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A Hedge-Fund Manager Nearly Got Away With Paying £7.20 Daily For £43,000-Worth Of Train Journeys

So close.

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Train travel is incredibly expensive. So you have to give credit to the man that almost got away with paying only a daily fee of £7.20 over five years for his journey from East Sussex into London Bridge.

He first stoked suspicion last autumn when an inspector at Cannon Street station noticed that the man was charged £7.20, the fee given to any customer who taps out without having first tapped in.

An investigation by Southeastern trains found the man had stopped buying a season ticket for his journey in 2008, raising alarms that he had been doing this for five years.

alice-photo/alice-photo

Trying to buy a new season ticket the week after he was challenged may not have been the brightest idea.

In an out-of-court settlement, the man, reported to be a hedge-fund manager, paid £42,550 in unpaid fares and £450 in legal fees, which is £20,000 more than if he had continued to buy season tickets.

Roj Whitelock/Roj Whitelock

A spokesperson for Southeastern railways said that the revenue protection team had now grown to 150 people.

He said: "Conductors on our trains carry out checks during journeys, our revenue inspectors travel across the network making checks and enforcing penalty fares, ticket barriers at our main London terminals are manned, and we've also installed self-service ticket machines at most of our stations to make it easier for passengers to buy tickets before travelling.

"We recognise that this issue is important to customers who pay their way and expect the system to treat them with fairness by acting against people who don't buy tickets.

"This case highlights the cost of fare evasion to the industry and the scale of the penalties that individuals face when caught.

"We hope it will act as a deterrent, particularly given that the sum involved is far above the average earnings of most of the fare-paying public."

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