TfL boss’s Oyster fails on BBC London News

The chap above is the boss of Transport for London, Peter Hendy, being interviewed on BBC London News yesterday. BBC London led with Boris’s sneaky rise in Travelcard prices last night – to their credit, since the Standard ignored it and ITV’s London Tonight buried this story about burying bad news halfway through their bulletin.

You can see Tim Donovan’s full report here. But what interests me is here, when Mr Hendy brings up the question of the zone 2-6 one day travelcard being scrapped – forcing some passengers to swallow a 56% rise in their daily travel costs, because they’ll have to buy an £8 ticket instead of one which currently costs £5.10.

“The issue which people seem to have alighted on is getting rid of the zones 2-6 travelcard, and the remedy for that – not at excessive cost – is to go to Oyster pay-as-you-go,”
he said.

Except that, according to the document outlining the fare rises, Oyster users will get stung too, because the daily caps on their travel are the same as travelcard prices. And they’re staying that way.

So using Oyster is no remedy at all for the fare rise. Say you travelled from Orpington (zone 6) – the constituency of Boris Johnson’s brother – to New Cross (zone 2) on a Saturday, then picked up a bus to Peckham, and returned back the same way. That’d be covered by the £5.10 cap at present. But that ceiling will be removed from January, meaning what’s a £5.10 journey today would cost £7 from January. Yes, it’s cheaper than a paper £8 travelcard, but much more expensive than this year’s Oyster fare. 37% more expensive, in fact.

A little sneaky of Mr Hendy. But sadly, BBC London didn’t pull him up on it.


  1. I’m not surprised he wasn’t pulled up on the error. Journalists seem to know very little about the subject at hand these days. I’m always shocked when I watch reports about subjects that I have first-hand knowledge of. It makes me wonder about the errors in reports on subjects that I have less experience of but I guess they have budgets and deadlines to meet.

  2. Oyster cannot always charge journeys avoiding zone 1 correctly (program limitations) Lots of people have been buying 2-6 Travelcards rather than use Oyster pay as you go. We are not happy

  3. This will also encourage people with NR railcards to switch back from Oyster to paper Travelcards, since they will no longer benefit from a 1/3 discount on caps outside zone 1 (as those caps will not exist). At least with the paper 1-6 Travelcard you don’t need to worry about:
    – power failures
    – card errors
    – Oyster programming limits
    All of which can result in massive overcharging (maximum fares for incomplete journeys)

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