A London Assembly Member is calling on Transport for London (TfL) to change rules to allow unused and unclaimed balances on Oyster Cards to be reinvested into London’s public transport network.
Information requested by Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member & Transport Spokesperson Caroline Pidgeon shows that £180 million currently sits on Oyster cards that were last used five or more years ago. £57 million of this sits on cards last used more than 10 years ago.
Currently, any pay-as-you-go balance on an Oyster card stays on the card until it is used for travel or a refund is sought.
However, the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly have said these rules should be changed so that the balance on any card that hasn’t been used in over five years is forfeited to TfL to be reinvested in the city’s public transport network, stating that if a card has not been used or refund sought in over five years, it is unlikely ever to be used or claimed.
TfL has stated they currently have no plans to change these rules.
The Liberal Democrats are also calling for a review of the campaigns designed to inform people that they can claim refunds for their unused Oyster balances to ensure they are reaching the public.
Caroline Pidgeon AM said, “This is a huge pot of money TfL are essentially just sitting on that could be directly invested into improving public transport across the capital.
“While we absolutely support customers’ rights to refunds, I think most Londoners would agree, that if a refund hasn’t been sought in five years, it is unlikely to ever be sought and the money could be put to better use rather than being sat on indefinitely.
“This is especially the case currently when TfL is facing huge funding pressures and an inflow of £180 million could make a real contribution to many of the projects underway or under consideration by TfL.”