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Crackdown on Metrolink fare dodgers
A CRACKDOWN on persistent tram fare dodgers - who owed more than £16,000 in total - has been launched.
Bury magistrates issued warrants without bail for the arrest of 12 people, including four from the borough, after they failed to pay outstanding Metrolink court fines.
The court heard 20 cases involving the worst offenders, and gave put punishments in their absence.
These included new charges for failing to pay the standard fare but also for unpaid court fines. One man who owes fines totalling £2,660 could face a three months jail sentence.
All those whose cases related to failing to pay the standard fare were given 14 days to pay and will be added to the debtors register which may affect their credit rating.
This is the latest initiative by the Metrolink operator, Metrolink RATP Dev, to tackle fare evasion on the network.
Finance director Ian Law said: “We issue a court summons as a last resort to individuals who have been given a number of opportunities to pay their outstanding fines and have chosen to ignore them.
Revenue generated from ticket sales goes back into running the system, so our efforts are focused on creating an effective deterrent to travelling without a ticket.
“We believe that a failure to take this seriously would be a disservice to the honest, fare-paying customers who make up the majority of our passengers.
“As the network expands, we have to future-proof our approach to fare evasion.
“We have a series of projects lined up which includes investment in further resources, especially around major events on the network such as concerts and football matches, which is one of many things we are working on.”
The 12 warrants were issued for: Liam Roberts, aged 26, of Thornfield Road, Tottington; Scott Little, aged 21, of Hazel Grove, Radcliffe; Paul Moore, aged 42, of Ripon Close, Whitefield; Robert Godwin, aged 43, of Bury Old Road, Whitefield, Tim Foulkes, aged 31, of Langshaw Street, Old Trafford; William Harrison, aged 22, of Derby Street, Altrincham; Carl Jamieson, aged 26, of Redbrook Avenue, Manchester; Iwona Mackiewicz, aged 30, of Newhey Avenue, Wythenshawe; Frank Ohemeng, aged 26, of Chapel Road, Sale; Sean Reader, aged 26, of Nesfield Road, Manchester; Daniel Sussman, aged 31, of Bennett Road, Manchester; and Michael Chike, aged 27, of Westbury Road, Manchester.
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