What a waste! 19 million Oyster cards worth £53m lie unused


There are over 19 million Oyster cards lying unused for more than a year with over £53m in credit, it has emerged.

These figures came out after a Freedom of Information Request by LondonlovesBusiness.com to Transport for London. The latest figures indicated that there are 19,029,373 Oyster cards in circulation that have been unused for a year or longer, with £53,227,502 in credit.

The largest amount of credit left on one of the Oysters is a whopping £90. Meanwhile, 6.7 million (6,679,464) Oyster cards unused for more than a year have a zero balance. The average balance on a “dormant” Oyster card is £2.80.

The Pay As You Go Oyster cards do not “expire”, with customers able to use the credit at any time or allowed to reutrn their cards for refunds.

These figures are a minor improvement over last year, when London Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon discovered that over £55m was left unused on more than 17 million Oyster Cards. Transport for London indicated that the drop could be attributed to the recent introduction of contactless payment, bypassing the need for using an Oyster.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the LibDem London Assembly Group, told LondonlovesBusiness.com that she welcomed the decline in the unused credit on Oyster cards.

“The slight decline in TfL’s cash pile is welcome, but it is time far more of this money was returned to the public.

“Transport for London has a huge media and publicity machine.  It is time they put this to good use and ensured that everyone knows that they are entitled to obtain a refund on any unused Oyster cards.”