Fare dodger bingo card created by Northern train operator - how many have you heard?

Train operator Northern has published a bingo card in tribute to the least original excuses given by fare dodgers on its services ahead of National Bingo Day tomorrow (Tuesday, June 27).
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The train operator’s conductors and revenue protection teams interact with millions of customers every year, 95 per cent of which do the right thing and have a valid ticket for travel.

But the five per cent who attempt to travel without a ticket seemingly draw their excuses from a very small pool, including vanishing purses and wallets, mystery benefactors paying for their ticket at a later date and false claims of ticket machines not working – something which staff have been able to fact check since May 2022.

Claims of tickets being on mobile devices that have ran out of power, a topic highlighted earlier this year following Northern’s partnership with mobile phone charge provider BattPoint, is another popular excuse.

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For those unable to come up with a good one liner in time, pretending to be asleep during ticket inspections is something of a last resort.

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Jason Wade, head of retail operations for Northern, said: “Our colleagues have seen every tactic and heard every excuse.

“Everyone has a legal duty to buy a ticket before they board one of our trains. Why some people think they’re exempt from that rule is, quite frankly, a total mystery to me.

“There are eight excuses on the bingo card – and I know some of my colleagues wouldn’t have to wait very long to call a full house.

"There are so many ways to buy a ticket these days – there really is no excuse.”