Oyster Refund Scheme Planned

Wimbledon commuters were most likely to be overcharged

Thousands of tube and train passengers overcharged by the Oyster system will share in a £15 million annual refund.

Commuters who accidentally forget to touch out will escape penalty fares in the biggest change to Oyster technology.

A new tracking system will "remember" the journeys passengers usually take - and make sure they are not overcharged.

Commuters at Wimbledon station have been among those most likely to be overcharged.

Figures showed Wimbledon passengers were overcharged by £825,000 in 2010, making it 8th in the list of stations where the problem was most likely to happen.

The change follows growing concern over Transport for London's annual £60 million income from excess fares.

Richard Tracey, Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth welcomed the move. He said: "I have campaigned for this for several years after I incurred an overcharge through no fault of mine. I am pleased success has come at last."

But Liberal Democrats argue there is more to be done, as this tackles just one aspect of the problem - people forgetting to touch out.

Caroline Pidgeon, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group said: "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. 

"There is a huge problem in particular when there are large crowds at stations and TfL open the barriers and implement a system called ‘autocomplete’ leading to passengers automatically facing a maximum fare, irrespective of the length of their journey. We still have a long way to go in tackling the scandal of Oyster overcharging."

September 5, 2011