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11-15 Zip for 16-year-old on National Rail?

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11-15 Zip for 16-year-old on National Rail?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
1 reply 775 views
snealsneal Forumite
1 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Public Transport & Cycling
Hi all. I found a great thread from 2014 about "Proving age on train," which answered a few of my questions, but I have some remaining. Unfortunately, as a new member, it looks like I can't embed the URLs of the train company pages I referenced... but here goes:

I'm planning travel for the summer for my family and two kids, aged 12 and 16. I have a Family & Friends Railcard, which covers both kids when we travel together per the Railcard's T&C, as I purchased the railcard when my 16yo was 15. I'll also be getting both kids 11-15 Zip Oyster cards, as we'll be in London a number of times, and the 11-15 Zip will cover my 16yo though the end of September.

What I'm not clear on is whether the 11-15 Zip will qualify my 16yo for child travel on National Rail, outside of London, when travelling alone (and not covered by the Family & Friends Railcard T&C). The TfL 11-15 Zip site states, "50% off most fares on National Rail services," but National Rail's site states the discount is for "children aged five to fifteen inclusive," and, "If the child looks 16 or over, it may be appropriate for proof of age to be carried."

So, my interpretation of the rules is, if the ticket is on National Rail outside of London (or coming into London), my 16yo would need to purchase an adult ticket when travelling alone, and that TfL's statement only applies to National Rail within the Oyster area. And the 11-15 Zip card wouldn't serve as, "appropriate proof of age," either.

I also note that in the 2014 thread, no one was ever asked for proof of age, only questioned about their birthdate, so though my 16yo could either lie about her birthdate, or attempt to use the 11-15 Zip as proof, and likely get away with it, if she told her actual birthdate, she'd get a penalty notice.

To make things even more complicated, she could get a much cheaper fare by splitting her ticket from Hemel Hempstead to Kilburn High Road at Watford Junction, with an adult ticket to WFJ, and a child ticket to KBN, though even then, it's not clear if the Zip card needs to be used for travel to qualify for Zip rules (necessitating getting off at WFJ to touch in, hopefully in time to get back on the next train)!

Does all this sound right? Does anyone have any thoughts or guidance?


  • JezRJezR Forumite
    1.6K posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    These are the conditions for using Oyster Cards on National Rail services. Note that this is within "London National Rail Pay As You Go Area". People aged 16 with 11-15 Zip cards don't get any discount outside of that area, whereas those under 16 can travel at half fare without them on other ticket media.
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