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0 Schoolboys fined £20 for skipping rush to buy £1 train ticket

EXETER schoolboys are being fined for not paying their rail fares between Topsham and Digby – even though they have the money and want to buy a ticket.

The boys are pupils at St Peter's Church of England School who catch the Avocet line train from Exmouth to Exeter at Topsham.
The mother of one boy who has twice been fined £20 for not having a ticket said: "It is terrible because they have the money – it's only £1 return – but there is only one ticket machine on Topsham platform.
"The train is already crowded when it arrives at Topsham and there is a rush to get on.
"Some children get left behind and others jump on without a ticket rather than miss the train.
"It is only a four or five-minute trip to Digby but when they get off they are fined £20 even when they offer to pay.
"The other day 12 boys got fined – although a group of four or five girls without tickets were just waved through.
"At £20 a time it is a nice little earner for the railway company.
"There should at least be another ticket machine at Topsham to give people a better chance of getting a ticket before the train pulls out."
A spokesman for First Great Western, which operates the train service, said they would be looking into the situation at Topsham.

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