I’ve just come across this petition calling for regulations restricting UK travel companies charging adult prices for under 18s.
It makes a very valid point. National Minimum Wage applies at a reduced rate for under 18s, and apprentices receive even less – around £3/hr- but both groups are expected to pay adult prices. In addition, under 18s are now obliged to be in education or training, so they aren’t even working full-time.
Almost every law considers 18 to be the age of adulthood, but naturally for transport companies it makes no sense to limit their revenue. It’s why I’m pleased to see the 16-25 Railcard still being offered (though I feel £30 is a little steep… and surely if anyone can go and buy a railcard, they could just give these reduced rates without it?), and especially happy to see my local operator Merseyrail’s new 16-18 ticket, which is half the price of an adult fare.
However, both the railcard and Merseyrail’s 16-18 ticket are only available for off-peak fares, which doesn’t help young people who are trying to get to work at standard hours – especially apprentices.