Unused Oyster cards valued at £55m

Oyster cards There are 17m Oyster cards that have not been used for 12 months or more

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At home I have an Oyster card that I no longer use on top of my fridge which, I think, has £1 left on it.

I am not alone in leaving small amounts of cash on unused Oyster cards.

There are 17m cards out there that have not been used for at least 12 months with a combined balance of an eye-watering £55m.

The Liberal Democrats, who obtained the figures using a Freedom of Information request, say it is not easy to get the money back from unused cards.

Caroline Pidgeon, leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group, said: "Transport for London (TfL) is now sitting on a cash pile of £55m which should be returned to passengers.

"They [TfL] claim people can easily reclaim their money from dormant Oyster cards but the evidence suggests otherwise. If it really was simple for passengers to reclaim their money, why has the amount left on dormant Oyster cards doubled in the last two years?"

She accused TfL of being "shy" about publicising how people can get their own money back.

Shashi Verma, TfL's director of customer experience, said: ''Pay as you go Oyster cards do not expire and customers are able to return their cards to a Tube ticket office at any time for a refund of the remaining balance and card deposit.

"Registered Oyster card users are also able to claim balance refunds without presenting their card, for example if a card is lost or stolen."

In your experience, is it easy to get the money back?

Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

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  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    TfL grab cash at every opportunity they can so to even think about them advertising to customers to claim money back is ridiculous.

    This is a company that charges £10 for a student Oyster card application and won't refund it if a University, administrator at TfL or applicant makes the slightest mistake resulting in an unsuccessful application.

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    This is making a mountain out of a mole hill. I had an Oyster Card with unused money on it (£23 for 7 years whilst living abroad). It wasn't that it was too difficult to reclaim the money, I just kept it for when I moved back to London. Maybe it's not a case of it's too difficult to get your money back, people just don't want it back, they'd rather keep it on the card.

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    Well said 9 & 10. Sounds like you are the one that's whining 3, then again I suppose you've been whining about the Olympics in London, Cup Finals in London etc.etc. Bring on the divide - it's the only reason I want to cancel HS2!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    Thanks for the comments. I never pretended it was a Pulitzer prize winner but from the many comments on twitter I think it is of interest to some. £55m is a lot of money.

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    I live in Newcastle and have a Oyster card. I travel to London quite a lot and find it the cheapest and easiest way to travel around.

    I lost an oyster card once and found it very easy to notify oyster who sent me a new card with the credit transferred from my lost card.

    I think the Oyster card should be rolled out to all major cities, then you'd just need one card for everywhere.


Comments 5 of 15



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