Boris Johnson is set to confirm that Oyster pay as you go cards will be accepted on National Rail services in London, however critics have branded the expected scheme “complicated”.
Johnson has made the extension of the Oyster pay as you go to rail and river services a key commitment of his Mayoralty, but critics have condemned a failure to deliver more quickly on his promises.
In April year he announced plans to “revolutionise” the capital’s river-based transport services. Announcing a ‘concordat’ between Transport for London, boat operators, pier owner and local councils, the Mayor said the introduction of Oyster “as well as providing clearer signage to the piers and services available will make it much easier for Londoners to travel on the river.”
At the time TfL promised the card would be accepted “on most river commuter services” by Autumn 2009.
Liberal Democrat transport spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon said she welcomed the roll-out “after repeated delays”.
However with expectations that passengers will have to buy a per-journey extension permit, Pidgeon warns: “From the New Year train commuters with a travel card will face serious hassle each and every time they wish to travel out of the zone covered by their season ticket.”
“Due to a refusal to stand up to the rail companies the Mayor has permitted these companies to introduce exit visas for travel card holders. For these people the new system should be better described as Pay As You Queue. Sadly the full benefits that Oyster technology could bring for London’s commuters and travellers has not been delivered.”