Transport for London proposes to axe bus cash fares

It says more than 99% of bus journeys are currently paid for with an Oyster or bank card

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London's buses could all become cash-less from next year if proposals from Transport for London (TfL) are accepted.

TfL predicts, because of the Oyster card, the number of cash fares on buses will fall to less than 1% this year.

That compares with 20% of journeys being paid by cash ten years ago.

A final decision will be made after a public consultation, which ends on 11 October. If plans are approved, cash payments would be scrapped in 2014.

TfL said it was looking at measures to introduce a new Oyster card feature that will allow passengers to make one more bus journey if there are insufficient funds on their Oyster card - just to get them home.

Passengers would then pay for this extra journey when they top up their card.

'Vulnerable' passengers

Transport watchdog London TravelWatch spokesman Richard Freeston-Clough said: 'We would want to see more details about what would happen if the option to pay by cash on buses was withdrawn as we would be concerned about the impact it would have on visitors to London and vulnerable members of society."

New London bus If plans are approved, cash payments on buses would be scrapped in 2014

London Assembly Labour Group's Val Shawcross: "It could make things more difficult for passengers who live in outer London where it is not always easy to find somewhere to top up your Oyster card.

"If buses go cashless, TfL should allow people to go overdrawn on their Oyster cards and let customers load online payments on to their oyster cards when they tap onto a bus, as customers on the London Underground can already do."

TfL's surface transport managing director Leon Daniels, Managing Director said: "It costs £24m a year to accept cash on buses and with so few customers paying cash it makes sense for us to consider removing it.

"The savings made can then be invested into making further vital improvements to the capital's transport network."

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