Mum upset as schoolgirl charged adult fare on bus
A SCHOOLGIRL in uniform was refused a child ticket on a First bus by a driver claiming she must carry ID after 9am.
The company now says it is writing to the family to apologise for the driver going too far.
Rosie Porter, 14, from Whitchurch, was on the way to school via a dentist appointment on Monday when a driver on the number 51 bus told her she would need to pay full price.
Despite wearing her Brislington Enterprise College school uniform, Rosie was forced to pay for an adult ticket, according to her mother Caron Lewis who was travelling with her.
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First Bus said there was no specific policy which states children must carry ID to obtain a child ticket after 9am. A spokeswoman added the driver had made an error and encouraged Rosie and other children to order a free ID card from First to avoid such a problem in future.
Ms Lewis, a 46-year-old claims advisor, told The Post: "When she got on the driver asked if she could prove she was under 16."
According to Ms Lewis, the driver said: "Unless she has ID she will have to pay the full adult price."
After reluctantly paying up and taking the driver's details Ms Lewis called the company who told her of a new policy. Ms Lewis claims she was told it is now the company's policy for all people asking for child tickets after 9am to carry a birth certificate or passport. First have told The Post this is not their policy.
Ms Lewis told The Post she was shocked to hear the driver refuse her daughter entry and was glad she was there to help her with the fare.
She said: "Being in a school uniform should be enough. I wouldn't send my daughter out with her passport. I don't want her to lose it or get it stolen and have her personal information in someone else's hands.
"Last Monday she didn't have any more money and would have walked four miles to school if it wasn't for me. I'm upset the bus company is making children do this. I can understand if she had looked over 16 but she is clearly a schoolgirl.
Ms Lewis added: "What about all the children who have to catch a bus late for an appointment on a school day? To me they are putting a lot of children in danger.
"She is a girl travelling to and from school alone."
Spokeswoman for First Buses Karen Baxter said: "We can confirm we have received a complaint from Ms Lewis regarding a problem her daughter had while boarding one of our vehicles. The driver should not have needed to question Rosie's age as she was clearly on her way to school, in her school uniform. Our team is in the process of replying to Ms Lewis' complaint to express our apologies for what happened."