Oyster Overcharging

March 2, 2011 12:18 PM

MP for Carshalton and Wallington Tom Brake has this week received assurances from Transport for London over the overcharging of passengers using Oyster cards on National Rail services.

Tom wrote to TFL following up on a constituent's complaint that they had been overcharged on a journey from Wallington station. According to the transport authorities, overcharging has been a problematic issue with the Oyster system. On one day in November, 219 people in the constituency were charged the maximum fare of £7.40 by mistake.

Tom said: "I have been assured that those passengers overcharged who have not already received a refund will, once they have notified TFL, have the difference recharged to their Oyster cards when they touch into their local station. It is very important that those who are entitled to a refund receive it."

The problem encountered by passengers in the area is by no means an isolated one. Since the introduction of Oyster cards to National Rail services at the beginning of last year, passengers have been overcharged by almost £26 million. Across the whole of the capital's transport network, the cost of overcharging passed £60 million, of which only £10 million has been reimbursed.

Member of the London Assembly Caroline Pidgeon spoke out over the figures: "Such huge levels of overcharging clearly demonstrate that there are some structural problems with how Oyster is operating. It is clear that not enough is being done to ensure the technology and the machines are working properly."

Tom went on to advise passengers travelling with Oyster cards to be sure to check the cost of their journey on leaving the station.

He said: "If you think that you may have been overcharged, ring the Oyster helpline as soon as possible afterwards to claim your refund. This appears to be a fairly common problem that does not only affect Wallington, so I would encourage all those who feel they have been affected to report it."

Passengers can contact the Oyster helpline by ringing 0845 330 9876.

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