Oyster to extend to all London rail

Newly elected Mayor of London Boris Johnson has said he plans to carry on the work of Ken Livingstone by extending the use of Oyster cards to all mainline London trains.

First Great Western has come on board with the idea, in a deal Johnson announced today, when he also pledged talks with all the relevant train companies later this year.

“This is excellent news for thousands of passengers and takes us a step closer to making Oyster the only ticket you'll need to travel in London,” Johnson said.

“I have committed to holding a meeting with the train companies and this will happen before the summer.”

Train delays

Livingstone persuaded overground train companies in north and west London to accept Oyster cards late last year, and was working to obtain ubiquity across the transport network.

“TfL is investing £40million in new Oyster equipment and we will be working with the train companies to agree deals and open up Oyster for all Londoners,” Johnson added.

“Completing the roll-out, improvements to services, station security and passenger safety will all be on the agenda as we work together to improve rail services.”

By implementing a pay-as-you go system for all stations, users will be able to save money in a similar way to that available on the Underground and bus network. Currently only pre-paid travel cards added to Oyster can be used in mainline stations.

If the idea was standardised, it is likely the number of Oyster cards would rise dramatically from the current 17 million card holders.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.