A man in Wales who tried to dodge paying a fare of $5.48 (or £4.40) was later fined $817.89 (or £613.30) by the rail line.
As reported by Wales Online, 27-year-old Kieron Stokes hopped on an Arriva train near his suburban home in Rogerstone, Wales, last November to head to Cardiff to see his favorite band in concert. The only problem? He hadn’t bought a ticket for the 38-minute trip.
When questioned by authorities at Cardiff Central station for not having a ticket, he initially lied and said he’d only ridden the train for one stop. He later confessed to the fib.
Stokes was required to apologize in writing to the rail operator, then he later received a notice demanding £613.30 in fines, or else face going to court.
He paid the penalty, but complained to the South Wales Argus: “I found it to be outrageous, especially when you consider the fact that the society we live in fines drink drivers, burglars, and people who commit GBH with considerably less penalties.”
Travelers to the U.K. should be wary of the steep fines on some regional rail lines. Tourists and citizens alike can be held to the same rules. An Arriva Trains Wales spokeswoman said the punishment could have been up to £1,000.
“If caught travelling without a valid ticket, each case is reviewed in line with our revenue protection policy which can be found on our website.”
Last year, the Daily Mirror reported that a waitress in Birmingham was charged more than £650 in accumulated fines for failing to respond to court inquiries for three years.
Penalties on the U.K.’s National Rail line are more lax, and usually invoke a £20 fine or up to twice the amount of the original single full fare ticket.