Extending the use of Oyster to First Capital Connect’s overground train services running north out of Finsbury Park is the subject of my latest local column:
To us public transport users in London it seems as plain as the nose on our faces that Oyster should be extended to our local overground rail (and everywhere actually) – so we can go boldly and easily wherever we choose! But no – we still have to put up with a two-tier ticket system if we want to use our local overground stations like Alexandra Palace and Haringey.
We are stalled because First Capital Connect are holding back from extending Oyster north of Finsbury Park station. Having to get separate tickets to travel in the same city is akin to Soviet-style bureaucracy – not what you expect in a world-class city like London.
These days we’re no long train travellers but customers – but whatever then happened to putting the customer first? This sort of bureaucratic small mindedness does rather make a mockery of their slogan, “Your Journey, Your Choice, Your Railway” – but not “Your Convenience” or “Your choice of ticketing” it would seem.
Other train operators like First Great Western and South West Trains have already committed to making their passengers happy and will install the Oyster pay-as-you-go system in the next year – and they are putting First Capital Connect to shame.
Recently I met with the Oyster specialists Cubic – who delivered Oyster for our tubes and buses – at Alexandra Palace overground station and they are keen as mustard to get on with it. So I’ve written to First Capital Connect calling on them to get on with it – and you can too at Freepost RRBR–REEJ–KTKY, First Capital Connect, Customer Relations Department, PO Box 443, Plymouth, PL4 6WP.
But before you do – you can read the rest of the piece here.