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One-Way System Woes

It is with some dismay that I have to report that TfL do not appear to be coping well with preventing overcharging at stations where one-way systems are in operation.  I’m aware of issues at both Woolwich Arsenal and Finsbury Park. The problem is mainly associated with Oyster or zip cards.  As I understand it, an emergency setting has to be made each day to allow Oyster cards to keep a journey open when passengers have to leave the station and re-enter at a different entrance.  For contactless the setting is permanent in the back office.  The station setting seems to be a bit hit and miss.  I’d urge anyone using the interchanges at either station to check journey history and complain to the helpdesk if they have been overcharged.

Woolwich Arsenal

The link bridge and shutters between the National Rail station and the DLR are closed.  In addition, the two street entrances to the DLR station are operating one-way only.  Entry is via the Greens End entrance and there is little to no signage to explain how to get there from the National Rail station.  The easiest way is along General Gordon Place and turn right into Greens End.  Exit is via the Woolwich New Road entrance and the National Rail station is just to the left of that.

The last time I used the interchange the settings were correct (Tuesday evening), but others have reported issues and I have no confidence that they will always be right.

Finsbury Park

Access to the Underground from the National Rail subway is not permitted.  Entry to the Underground is via the new Goodwin Street entrance (off Fonthill Road).  Exit is via the Station Place entrance next to the National Rail entrance. The Oyster problems stem from the haphazzard way that GTR have gated some platforms but not others on the National Rail station.  If using the northbound platforms (with gates) there shouldn’t be a problem because there is an OSI between National Rail and Underground.  However, there are no gates on the southbound platforms so you have to use the validators in the subway.  These are counted as part of the Underground station, so the OSI doesn’t work.

I used this interchange on Tuesday as well and on my son’s zip card the journeys were split in two both ways.  My contactless card worked one way, but it seems that the auto-complete system cannot cope with two unusual interchanges.  As I’d done Woolwich earlier in the journey it gave up and ended the journey at Finsbury Park.

Can this be fixed?

With government restrictions now set to be in place for another six months I think TfL has got to take more robust action to ensure that customers are not overcharged.  They need to set up a proper OSI between the validators in the subway and the Goodwin Street entrance at Finsbury Park.  This will be similar to other accessible route OSIs at places like Richmond and Woodford.

For Woolwich Arsenal I also recommend setting proper OSIs between the National Rail entrance and both DLR entrances.  There might also be a case for one between the two DLR entrances in the same way that Canary Wharf DLR, Oxford Circus and Farringdon have them.

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