Technical Hitch Affects Wandsworth Freedom Pass Holders

Council apologises and says that it is now taking urgent action

A technical fault has resulted in Freedom Pass holders from Wandsworth having their passes wrongly deactivated.

Passes issued by Wandsworth Council have been affected and pass holders are dependent on Transport for London (TfL) staff allowing them to travel without paying. Initially no instructions were given to staff by Transport to London and many people were reportedly asked to pay a full fare when they were entitled to free travel.

Wandsworth Council said: “This is obviously deeply regrettable and we would like to apologise sincerely to all those who have been inconvenienced.

“We are now taking urgent action to put matters right. We have begun immediate steps to make sure that everyone eligible to use a pass who is affected is issued with new a pass as quickly as possible.

“Unfortunately, the existing passes will need to be replaced with new ones and we are arranging to have these sent out as quickly as possible and we hope this process will be completed within the next few days.”

The Council have also promised to reimburse anybody who was made to pay for a journey as a result of the problem.

Transport for London only instructed staff to let people with defective Freedom passes travel after the intervention of Richard Tracey who represents Wandsworth on the London Assembly.

However residents are still reporting difficulties. A local mother told that her son is still being stopped from using a March 2015 disabled Freedom Pass to travel on the 137 bus, and was told that he could be fined.

A spokesperson for TfL said, "Messages have now been sent out to all staff about the problem. Affected pass holders should now be able to travel as normal."

January 26, 2015