Bus users in London will no longer be able to pay their fares with cash from this weekend.
The controversial decision to move to a cashless system will come into practice on Sunday July 6 and will mean passengers will have to use an Oyster card, pre-paid concessionary tickets or contact-less payment card for their journies.
Transport for London (TfL) says only one per cent of bus passengers pay cash, and that the move will deliver £130m savings by 2022/23. But fears have been raised that thousands of people could be left stranded each day under the cash-free system.
London Green Party Assembly Member Darren Johnson said: "There are over 2,000 Oyster cards a day which are actually reported as stolen, lost or no longer working, but the number of people who suddenly find themselves without a functioning card is likely to be even higher."
TfL said it was simply moving with the time. Mike Weston, director of buses, said: "The way our customers pay for goods and services is evolving, so we need to ensure our ticketing evolves too. Removing cash from our network not only offers customers a quickest and more efficient bus service but it enables us to make savings of £24m a year which will be re-invested to further improve London's transport network."
In a bid to ensure trouble-free transition, it has introduced the One More Journey initiative which allows customers to make a single journey if they do not have sufficient credit on their Oyster card.
But concerns that passengers could be left marooned were raised when TfL figures showed 2,115 Oyster cards were lost, stolen or stopped working every day last year.