Barriers to fare dodgers

A RAILWAY company claims new ticket gates are opening the door to improved security. Train company First Capital Connect has launched new automated ticket gates at Stevenage station. The company claims that the gates will deter crime and vandalism at the

A RAILWAY company claims new ticket gates are opening the door to improved security.

Train company First Capital Connect has launched new automated ticket gates at Stevenage station.

The company claims that the gates will deter crime and vandalism at the station. It also feels they will mean that paying customers will no long be subsidising those who have not paid for tickets.

Elaine Holt, managing director of First Capital Connect said: "Those who travel on the railway without valid tickets cost the industry £200m every year.

"Since taking over the franchise in April, we have made real efforts to reduce ticketless travel across our network and have seen some very positive results. The introduction of the automatic ticket gates is a natural progression of this work.

"Stevenage is the first of 14 stations to have automatic ticket gates installed."

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Chief Supt Willie McCafferty, from British Transport Police, said: "The British Transport Police is delighted to support First Capital Connect with the introduction of the automatic ticket barriers.

"Experience demonstrates that ticket gates really have a positive impact of reducing crime and disorder."

The new gates at Stevenage include one wide aisle, which allows extra space for customers with bicycles, luggage, pushchairs or extra bags to pass through easily.