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Scottish bank notes refused on London Underground

Scottish �5 and �10 notes are legal tender and yet they have been refused in London Underground ticket machines. Picture: TSPL

Scottish �5 and �10 notes are legal tender and yet they have been refused in London Underground ticket machines. Picture: TSPL

  • by ALEXANDER LERCHE
 

LONDON UNDERGROUND chiefs have been slammed for refusing Scottish banknotes in their ticket machines.

The dispensers bear signs reading: “Please note, Scottish bank notes are NOT accepted by these machines”.

Glaswegian James Duncan, 29, was outraged when he saw the signs at St Pancras tube station.

James said: “I tried to buy a ticket to South Kensington, but the machine kept rejecting my Scottish £10 note.

“I tried putting it in a few times before I saw the sticker. I hadn’t noticed it before because I just presumed the note would be accepted as it’s legal tender.

“It’s outrageous. I had to use my bank card in the end, but I don’t see why they can’t just accept Scottish money.

“If you can use English notes in the Glasgow Metro, why can’t we use Scottish notes in the London Tube?”

In August 2012, London Mayor Boris Johnson reportedly said he had asked Transport for London to remind its staff that Scottish bank notes were legal tender.

Shashi Verma, Transport for London’s director of customer experience, said: “Scottish bank notes are accepted at ticket offices, Visitor Information Centres and Oyster Ticket Stops.

“Ticket machines across the network are configured to identify English notes only to prevent counterfeit notes being used and reconfiguring would be a costly exercise, which would not provide value for money for our customers.”

Bruce Williamson from the campaign group Railfuture said: “It certainly reflects badly on London that it’s so unwelcoming in this way.

“If Scottish banknotes are legal tender in London, and traders are legally obliged to accept them in a face-to-face transaction, it seems reasonable that the same rules should apply to machine transactions if it’s technically possible.

“No doubt when the Bank of England next updates one of its notes, Transport for London will waste no time updating their machines to accept them, so it looks very much like foot-dragging on their part.”

Earlier this year a survey of 1,000 Scots found 70 per cent had had cash payments rejected in England.

London emerged as the most common place for Scottish notes to be refused, followed by Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.

The study by Scotpoll.com also found more than 50 per cent of respondents had their notes rejected after being told they were not legal tender.

Scottish £10 notes were the most likely to be refused followed by the £20, with many vendors claiming that legally they do not have to accept them.

Common excuses included “It looks forged”, “I could lose my job”, “it’s too much hassle to separate Scottish notes from English notes”.

But the most condescending response was “It looks like Monopoly money”, leaving many Scots feeling insulted and unwelcome.

 

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