Londoners are being urged to avoid using Oyster cards if they are only making a few journeys a week.
This comes in light of passenger watchdog London TravelWatch, raising concerns over the automatic top-up facility which has been raised from £10 to £20.
Campaigners for Londoners on lower incomes say that the decision to abandon cash payments at 200 of the 262 London Underground stations is stretching people financially.
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TravelWatch director Emma Gibson has called on London’s Transport Commissioner Andy Byford to reduce the automatic top-up to £5.
The current automated charge could leave London transport passengers who use their Oyster card to pay for a single £1.50 bus journey, potentially being charged the £20 amount.
Emma Gibson said in the letter to Andy Byford: “Many transport users budget on a daily basis, meaning for some, £20 is a very large amount to hold on an Oyster card .
“Many passengers will no longer be travelling as regularly as they might have done in the past or at peak times.
“This means that if using auto top-up they will be carrying a larger net balance on their card than previously.”
In response to the letter, the London Transport Commissioner stated that it would not be possible to change the £20 charge due to TfL’s current financial crisis.
As an alternative the commissioner said: “Our recommendation to customers concerned about auto top-up values is to switch to contactless when travelling.
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“Using contactless to pay for travel directly provides all the benefits of auto top-up without the need to register or keep unused credit on their Oyster card.”
Have you been using London transport ? Are you affected by the automated top-up? Let us know in the comment section below.