Bus bosses to re-think 9pm half fare policy

Transport chiefs are to re-think charging youngsters full fare after 9pm if they are picked up from the hospital, below
Transport chiefs are to re-think charging youngsters full fare after 9pm if they are picked up from the hospital, below

Transport bosses have said they will consider looking again at pricing for children on buses after the father of an ill child called for a “common sense approach”.

Dad Craig Green said he was baffled when he had to pay full fare for his 10-year-old son, Craig jnr, as they travelled home from a visit to A&E at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

The pair were in hospital until after 9.30pm after a cut the youngster sustained when he came off his bike became infected.

Mr Green said he was shocked he had to pay £2.50 each for the fares back to their home on Ayrton Avenue, South Shore.

Blackpool Transport does not accept the usual half fares for children onbuses after 9pm.

But the father-of-six has said a “common sense approach” should be taken when drivers pick up young passengers from the hospital.

Now transport bosses have said they will discuss his calls at their next committee meting, saying “genuine cases” should not be “penalised”.

Mr Green said: “They should keep half fares for children coming from the hospital.

“He was on a crutch. Common sense should prevail, surely they can program the machines, it surely wouldn’t be that much to do to change it for those coming from the hospital.

“Luckily I had the cash on me otherwise I would have been stuck.”

The company’s conditions of carriage clearly state that after 9pm any under 16s must pay the full adult fare unless they are already in possession of a Blackpool one day, week, or monthly child ticket.

Bob Mason, director of delivery at Blackpool Transport, said: “This was introduced a number of years ago and the company believe that one off instances like the one reported are few and far between.

“However, as with all conditions, maybe it is time for us to review this policy so that genuine cases like this are not penalised.”