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London's Oyster card website still down after 12-hour outage

Transport for London: We did this on purpose

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Transport for London's Oyster card website jumped the tracks and fell offline for 12 hours, leaving anyone wanting to top-up, cancel or renew their card online unable to do so.

Since at least 8pm yesterday visitors to the Oyster page, when accessed through the main TFL site, were faced with this error message:

Oyster card site, screengrab

Some tweets put the start of the down-time back even earlier to yesterday lunchtime. One called drakey_boy tweeted at 5.21pm that the website had been dead all afternoon. Various punters reported on the disruption that the outage has caused:

@Ewarmisham: The @TFL website is awful - it won't let me top up my oyster card so now I have to walk an hour to work

Another said:

@itsjoemcd: so @TfL_official's Oyster website has been down for at least 5 hours. good one. i've lost my Oyster & need to transfer travelcard. grr.

TFL's main site and official Twitter feed weren't carrying any information on the outage at the time of writing. By this morning, a banner was displayed on the Oyster site homepage saying that: "Important site maintenance means Oyster Online is temporarily unavailable."

A TFL spokeswoman said that the site had been down "for essential maintenance" since 8pm yesterday, adding that users had been warned in advance. She said the roll-out of new account features was the cause of the 12-hour downtime.

Shashi Verma, TfL’s director of customer experience, added:

We are carrying out a major upgrade of the Oyster online pages to provide a better service to our customers. A notice has been displayed on the Oyster pages notifying customers that the site would not be available for a short time while this work takes place. Customers are still able to top up at ticket machines and ticket offices and at any one of the 4,000 Oyster Ticket Stops across London.

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