Transport for London tells boy to do unpaid labour to get Oyster card back

Dad Mark Addison said his daughter was distressed after the incident

Dad Mark Addison said his daughter was distressed after the incident

First published in News
Last updated
Sutton Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

Transport for London told a teenage boy he would have to do unpaid labour to get his Oyster card back after he kindly lent it to his sister who in turn was handed an £80 fine for using it.

Year 7 pupil, Megan Addison, 11, from Worcester Park, was on her way to her bus stop to get the 213 bus to the Holy Cross School, in New Malden, in mid-January, when she realised she had forgotten her Zip Oyster card which entitles her to free travel.

Seeing she was concerned about being late for school her brother, Patrick, 16, lent her his Oyster card and said he would walk to his school, Richard Challoner.

A ticket inspector discovered Megan was using another person’s Oyster card and confiscated it, issuing her with an £80 fine, despite her explaining the situation.

Initially TfL reissued Patrick’s Oyster card within a couple of days of it being confiscated however on Thursday, February 27, the family received a letter stating that his concessionary travel was being withdrawn for a year.

He was told he could do voluntary work in order to get his card back as part of TfL's Earn Your Travel Back scheme.

The children’s father, Mark Addison, 52, who works as an accountant, said: "I have made it clear how distressed my daughter was. I don’t care about the fine.

"This was a little 11-year-old girl, travelling on a dark January morning, in school uniform, not a fare dodger.

"To issue her with a fine is patently a revenue generation exercise even though TfL suffered no economic loss.

"Both my children had an underlying entitlement to free travel as they had both been issued with valid oyster cards - this is a provable fact, yet despite this proof TfL are insisting on imposing sanctions against both children."

TfL’s director of enforcement and on-street operations, Steve Burton, said: "Young people using a Zip card are not allowed to let others travel using their card.

"If someone does find they do not have the correct money for their journey, the bus driver will issue them with an Unpaid Fare Notice ticket instead and this can be paid within five days."

TfL also said they had now considered the specific circumstances of the case and that Patrick’s card would be reinstated without the need for him to take part in the earn your travel back scheme.

 

 

Comments (20)

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9:15am Thu 6 Mar 14

shelokay says...

he broke the rules.. he should pay the consicences..
why do you think you need your photo put on it? oh yeah cos its only to be used by that person..
she lost her oyster card and would be late for school.. thats hardly any excuse is it.. the dad should take responsibilty into why his children dont understand how to use public transport correctly or what to do if something goes wrong!
he broke the rules.. he should pay the consicences.. why do you think you need your photo put on it? oh yeah cos its only to be used by that person.. she lost her oyster card and would be late for school.. thats hardly any excuse is it.. the dad should take responsibilty into why his children dont understand how to use public transport correctly or what to do if something goes wrong! shelokay
  • Score: -21

9:38am Thu 6 Mar 14

Mr Flange of Wallington says...

shelokay wrote:
he broke the rules.. he should pay the consicences..
why do you think you need your photo put on it? oh yeah cos its only to be used by that person..
she lost her oyster card and would be late for school.. thats hardly any excuse is it.. the dad should take responsibilty into why his children dont understand how to use public transport correctly or what to do if something goes wrong!
Are you for real?

This kind of story only serves to reinforce the utter contempt most of the public have for this kind of petty minded rule enforcement. Free travel is free travel. They wouldn't treat pensioner like that, so why the future of our society?

Seriously, you couldn't make it up.
[quote][p][bold]shelokay[/bold] wrote: he broke the rules.. he should pay the consicences.. why do you think you need your photo put on it? oh yeah cos its only to be used by that person.. she lost her oyster card and would be late for school.. thats hardly any excuse is it.. the dad should take responsibilty into why his children dont understand how to use public transport correctly or what to do if something goes wrong![/p][/quote]Are you for real? This kind of story only serves to reinforce the utter contempt most of the public have for this kind of petty minded rule enforcement. Free travel is free travel. They wouldn't treat pensioner like that, so why the future of our society? Seriously, you couldn't make it up. Mr Flange of Wallington
  • Score: 2

11:32am Thu 6 Mar 14

suttondad says...

shelokay, do you have children? I suggest by the nature of your response that you don't, the TFL regulations are backwards enough at times let alone the lack of common sense, had it been your child how would you feel? The fact that you feel that the boy should have punishment for seeing his younger sister right is bizarre, the stupidity of some people and TFL really dumbfounds me at times, it's such a shame that this had to be made public and I would love to know at what point common sense prevailed?
shelokay, do you have children? I suggest by the nature of your response that you don't, the TFL regulations are backwards enough at times let alone the lack of common sense, had it been your child how would you feel? The fact that you feel that the boy should have punishment for seeing his younger sister right is bizarre, the stupidity of some people and TFL really dumbfounds me at times, it's such a shame that this had to be made public and I would love to know at what point common sense prevailed? suttondad
  • Score: -1

11:40am Thu 6 Mar 14

Yaffle1 says...

One of life's lessons for this family. They knew the rules, broke them, got caught and then whinge because of a mild punishment. Let's not have any more crocodile tears of sympathy.
One of life's lessons for this family. They knew the rules, broke them, got caught and then whinge because of a mild punishment. Let's not have any more crocodile tears of sympathy. Yaffle1
  • Score: -6

11:51am Thu 6 Mar 14

sjsunny says...

I suspect that on a daily basis TFL ticket inspectors and staff dealing with situations on the spot, hear all manner of excuses for a variety of circumstances. Some cases are genuine and many are not. Sadly, the behaviour of the serial and non genuine offenders must make it difficult for TFL staff to see the wood for the trees at times. Clearly, on this occasion common sense prevailed once the child's father explained the circumstances in full and TFL reconsidered the original penalty imposed.
I suspect that on a daily basis TFL ticket inspectors and staff dealing with situations on the spot, hear all manner of excuses for a variety of circumstances. Some cases are genuine and many are not. Sadly, the behaviour of the serial and non genuine offenders must make it difficult for TFL staff to see the wood for the trees at times. Clearly, on this occasion common sense prevailed once the child's father explained the circumstances in full and TFL reconsidered the original penalty imposed. sjsunny
  • Score: 28

11:55am Thu 6 Mar 14

unebalam says...

For the amount of time TFL have had to put into this case they could have easily just looked at the facts realised no malicious intent was present and doen the decent thing and dropped the fine and given the kids his card back. But then perhaps they are more interested in fining people than providing a half decent transport service.
They don't even follow thier own idiotic rules most of the time there have been plenty of reports of people people thrown off buses for not having the correct change.. this is the first time I have heard of a 'Unpaid Fare Notice ticket' I swear they are law unto themselves and make it up as they go along.
For the amount of time TFL have had to put into this case they could have easily just looked at the facts realised no malicious intent was present and doen the decent thing and dropped the fine and given the kids his card back. But then perhaps they are more interested in fining people than providing a half decent transport service. They don't even follow thier own idiotic rules most of the time there have been plenty of reports of people people thrown off buses for not having the correct change.. this is the first time I have heard of a 'Unpaid Fare Notice ticket' I swear they are law unto themselves and make it up as they go along. unebalam
  • Score: 2

12:03pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Mr Perceptive says...

This is not news. Although I will consider using the "Unpaid Fare Notice ticket" next time I travel.
This is not news. Although I will consider using the "Unpaid Fare Notice ticket" next time I travel. Mr Perceptive
  • Score: 6

12:59pm Thu 6 Mar 14

jjsmithy says...

Rules are rules, I know people from Epsom who only had half the fare free, so used other peoples oyster cards that were free travel, they have clearly caught people avoiding this and have implemented rules.

Sorry but if you forget your oyster card you cant just make up your own rules, would you use your brothers passport if you forgot yours at the airport?

Let the thumbs down begin for having a negative opinion.
Rules are rules, I know people from Epsom who only had half the fare free, so used other peoples oyster cards that were free travel, they have clearly caught people avoiding this and have implemented rules. Sorry but if you forget your oyster card you cant just make up your own rules, would you use your brothers passport if you forgot yours at the airport? Let the thumbs down begin for having a negative opinion. jjsmithy
  • Score: 21

1:46pm Thu 6 Mar 14

alroutemaster says...

Quite right too. His Oyster should however be permanently removed along with his sister's. Abuse of this kind is fraud, and they should not have free travel in the first place. Children today are lazy, walk to school.
Quite right too. His Oyster should however be permanently removed along with his sister's. Abuse of this kind is fraud, and they should not have free travel in the first place. Children today are lazy, walk to school. alroutemaster
  • Score: -11

1:49pm Thu 6 Mar 14

ResidentTony says...

TFL are legally in the right. On this particular occasion they could indeed have been more lenient, but they are under obligation to take a soft line when real fare evaders are costing us, the tax payers, large sums.
TFL are legally in the right. On this particular occasion they could indeed have been more lenient, but they are under obligation to take a soft line when real fare evaders are costing us, the tax payers, large sums. ResidentTony
  • Score: 15

1:56pm Thu 6 Mar 14

ResidentTony says...

ResidentTony wrote:
TFL are legally in the right. On this particular occasion they could indeed have been more lenient, but they are under obligation to take a soft line when real fare evaders are costing us, the tax payers, large sums.
I MEANT NO OBLIGATION. Also I should clarify that the tax cost may be indirect, given privatisation
[quote][p][bold]ResidentTony[/bold] wrote: TFL are legally in the right. On this particular occasion they could indeed have been more lenient, but they are under obligation to take a soft line when real fare evaders are costing us, the tax payers, large sums.[/p][/quote]I MEANT NO OBLIGATION. Also I should clarify that the tax cost may be indirect, given privatisation ResidentTony
  • Score: 2

2:17pm Thu 6 Mar 14

Snork says...

Firstly Guardian it is LENT not LEANT. Mistake made more than once in the article. Secondly he didn't kindly lend it he encouraged his sister to travel illegally using his Oyster when there were many other ways she could have got home that afternoon. Rules are rules and before anyone asks yes I have kids 6 of them and I would fully accept this outcome if any of them broke the rules. When I was young if you lost your bus fare you walked there were no Unpaid Fare Notices.
Firstly Guardian it is LENT not LEANT. Mistake made more than once in the article. Secondly he didn't kindly lend it he encouraged his sister to travel illegally using his Oyster when there were many other ways she could have got home that afternoon. Rules are rules and before anyone asks yes I have kids 6 of them and I would fully accept this outcome if any of them broke the rules. When I was young if you lost your bus fare you walked there were no Unpaid Fare Notices. Snork
  • Score: 6

6:09pm Thu 6 Mar 14

MattSW9 says...

shelokay wrote:
he broke the rules.. he should pay the consicences..
why do you think you need your photo put on it? oh yeah cos its only to be used by that person..
she lost her oyster card and would be late for school.. thats hardly any excuse is it.. the dad should take responsibilty into why his children dont understand how to use public transport correctly or what to do if something goes wrong!
You clearly don't get out much, or, if you really read this story carefully, you can't tell the difference between kids who really cause problems and deserve their free travel withdrawn, and this KIND brother. You're a disgrace
[quote][p][bold]shelokay[/bold] wrote: he broke the rules.. he should pay the consicences.. why do you think you need your photo put on it? oh yeah cos its only to be used by that person.. she lost her oyster card and would be late for school.. thats hardly any excuse is it.. the dad should take responsibilty into why his children dont understand how to use public transport correctly or what to do if something goes wrong![/p][/quote]You clearly don't get out much, or, if you really read this story carefully, you can't tell the difference between kids who really cause problems and deserve their free travel withdrawn, and this KIND brother. You're a disgrace MattSW9
  • Score: -5

6:11pm Thu 6 Mar 14

MattSW9 says...

Yaffle1 wrote:
One of life's lessons for this family. They knew the rules, broke them, got caught and then whinge because of a mild punishment. Let's not have any more crocodile tears of sympathy.
What a stupid comment! Having his pass withdrawn for a YEAR and having to do community service like a CRIMINAL because he helped his ELEVEN YEAR OLD sister? Moron.
[quote][p][bold]Yaffle1[/bold] wrote: One of life's lessons for this family. They knew the rules, broke them, got caught and then whinge because of a mild punishment. Let's not have any more crocodile tears of sympathy.[/p][/quote]What a stupid comment! Having his pass withdrawn for a YEAR and having to do community service like a CRIMINAL because he helped his ELEVEN YEAR OLD sister? Moron. MattSW9
  • Score: 2

9:57pm Fri 7 Mar 14

howiseeit says...

Simple bring back half fare's for kids it's not free is it we paying for it same with the pensioner's
it's about time kids learned right from wrong and there pushy parent's
bring back national service or youths club's for all kids to go to do them the world of good
Simple bring back half fare's for kids it's not free is it we paying for it same with the pensioner's it's about time kids learned right from wrong and there pushy parent's bring back national service or youths club's for all kids to go to do them the world of good howiseeit
  • Score: 4

8:36am Sat 8 Mar 14

JPR says...

Who said that country was proud to have defeated the nasty german during WW2?
Next time fry the kids, but please shut the f* up.
Who said that country was proud to have defeated the nasty german during WW2? Next time fry the kids, but please shut the f* up. JPR
  • Score: -7

12:54pm Sun 9 Mar 14

Ia2861 says...

Little Hitlers.
Little Hitlers. Ia2861
  • Score: -8

12:47pm Wed 12 Mar 14

entreri says...

when will these young people learn "rules is rules"
when will these young people learn "rules is rules" entreri
  • Score: 1

8:38am Fri 14 Mar 14

dad4just says...

Snork wrote:
Firstly Guardian it is LENT not LEANT. Mistake made more than once in the article. Secondly he didn't kindly lend it he encouraged his sister to travel illegally using his Oyster when there were many other ways she could have got home that afternoon. Rules are rules and before anyone asks yes I have kids 6 of them and I would fully accept this outcome if any of them broke the rules. When I was young if you lost your bus fare you walked there were no Unpaid Fare Notices.
Always a risk trying to take the moral high-ground suggesting "leant" not "lent" - might be worth reading the article properly as she was on her way to school not home in the afternoon when this happened. sounds to me like the family has an issue with the kids being treated like criminals rather than a family "trying to pull a fast one"
[quote][p][bold]Snork[/bold] wrote: Firstly Guardian it is LENT not LEANT. Mistake made more than once in the article. Secondly he didn't kindly lend it he encouraged his sister to travel illegally using his Oyster when there were many other ways she could have got home that afternoon. Rules are rules and before anyone asks yes I have kids 6 of them and I would fully accept this outcome if any of them broke the rules. When I was young if you lost your bus fare you walked there were no Unpaid Fare Notices.[/p][/quote]Always a risk trying to take the moral high-ground suggesting "leant" not "lent" - might be worth reading the article properly as she was on her way to school not home in the afternoon when this happened. sounds to me like the family has an issue with the kids being treated like criminals rather than a family "trying to pull a fast one" dad4just
  • Score: -1

8:37am Wed 26 Mar 14

sfocata says...

Baffles me that an Oyster card is not transferable anyway. It's surrogate money. As long as the other child is subject to the same fare scale, I can't see how it's a problem. Who suffers?
Baffles me that an Oyster card is not transferable anyway. It's surrogate money. As long as the other child is subject to the same fare scale, I can't see how it's a problem. Who suffers? sfocata
  • Score: -2

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