Last year we wrote to Andy Byford, Commissioner of Transport for Transport for London (TfL) to ask him to review the £20 minimum automatic top up amount for Oyster cards using Pay As You Go because we believe it raises issues of unaffordability, inaccessibility and exclusion and is not in line with human rights standards. This action was part of a campaign by London TravelWatch.
In June 2021 we were informed that this campaign had been successful and as a result the minimum automatic top up amount would be reduced to £10 – however we were also warned that the change would take some time to come into effect.
We were therefore delighted to hear that from 30 March 2022 the amount that you have to auto-top up your oyster card with will reduce to £10.
People will still have to keep a minimum of £20 on their card, and when your credit balance dips below £20, you’ll now be able to top it up by just £10.
With the current cost of living crisis, the reduction comes at a crucial time. While it will not resolve the crisis (read more about why it’s a human rights issue here) it will help marginalised groups better access transport. As we’ve noted before, access to good quality, affordable public transport is key to realising many socio-economic rights including work, education, healthcare and leisure.
We will continue working with London TravelWatch to ensure better access to public transport for all.