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.