Mayor's Question Time
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Question 2013/4711 (Oral)
What progress has been made in making the Javelin train service, which was so successful during the Olympics, available to Londoners using travelcards and Oyster cards, as recommended by the recent House of Lords Select Committee report?
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Dick, thanks very much for your question and, indeed, for your lobbying on this. A great deal of progress has been made because the Secretary of State has agreed in principle to the idea of Oyster being extended on High Speed 1 from St Pancras and Stratford. He has also agreed in principle to Oyster and contactless payment be extended to serve Gatwick Airport and the Gatwick Express, so we are now in active discussions to get a date for when they can both be implemented over the coming year.
Richard Tracey (AM): That is very good news, Mr Mayor ‑‑
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I think so. Fantastic.
Richard Tracey (AM): ‑‑ but we are now 18 months past the time of the Olympics, when of course people were using the Javelin and using Travelcards to travel on it. What has been causing the delay? Is it the Department for Transport or the train operator or TfL or who?
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): It is one of those issues. If you remember, one of the first things I had to sort out when I came in was the whole issue of Oyster on National Rail. It did take a long time because it was a wonderful thing when it came in and people were able to use their Oyster cards on suburban railway services, but the negotiations with the train operating companies (TOCs) are extremely painful. That is basically what has been going on with the Javelin.
Richard Tracey (AM): Can we clarify? I believe at the moment, if you were to buy a National Rail ticket to Stratford on the Javelin it would cost over £5. If you were to use Oyster to get to zone 3, it would cost about £3. Will it be possible to do a journey on the Javelin using an Oyster, when it actually happens, for just about £3?
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I cannot give you that information yet, Dick, because this is still subject to negotiation, I am afraid.
Richard Tracey (AM): It sounds fair, though, does it not? If you use Oyster, you should be able to get a normal Oyster cost.
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): Someone has to pay for it and that is either TfL or the rail companies and we have to look at that.
Richard Tracey (AM): Thank you.
Darren Johnson (Chair): Thank you very much. We will then move on to the third question on the order paper today.
Commitments - 1
Olympic Transport Legacy
Roger Evans (Deputy Chair): Thank you. I am pleased with that answer, but it is worth taking a look at the Southampton scheme even so because they have had over 1,000 young people through their scheme by now. It is a relatively small town compared to London. Do you think it would be worthwhile just getting Veronica to take a trip to Southampton to see how they do it there and if there is anything we can learn?
Boris Johnson (Mayor of London): I will take it up with Veronica if there is something we can learn. Obviously, our job at City Hall is to provide the encouragement and to provide the framework. We are not going to be organising the volunteers ourselves. There are plenty of groups across London who do that and our job is, through Team London, to provide the framework to help mobilise. The Team London Young Ambassadors Programme is there to be grit in the oyster, really. If there is something we can learn from what is going on in Southampton, I am more than happy to do so.