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Find out what passengers had to say about planned hike in fines for tram fare dodgers

A proposed hike in fines for tram fare dodgers has provoked a mixed reaction from passengers.

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West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) wants to increase penalty fares from the current £10 to £100, with a 50 per cent reduction if paid within 14 days. Members will decide at a meeting on Friday.

Alongside this will be a new ‘Buy Before You Board’ ticketing policy which will bring an end to people being able to pay fares after they get on the tram.

Some passengers took to social media to air their views on the proposals and are divided on whether or not they felt it was a good idea.

While some agreed that £100 fines would be a suitable deterrent for fare dodgers others debated on how the new rules would be enforced. Some criticised the proposed penalty fare increase and labelling it "a money maker" as well as putting conductors’ jobs at risk.

There is no set date for when the new fines will come into effect but bosses said the public will be given advance warning before they were implemented.

The move will be discussed at the first board meeting to be chaired by new West Midlands Mayor Richard Parker on Friday.

Comments posted included: “Fair play to them stop people riding for free when we have to pay” while another said “Good. Too many free loaders about”."

Another posted: “If you consider that a day ticket is £6.70 then no, a £10 fine if you’re caught without one is not much of an incentive to buy one. I just hope they’ve got enough muscle to deal with the inevitable oxygen thieves who think everyone else should pay for them.”

Yet another posted: “How do they even enforce them?” while another said: “Half the time there’s never a conductor to purchase tickets lol”.

While another added: “But they have a conductor. If the tram is packed and the conductor can’t get to you before you reach your destination, should you then be fined?”

However one unhappy person posted: “That’s why they were designed, profit machines” and another adding: “Public roads destroyed by these trams they should be removed off public roads altogether”.

A worried commenter said: “This is clearly going towards removing the team conductors making it unsafe and even more won’t pay.

“Many people want to pay cash when they get on particularly in economic times (they don’t have cards ) and highly doubtful the automated machines costing a fortune to install will take cash – managers stupidity here is staggering.”

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