Category: Public Transport

Where you can use your Oyster Card

The brilliant thing about the Oyster Card is that you can use it on most of the public transport in the capital. Being able to use one method of payment across a whole range of transport methods streamlines the journeys of commuters and tourists alike. In this post we’ll be looking at just where you can use that handy smartcard.

Buses and trams

You can use your Oyster on all buses within and just outside of London and all trams. If a bus displays the iconic red roundel logo it means you can use your card.

Tube, DLR, TfL Rail and London Overground

You can use your card across all of the above methods on all services throughout Zones 1-9, and to Watford Junction and Shenfield.

National Rail

You can use your Oyster on all suburban trains stopping in Zones 1-9, as well as on journeys to the following destinations: Chafford Hundred, Grays, Ockendon, Purfleet, Watford Junction, Broxbourne, Hertford East, Ware, St Margarets, Rye House.

There are, however, exceptions. You are not able to use your card on National Rail services to Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect services between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow, or any journey that begins or finishes outside the pay as you go area.

River services

You can use the pay as you go credit on your Oyster Card to travel on the Thames Clippers River Bus. However, these journeys do not count towards your daily cost cap. Travelcards are not valid on these services, but if you have a Travelcard on your Oyster, you will receive a third off all pay as you go fares.

Emirates Air Line

When travelling on the Emirates Air Line, you can use pay as you go credit on your Oyster by touching the card reader on the ticket gate. If you have a Travelcard you will be able to purchase a discounted boarding pass.

How to use your Oyster Card

As all London residents know, Oysters are invaluable to any traveller navigating the often-hectic maze that is the capital’s public transport system. Owning one can make life a lot simpler – once you know how to use it of course. Let’s take a look at how to use an Oyster Card.

How do I use an Oyster Card at a station

When using your Oyster at a station, it’s crucial that you remember to ‘touch in’ before you begin your journey. ‘Touching in’ at the appropriate point where you need to show your ticket indicates that your journey has began. When you reach your final destination you must ‘touch out’, signaling that your journey has reached its end. Touching in and out helps ensure that you pay the correct fare for your journey.

How do I ‘touch in’?

To touch in or out at a destination, place your Oyster Card flat on the yellow card readers found in stations. When you touch in or out the light on the reader will turn to green and emit a single beeping sound. This means that you can proceed onwards and that you have touched in or out successfully. Some locations are fitted with newer card readers, which will display the cost of your journey and how much balance is left on your card.

What happens if I don’t touch in?

You might be thinking, “Well who’s going to notice if I don’t touch in?”. This is highly unadvisable – if you do not touch in and out of your journey you may be liable to pay a Penalty Fare or be prosecuted. You should always touch in and out at the appropriate card readers.

How do I touch out on a bus or tram?

You only need to touch in on buses and trams – the journey cost will automatically deduct from your card.

How do I touch in on the river bus?

When using the Thames Clipper River Bus service, you should only touch in on the read when a member of staff tells you to do so. After touching in, remember to touch out again at the end of your journey.

What are pink card readers for?

There are pink card readers at some Tube and London Overground stations. These tell TfL which route you have taken, allowing them to charge you the right fare. If you’re changing trains to avoid Zone 1 and you see a pink reader, touch your Oyster onto it to pay the correct fare.

Benefits of using an Oyster Card

Travelling around London can be stressful at the best of times thanks to the rush hour footfall, teeming crowds and delayed journeys. Thankfully, travelling with an Oyster Card helps make life a little simpler as you don’t have to worry about fumbling for change when you’re already late for the 9.32 to Ealing. With just the flash of your smartcard you can tap onto the bus, tube or train, allowing your journey across the capital to run as smoothly as possible.

Oysters are intuitive, helping you save money

The great thing about Oysters is that they are intelligent. If you need to, you can top up your card with pay as you go credit or renew your Travelcard or Bus & Tram Pass, both on the same card. When you keep both of these methods of payments on your card at the same time, the card will work out which one to use – ensuring that you never pay more than you need to.

What’s more, there is a daily price cap on Oyster pay as you go, so if you are making many journeys within a day’s period, the cap will ensure that you pay no more than the price of an equivalent Day Travelcard.

Oysters reduce queuing times

The ease of the Oyster Card system helps to cut down on queuing times, which is a blessing in hectic London. What’s more, with London buses now cash-free, carrying an Oyster means you can hop on and off those iconic red buses as you please. Reducing queuing times will help speed up both your journey and that of those around you. Oysters also encourage people to use public transport, which helps reduce traffic on the road.

Help the environment, get an Oyster Card

Oysters were introduced back in 2003, when Transport for London decided to introduce the service to encourage the use of public transport. When people make the switch to public transport rather than using cars or taxis, it helps reduce CO2 emissions as less traffic is on the road. Reducing pollution in turn helps keep our environment greener.

Lost & stolen Oyster Cards

The Oyster Card is a fantastic way to travel around London, but what do you do if your card is lost or stolen? Unfortunately this is a common occurrence, but if you lose your card don’t panic – TfL can help you out.

What should I do if my Oyster is lost or stolen?

If you discover that your Oyster has been lost or you have had it stolen from you, you will need to call the Oyster contact number as soon as possible and without fail. You must report the card lost or stolen so that a stop can be placed on the card, preventing anyone else from using it in your name.

Upon reporting your card as missing you will have the choice whether to receive a replacement card or a refund. If you choose to take a replacement card this will be sent to you by post, or you can pick one up from an Underground station or Oyster Ticket Stop. You can transfer all outstanding tickets and passes onto any replacement card.

What if I want a refund?

If you choose to take a refund rather than a replacement card, the refund will either be sent to your online Oyster account or your bank account. However, it’s important to note that a £5 administration fee will be charged to process all refunds which include a season ticket. In some cases this can mean that no refund is payable.

What do I do if I lose a concessionary Oyster?

If you have lost a concessionary Oyster Card or had one stolen, there is a slightly different process to follow depending which type of card it is. ​The best thing to do in this situation is to call the Oyster contact number or visit the Refunds & Replacements page on the Oyster website for more information.

Transport for London congestion charge explained

The congestion charge was put into place in London in 2003 by Transport for London though many still don’t know what it involves.

The zone is in central London, and costs £11.50 for a daily charge, no matter how many times you drive in and out of the zone on the same day. It operates between 7am and 6pm Monday – Friday for any vehicle driving within the zone.

The zone is free to drive throughout the weekend, so if you decide to travel through it after 6pm on Friday you are able to stay or travel in and out free of charge until 7am Monday. Enter or remain before and after, respectively, you will still need to pay for the daily charge.

Each charge must be paid by midnight on the following charging day after you’ve travelled. If it is not paid, the vehicle will be identified by cameras and you will receive a Penalty Charge Notice.

A PCN is a formal penalty notification that is sent to the registered owner of the vehicle that’s been driving in the zone when the charge has not been paid in permitted time frame. The penalty costs £130, or £65 if paid within 14 days of issue.

You can look at the congestion charge zone map here.

Paying for the congestion charge

You can pay online here,  and it is possible to pay up to 90 days in advance or on the day of travel.

Alternatively, you can register for Congestion Charge Auto Pay and reduce the cost by £1 a day. It’s an automated payment system and the easiest way to pay for the charge.

The system will record the number of days the vehicle travels in the zone every month and bill your debit or credit card.

The CCAP means you won’t forget to pay or receive a PCN. You must register for a customer account first then register for Auto Pay and you will be able to register up to five vehicles.

Congestion charge exemptions and discounts

Certain vehicles and individuals have access to discounts and exemptions from the charge which means you needn’t register with company if the vehicle is recorded at the DVLA for any of the following:

· Two-wheeled motorbikes (and sidecars) and mopeds

· Emergency service vehicles

· NHS vehicles that are exempt from vehicle tax

· Vehicles used by disabled people that are exempt from vehicle tax and have a 'disabled' taxation class

· Vehicles for more than one disabled person (for example Dial-a-Ride) that are exempt from vehicle tax and have a 'disabled' taxation class

· Actively licenced London Taxi and Private Hire vehicles (when undertaking bookings)

· HM Coastguard and Port Authorities

· The armed forces

· Royal Parks Agency

· Breakdown organisations

· Certain operational vehicles used by the London boroughs

· Certain vehicles, including buses, registered in European Economic Area member states, must also be registered to qualify for an exemption.

If the license of any exempt vehicle is ended, revoked or expired, the vehicle will be removed from the register.

You are eligible to register for a 100% discount if you hold a valid Blue Badge in the European Economic Area, even if you don’t drive or own a car. You are able to register up to two vehicles within the zone.

Some residents are eligible for 90% discount if you live in or around the zone.


If you are diverted into the charging zone via an official diversion, you won’t have to pay the charge but must leave the zone as directed – or at the first available opportunity – if you enter any other time during same day or deviate from the diversion provided you will need to pay.

TfL try to ensure that anyone vehicle subject to a diversion will not receive a Penalty Charge Notice.

Contactless payments with Transport for London

The government organisation responsible for the capital city’s transport system, Transport for London, introduced the contactless payment option in 2014.

You can use your contactless payment card on: bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and most National Rail services in London.

Below we will aim to explain everything you need to know about using your card to pay for public transport.

What is a contactless payment card?

Contactless cards are debit or credit cards where you are able to purchase items under £30 without using a PIN or signature and can just be touched on a card reader. The card must show the contactless payment symbol and must be issued in the UK by Visa, MasterCard, Maestro or American Express.

Some banks also provide other methods of contactless such as apps, wristbands and key fobs and some are accepted on Transport for London services.

You will not be able to travel with a card that does not display the contactless symbol or if your card issuer has not told you it can be used as one.

If your card has been issued outside of the UK, don’t worry, as you are still able to use most to buy tickets or to use Oyster top-up machines instead. Ticket machines, ticket offices and visitor centres are in many stations. Fees may apply for cards used that are issued outside of the UK so you should contact your card issuer for more information.

What’s the difference between using that and an Oyster?

· You won’t need to stop or slow down to top-up an Oyster card or buy a ticket, saving time and money

· Contactless are only valid on buses to pay for single fares

· Saves visitors time

· It provides an alternative if you don’t have time to top up, don’t have enough pay-as-you-go credit or you have forgotten you Oyster

· You are only able to travel with an adult rate and are unable to add discount to the card
Travelcards or Bus & Tram Passes can’t be added

· Cards are not accepted on 407 and 477 routes or on heritage buses

· Children under 11 travel free on Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and some National Rail services if they are with an adult that’s travelling with a contactless

· You can benefit from Monday – Sunday capping
7 Day Travelcards that start on Monday have the maximum benefit if you use the same contactless card for all travel
Maximum daily cap is £4.40 on buses no matter how many journeys you make

· There are no discounts available on contactless, so if you eligible for discount you should continue to use your existing Oyster card

· If you use a Travelcard outside of Zone 1 or for monthly or longer periods, continue to use your Oyster as it is not possible to pay for these with contactless

Similarities with Oyster

  • You can only pay for one person per journey
  • Each person will need a separate contactless card
  • Children under 11 travel for free on buses

Oyster card payments and contactless card payments cannot be linked

What happens if the red light shows when I'm using contactless?

A red light means the card has not been accepted for your journey and you will need to find an alternative payment. You could try a different contactless card or an Oyster but you will not be able to pay a bus driver with cash.
The red light could be because it is confusing different cards if you touch the reader with your wallet, for example, and means you won’t have paid for your journey. We suggest you don’t tap your wallet on the reader as you can be affected by card clash and be charged more than once.

3 Alternative ways to travel with Transport for London

Though you may associate London with the tube or the big red buses, Transport for London offers a range of different ways to travel across the big smoke.

As well as the underground and overground tubes and the National and TfL rail systems that many of us have come to know and love, there’s also the tram which runs from Wimbledon to Beckenham Junction and the DLR metro system that serves the redeveloped Docklands area of London.

But let’s look at some alternatives:

​1. Emirates Air Line

Launched in 2012, the Emirates Air Line is London’s only cable car service. Flying across the Thames in East London, the cabins arrive every 30 seconds with flights taking 10 minutes each way.
In “rush hour” the flights are reduced to five minutes, and after 7pm extended to around 12-13 minutes so you can have a more relaxing and unique trip across the Thames and see London’s glittering skyline from the highest observation point on the river.
You can board either side of the river at either Greenwich Peninsula or the Royal Docks, and can make a return journey if you so wish. Boarding passes are available to purchase from an Emirates terminal or you can use your Oyster or contactless card for pay-as-you-go payments.
The Emirates Air Line is situated just five minutes from the O2 and the nearest public transport options to reach it are North Greenwich tube station (Jubilee line), DLR Royal Victoria, North Greenwich bus station (188 from central London), or the North Greenwich Pier on the river.

Opening times:
Sun – Thurs until 9pm, Friday – Saturday until 11pm.
Car parking is available at North Greenwich Tube Station or at the O2 if needed.

2. Southwark council bikes to buy and borrow

If you’d like a more permanent and cheaper solution to cycling than the Santander Cycles service, and live, work or study in Southwark (sorry everybody else), you can borrow a brand new bike for £10 a month.

Southwark council introduced the scheme which is available in lots of cycle shops in order for you to get a more personalised cycling experience. With Southward shops offering support and advice you’re able to find out about different types of cycles and get one to suit you.

Firstly, you complete an online application form and staff at London Cycling Campaign will contact to discuss your location and a date you can collect the bike. All you will need is ID as you must be 16 years or over and your tenner, and you will get a helmet, accessories and some cycling training, too.

If after a month you decide to keep the bike you are able to buy it as a discounted price.

3. London River services

Ran by Transport for London, the river services operate eight piers on the Thames with both River Bus and River Tour journeys. The trips cover a range of tourist attractions and business destinations easily with fast, safe and reliable travel. Owned by London River Services Limited (LRS), all boats are covered, most have an outdoor viewing area and everyone is guaranteed a seat. All boats have toilets and kiosks on board serving refreshments.

River Bus services:

Services operate all day and are fast and frequent, again you can pay with Oyster pay-as-you-go and will receive a 10% discount on adult single fares. Real-time departure information is displayed both on the piers and on the TfL website and you can look here for a range of route journeys. There are a number of extensions during peak hours, too.

River Tours services:

Mainly for tourists to get a unique sightseeing experience from Hampton Court Palace to Thames Barrier, there is an array of exploring entertainment cruises. Though some only operate in summer months, many have commentaries and there are even special cruises for occasions such as Valentine’s and New Year’s Eve with lunch and dinners available.

There are also speedboat journeys on offer from early morning until late evening if you would like an even cosier journey.

River Bus Express:

This is dedicated boat service put on before and after events at the O2 in North Greenwich and operates 19 piers.

Bon voyage!​

Santander Cycles with Transport for London

Previously sponsored by Barclays, and otherwise known as “Boris bikes” after the Mayor of London, Santander cycles are the self-service bike-sharing scheme provided by Transport for London. They are designed so visitors and residents can make short eco-friendly and healthy journeys across the city from as little as £2.

How do I get a bike?

It’s hard to miss many of docking stations situated around London. All you need to do is simply find one, touch the screen, select ‘hire a cycle’ and follow the on-screen instructions. You can’t use cash or Oyster card for this service so don’t forget to bring a credit or debit card with you; most major cards are accepted.
If there are bikes available, the machine will print a release code which is valid for ten minutes. You then type the code in a docking point of your chosen bike and wait for the green light to appear before pulling it out. Check the tyres, the brakes and a bell and adjust the saddle height to suit you. The lights will come on automatically when you start pedalling.
You are able to hire up to four bikes at the same time on one card and you must be over 18 to do so. Over 14s can ride the bike but need an adult to hire one for them.

Can I take the bike on other forms of public transport?

In summary, no. Only folding bicycles are allowed on Tramlink and bus services (at the driver’s discretion and must be stored in the designated luggage area). There is no provision for securing cycles on the tube as there isn’t a sufficient amount of time for a bike to be stored in the vehicle adequately before it takes off from a stop with fast acceleration. There is no place to store bikes safely on a bus either and cannot be put in the gangway as are obviously a hazard to others. As it would be posing a safety risk and could cause injury or damage, attempted to travel with an unfolded cycle is a byelaw offence.

Returning the bike

Every bike must be returned within the 24 hour period of the payment being taken, not when the bike is first used. If it is not returned or it is damaged, you could be charged £300.
You must place it firmly in an empty docking point and wait for the green light to show it’s secure (otherwise you’ll be charged). If that light doesn’t show you can call the contact centre on 0343 222 6666.
If the docking station is full you can select ‘no docking point free’ on the screen of the terminal and are able to see the status of the nearest docking station. If this is the case you will receive a further 15 minutes to find another which you find directions for on-screen.
It’s also possible to download a Santander Cycles app, especially good for frequent users. This allows you to get the bike release code to your smartphone so you can skip past the terminal.
You will need to wait five minutes before hiring another bike.


Initial £2 for hiring that is valid for 24 hours
First 30 minutes of every journey is free
£2 for each additional period of up to 30 minutes

If you wish to hire another bike immediately after returning the other, you must wait five minutes.

Stay safe and happy cycling!

Arriva contact number – 0843 504 7294

Arriva contact number
Arriva are one of the main bus companies in the UK. To this end, the Arriva contact number is also one of the most phoned around. Luckily, they have a huge amount of staff ready and waiting to take calls to their helpline, all based at their UK call centres. This can be for complaints, general enquiries or any other matter. What’s more, our service allows you to request your call details, allowing you to give evidence when and how you made the call, in case of any future disputes. More information can be found about this elsewhere on our site. Call the Arriva contact number now.


Oyster Card Contact Number – 0843 504 7345

What is Oyster Card?

An Oyster Card is a smartcard which can hold pay as you go credit, Travelcards and bus and tram passes. The handy plastic card can be used across a variety of transport methods – allowing passengers to travel around London with ease. You can use an Oyster to travel by bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, Transport for London Rail and most National Rail services within London.

The great thing about the Oyster Card is its convenience, as it allows passengers to pay for their travel in a quick and easy way rather than carrying around pockets full of change.

Phoning the Oyster Card contact number

Calling the Oyster Card contact number will put you through to an experienced TfL advisor who will be able to help with any Oyster queries. You may need to make a call to this number if your card has been lost or stolen, so that you can organise a replacement card and take care of any outstanding passes. You can also call the contact number if you have forgotten your online username or password. Any complaints can also be made to this number.

How does Prove I Called work?

When you call through the Prove I Called number, you get added protection. We can give you evidence that may prove useful in the future if you have any disputes or queries with the complaints team for the company. It can also be used for your own personal records, or any other matter you deem applicable.

We know how stressful it can be when contacting a company. Prove I Called keeps a record of the time, date and duration of your call to a company. This service is perfect for ongoing calls to a business, or when you have run into issues with a company. Prove I Called is not affiliated with any company listed in our directory.

To request your call details please email with your phone number and the date you called. With that information, we can provide you with an independent email confirming the details of the call, this email can be forwarded to the company you are contacting as evidence of your call. Calls to 084 numbers cost 5p from a BT Landline, calls from mobiles and other providers may be considerably more.

Oyster Card phoneline opening hours

Monday to Sunday: 8am - 8pm

Company address & email

4th Floor
14 Pier Walk
London SE10 0ES

Social Media accounts

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