AN ALEXANDRIA woman says she was left feeling “humiliated and belittled” after being accused of dodging a train fare.

Victoria Robertson, 20 and her boyfriend William Patterson, 24, travelled to Glasgow Central last week for the first time since the initial lockdown last year.

Victoria described how she and William had entered Paisley Gilmour Street station through an un-barriered entrance, and were questioned about their journey by a ScotRail ticket examiner on the platform at their destination.

She told the Reporter: “We saw our train was in two minutes and ran to get on board.

"When we got off the train at Glasgow there was a massive queue of people wanting to get a ticket.

“We approached the man and told him we wanted a return, but he turned around and said to us, “you didn’t get on at Paisley Gilmour”.

She said the ScotRail staff member told them the entrances to the Paisley station had barriers, and then said he would get a manager and the couple would be issued with a fine.

Victoria, who has previous experience in customer service, added: “I kept asking what the fine was, but he wouldn’t tell me.

“Even if we didn’t live there, we could have been going to work, looking after family or anything.

“I walked away feeling like a criminal.

"I honestly felt horrible for the rest of the day. I felt so discriminated against.

“I knew what to say, but other people may not have had the confidence to defend themselves.

"If these are the rules, then put signs up to help everyone.”

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “ScotRail is absolutely clear; customers need to buy before they board.

“We have been conducting a well publicised crackdown on customers attempting to travel without paying.

"More than 500 have been caught, with more than 10,000 tickets confiscated via spot checks by mobile teams.

“Stories about this have appeared on national radio and television channels, local radio and newspapers for the last three months.

“ScotRail operates more than 350 stations across Scotland and only 17 are equipped with ticket barriers, making it relatively easy for passengers to get on and off without paying for all or part of their journey.

“But CCTV cameras can prove where their journey began and then it’s an easy task to work out how much they owe.

"All of the passengers who have been caught so far have paid what they owe since the alternative is prosecution which, if successful, would leave them with a criminal record.

“Much of this was a result of on-train revenue duties being suspended during the pandemic.

"Fortunately these have now started again.”

The spokesperson added that Victoria could make an official complaint by contacting ScotRail’s customer relations team.