RAIL booking firm Trainline should not be allowed to sell Merseyrail tickets, as rail users are being fined at Liverpool Central because they are unable to print their pre-purchased ticket at Ormskirk Station, West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper has said.
One traveller was fined despite being able to show proof of purchasing a ticket online, the MP said.
When they appealed, providing evidence of the purchase, Merseyrail upheld the fine saying she was required to have produced a physical ticket.
Ms Cooper said: “People who have bought a ticket online will understandably be shocked to receive a fine when there was no ticket machine to print it and they can give evidence of the purchase on their phone.
“Merseyrail should not allow Trainline to sell tickets online if they don’t accept them. They insist on tickets being printed at a station but this is not possible.
“What is even more surprising is that Merseyrail then stand by their decision on appeal even when given evidence of a ticket purchase!”
She added that Trading Standards need to consider whether both Merseyrail and Trainline are “setting customers up to be fined” by selling their tickets online, saying this is “blatantly unfair.”
“There needs to be a common-sense approach to fines, not a blanket policy that fails to take into account the lack of ticket printing capability.”
Suzanne Grant, commercial director at Merseyrail, said: “We currently do not have the technology to accept barcode tickets or e-tickets sold by third parties.
“This is made clear on our website and via signage at our stations, as well as through third party retailer websites.
“We are actively looking to update and modernise our ticketing systems and more information will be available as soon as developments are made.”