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Oyster breakthrough fails to keep card critic on board

PUBLISHED: 15:26 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:37 12 August 2010

DESPITE a breakthrough over the extension of Oyster card travel after years of badgering operators, not everyone is happy with the new pricing due

DESPITE a breakthrough over the extension of Oyster card travel after years of badgering operators, not everyone is happy with the new pricing due to be introduced.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced last week that Oyster pay-as-you-go can now be used on Thames Clippers river services and on London rail services up to zone nine from January 2.

Customers can get a 10 per cent discount on Thames Clippers using the card, with discounts varying for journeys into the capital by rail.

But the introduction of a second peak-time between 4pm and 7pm could provoke a backlash from travellers who helped vote the mayor in, according to a campaigner.

Darryl Chamberlain, 35, of Victoria Way, Charlton, says there are "unfair" elements to the new pricing scheme.

The Greenwich Green Party member said: "The second peak fare unfairly penalises people living in the suburbs.

"I don't think the people of Crayford voted Boris in to see their fares go up."

He said Gold card season ticket owners will not get a third off additional journeys unless they queue up at a ticket office, because Oyster software will charge the full price.

Mr Chamberlain said: "People who pay £2,000 into the system are being treated like children and asked to queue up to get their discount.

"I have had no explanation from Transport for London on this. It's just a cynical move on the part of operators to get more cash out of their best customers. But that's the price of a monopoly."

A spokesman for TfL said that the national rail companies were responsible for setting fares.

Some typical price cuts include Woolwich Arsenal to London Bridge, £3.10 single, compared to the current £3.70.

Orpington peak fare single to zone one will be £4.90 peak, £3.20 off-peak with an Oyster card (peak currently £5).

Mr Johnson said: "Combined with the news about Thames Clippers services, this means Oyster will be all over the capital. It truly will be the only ticket Londoners need to get around town.

"Our hard work, determination and investment were not in vain. It has ended the crackers situation of Londoners not being able to use Oyster on every commuter route in the capital.

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