I have long got used to the idea that Northern sell all tickets on board (whereas First TransPennine Express only sell full price Anytime Singles and Returns unless the ticket office is closed). However, Northern's timetable leaflets dated 22 May 2011 and 11 December 2011 state:
I cannot see this in any earlier leaflets. My question, therefore, is whether Northern's policy has changed in practice or not. Northern have also stated that they want passengers to buy tickets before boarding at staffed stations but have never seemed to penalise customers for not doing so. Tickets checks on Northern services in fact often do not seem to be at all thorough - I have recently seen some guards simply walking down trains asking if anyone needs to buy a ticket rather than checking tickets at all.If you avoid using the ticket office or vending machine when they're available, the conductor will charge you the full Anytime Single/Return fare.