Paddington walk incurs £4.60 erroneous Oyster charge

Person using their Oyster card Are you being charged just for walking through Paddington and Waterloo?

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I receive lots of complaints from commuters who end up with overcharges on their Oyster cards.

Some are due to faulty readers, some are problems with the auto-complete feature Transport for London (TfL) can turn on at busy stations like Covent Garden, or sometime it's plain old user error.

Most of the time the call centre will try and sort the overcharge out - although a complainant has to know about the problem to address it.

But I've been told about another glitch over 'rogue' charges which occur when walking through a station.

One place in particular it seems to happening is Paddington.

A colleague was following the signs for the Hammersmith and City Line and went through the Praed Street entrance.

The signs then take you back out into Paddington station and out through some gates. It is a journey of a few hundred metres.

Inside the station, the signs for the Hammersmith and City Line then disappear.

When he checked his Oyster card he was charged £4.60 for the privilege of the walk.

He challenged the supervisor who admitted it was a glitch in the system and they'd had lots of complaints about it.

Eventually he got his money back.

The other place I've heard this happening is at Waterloo. Some routes for walking through the station incur an extra rogue Oyster charge.

So far commuters tell me there is the same problem between Bank Central Line to Waterloo & City Line. I'm told that incurs a charge of Oyster PAYG.

I've also received a few complaints about the new bridge at Blackfriars built as part of the Thameslink redevelopment. Their commuters are also getting charged for using it on their Oyster cards.

It's certainly not a one-off and the transport authorities need to address it unless it's policy?

TfL's Shashi Verma said: "Our aim is for our customers to pay the right fare every time. We have taken immediate steps to confirm that our systems at Paddington station are deducting the right fares.

"Paddington is a large station with four separate gatelines that give customers access from multiple points on the street and from national rail services. Customers using interchange stations with multiple gates need to follow the clearly marked directions to each platform to ensure they are charged for their correct journey. "

Do you know of other places where rogue charges happen?

Let me know.

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

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    as i mostly use the oyster card system, i find this utterly outrageous, they should fix this immediatley otherwise i will set a bear on you and smother you in honey.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Hi Tom,

    Yes, I'm aware of some other instances of rogue charges which users have reported on my blog A common one is where exit and subsequent re-entry at the same station happens within a short time. It seems to combine the two journeys into one and often results in incomplete journey charges. One user received a penalty fare from FCC which took a lot to overturn.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    The Blackfriars issue only occurs (as was noted on either London Reconnections or Ian Visits) if you use the station as a walkthrough and *do not* connect to/from Underground. If it's simply to walk the platform length, then I suggest you use the neighbouring bridge to cross the Thames for free.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Another one to watch out for is if you enter a station and then are subsequently evacuated if the station is closed (due to overcrowding, etc.). The barriers will be open and there will be no way to "touch out", meaning that you will end up with the maximum fare as if you'd gone somewhere but forgotten to touch out.

    TfL don't automatically refund this either, so you have to chase it up.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Another one I've seen is when you want to transfer from London Underground to London Overground at Euston. I think that one was an extra £5 which I had to chase up.

    On a slightly unrelated note, something that drives me mad is the yellow Oyster readers that are inside barriers, such as the DLR at Stratford or H&C line at Paddington. They don't cost extra AFAIK, but they can be confusing.


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