It's a column and it's for opinion - welcome to our new The Opinion Column featuring a guest writer each week.

First up is Ken Tracey, who has lived in the Orpington area for more than 30 years, and has something to say about fare-dodgers.

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The over-population of Bromley is partly due to the ease of commuting to London for work.

The downside is the grind of the daily commute and the cost of a season ticket, but that only applies to the fare-paying public - there are many who ‘bunk’ a ride and travel for free.

Last week I was amid the commuters shuffling off the train at my station - there aren’t any ticket barriers. The heat of the afternoon weighed heavily on us and we were brought to a halt on the platform to queue for a random ticket check. It was a mild inconvenience to most, but to one bulky man it was a massive aggravation.

He refused to stop for the inspectors and pushed his way through the crowd despite being asked repeatedly for his ticket. When he quickened his pace so that the inspector had to run alongside him, it was obvious that he was a ‘dodger’.

Despite the inspector’s efforts the bully broke into a run and left him behind. The inspector was powerless to stop him and let him go. There were four inspectors, the others carried on doing their jobs and I don’t think it would have been safe for them to tackle the bully, so he got his free ride.

This is a dangerous and no doubt daily situation for inspectors, but they had no ‘strong arm’ back-up such as the police.

So, people could still get away without paying, even when they are caught. Having to pay occasionally probably makes economic sense to the dodgers.

This is one example of the railway companies not making the effort to collect the maximum number of fares. In addition, a lot of the lines into the borough still have stations without ticket barriers. I don’t want this to be a ‘dodgers directory,’ so I won’t list them.

The railway companies (Southeastern in this case) could do more to enforce payment and close boltholes rather than milking the fare-paying public.