|'Put rail users first' plea on Oyster|
Wandsworth Council urges Mayor & Southern Trains to get Oyster live in Putney
Wandsworth council is urging the Mayor and local rail operator Southern to put the interests of commuters first and set a firm date for introducing Oyster cards at local stations.
Following recent ticket price rises, people in south London whose local station is not equipped for Oyster technology are even more disadvantaged.
The Mayor has offered money towards the costs of installing new scanning equipment at stations across London. Southern, which runs services on the Clapham Junction to East Croydon, line says it has to be satisfied of the business case before going ahead.
The rail firms are expected to make their position clear by January 31.
Last year a council-led campaign across south London ended in success when a requirement for Oyster ticketing was included in the new South West Trains franchise. Local stations, including Putney, Wandsworth Town and Earlsfield will accept the card from 2009.
Councils supporting the campaign included Merton, Sutton, Kingston and Epsom. Executive member for planning and transportation Guy Senior said:
"If the Mayor and the rail firms can't agree, the transport minister should step in and make these changes happen. Last year our campaign for Oyster in south London was about convenience.
"South Londoners have been missing out for long enough already. Locally we need action on the Southern line but the current ticketing mess needs sorting out across the capital. We were promised integrated ticketing - this is not happening."
People in South London rely heavily on overground services as the area has few Tube lines. They can only pay with Oyster for a combined rail and Tube trip if the overground stations they use accept the card.
January 16, 2007