Whilst bills increase and budgets are stretched, many tram users admit to rarely paying for tickets due to cost-of-living crisis and “trigger-happy” ticket inspectors.
Over the past few months, NET tram ticket inspectors have been multiplying at the main tram stops across the city.
In the last year the penalty fare for not buying a ticket has risen from £50 to £70.
NET trams have rolled out a zero-tolerance attitude towards fare dodgers as tram usage remains below that of pre-pandemic levels.
Brendan O’Connor, 32, lives in Hucknall and often gets the tram in and out of the city centre.
Since his bills have almost tripled, Brendan has been relying on small electric heaters for his home as the gas is too expensive.
He said: “If I can get away with not buying one I will, I used to always buy one and since there’ve been more of these tram people out, I got fined even though I bought one.
“I got on at David Lane and the stop next to it is like a ten second ride on the tram… I had obviously only had my ticket for about 30 seconds because I bought it just before I got on, they fined me even though I had a valid ticket.”
The issue remains for many that they cannot afford the ticket in the first place so cannot also afford the fine and continue to ride the trams for free; jumping on and off when a ticket inspector is spotted in the hopes of avoiding them.
— NoGuyTest (@NoGuyTest786) September 5, 2022
Mac Sainsbury-Plaice, a student in Nottingham, was fined even with a valid ticket and then accused of him and his girlfriend stealing their shopping by a tram ticket inspector.
— ding dang daz (@darrensteels) December 10, 2015
He said: “She began raising her voice at us and insulting us.
“We had just come from ASDA and had three very large bags of shopping, and she accused us of stealing.
“It was completely unnecessary and unfair as we had bought a ticket and the rudeness of the tram lady officer has meant we’ve made a complaint on the staff.”
NET trams have yet to respond to the claims.
Those with concessionary bus passes issued by Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council can travel for free on the trams during specific times set out on their website: https://www.thetram.net/concessionary-passes