New powers for Rochdale tram inspectors

New powers for Rochdale tram inspectors New powers for Rochdale tram inspectors
Tram ticket inspectors patrolling Rochdale’s Metrolink system are being given police powers. Half of the 80-strong force of ‘travel safe officers’ have so far qualified to exercise the special powers after the operator Stagecoach was given accredited status by Greater Manchester Police.

The inspectors will wear special uniforms and can issue fixed penalty notices, confiscate alcohol and cigarettes, direct traffic, and share police intelligence. They will replace the dedicated police unit, which patrolled the network until it was disbanded a year ago.

When they’re not dealing with anti-social behaviour the inspectors will carry out normal ticket checks. Metrolink director, Philip Purdy, says: “During a station block, the inspectors will be stationed at all entrances and exits to and from the tram stop. A separate team will then board each tram passing through the stop and check tickets.

The new team of inspectors is designed to be highly visible, acting as a deterrent to other passengers who may consider travelling without a ticket. Anyone caught without a ticket is asked to pay a penalty fare of £100, which will be halved if they pay up within a fortnight.

Meanwhile, there has also been a major crackdown on fare dodgers on Croydon’s Tramlink network. Latest figures show that nearly £120,000 of fines have been collected over the past year. The figures, released to a local newspaper, reveal that almost 10,000 penalty fares tickets and on-the-spot fines have been issued since last April, around 26 every day.