Virgin Trains came under fire for not allowing a 15-year-old girl to board a train with a child ticket.
Niamh Timpson, daughter of Timpson Shoe Repairs CEO James Timpson, was at London Euston on 12 December when staff refused to let her on the train to Crewe unless she proved her age, essentially stranding her in the capital.
Mr Timpson shared his frustration on social media, tweeting: “Virgin Rail at Euston. Why do you stop 15 year old girl at the barriers (who has a valid ticket) from traveling [sic] home.
“You say she has no ID to prove how old she is. It’s 7pm and she is alone now at the station. When did you have to prove how young you are? You are a disgrace.”
He included a picture of his daughter’s ticket, which staff had written “NOT A CHILD” across.
Mr Timpson’s tweet was shared over 6,000 times, favourited 13,000 times and received more than 500 comments.
Virgin Trains staff eventually let Niamh onto her train home according to Mr Timpson, who tweeted: “Good news. Just picking Niamh up from Crewe station. Not a good experience at all of the Virgin Rail ticket inspectors at Euston. Be a kind and caring company please.”
A spokeswoman for Virgin Trains told The Telegraph: “Customers under the age of 16 are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on fares and we do recommend that if a child looks older then it may be appropriate for proof of age to be carried when travelling.
“We’re sorry for the experience of Mr Timpson and his daughter and we are in touch with them so we can look into this properly and offer a gesture of goodwill.”
However, as many people pointed out on Twitter, children don’t often have ID to prove their age.
Shaz Hussain tweeted: “This is so crazy, at 15 years old why and how would you have any ID to prove your age? Surely a lack of ID would show she is a child.”