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 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.