Londoners travelling to work today have been finding long queues at Oyster card top-up points, after threatened fuel strikes sparked a wave of panic-buying amongst commuters.
With many of the capital’s residents not using, or even owning a car, it was feared they could miss out on the fun of needlessly queuing for something that is not currently in short supply. But a suggestion by David Cameron that commuters may find extra people using public transport, and should take ‘sensible precautions, such as topping up your Oyster cards’ has created even more mindless panic.
‘I already had the maximum value on my Oyster card, which would normally last me around a month, when Cameron gave his advice.’ said one commuter, while joining another queue just because it was there, ‘When he said there could be an increase in passengers, and we should consider topping up, I immediately remortgaged my house and tried to put an additional twenty five thousand pounds onto my card.’
‘That would have safely seen me through any minor disruption that could be caused some time in the next few weeks, but I was told I couldn’t put that much on my card. So I went and bought eighteen hundred bags of Quavers instead, you know, just in case.’
Conservative Minister Francis Maude has been accused of making the situation worse after suggesting that people could maybe top up a spare Oyster card and keep it in their garage for emergencies.
‘Do you know anybody in London who actually has a garage on their house?’ asked another angry commuter, ‘No, neither do I. So now as well as buying a spare Oyster card, and queuing to top it up, I’ve got to go to some of the more outlying regions, where people do strange things like say hello to strangers, and find a garage somewhere to keep my spare Oyster card in.’
‘I've had a quick look into doing that already but there seems to be a shortage of garages around. Apparently people have started panic-buying those too.’