Adult fare row for 12-year-old

Josh Healy from Castleford. Josh was was charged full adult fare on a Metro bus service, because he didn't have a photo ID that proved he was not an adult. Pictured with his father, Tim Healy.'p313c343
Josh Healy from Castleford. Josh was was charged full adult fare on a Metro bus service, because he didn't have a photo ID that proved he was not an adult. Pictured with his father, Tim Healy.'p313c343
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A 12-year-old boy was charged a full adult bus fare because he didn’t have a proof of age pass – despite telling the driver he would have no dinner money.

Joshua Healey, of Spittal Hardwick Lane, Pontefract, was charged £4.50 for the journey to St Wilfrid’s Catholic High School in Featherstone because he didn’t have the pass, even though the previous day another driver on the same service only charged him a child’s fare.

His angry dad Timothy Healey, 45, has now complained to Arriva and Metro about Joshua’s treatment, but said he had been fobbed off.

Mr Healey, of Ferrybridge Road, Castleford, said Joshua’s free bus pass was delayed in the post, meaning he had to pay the first few days when he went back to school in September.

He said: “He’s clearly not an adult. He doesn’t look like an adult. I accept a 14 or 15-year-old may look older, but he’s 12.

“There was no compassion or common sense. I don’t think it’s fair a child who looks like a child should be charged an adult fare.

“He was left without any dinner money that day, but the driver didn’t care.”

Mr Healey said he was also annoyed the first driver, who charged him half-price didn’t tell Joshua he really needed a photocard to claim the cheaper fare.

He complained to Arriva, which operates the 184 service Joshua used, but was told the company was following Metro’s procedures, so he took his complaint there.

Mr Healey added: “I just got back a load of waffle which really didn’t address my complaint.”

A Metro spokesman said: “We do have an understanding with bus operators that around the start of the new school year in September, their drivers will exercise some discretion.

“This means drivers letting young people in Mr Healey’s son’s situation travel for half fare but also advising them of the need to get a Young Person’s PhotoCard.”