South West Trains has re-iterated that they have no plans to fully integrate the Oyster into their systems.
They remain the only train operator in London that doesn’t offer these services at their stations despite ever increasing pressure from its passengers and politicians alike.
Posters at South West train stations inform travellers that their Oyster cards and the paid-for journeys on them are valid on their trains, but new tickets and travelcards cannot be purchased from their stations, except Wimbledon and Richmond (because they are also on the tube network). Instead, ‘caught-out’ passengers wishing to purchase their Oyster tickets are directed to nearby newsagents – which may or not be open at the time.
It should be noted that as well as swiping in and out of pay-as-you-go journeys, Oyster tickets and travelcards can now be purchased online and activated at stations such as Teddington. However travellers cannot check their card funds at the station before they swipe.
A spokesman for South West Trains said that this full integration via ticket machines wasn’t part of the original requirements for the franchise. Station staff that have already been under threat of job cuts also believe that introducing Oyster fully may lead to less ticket office staff required.