Oysters are expensive

Lewisham Station - platform 3 - passengers celebrate the arrival of Oyster cards


Oyster cards are arriving to the suburbian railways of Lewisham, Hither Green and beyond. But they come with a hefty bill, a bill you need a degree in billology to understand in full but in short means overall increase in fares, even higher fares for non-Oyster users (yes, there are those that don’t need an Oyster Card) and off peak, plus the introduction of a rather inconvenient system of Oyster Extension Permit for those with Travelcards wishing to travel outside the zones of their permits, something that will inevitably be felt more in areas like ours that are spread across zone 2 (Lewisham Station) and zone 3 (Hither Green).

I cannot possibly put it better than Darryl did in this post that deserves a nomination for some suitable blogging award. Read it here.

I agree with Darryl that this fragmentation of the London railway doesn’t work. London is one town, can we have someone with responsibility for pricing, timetables and routes please. We elect a Mayor of London, I  think it’s just natural that he should have control on these matters, not some control on some, all control and all responsibility.

The recent announcements about transports don’t really speak of joined up thinking and planning in the best interest of Londoners. You can just imagine the ballet of accountants and solicitors that on behalf of the baffling number of rail operators worked out who needs to provide what and how much to pay and to whom and in what way, what a headache. The cost of negotiations must be staggering, and the priorities will inevitably end up in the wrong order. If this byzantine pricing system inflicted on all of us is a symptom then the patient is in need of a cure.

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4 Responses to “Oysters are expensive”

  1. Darryl Says:

    Thanks for the kind words, Max. To me it shows the disregard national politicians have for London – we’re lumbered with a broken system that the ex-Labour mayor, the current Tory mayor, and I suspect the Assembly Lib Dems all hate. But their national leaderships just plough on anyway.

    From your other post, good to see the Jolly Farmers is back on song as well!

  2. Max Says:

    Hi Darryl, it’s indeed an absurd system and I think that as most people realize it now inevitably it will change, I think that the question is when and how, not if.

    I’m really pleased with what the net is doing to this, in the past few days there has been a degree of scrutiny from bloggers that has become a natural public consultation, information are available, explained and broken down into easy to digest chunks and a well informed consensus is arising.
    So pushing for a change earlier rather than later is well worth the effort and at this stage a public debating it before national politicians put their hats into it makes it more likely to be a healthier bottom up change rather than a top down and this may mean that when it changes it does so in a better way then it would if it was left to quangos and organized consultations.

    On the other subject the Jolly Farmer is at its best now, and this without mentioning the guest ale… Doom.

  3. Darryl Says:

    The Doom’s back on? I’m there!

  4. Max Says:

    Looks like a bloggers summit is coming.

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