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Friday, 23 August, 2002, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Bus company says sorry to Nibbles
A bus company has apologised after one of its drivers charged a schoolboy 10p for giving his hamster a ride.

Jordan Underwood, 10, from King's Heath, Northampton was taking Nibbles with him to visit his grandmother.

He paid his own fare of 55p but was then asked by the bus driver for another 10p to allow the hamster on board.

On Friday, First Northampton gave Jordan free travel for a month - and issued Nibbles with a lifetime bus pass.

'Hamster special'

The company concerned said it did not normally charge for animals and apologised for any inconvenience caused to Jordan and his pet.

It also gave the pair a trip around town on a bus carrying a sign reading "The Hamster Special".

Earlier, Jordan told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I got on the bus and driver said 'That's a nice hamster'.

Jordan and Nibbles
Jordan says Nibbles wasn't even using a seat

"He was just being nice and then said 'That will be another 10p'. I just said OK because I thought those were the rules.

"I was shocked because you don't have to pay for a dog, and they are a million times bigger.

"He didn't even use a seat because I put him on the floor and he was in a cage, so he wasn't going to chew anything."

His father Todd Underwood, 33, said: "There is a serious side to this because he is only a little boy and he might not have had enough money to get the bus back."

Nibbles was a gift from Jordan's 83-year-old grandmother to keep him company during the school holidays.

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Hamster owners Jordan and Todd Underwood
"You don't have to pay for dogs and they're millions times bigger"

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See also:

28 Feb 01 | UK
12 Feb 01 | Europe
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