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London bus cash fares may be axed

Oyster ‘credit card’ scheme could be brought it so passengers can make extra journey even if they have insufficient funds and pay back later.

Cash fare payments on London buses may become a thing of the past as transport bosses look set to phase them out.

Fewer than one per cent of London bus journeys now involve passengers paying cash and  Transport for London (TfL) is now consulting on scrapping cash payments altogether by 2014.

TfL is also exploring measures to introduce a new Oyster card feature that would allow bus passengers to make one more journey if there are insufficient funds on the pre-paid cards, just to get them home.

Passengers would then need to pay for this extra journey when they top up their card.

Official figures show that the majority of cash-paying passengers are between 16 and 34. Four in every five passengers using cash do so because they don’t have enough money on their Oyster card.

The cashless fare proposals are being considered in order to speed up boarding times at bus stops.