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How old should DD be before she travels on the tube by herself?

(45 Posts)
newmum0808 Sun 03-Mar-19 15:11:39

We live by a tube station (3 min walk) and so my DD is very comfortable using the tube regularly. However, from Sept she'll need to use the tube to get to secondary school. It's a three minute walk, two tube stops and then a ten minute walk to school the other side (bar on a busy, well lit road). She be 11 and 1 month. Is this too young? She's very sensible and we're about to let her walk to / from school which is a 15 minute walk.
I mentioned it to a couple of people and they looked shocked....
There is a bus service instead, but she'd need to walk ten minutes to get to the bus stop.....
Should I be worried?

RochelleGoyle Sun 03-Mar-19 15:13:42

I think it depends on her confidence. She'd be travelling at busy times when plenty of people are around. Has she got a mobile?

TwoRoundabouts Sun 03-Mar-19 15:18:05

When she starts secondary school.

Even if she isn't friends with them there are likely to be other kids from her school travelling the same way as her to and from school so she won't actually be alone. It would be ideal for her to make friends with some of them or at least get acquainted with some, however she needs to do that herself.

Etino Sun 03-Mar-19 15:18:14

I’d do it for the first week with her, but 11 is fine for tube alone. She’ll probably recognise other kids going her way. Depending on friendship groups etc. don’t be surprised if she’d rather bus it or do a random combination of routes. The joys of free travel and hanging out with your friends!

Londonbum Sun 03-Mar-19 15:20:20

I see kids of this age all the time on the tube, I think this is really normal for London and she'll be fine.

Etino Sun 03-Mar-19 15:20:43

I thought you meant London bus, but reading it again is it a school bus service? I’d consider that for the first year if it’s not too £££. Not for safety but for making friends and having a stressfree journey when everything else is so new and different.

NuffSaidSam Sun 03-Mar-19 15:21:11

No, it's absolutely fine.

Loads and loads and loads of children all over London go to school on the tube. The very vast majority of high school children will travel without parents.

I'd do a practise run over the summer holidays and go with her the first day if she wants you to and then she'll be fine.

teenagetantrums Sun 03-Mar-19 15:22:26

Mine did it when they started secondary school. We have a few practice during summer holidays at quieter times. Make sure she has an alternative route planned for line closures and security alerts. Mine cold get a couple of buses back bur took a long time.

reallyanotherone Sun 03-Mar-19 15:24:20

Mine went from 10. Lots of her friends started using the tube and buses from yr. 6 as practice for secondary school.

The journey you describe is very easy.

Confusedbeetle Sun 03-Mar-19 15:48:54

If she is mature and confident I would do a few trial runs to check she isn't worried. Make sure she knows what to do in an emergency ( eg have your phone number somewhere in case she loses her mobile!)

VashtaNerada Sun 03-Mar-19 15:53:38

Loads of Year 7s (and Year 6s for that matter) take the tube to school. Sounds fine to me - do some practices over summer and talk her through what to do if something goes wrong (tube de-trains, stranger tries to talk to her etc)

LibbyLily Sun 03-Mar-19 15:54:24

Start of Year 7 is fine in my opinion - she'll probably find friends pretty quickly who are making the same journey as her, so she won't be alone.

LibbyLily Sun 03-Mar-19 15:55:10

I also don't see why a bus would be preferable to the tube.

Soontobe60 Sun 03-Mar-19 15:57:52

I once spent a couple of weeks visiting in a primary school in Santander and was amazed that the children got the tram across the city 4 times a day from about 9 years old. I'd get the tram to my hotel and it would be packed with schoolchildren!
So I'd agree, as soon as they start secondary school they need to dtheir journey independently.

hidingmystatus Sun 03-Mar-19 15:59:32

Mine used it alone from 10, early in Y6. (some time ago) Make sure your DD is familiar with both the direct journey and some work-arounds if one line is down, though.

greenelephantscarf Sun 03-Mar-19 16:06:36

3 stops without change - absolutely fine.
she needs a 'what if' plan in case she doesn't get off at her stop (distracted or train too crowded to get off), trains don't run etc.
also have alternative bus or walking routes as alternative.

newmum0808 Sun 03-Mar-19 16:08:35

Thank you all. It's really reassuring.
The bus is about £500 per term and it doesn't feel worth it to me given she'll need to walk the same distance either way....
Glad I'm not being ridiculous planning it. Good idea re doing some practice trips and she knows a child round the corner she could travel with (at least for the first couple of weeks).

JugglingMummyof2 Sun 03-Mar-19 16:17:10

My daughter has done train then tube to school since she was 11 and on days when the tube is out two buses.
Never any issues - give her an alternative route for those days it all goes pear shaped. Good luck to her.

SeaweedDress Sun 03-Mar-19 16:22:51

She's bang on the average age to start doing that, in my experience -- and I can think of children with much more complex tube/overground /bus commutes at the same age.

Bluffinwithmymuffin Sun 03-Mar-19 16:40:27

She’ll be fine on the tube at 11, however terrifying it may seem to you now. A lot of people reacted badly when my daughter did it, thinking of all the worst case scenarios etc, but armed with a phone and a few strategies for coping with problems that may arise, she’ll cope. Go with her a couple of times if you can, but I bet she’ll soon find friends doing a similar route and all will be well.

Trills Sun 03-Mar-19 16:46:51

If she;s nervous (or more likely you are) then start now with very short trips with no time pressure.

tinytemper66 Sun 03-Mar-19 16:48:49

Having travelled on the tubes this week I saw plenty of young children on the tubes, some with friends, some on their own.
Primary school pupils were with their parents but secondary ones on their own or in groups.

Hotpinkparade Sun 03-Mar-19 16:49:27

It’s fine. All secondary school kids I know in London get public transport there by themselves (bus, tube or train), and often a more complicated journey than the one you’ve described. They normally fall in with the other kids going the same way and travel at least part of the journey with friends.

rightreckoner Sun 03-Mar-19 16:56:51

11 is fine. Dd started at 10 and then every day to secondary school from 11. Her confidence has grown hugely - and she now at 12 makes journeys I wouldn’t have imagined a year ago (self directed on tube and overground plus a change). There will be a few mishaps (taking a tube in the wrong direction, missing a stop) but managing this is all part of the road to confidence. You’ll do it with her the first few times but before you know it you’ll be surplus to requirements !

TruculentandFarty Sun 03-Mar-19 17:08:13

If she lost her phone, money and ticket all in the same day e.g. in her coat that is now locked in school would she know what to do? Could she save herself if everything went wrong?

I think I'd gently in a non-anxiety role-play way practise what she could do. If she can stay calm and figure out some ways to cope and figure out what to do then I'd say she is ready. Then all it takes is a little practise.

Some kids can do this at 10, some can't at 16, you know your kid.

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