A PASSENGER is calling for a ticket machine to be installed at Highbridge train station after he was slapped with an £84 fine for failing to buy a ticket.

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Mark Saunders, of Poplar Estate, Highbridge, claims he was unable buy a ticket for an eight minute journey from Highbridge to Bridgwater on June 21as there was no ticket machine at his local train station.

The 47-year-old claims he was threatened with arrest by ticket officers at Bridgwater train station after he told them that he was unable to buy a ticket at Highbridge train station or from a conductor on the train and is calling for a machine to be installed at Highbridge station.

Mr Saunders said: "I work on a building site in Bridgwater and I travel down there to work every day.

"On June 21 I went to Highbridge station as usual at around 7.15am, there is no ticket machine at Highbridge station so I was unable to get a ticket.

"I got on the train with my bike and was ready to buy a ticket but the conductor never came around.

"I got off the train at Bridgwater at around 7.25am and went to the gates and explained to the ticket officers that I could not buy a ticket.

"They told me that I would be fined and threatened me with arrest. I couldn't believe it.

"I went through the gates and bought a ticket at around 7.30am to provide that I was happy to pay but they would not listen."

Mark claims he has written a letter to Great Western Railway to contest the fine and said he will 'fight' to ensure he will not have to pay it.

He said he thinks a ticket machine needs to be installed at Highbridge station to make it easier for travellers to get tickets.

"I was so angry when I found out I got fined, I couldn't believe it.

"I was unable to get a ticket from the conductor and what did they expect me to do, search every carriage until I found them?

"I definitely think a new ticket machine needs to be installed at Highbridge station.

"At the moment there is no way for people to buy tickets at the station and I think it needs to change so other people do not get fined."

A spokesman for Great Western Railway, said: “A customer attempted to leave the station without a valid ticket when he had every opportunity to purchase one.

"Customers must buy tickets before travel, or if that is not possible, at the first available opportunity on board or on arrival.

"Those who do not do so may be liable to a penalty fare.”