Oyster Overcharging On Railways

MQT on 2014-01-29
Session date: 
January 29, 2014
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


My recent FOI requests concerning Oyster Overcharging revealed that railway passengers are three times more likely to suffer Oyster incomplete journey penalties than those using Transport for London services. In the first ten months of 2013, Oyster Overcharging on National Rail cost passengers £23million. What steps will you take to work with Train Operating Companies and Network Rail to help railway passengers avoid Oyster Overcharging penalties?


Answer for Oyster Overcharging On Railways

Answer for Oyster Overcharging On Railways

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Customers are recognising the benefits and flexibility that Oyster Pay-As-You-Go journeys offer them on National Rail, and this ticketing option is becoming increasingly popular with journeys last November up 9% year-on-year. TfL is therefore working closely with the Train Operating Companies to improve on-system publicity and awareness of passengers' options.

National Rail passengers were not overcharged by £23m as you suggest. As you will know, passengers using Oyster Pay-As-You-Go must touch in at the beginning of their journey and touch out at their destination in order that the correct fare can be calculated. If this is not done by the passengers TfL therefore cannot know how far the passenger has travelled and will charge the maximum fare for a journey in London.

In the first ten months of 2013, it is estimated that National Rail passengers using Oyster could have saved £5-10m by touching in and out correctly. This is the more realistic figure.

TfL recognises that there are sometimes circumstances whereby passengers cannot always touch in or out correctly, and refunds will be automatically processed. Alternatively, if a passenger considers that they have been overcharged for a journey, then they can call TfL Customer Services on 0343 222 1234, request assistance from station staff who can correct a journey, or go online and request a fare adjustment.