RAIL travellers have been hit with penalty fares in Birmingham following a recent clampdown on ticket cheats.

Revenue officers from West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway teamed up with counterparts from Chiltern Railways and British Transport Police for the operation.

170 tickets were issued to travellers at Moor Street, Snow Hill, Jewellery Quarter, and Smethwick Galton Bridge on Wednesday, September 11.

A further four people were referred for prosecution.

Steven Fisher, head of on board experience for West Midlands Railway, said: “Despite our successful revenue operation at New Street last month we have continued to receive reports of fare evasion in the city. This week our team staged another clampdown to reassure fare-paying passengers that we are continuing to take tough action against ticketless travel on our network.

“The message is clear - if you do not buy a ticket before travelling from a station where ticket-buying facilities are available you may be issued with a penalty fare.

"Our staff are on the network every day to support the 97 per cent of passengers who always have a valid ticket before travelling."

Last month more than 200 tickets were issued at Birmingham New Street in a cross-industry clampdown.