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In the last week we found out that our lobbying in partnership with London TravelWatch to reduce the Oyster Auto Top up limit had been successful, but TfL say they are unable to introduce the change until January 2022.

We have been working with London TravelWatch to head off (at least for now) TfL’s plans to take away people’s ability to pay by cash at all London stations and push TfL to recognise that the current Oyster Auto Top Up limit of £20 using Pay As You Go raises issues of unaffordability, inaccessibility and exclusion.  We are not clear how the decision to set the minimum at this amount is in line with human rights standards, including equality and non-discrimination.

In January we wrote to Andy Byford, Commissioner for Transport at TfL, to make the point that ‘in a time of economic uncertainty, barriers such as the minimum automatic top up amount pose a real risk of limiting access to economic and social rights by those with lower incomes or limited budgets.  For many transport users, £20 may simply be too high an amount to be taken from their accounts at one time.’

As a result of this pressure, TfL have committed to reduce the Auto Top Up limit to £10. But disappointingly the change is likely to be introduced in January 2022, because TfL tell London TravelWatch that they do not have the resources to do it before then.

It is essential that all public transport is safe, accessible, and inclusive, and all people can access their economic and social rights.  We will continue to work with partners to make the case that decisions which impact access to public transport must be fully informed by human rights, equality, and non-discrimination considerations.