TravelWatch slams Oyster delay

TravelWatch - the London transport user group - has expressed "fury" at the delays to the roll out of Oyster cards across London railway stations. Oyster was supposed to be operational in South East London stations by the end of this year, but the group now believes that it will be delayed until 2010.

Sharon Grant, Chair, London TravelWatch, said:

“We are dismayed that, yet again, the introduction of Oyster Pay As You Go is to be delayed on national rail services in London, meaning passengers will continue to have to use two separate methods of payment on transport in London. As well as being confusing for passengers, it is blatantly unfair on those who live outside the tube network who are not reaping the price benefits of the Oystercard. These delays have occurred time and again over the years.

“Passengers at railway stations around the capital are walking past covered up, unused Oyster machines every day, and have been for months. The lack of an integrated system and any joined-up thinking is ridiculous in a modern city like London. Another delay is simply unacceptable, and it is time for the Department for Transport to hold the transport providers to account.”

Given how many delays the Oyster roll-out has experienced, we have another reason to look forward to the arrival of the East London Line next year, which represents an immovable deadline for Oyster in Brockley, even if other parts of the capital experience yet more problems.

32 comments:

Comment said...

This kind of thing is so annoying. If this was America, everyone affected would join to get and launch a class action, against Southern and the other train company, for the discrimination and compensation for the increased expenditure that we've had to endure.

Tressilliana said...

It was explained to me, here I think, that the reason for the ginormous increase in season ticket charges I experienced last year was because in anticipation of Oyster arriving ticketing is now done on a zonal basis. I.e., before I used to pay to travel three stops. Now I pay to travel from Zone 3 to Zone 2, which is a lot more. If I understand this correctly, somebody travelling twice as far as me but still only going through two zones would pay just the same.

Now I find out that this change isn't even happening in the lifetime of my annual season ticket! Not happy.

853blog said...

Spineless mayor, inept government, and stuck with greedy fatcats running our trains.

I'm in despair.

Anonymous said...

3rd world service for a first class price

Makes me proud to be british :-)

Lawrence said...

it's nothing more than a an excuse to carry on making money out of people for nothing in return

Richard Elliot said...

The lack of Oyster card on the train services really winds me up. Very annoying and more expensive!

@ Brockley Nick - the ELL will mean Oyster at Brockley, but they could introduce this for just the ELL and not mainline train services? An improvement, but sadly not the full solution.

853blog said...

The ELL will be a mainline train service, just run by London Overground on TfL's behalf (it's a National Rail concession rather than a franchise like Southern or Southeastern).I guess this will have to be resolved by the time the ELL opens, because they'll gave to sort out how the fares are divvied up between LO and Southern and opens up the possibility for all kinds of rows and confusion.

Tamsin said...

But rows and confusion (and shed-loads of contracts and lawyers) are just what you get when you semi-privatise what should be a nationalised industry. I am minded of the comment I heard a few months back on - I think - Newsquiz about the creeping privatisation of the NHS. With privatisation you get incompetence mixed with greed, at least if things are in public ownership it is well-meaning incompetence.

Hugh said...

Deeply naive to assume public sector activity is driven by people with good intentions. MPs are an example.

patrick1971 said...

Does anyone know why it's being delayed again? Precious little detail in that article from TravelWatch.

I'm not wishing to defend the rail companies, but I work for a large bureaucracy and getting stuff done is just incredibly difficult, especially where IT is concerned. Even changing a small part of our website can take six months and cost £££. Trying to coordinate a large number of bureaucracies, all of which will have a vested interest in not doing anything, will take a lot of effort and the people in charge of doing it simply may not be getting the back-up needed to get stuff done.

Sue said...

Well I just got notification of a planning app for listed building consent to install Oyster machines at Ladywell station, so it looks like some day, eventually, it will happen. Yes, Ladywell has a listed train station rather than the portakabin you folks up in Brockley have ;).

Headhunter said...

Get a bike. Stuff the lot of them.

Headhunter said...

I always wonder what happened to Brockley's original station buildings. Surely there must've been an original Victorian building there at some point.

Monkeyboy said...

Quiet right Hugh, also naive to think that private companies are automatically slick, efficient organisations. I've worked for both. Incompetence, waste and venality seems to be a common thread.

Hugh said...

Most of what one needs to know about working life was said by Michael Douglas in Wall Street.

Comment said...

I think the point Tamsin raised is about tendencies rather than absolutes. And looking at Hugh's point about the MPs, you'll observe the difference in attitude, when found out the MP's had a sense of shame about perceived greed and money is being paid back. Contrast that with the attitude and behaviour of Sir Fred Goodwin.

It is about the culture of the organisation.

Tamsin said...

It was just a gag in a comedy show - and probably truer of the NHS in the context of which it arose. Think of the scandal of the district nursing service being tarted up to go out to tender. You go into district nursing because you have a vocation for caring for people - but in about four or five years time it seems you will either be an employee of some health-care corporation or you will have to get togther with your colleagues to put in a bid yourself for your old job and then run things afterwards as a business.

Back to stations - Brockley had Victorian buildings. The station master's house is still clearly indenifiable as such on the east side of Brockley Cross and the steps up were through that furniture shop that got burned out.

Marc said...

Its very frustrating, I commute from Ladywell to Watford daily, and although Watford Junction now does have Oyster PAYG, their Oyster system and LU don't interface for the benefit of the traveller. For example I could still face an oyster charge for not "tabbing" out at Euston mainline station even though 5mins later I am back on the LU network having tabbed in again. Its not all about access and machines but the interfaces behind it.

Monkeyboy said...

Hugh, do you really model your life on Hollywood? Me too, I tend ask my self 'What would Homer Simpson do at a time like this?' Works for me.

Lou Baker said...

It's absolutely shocking that the train companies are still dragging their feet on Oyster.

Remember we have to PAY MORE for the inconvenience of standing in a queue to buy a ticket everyday. Oyster is not only more convenient, it's cheaper too.

There is a solution. Passengers should refuse to buy paper tickets en masse. That'd get the message through pretty quickly.

A similar campaign worked near Bristol it would work here too.

Bring on the revolution ......

Headhunter said...

Tamsin - Yes the Station Master's house is still there and the steps up to the old Brockley Lane high level station. But there is no evidence of an old Victorian station at Brockley station itself, which surely there must have been at some point.

drakefell debaser said...

"Contrast that with the attitude and behaviour of Sir Fred Goodwin."

Goodwin’s pension was a contractual obligation, he doesn’t have to pay it back because it is his (moral issues aside). The only reason MP’s are paying back expenses is because they got caught and there is a public back lash. Had this come out next year they would all still be claiming for lightbulbs or whatever and flipping properties around. If anything, Goodwin can reclaim the moral high ground over the MP’s that were critical of his pension.

Agree with Headhunter, cycling to work is the way forward for those that can. Took me a while but I will not willingly take a train to work again.

Comment said...

You what I have got to the point where I would support some direct action with regard to the Train Companies. I think liberties are being taken here.

There are probably some technical issues to get over but I believe the real issue is a lack of will, to get this thing working.

I think some mass expression of disapproval by customers is necessary but we have seen that the corporate does not care about public opinion. They'll put out appeasing PR people but nothing will get done unless and until it hits their bottom line.

Frankly I feel like South Londoners are being ripped off.

853blog said...

I can't help thinking some form of direct action is needed as well.

The north London media doesn't seem to care - BBC London ignored this last night on TV, the Evening Standard swallows everything Boris gives it. The train companies know they can get away with it.

Headhunter said...

During the summer, cycling in is a pleasure and as cyclist numbers increase (as they inevitably do in the summer), I have read that it becomes safer as motorists are more aware of us. Honestly, whenever I find myself forced for whatever reason to take public transport at peak times, it's such a drag...

Ross said...

i have definitely found cycling to be worse in the summmer because of all the fairweather commuters.
the state of cycling i've seen in the past month or so has been absolutely shocking actually. i could have hit a guy the other day who thought it would be ok to try and undertake me on OKR

Headhunter said...

I don't find it so bad, I think there's truth in the safety in numbers thing. The more the merrier...

Lep Recorn said...

Ross, I know what you mean - there was this plonker on the OKR the other day riding far to slow and far too far out - I had no choice but to undertake him . . .

Tamsin said...

On Brockley Station in Victorian times - where's the guy with the link to that website that has all sorts of railway photos?

Headhunter said...

I think I know the site you mean, but I think it's a site about abandoned or closed stations, so only Brockley Lane station features. I've scanned the internet for old photos of Brockley station before and never found any

Headhunter said...

Oh, actually here's a pic of Brockley station from 1880ish, looks like the station buildings were wooden

Ross Brown said...

"Ross, I know what you mean - there was this plonker on the OKR the other day riding far to slow and far too far out - I had no choice but to undertake him . . ."

yeah i'd totally agree if it wasn't for the fact i burn every lycra'd up middle age dude that i see.

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