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Oyster clams up

E-money system goes down the tube

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Thousands of London commuters travelled for free this morning after the Tube's Oyster card payment system clammed up.

A snag with the system's scanner pads - which read travellers' smartcards and deducts cash for their trip - meant that ticket barriers were left open this morning on London's underground network allowing people to travel for free.

One reader told us: "Seems that Oyster smartcard system has taken a deep dive into a shallow pool - no Oyster readers anywhere on the London Underground network are functioning at all."

A spokeswoman for Transport for London (TfL) confirmed that the system had failed but reported that most of it was up and running again by 10.00am.

Last month TfL began exploring new ways of using the Oyster payment system - which lets punters charge up the cards with cash - to pay for items such as newspapers, milk and car-parking. ®

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