One aspect of Boris Johnson’s outrageous fares increases that seems to have been overlooked by the media is the doubling in price of a child one-day travelcard from £1 to £2. Currently, an adult travelcard holder travelling together with up to four children can purchase one-day travelcards for them at £1 each. From 2 January, this facility will only be available to HM Forces, Family & Friends, Network and Disabled Persons Railcard and Gold Card holders and the price of a child one-day travelcard will rise to £2 for everyone else.

Children who hold a  Zip Oyster card will still have their off-peak daily travel capped at £1. 11-15 year-olds need an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard to travel free on buses and trams and at child rate on the Underground, DLR and London Overground. 5-10 year-olds travel free on buses and trams and, when accompanied by an adult, on the Underground, DLR and London Overground; if they are travelling alone they need a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to travel free.

Of course, not all 11-15 year-olds hold Zip Oyster cards – it is mainly those who travel to school on public transport. Very few 5-10 year-olds hold a Zip Oyster photocard as the vast majority of children this age don’t travel on public transport unaccompanied; 5-10 year olds can only continue to travel for £1 if they hold a Zip Oyster photocard. I have a child of this age and often buy the £1 child one-day travelcard at the weekends when we make journeys which include National Rail.

There has been no pre-publicity for parents about the 100% rise in the cost of the child one-day travelcard and it takes around a month for TfL to process Zip Oyster applications. This doubling of fares for children will hit poorest families the hardest and further encourage others to use their cars instead of public transport.

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