Move to tackle Oyster overcharging

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The Independent Online

Moves to tackle overcharging of London travellers who forget to touch out with their Oyster pay-as-you-go card at the end of their journey were announced today.

Transport for London (TfL) said it had introduced a new facility which will calculate a likely journey and charge the appropriate fare on the Tube, Docklands Light Railway, Overground or National Rail, replacing the current system of charging the maximum Zone 1-6 fare.

Shashi Verma, TfL's director of fares and ticketing, said: "Oyster is the transport ticket of choice for most Londoners, and the vast majority of customers use it correctly and are charged the right fare for their journeys. A small minority of rail journeys however are still not being touched in and out correctly and are being charged maximum fares.

"We don't want to penalise customers who normally touch in and out for occasionally forgetting, so, for such customers, we are looking at ways of correcting journeys that have been left open without a final touch at the destination."

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said: "At long last TfL are waking up to the fact that serious overcharging takes place with Oyster.

"After many months of campaigning to highlight the scandal of Oyster overcharging it is good news that they are at last beginning to accept that a problem even exists.

"It is however regrettable that the new system only addresses just one form of Oyster overcharging caused by people who occasionally forget to touch out.

"The mayor and TfL must address the much bigger problem of Oyster overcharging caused by the system not always working properly, for example when barriers are left open, or the machines are not working at the start of the journey. We still have a long way to go in tackling the scandal of Oyster overcharging."