A councillor has urged Tranport for Greater Manchester to “get better” at repairing faulty card readers after the withdrawal of digital one-day travelcards and advising passengers to use the tap-in tap-out system instead.

Oldham councillor Sam Al-Hamdani highlighted a faulty reader at Oldham Mumps which, he said, a local resident first complained to TfGM about in September last year, but still has not been repaired. 

He said: "I wrote to TfGM last month, but have had no response from them despite their stated response time of five days.

“Having faulty equipment in place is bad enough, but not doing anything about it for nine months and then withdrawing travelcards and telling people to use the faulty equipment is quite another.”

Andrea Elmas, who first reported the issue, said she wants to use public transport but is being hampered by the way the system works.

The Oldham Times: The broken card reader at Oldham Mumps station. Picture: Jack FifieldThe broken card reader at Oldham Mumps station. Picture: Jack Fifield

She said: “There are times when I cannot risk missing a tram, so end up buying a ticket from the TfGM app while travelling on the bus. 

“This means I do not benefit from weekly price caps that are in place for using my debit card, which is a further disadvantage facing tram users at Oldham Mumps, which, in the current climate, is extremely unfair.  

“This is a main commuter stop out of Oldham to Manchester and it is simply not good enough.

“Removing the one-day travelcards really exacerbates the situation at Mumps with only one of the touch points being in use.

“This really makes life difficult. Before they put in this punitive measure it would be good to know you can rely on the touch points to be operational.  Especially the first one you encounter after getting off the bus – a bus that frequently arrives late. 

“It would be even more of an issue for someone with accessibility issues.

“I am really losing faith in Andy Burnham's vision for seamless travel in Greater Manchester. I frequently spend time in London and am never unable to touch in on any mode. It seems here it just gets harder and harder. It is no wonder people won't relinquish their cars for the commute in the same way they do there.”

Danny Vaughan, TfGM’s Head of Metrolink, said: “We are aware of a small number of validator problems out of the 99 stops across the Metrolink network. 

“We have alerted our maintenance contractor, and these are being repaired in line with our normal processes. We are grateful to any passengers who raise these issues so we can deal with them.

“We would remind passengers there is usually more than one validator per platform, so there are alternatives for people in the event of individual failures. If passengers are concerned they might be overcharged, please get in touch and we can help.

“Since its introduction in July 2019, Metrolink’s contactless system has been extremely successful, with passengers making over 10 million journeys.

“Using contactless is by far the easiest way to get around the network, and the system will evolve to incorporate capped daily and weekly travel on tram and bus as part of the Bee Network, our vision for a world class integrated public transport system for Greater Manchester.”