Torn ticket sparks dispute after schoolgirl told it was not valid
PUBLISHED: 14:36 16 October 2018 | UPDATED: 14:49 16 October 2018
The father of a 16-year-old schoolgirl has criticised north Norfolk bus firm Sanders Coaches after a driver refused to accept his daughter's ticket because it was torn, and so did not show the date.
Robert Betts said daughter Jasmine, 16, was on her way home to Horsford from Paston College in North Walsham when she got on the No. 55 bus on October 10.
Mr Betts said the driver did not listen when Jasmine told her the ticket was issued to her that morning, already torn.
But Richard Pengelly, Sanders Coaches general manager, said they had looked into the matter and found the ticket had been issued correctly, and must have been torn: “either by accident or intent”, later on.
Mr Betts said: “She tried to explain to the driver and said ‘I’ve still got my ticket from yesterday to prove I’m not reusing my ticket’.
“But they told her to get off the bus.
“Having very little experience of using buses and not of an argumentative nature my daughter did what she was told and we ended up having to drive all the way to North Walsham to collect her.
“She’s 16 and still classed as a child. This should be the sort of thing where common sense prevails and this struck me as a very unprofessional thing to do. I think it is the case that they treat their customers how they wish to treat them.”
But Mr Pengelly defended the actions of the driver. He said: “The student’s ticket was issued correctly and was not torn.
“It is impossible for the tickets to be torn as the ticket machine utilises a guillotine system.
“Whilst I am not accusing the young lady of fare evasion because following an internal investigation and analysis of our ticket machine data we have confirmed that the ticket was issued correctly on that day.
“The ticket was not valid for travel and the young lady declined to pay a fare, she was not kicked off, she got off.”
Mr Pengelly said the incident had sparked a backlash - which he said was based on false allegations - on social media after Mr Betts shared a post about it on Facebook.
He said the section of a ticket showing the valid date being torn off was a common form of fair evasion on both buses and trains.