A determined Leighton teenager is on a mission to secure ‘fair’ travel prices for under 18s.
Sophie Barber, 16, along with her friends Emily Stott, Maddie Beestin and Emily Dormer, have set up the campaign Childfare, aiming to stop attractions and travel companies charging adult prices to under 18s.
The team argues that such persons cannot buy or rent a house without a trustee, hold a full-time job, and are not entitled to the adult minimum wage, and that it is therefore unfair for under 18s to be charged as adults, when they do not have the same rights and opportunities as them.
Sophie said: “ Upon turning 16 I was suddenly forced to pay an adult fare for the train in order to travel to school, which is ridiculous considering that education is compulsory at this age. Moreover, this change meant that my train fare increased by 77 per cent.”
The team has already had backing from several political figures including, Conservative MP for Broxtowe, Nottinghamshire, Anna Soubry, and John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons.
They have also had attention from media organisations, including BBC Breakfast News, The Sunday Times Money Section, and BBC Radio 4.
Sophie said: “The media coverage has without question aided our success, as we have received various emails and messages of support and sympathy for our campaign.
“It was lovely meeting Mr Bercow and a great honour. He gave me some reassuring advice regarding how we can progress our campaign further and has written to several MPs on our behalf.
“I will be sure to attempt to continue my correspondence with him.”
Childfare were pleased to see that Nottingham City Transport moved their adult threshold ticket price from 16 to 18, just before their campaign started in August, and awarded the bus company a Childfare ‘Hero’ status.
Since Sophie and Emily founded the movement, the The BBC has also changed the age at which its adult price ticket applies on its popular studio tours from 15 to 18.
Sophie said: “We are primarily working on gaining more awareness and support nationwide, including looking for representatives in different regions of England.”