Unused Oyster cards (1)

MQT on 2015-07-15
Session date: 
July 15, 2015
Question By: 
Caroline Pidgeon
Liberal Democrats
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Please state the current amount of money left on live Oyster cards which have not been used for more than one year showing information for (a) the total Pay As You Go balances, and (b) the total amount of deposits held.


Answer for Unused Oyster cards (1)

Answer for Unused Oyster cards (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The information you request (current at December 2014) is in the public domain and can be found at https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/oyster-card-balances-and-refunds-december-2014.pdf. Updated data to mid-2015 will be published on the TfL website in July.

TfL has conducted research looking into why people hold onto Oyster cards without using them for more than one year. This research found that many Londoners are content to retain a number of Oyster cards to cater for emergencies or to lend to visitors. The research also found that many visitors to London keep their Oyster cards as souvenirs.

TfL is doing everything it reasonably can to remind and encourage customers to reclaim balances and deposits on Oyster cards they no longer need. Some 2.5 million emails were sent to customers this year alone including this reminder and there has been extensive publicity through the Metro publication (travel page and full page advertisements), the TfL website and via social media.

TfL is researching and designing a new poster campaign that will appear on the network later this year and will further advise customers of the benefits of returning unwanted cards.

When it becomes clear that an Oyster card is not likely to be used again, the value on unused cards contributes to the costs of operating and investing in London's transport network. However, the card remains 'live' and available for use in case a customer does, in fact, choose to use it in future.