An Open Letter to SpotOn (Transdev Lancashire)

Dear Transdev Lancashire,

When my son decided to catch a bus into town on Saturday 28th May 2011 he thought it would possibly cost him no more than £1.  It was considered a safe (and dry) option to travel from a friend's house plus an opportunity to use what it generally considered a great public service.

Because he was not a holder of a Young Person's Saver Card (and he is no longer at primary school) he was charged the full adult fare.  A cost of £3.80 for a return ticket for a journey that is less than 2 miles.

He was understandably confused about this and had to break into his lunch money to pay for his ticket - it's a good job he had the extra money, isn't it?  When he came home we attempted to look for this vital piece of information on your website as I had never heard of the saver card either.

The information I was searching for is four pages deep into your website.  Not easily accessible, not very clear and certainly not well publicised.  Have you attempted to inform parents of this new rule for children's bus fares?  Has the information been disseminated though schools, youth groups or even the front page of your website?  I've certainly never heard of it.

I also note that applying for a Young Person's Saver Card isn't something that can be done easily.  A passport-sized photograph must be obtained, proof of identification shown, the application form filled in and they must be sent in to you with a fee of £ cheque, I might add - my son doesn't own a cheque book and neither do I!  Even if he did apply for and obtain the Young Person's Saver Card then point 8 on your pdf. downloadable application form states that "a Young Person's Saver Card doesn't guarantee travel"!

I find this lack of public communication so disappointing from a company that prides itself on its "fast and frequent service for work, education, visiting, shopping and leisure".  Plus you really need to make your mind up with what you are calling yourselves.  Are you Lancashire Bus (your website name), Transdev Lancashire (the header on your website) or SpotOn (the subsection for the network of bus services on your website)?

A confused and slightly angry mother.

CC'd to your email address on your website - not that I expect an answer.