Secondary schools in Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside have today featured in a list of the ‘Top 5’ schools for students caught fare evading by Northern.

The train operator is now working with the schools highlighted in the list to urge parents to buy the existing, widely popular and heavily discounted (up to 75% off) Educational Season Tickets when schools return in September rather than give their child money for the fare – which some students decide to pocket and take the risk of travelling without a ticket.

The ‘Top 5 schools for student fare evaders are:

  • Rainhill High School in Rainhill, Merseyside
  • Honley High School, Holme Valley, West Yorkshire
  • Wilmslow High School, Wilmslow, Cheshire
  • Turton School in Bolton, Greater Manchester
  • Wade Deacon High School, Widnes, Cheshire

Many fare evasion incidents took place when students were travelling relatively short distances between rural and suburban stations which are not barrier-controlled.

Given the high number of students on-board and the limited journey time, conductors cannot always carry out a full ticket inspection, which emboldens students to ‘risk it’.

Northern is now deploying revenue protection teams to undertake random ticket checks to tackle the problem.

For more information about educational season tickets, and to purchase one for the new academic year in September, please visit:


Commenting on their decision to name the ‘Top 5’ schools, Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “Everyone has a responsibility to buy a ticket before they travel. Unfortunately, some students think that rule doesn’t apply to them – and routinely fare evade on our services.

“It’s important they know that fare evading is a criminal act and in the future they could end up with a criminal record for the sake of paying the, heavily discounted, student fare.

“With the end of the school year almost upon us, we are urging parents from September not to give their child money with the hope they will buy a ticket, but to save money by ensuring their child has a ticket by buying it for a cheaper rate in advance.”

Northern is investing in the largest network of ticket infrastructure of any train operator in the country. Customers can buy tickets from Northern’s app, website, ticket offices or one of more than 600 ticket machines across the network.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the country, with nearly 2,000 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.