Northern has issued a warning to would-be fare dodgers on its network who attempt to sleep through ticket inspections, as such behaviour could result in a £100 penalty fare. 

The train operator has spoken out ahead of World Sleep Day, which is tomorrow (Friday, March 15) saying the tactic is frequently deployed by fare evaders on its services.

Jason Wade, a spokesperson for Northern, said: “World Sleep Day is an admirable initiative with an important health message.

“Unfortunately, there are those who feign sleep in order to avoid ticket checks – which is unfair to the overwhelming majority of our customers who do the right thing and buy a ticket before they board.

“Our colleagues have seen every tactic and heard every excuse. Why some people think they’re exempt from buying a ticket is a mystery to me.”

Northern has invested in the largest network of digital ticket infrastructure of any train operator in the country, making it easier than ever for customers to buy a ticket via their app, website or one of more than 600 ticket vending machines across their network.

In June 2023, Northern released a Fare Dodger Bingo Card featuring the most popular excuses that fare evaders give when caught travelling without a ticket.

Pretending to sleep through the ticket inspection entirely was identified as a standalone tactic.

World Sleep Day is a global event designed to promote sleep health and elevate the conversation around the importance of sleep.

Fare evaders are prosecuted under the provisions of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 and the Railway Byelaws made pursuant to the Transport Act 2000.

In cases of ticket fraud, perpetrators are prosecuted under the Fraud Act 2006.