A Merseyrail guard has been pictured putting his feet on a seat – an offence which carries with it a £50 fine for passengers.
The passenger who took these photos on the Ellesmere Port to Liverpool service said he wanted to know if the policy was a 'two-way street'.
People caught with their feet on seats – including the structure of seats – on Merseyrail trains risk being slapped with a £50 fine and being taken to court if they fail to pay up.
Merseyrail began enforcing the feet on seats bylaw a decade ago, and warned persistent offenders that they risked being banned from the network.
The rail company said it was 'disappointing' to see one of its own staff flouting the rules.
The passenger, who took the pictures on Tuesday's 9.42am service and asked to remain anonymous, said: “I get the train four days a week and Merseyrail have a team of people who randomly board the train to catch people with the seats or fixtures around the seats.
“While I agree that putting feet on the seats is wrong, I’ve witnessed some heavy-handed staff speaking to grown men and women like children.
“They now have cameras to prove the said person has committed the crime, but is it a two-way street?
“When I saw the guard with his foot on the seat I was incensed. He only removed it when the doors were opened and closed at each station.
“I just thought that if it was the other way round and the team came on board, the passenger would be fined.
“It quite clearly states on the train that you shouldn’t put your feet on the seats and there are posters in each carriage. I just wondered if Merseyrail would enforce the fine for staff?”
Merseyrail was the first train company in the country to issue banning letters for feet-on-seat and fare-dodging offences.
Feet-on-seat passengers who fail to pay the £50 fine and accept a warning can be summoned to court, and if found guilty, can be ordered to pay up to £350.
A Merseyrail spokesman said: “It’s disappointing that one of our own members of staff has been found with his feet on seats, in light of the bylaw we began enforcing ten years ago.
“The introduction of this piece of legislation followed customer research we undertook at the time, revealing that passengers view feet on seats as one of their greatest irritations and that they consider it anti-social behaviour.
“We will now go through our own internal procedures to manage this unfortunate situation.”