Local MP demands apology for local residents for Oyster PAYG delay

Local residents in Haringey will have to wait an extra four months after a train company broke promises last week on introducing Oyster Pay As You Go (PAYG) on local trains. First Capital Connect (FCC), which runs the Overground train line north of Finsbury Park, recently agreed that train users would be able to use PAYG from September this year; but this has now been delayed until at least January 2010.

The disappointing news comes following a long running campaign spearheaded by Hornsey and Wood Green MP Lynne Featherstone, that culminated in assurances from Transport for London, Mayor Boris Johnson and First Capital Connect that local trains would ‘go Oyster’ by September 2009. Lynne has now written to the three organisations demanding an explanation for the delays and an apology to local residents for the extra wait.

Lynne Featherstone comments:
“I can’t believe that local residents will have to wait at least another 8 months to use their Oyster cards on local trains. It’s broken promise after broken promise. I think local residents deserve an apology for yet another wait.

Caroline Pidgeon, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Transport Spokesperson, adds:
"The Mayor made a big claim in the election campaign that he would call an 'emergency summit' with the Train Operating Companies within weeks of being elected, to address issues just like this.

“Boris has failed to call this summit and, not surprisingly, the rail companies have felt no need to deliver on the commitments they themselves have made. It really is time that the Mayor of London and the rail companies worked together to ensure a better service for train users."

Photo: Disappointed Liberal Democrats at the covered Oyster Card reader at Alexandra Palace Train Station. From the left: Cllr Martin Newton, GLA Member Caroline Pidgeon and Lynne Featherstone MP.