Ealing Passengers Overcharged by More Than a Million Pounds

Additional charges on Oyster cards for incomplete journeys

Passengers using train stations in Ealing were overcharged £1,014,000 last year because their Oyster cards had maximum fares deducted for 'incomplete' journeys.

The borough's main transport hub, Ealing Broadway, recorded £404,000 worth of extra charges - five times as much as any other station in the borough.

The figures were released by Transport for London to Caroline Pidgeon, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group leader, and show that London commuters are being overcharged more than £1 million a week when using Oyster, with overcharging occurring at every tube and train station across the capital.

The additional charges happen when travellers fail to touch in or out, or by forgetting to touch their card against barriers that are left open.

The top ten London stations where passengers were over-charged last year were:

Waterloo National Rail (NR)
London Bridge (NR)
Liverpool Street (NR)
Bank London Underground
King’s Cross London Underground
Victoria London Underground
Stratford (NR)
Wimbledon (NR)
Oxford Circus London Underground
Liverpool Street London Underground

Ealing stations

Acton Main Line £7,000
Acton Town £79,000
Chiswick Park £33,000
Ealing Broadway £ 404,000
Ealing Common £ 43,000
Greenford £ 58,000
Hanger Lane £ 43,000
North Acton £ 62,000
North Ealing £ 12,000
Northfields £ 51,000
Northolt £ 75,000
Northolt Park £ 4,000
Park Royal £ 29,000
Perivale £ 33,000
South Ealing £ 45,000
West Acton £ 24,000
West Ealing £ 22,000

14 million journeys in 2010 involved passengers being overcharged and charged the maximum single fare of £7.40, as opposed to the correct fare for their journey. In total, passengers paid an additional £61.8 million last year, with overcharging occurring at all stations where Oystercards were accepted, including stations controlled by National Rail operators and Transport for London.

Since Oyster cards became accepted on national rail stations at the beginning of 2010 rail passengers have been overcharged by £25.8 million. Passengers using the London Underground were overcharged even more – £30.1 million. In addition there was £3.2 million overcharging on the Docklands Light Railway and £2.5 million overcharging on the London Overground. Despite such widespread overcharging just £10 million was refunded to customers.

Commenting on the figures Caroline Pidgeon said, “This level of overcharging is totally unacceptable. There is something very seriously wrong when each and every week of the year Londoners are ripped off by more than £1 million.

“Of course in some cases passengers might forget to touch in and touch out, but 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 machines and the technology are working properly.

“TfL also need to take immediate steps to make it far easier for people to be able to claim a refund when they have been overcharged.

“Above all else the levels of overcharging occurring need to be regularly published at every station, so that passengers are alerted to this serious problem.”

Read this account from Boris Watch as well as the comments for several examples of Oyster calculations of overcharging, both big and small.

March 1, 2011