Don't Zap the Zip: Keep London transport free for under 18s


Children in London have been able to travel around the capital for free, or at a discounted rate, since 2005. In June 2020, the government offered a bailout deal to TfL which insisted on suspending free travel for under 18s. This would have been a disaster for families with children who are already struggling.Don't Zap the Zip campaign logo - picture of a London double decker bus

After months of campaigning followed by weeks of further bailout negotiations between TfL, the Mayor of London and central government, it was announced that free travel for under 18s will not be suspended. Our collective efforts managed to push back the suspension. 

In response to the new government funding agreement with TfL, Child Poverty Action Group and Age UK London said:

“This is a fantastic victory for young and older Londoners, who made a powerful case for why holding on to free travel is so important. It’s right that children can get to school safely, and older people and families don’t have to worry about additional costs at this time of great financial uncertainty.

“We urge the government to continue to protect travel for children, young people and over-60s when this six-month deal runs out. The Zip Card, Older Persons’ Freedom Pass and the 60+ Oyster card are crucial to the wellbeing of younger and older Londoners. Whether it’s as friends and neighbours or grandparents and grandchildren, we know that different generations care about each other; young people will become older and older people have been young. London is at its best when we stand together across the generations.

Although concessionary travel for under 18s was removed from the bailout conditions in this latest TfL deal, the funding is set to last just six months. The new deal transfers funding of the zip card to the mayor of London.


On Sunday 1 November, we published a joint statement with Age UK London following the latest bailout deal. 

On Friday 18 September, Child Poverty Action Group held a Day of Action as part of its Don’t Zap the Zip campaign.

Read the press release

Read about how the day went on BBC Newsround

FileDownload an A1 placard


Download our campaign briefing

Who supports our campaign?

London Child Poverty Alliance logo  London TravelWatch logo  National Education Union logo4in10 logoPecan logo  Homestart Southwark logo  Z2K logo 

Sixth Form Colleges Association logo Khulisa logo Partnership for Young London logo Centre for London logoTrust for London logoShelter logo  Hackney Quest logo 

Sustain logo  Citizens UK logo Association of Colleges logo