Cashless buses – what do you think?

I recently received an email from TfL, asking for my views on their proposals to remove cash fare payments on our bus services.

TfL say: “We believe that this proposed change will help to reduce boarding times and delays. Customers will be able to continue to use Oyster and contactless payment cards to pay for their fares, which are £1 lower than cash payments. If you have an Oyster and contactless payment card, please choose the card that you intend to pay with and touch it separately on the yellow card reader.”

This is all well a good for regular users and Londoners – but what about tourists, visitors and people who don’t often use transport? I worry that this may increase delays, if someone tries to get on without an oyster card or ‘contactless payment card.’

I want to know your views. Please contact me here and let me know what you think.

You can see more TfL info on the proposal here, and be aware that the consultation ends on Friday 11 October – if you wanted to respond to that too.

Mayor Boris gets it!

Little businesses have a hard job surviving business rates, red tape and parking restrictions – let alone the extra challenges of the recession. So – very good to see a glimmer of common sense on a local parking issue on which I have been corresponding with Transport for London for some time!

Archway Road – a fantastic road, beautiful houses, jolly interesting little shops – always fighting the volume of traffic as a main arterial road. Not surprisingly (and rightly) this is a red route. But even on a red route – between 10am and 4pm there is one hour parking outside parades of shops up and down the road. However, there is no need for there to be a cut off at 4pm on the side that bears the traffic load in the morning going into town – not in the afternoon when there is virtually no traffic at all. (One bit has already had that restriction post 4pm removed).

The simple request to remove the post 4pm restriction on the remaining parade of shops on that side of the road so customers can come and shop – had fallen on deaf ears. But at last – following a strong letter to Boris – I hear from Transport for London that they are coming to survey the traffic etc in the light of my most recent request. And my request is obviously based on representations from the small businesses whose customers melt away each time one falls foul of a ticket. A £60 penalty charge is pretty heavy duty punishment for shopping in your local shops – so people are changing their shopping habits. These little parades of shops are vital for people living in the area – let alone the jobs they provide for local people.

We need to preserve and help the shops we have – at the same time – making sure parking does not stop traffic flow on important routes.

I look forward to common sense winning the day in due course!