A TRAIN company which runs services on the Wharfedale line has appealed to parents not to send their children to catch the train to school on the promise of sending them a ticket for their journey via text message.

Northern said passengers are required to buy a ticket before they board the train – yet some schoolchildren are risking a £100 penalty fare due to waiting for their parents to send their ticket across.

Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said: “It’s perfectly legal for parents to buy their child’s ticket and send them via text – however, why risk it?

“It’s so easy to get distracted in the morning rush and the moment their child boards a train without a ticket they might as well have packed a £100 penalty fare in their lunchbox themselves.”

Northern has long-campaigned for students to switch their commute from road to rail and works with over 185 secondary schools and university technical colleges on an ‘Under 16 Education Season Ticket’ scheme.

The scheme, which offers students 75 per cent off the cost of their commute, covers unlimited travel between any two stations on the Northern network seven days a week – which means they can be used for travel at weekends and during the school holidays too.

Powles added: “With the new year and new school term ahead of us, now is the time to adopt new habits. And with up to 75%-off, Under 16 Education Season Tickets offer one of the most generous discounts of any ticket scheme in the country – saving parents hundreds of pounds per year.

“They’ll also be able to rest-assured their child will always have a valid ticket to get them to and from school – and they won’t have to spend time buying and texting individual tickets every day.”

Since January 2023, anyone caught travelling on the rail network in England without a valid ticket for travel or ‘promise to pay’ voucher has faced a £100 penalty fare.

The penalty fare was previously just £20 (since 2005) but it was felt by the rail industry that that figure was too low and was no longer an effective deterrent to would-be fare evaders.

For more information and details of how to apply for a ticket, parents should visit: www.northernrailway.co.uk/tickets/educational-season.