East of the M60 Exclusive Report: Problems over size main issue instead of fare structures

Rochdale tram station, towards railway station
The Metrolink’s Oyster Card style ticket is set to be launched this year, with the one for all modes slated for release in 2014.

From an informed source, East of the M60 has finally found out why Manchester’s answer to the OysterCard has been delayed. It has been said that Greater Manchester’s bus fare structures have been the culprit. In fact, the main reason behind the delay is to do with the card itself.

In a bid to make further cuts, the card manufacturers have suggested to Transport for Greater Manchester that so they could get their OysterCard released this Christmas, they would reduce the size of the card by 1cm. Instead of being the regulation 85.60 × 53.98 mm, the Mancunian OysterCard will be 75.60 x 43.98 mm. Some critics have lambasted the size of TfGM’s future ticket, though head of production Arias Dolly-Fop defended the cuts.

Diagram displaying the differences between the Manchester OysterCard and a standard credit card. Diagram not to scale.
Diagram displaying the differences between the Manchester OysterCard and a standard credit card. Not to scale.

“The new size will offer a unique Mancunian twist to 21st century bus, train and tram travel. It will be popular and after all, size isn’t everything. It is what you can do with it which matters”.

He added, “As a result of changes to production methods, we can get the MancOyster card into TfGM Travelshops by Christmas 2013 – almost seven months earlier than expected”.

But passengers were not impressed, in spite of the earlier arrival time. Some said they wouldn’t fit through the automatic barrier slots at Oxford Road Station. Others feared that the card would be easier to lose than their present System One tickets. One passenger suggested that the ‘fun size’ card was a metaphor for the amount of transport spending which Greater Manchester received compared with London.

To appease passengers, each new Oyster Card will be preloaded with 24 bus, train or tram journeys, anywhere in Greater Manchester with an equivalent value of 20 journeys. From their 21st journey, they can ‘double up’ and take a child passenger with them for free. Travel within the centre of Manchester will be free for one adult and child on their 22nd, 23rd and 24th journeys. Before making their 25th journey and subsequent others, card holders can top up online, or call in to their nearest convenience store.

There will be a further meeting with TfGM and Arias Dolly-Fop at 12.00pm on Monday.

Have Your Say

Would the fun-size Manchester OysterCard revolutionise your journey to and from work? Would you be lured onto the buses, trains or trams with 24 free journeys? Voice your opinions on this forthcoming development.

S.V., 31 March 2013.

4 thoughts on “Technical Issues Source of Mancunian Oyster Card Delays

  1. I heard that the company behind the Smart Cards, Prof O’Lial solutions was upset about their bid to run Metrolink through their Esra Trams subsiduary being rejected.


    1. Hi Ginger,

      Yes, I remember that bidding war in 2011, but I was sidetracked by the plans to build a Skyport in Newton, near Hyde. The guy from the Bay Horse welcomed the development. I bet he wish it went ahead as the Bay Horse has been closed for some time.

      Bye for now,



  2. Went to bed still trying to work out the anagram Arias Dolly-Fop….too much Easter celebration dims ones cognitive thinking ability.


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