Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Oyster derailed - 'Burbs cut off!

This from Thomas Edmonson

Show some spunk Boris old fruit!

The Department of Transport has vetoed First Capital Connects plan to extend the Oyster Card with all its many benefits to rail travellers from St Albans, Hertford North and Welwyn Garden City and intermediate stations.

Instead travellers from Herts will have to wait for the incredibly superior (shome mishtake shurely? Ed) ITSO Card, allegedly available from 2014.

Naturally, the pusillanimous bus-bandits have folded.

Time for SUPER MAYOR to make it clear to Marsham Street that if London & South East Commuters want Oyster, Oyster they shall have.

He could take the new Boris bus to Welwyn to raise morale. Remember Kennedy bringing succour to isolated Berlin - 'Ich bin ein Shredded Wheat' should do the trick..

There must be a vote in it somewhere.

UPDATE: This from Sinoda...

From the latest update on the Abellio Greater Anglia website:

"The extension of Oyster Pay as You Go to 10 additional stations on the Shenfield and Hertford East lines will be introduced as will information kiosks which will be added to help customers at the larger stations".

Meanwhile, from an an internal Greater Anglia staff Q&A document

Q: Is there any commitment to install ITSO (smart ticketing) during this franchise?

A: There’s no formal commitment to doing this and other than extending Oyster to Shenfield and Hertford East we have no plans for ITSO, which may be part of the longer-term Greater Anglia franchise specification.

Q: Given that Oyster is being extended to Shenfield and Hertford East, will our ticket offices have the facilities to top-up people’s cards and deal with any related issues? Otherwise it will cause frustration for customers and we won’t be able to give the good customer service we’d like to give.

A: Thanks for raising this; the team will investigate the matter for you so please watch this space.

So it appears that the good citizens of Hertford must give up their allegiance to the upstart Great Northern Railway services from North Station to London, and instead 'travel by Great Eastern' sorry, 'Greater Anglia' where their Oyster Cards will (very soon) be happily accepted.

Railway cost per taxpayer

This via Guido...

Ben Gummer is proposing that every tax payer receives a statement of how their taxes are spent.

On Conservative home there is an example of how this might look for a taxpayer on £26,000 pa.

Transport costs are given as below:

The 2010-11 figure for railways is £3 lower than in 2009-10.

UPDATE: This from Ithuriel...

So that's 1.2% of income tax.

Say £4.5 billion subsidy implies total income tax take of £378 billion.

So about right.

But tax take was down in 2009-10.