Mayor and TfL now sitting on a cash pile of £60 million from unused Oyster cards - Caroline Pidgeon

May 29, 2014 7:00 PM

£60 million of the public's money is now being held in a cash pile by TfL due to a growing number of Oyster cards that have not even been used for at least one year.

The huge cash pile is due to the soaring levels of money that Transport for London (TfL) generate from people obtaining Oyster cards that are used just once, or very rarely.

In the Summer of 2013 TfL finally admitted that £46.6 million of the public's money was sitting on dormant Oyster cards. The latest figure from TfL reveal that less than a year later their cash pile has soared to £60 million.

Caroline Pidgeon AM, Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and their transport spokesperson is now calling for the Mayor and Transport for London to undertake a range of measures to ensure the public are fully aware that they can claim back their own money, or that the public can easily donate their dormant Oyster cards to a charity.

Commenting on the latest figures Caroline Pidgeon said:

"Less than a year ago Transport for London finally admitted to the public that they held a staggering £46.6 million of the public's money on Oyster cards which had not been used for at least one year. It is shocking that within a year this huge cash pile has soared by almost 25 per cent.

"Transport for London will claim that they have reduced some of the bureaucracy in allowing people to finally get their own money back, but in reality the Mayor and TfL have done hardly anything to even inform the public that they are entitled to claim back their own money.

"Every day the public are bombarded with TfL advertisements and information campaigns on a whole range of issues, yet when did anyone recently hear from TfL that they were holding millions of pounds of public money which people have every right to claim back?"

"It is time the Mayor and Transport for London devoted time and effort into informing the public about their right to claim back their own money.

Caroline Pidgoen has now set out a plan that the Mayor and TfL should take to ensure the public can claim back their own money:

In a letter to the Mayor of London she sets out four key policies which must be adopted:

  • Transport for London should run a sustained publicity campaign informing the public that their own money on unused Oyster cards can be easily reclaimed. This should include advertisements on the London Underground and the regular use of TfL's "advertorial" page in the Metro newspaper.
  • The option of tourists and visitors to London donating their dormant Oyster cards to a charity should be extended. The limited number of collection boxes should be widened to include dozens of train and London Underground stations.
  • The minimum amount of credit required on auto top up Oyster cards should be reduced from £20 to £10.
  • The Mayor and Transport for London should actively inform people that once cashless payment ('wave and pay') is finally extended to all forms of transport that the option of buying an Oyster card is no longer the only way to obtain the cheapest fare for the occasional user of London's transport services. Occasional visitors to London no longer need to keep an Oyster card simply to use London's transport easily.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Just 11 months ago the amount of unused money on Oyster cards not used for at least one year was reported as standing at £46.6 million on the front page of the Evening Standard: http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/100m-of-your-money-is-stuck-on-unused-oyster-cards-8678423.html This information was first published by Sir Peter Hendy, in his Commissioner's report to the Board of TfL on the 3rd July 2013 https://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/part-1-item05-commissioners-report-july-2013.pdf (see page 24)
  1. Hidden away on Transport for London's website is new information that the level of credit on Oyster cards not used for at least 12 months now stands at £59.53 million: http://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/oyster-balances-refunds-april-2014.pdf