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however on Thursday, February 27, the family received a letter stating that his concessionary travel was being withdrawn for a year.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.