Oyster update

No, not an oyster bar. But Oyster contactless is – possibly – coming to Radlett station this Summer

In November last year Oliver Dowden, our MP, announced the extension of the Oyster scheme to Radlett (in fact the extension is taking Oyster all the way out to Luton Airport Parkway but he’s taking credit anyway). A few weeks later various media outlets, including the Watford Observer, confirmed the news. Early this year we got right on it and began a (slightly tiring) countdown on our Twitter account. Actually, we were counting days since the announcement, so it was more of a count-up. Then, a couple of months ago we caught sight of newly printed TfL maps (thanks to Marc Edney in the Radlett Village Facebook group), apparently showing Radlett within the Oyster zone. We got excited and stopped our count-up, expecting Oyster to arrive any day.

Obviously we should have been a bit more circumspect. Months later Oyster is still not here. So, we pulled on our gumshoe hats and got in touch with the TfL press office. They passed us onto the Govia Thameslink press office and they have provided us with a statement, which reads:

“We’re working with Transport for London and the Department for Transport to have Oyster and contactless card payment facilities available at Radlett this summer.”

So that does at least seem to confirm that this should be happening this Summer. I asked if they could give us any sense of the likelihood of this actually happening or any kind of timing and the spokesperson added:

“Transport for London are continuing to install and test the equipment and software systems at Radlett, and we expect them to confirm a completion date shortly.”

I think we’ll start our count-up again. It’s now been 208 days since Oliver Dowden and the Department for Transport told us Oyster was coming. By the end of the Summer it’ll be another 60 days or so. Do you think they’ll make it?

(incidentally, I also asked Govia Thameslink about the tube map showing Radlett inside the Oyster zone but that, apparently, is a question for TfL. I’ll ask them).

Oyster cards at the ready

Number 41On 30 November last year, Oliver Dowden, our MP, announced on his web site that he’d secured a promise from the Department of Transport that the Oyster scheme would be extended to Radlett and Potters Bar (both in his constituency, of course – but the extension will also take in St Albans and go out all the way to Luton Airport). This is, of course, unreservedly good news. It’ll make it easier and cheaper to get into town and it’ll give commuters an alternative to costly season tickets.

But – forgive us – we’re sceptical. We’ve heard this before (in 2016, for instance). In fact we’ve heard it several times before. And on each occasion, of course, it’s not actually happened. Our MP is presenting this as a ‘victory’ and the Minister has apparently promised that it will happen this year (2019) but, having followed this story for years, now, we’re going to believe it when we see it. And, in the meantime, we’re going to run a countdown on our Twitter account. Or rather a count-up. It’s been 41 days since we heard that Oyster is coming to Radlett. We’ll keep counting until it actually arrives. Let’s see how long it takes.