Image by Redvers under the
Creative Commons licence
The train operating companies serving London have been huffing and puffing about the cost of installing and maintaining Oyster machines and ticket barriers, but it seems TfL have had enough of their whinging and are putting the machines in themselves. At a cost of £40m to the taxpayer. So expect even higher fares next year then...
While we're raising our arms to the skies in a hallelujah, this isn't going to happen without some controversy. Ticket barriers caused problems aplenty when they came to Sydenham and Forest Hill last summer - it seems you can't have Oyster without clogging up platform entrances and exits or even closing some entrances entirely. Fingers crossed we'll get more of the discreet DLR-type swipe machines rather than congestion-causers.
But wait... what's this? Apparently South West Trains aren't playing. They're planning to introduce a different smart card scheme (ITSO), with a pilot already running between Staines and Windsor, and Oyster isn't compatible yet. Just one more thing to get you steamed up as you stand on that rammed train into Waterloo. Sorry.