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Special train teams to crack down on fare-dodgers and and antisocial behaviour


By David G Scott

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British Transport Police and roving ScotRail teams will be deployed in Caithness and other parts of the railway network from Monday next week (April 26).

In a ScotRail announcement today, the company said it is returning to on-train duties for ticket examiners and conductors in a few days, and customers are urged to "plan ahead to stay safe".

Phil Campbell, ScotRail head of customer operations, said: “We are absolutely committed to the health and well-being of our staff and passengers, so there has been a massive effort to ensure the on-train environment is safe to give people peace of mind when travelling.

Train just outside Wick railway station. Picture: DGS
Train just outside Wick railway station. Picture: DGS

“The visible presence of ScotRail staff throughout trains is critically important for customers, and its return is a welcome step in the recovery of the railway. But, it’s also vital our passengers remember they have a responsibility to each other, and our staff, to observe our rules for safer travel until Covid-19 restrictions are completely lifted."

The return of these duties, including checking and selling tickets, is the latest step towards a level of normality for customers, after travel restrictions were lifted last week.

The presence of staff moving throughout trains is expected to reduce incidents of antisocial behaviour on services and assist in making sure trains are kept clean and tidy during journeys.

Train approaches Thurso railway station. Picture: DGS
Train approaches Thurso railway station. Picture: DGS

British Transport Police and "roving ScotRail teams" will also be on trains, carrying out on-the-spot fraud checks to make sure passengers are paying for the correct journeys.

Passengers are being asked to play their part by continuing to heed the rules for safe travel that are still required on trains and in stations. These include the wearing of face coverings and maintaining physical distancing of one metre.

With increased ticket checks in place both at stations and on trains, customers are being reminded to buy tickets in advance of travel via the ScotRail app, website, or station facilities to ensure waiting times are reduced and physical distancing supported. All customers must hold a valid ticket before boarding a train.

Special teams will deal with ticket dodgers and antisocial behaviour on trains. Picture: DGS
Special teams will deal with ticket dodgers and antisocial behaviour on trains. Picture: DGS

ScotRail said it "has suffered a massive financial downturn" due to the pandemic but thanks to emergency Scottish Government support, worth more than £400million since March 2020, the operator "hasn’t cut any permanent jobs, reduced wages, cut terms and conditions or employee benefits or used furlough".

The duties carried out on-train are critically important for the business and help ScotRail deliver a safe and reliable service for customers.

The train operator will be increasing the number of services from Sunday, May 16.

Rail travel restrictions to be lifted on Friday



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