Teething problems with contactless payment as Lothian's cashless system experiences issues on first day

COMMUTERS have blasted the “shambolic” roll out of Lothian’s contactless payment after a chaotic first day of cashless journeys on the Capital’s transport service.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 5:15 pm
Lothian's roll out of cashless payments has been criticised by some commuters experiencing difficulty with the system.

A series of faults with the system for processing payments left customers digging around for change as they boarded certain services, while other buses were found to be missing card readers, meaning they were unable to accept fares.

Others were unhappy that only single tickets could be purchased using the system, leaving many customers with children unable to board services.

In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Colinton and Fairmilehead councillor Scott Arthur wrote: "It is unbelievable that child tickets can't be bought with contactless.

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"In London children up to 10 travel on buses for free if they are with a parent, but in Edinburgh parents can pay by contactless but must carry 80p in cash for kids over 5! This is not progress."

He later added: "This is a further insult to parents after they were let down by Lothian Buses' Board with the lack of buggy space on new buses.

"Lothian Buses leads in so many ways, but it really needs to be more inclusive where families are concerned if we want people to give up their cars."

Baberton resident Catherine MacLeod, 38, told the Evening News: "What is the point of Lothian Buses introducing contactless payment in this half-hearted way?

"No family can use this, nor can an adult travelling with children.

"And what will tourists make of only being able to use one card per adult and not for a group of travellers? It's embarrassing for Edinburgh as it feels so awkward and out-of-date.

"Unless you are an adult travelling solo, you will still be searching for change at the bus stop.

"This move hardly encourages people to opt for public transport, nor does it make a trip into the city centre by bus seem more favourable than taking a car to an out-of-town retail park.

"A huge disappointment."

The transport provider announced plans for a contactless roll out on Tuesday, with the first journeys slated to take place yesterday morning.

Bosses say they are developing the system to handle group payments, which will be included in the next phase of the rollout.

The cashless system has already been in use on the Skylink service to Edinburgh Airport since the start of the year, while certain Lothian Country routes already use the technology.

The Evening News has asked Lothian for comment.