South West Trains (SWT) has been revealed as the only train company in London refusing to allow passengers to top up their Oyster cards at its stations, despite pressure from Transport for London (TfL).

All national rail operators in London agreed to accept Oyster cards for pay-as-you-go journeys in January, and the association of train operating companies said the most of the 237 additional stations currently or would soon also allow customers to buy or top up their Oyster cards.

But South West Trains will not introduce this technology at its stations, having said it was not part of its franchise agreement with the Department for Transport, forcing passengers to go to nearby newsagents to top up.

Although it said the nearest top up agents were within 250m of stations, passengers at Worcester Park have to cross a road at a set of traffic lights, while those at Norbiton and Malden Manor have to cross a road or roundabout.

Kingston and Surbiton MP Edward Davey said: “I am concerned that local commuters do not have the same facilities at local stations for their Oysters as elsewhere in London.

“This makes things less convenient and this should be fixed – not least because we know it can be done.”

An SWT spokesman said: “Topping up via ticket machines at our stations is not part of the specification set by the Department for Transport for our franchise and therefore not available to customers.

“We were required by the Government to introduce an ITSO smartcard ticketing system and our ticket vending machines are enabled to accept this technology.”

The current franchise for the company, which is part of the Stagecoach Group, started in 2007 and is due to last until 2017.

A TfL spokesman said: “While Oyster pay-as-you-go cannot be topped up at stations managed by South West Trains, with the exception of Wimbledon and Richmond, passengers can top up at about 350 local shops in Richmond, Merton, Sutton and Kingston.

“We will continue to encourage SWT to provide Oyster top-up facilities for their customers at all their greater London stations.”

What do you think? Should South West Trains change, or be forced to change, their policy?

Or are they entitled to wait until a later date and not bow to pressure from TfL?

Would you use the facility if it were offered? Or are you happy topping up your card at a nearby store?

Whatever your view, use the form below to let us know...