Northern, said: “We’ve worked hard while people have been away to make improvements to our networks.

“As well as giving our customers better ways to buy tickets, we’ve also introduced more new trains, completed the refurbishment of our older trains and an delivered enhancement at stations.

“We’ve made a big difference with the improvements we’ve delivered and now we need our customers to play their part by following the rules on buying tickets.”

Customers are required by law to purchase a ticket before boarding, where facilities are provided, and failure to do so will mean customers can only purchase full price tickets on board but some could face being issued with a penalty fare.

On the spot penalties are either £20 or double to the cost of a single fare journey, whichever is greater, and these are being enforced on board trains and at destination stations by Northern’s authorised collectors.

Jason said: “Our digital platforms – mobile app and website – have been transformed in recent months and, together with our tickets machines, provide ample opportunity for our customers to be certain they are in possession of the correct tickets, with most providing the added benefit that passengers do not have to queue on the day of travel.

“Penalty fare and fines are designed to tackle the majority of rail users who persist in refusing to buy their tickets before boarding a train.

“They don’t exist to criminalise our customers and we understand there will still be some circumstances in which customers are unable to buy tickets.

“In these cases, our authorised collectors are able to use their discretion to ensure no one faces unfair penalties.”