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Oyster change not in vain'

PUBLISHED: 10:43 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 17:22 25 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 to be introduced.

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.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced on Monday 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, 2010.

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

But the introduction of a second peak-time between 4 and 7pm could provoke a backlash from the residents 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 their 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 and I think it's just a cynical move on the part of the operators to get more cash out of their best customers. But that's the price of a monopoly."

A spokesman for TfL said: "The price differences in train travel are the responsibility of the different rail companies."

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). Mayor Boris Johnson said: "I am delighted to be able to announce that the Oysterisation of all Londons commuter rail services is to become a reality.

"This combined with the news about Thames Clippers services 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 was not in vain. It has ended the crackers situation of Londoners not being able to use Oyster on every commuter route in the capital."

In 2008 Thames Clippers carried 2.7million passengers, an increase of over 400 percent in two years after six new fast ferries were introduced.

martin.sawden@archant.co.uk

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