Oyster Rise is "insult to passengers"

Says Caroline Pidgeon, leader of Lib Dem London Assembly Group

Transport for London have admitted to Caroline Pidgeon, the leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, that the problem of passengers being ripped off while using Oyster significantly increased during 2010.

Following inquiries made by Caroline Pidgeon, the Mayor and Transport for London (TfL) are blaming the growth of the problem on the extension of Oyster pay as you go to all 350 National Rail stations across London, which started on the 2nd January 2010.

Caroline Pidgeon’s inquires have also revealed that during 2010 tube and train travellers using Oyster were in total overcharged by £60 million.  The explanation provided by TfL for this significant overcharging is mistakes made by Oyster card ticket barriers, both at tube and Network Rail railway stations.  In cases where the barriers are not working properly, are left open or where the card isn’t swiped accurately Oyster cards are automatically charged the maximum possible single fare of £6, irrespective of what journey is actually made by passengers.

Commenting on the rise in overcharging facing so many passengers Caroline Pidgeon said:

“The rise in Oyster overcharging throughout 2010 is just one further insult to passengers who are now being hit for six by steep fare rises from both the Mayor of London and the railway operating companies. 

To tackle the problem Caroline Pidgeon is calling for passengers to able to access figures as to the exact level of overcharging taking place at every tube and railway station across London.  

Explaining why this is necessary Caroline Pidgeon said:

“If passengers actually knew how much overcharging was taking place at every tube and train station changes would quickly take place.  It is time that a league table was published showing exactly how much people are being ripped off at each and every tube and train station.”

“It is simply not good enough for the Mayor and TfL to wash their hands and just blame the rise in Oyster overcharging on the train operating companies.   Of course the train companies have an obligation to get their act together but the Mayor and Transport for London also need to take action, especially as so many tube users are being ripped off as well.

“The Mayor should also not wriggle out of his promise to Londoners that Oyster pay as you go journeys on the railways will nearly always be cheaper than traditional railway cash fares.”

January 9, 2011

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Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group