Thursday, 23 April 2009

Caroline Pidegon and Tom Brake (MP) campaign to reduce unfair oyster charges

Acknowledgement to Mayor Watch from whom I've co-opted this story!

I went to work from Vauxhall tube station, but entirely missed seeing Caroline Pidegon (Member of London Assembley) and Tom Brake (MP) campaigning this morning at the bus station for a new "one hour" ticket which would see Oyster cards have money deducted from them once an hour, rather than on a "per bus journey" basis.

If they'd been luckier, they might have campaigned yesterday when the Victoria line was down. The whole of South London (it seemed) was catapaulted on to the local buses, resulting in a massive crush. The number 2, which I was on, stopped at Marble Arch, only to throw all the passengers on to the number 2 in front resulting in, you guessed it, everybody on a "pay as you go" Oyster card complaining that they were being charged twice. The driver of the original bus was supposed to give out slips of paper indicating that the journey had been paid for, but the bus was so full that it would have delayed all passengers.

I think it's quite an interesting idea, but (like quite a number of Lib Dem good ideas) would result in (according to the article) TFL losing £50 million revenue. I'd be much more interested in seeing the money spent on more cycle routes, signage, bike lockup points and cycling schemes. However, the fact remains that South London is utterly reliant on its buses, many of which terminate early, resulting in unsatisfactory journey costs all round.

In any case, I do like to see politicians out and about campaigning early in the morning. It shows dedication. I wonder whether they might follow the lead of Labour's Val Shawcross who has been spending time monitoring infrequent buses on routes 1 and 78 with pen and clipboard!

1 comment:

Kake said...

A side point — but as I understand it, the driver of the "stopped short" bus only needs to give out one transfer ticket, which covers all transferring passengers. The ticket is actually issued to the driver of the following bus, not to the individual passengers. More info here and here.

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