Plans to extend the Oyster card system to St Albans have been rejected by the Department for Transport.

First Capital Connect’s proposal to extend the Oyster Travelcard and Pay As You Go schemes to the city were rejected as the government department wants to focus on another form of smart card technology, ITSO.

ITSO is a government backed, non-profit organisation which aims to develop a smart ticketing system for across the UK. This would allow travellers to use the card at stations across the country.

First Capital Connect, which has been negotiating with the department since October 2010, does not believe that the ITSO technology will be ready before 2014.

A spokesman from the train operating company said: “The extension of Oyster would have been a major benefit to our customers.

“However we recognise the additional benefits that nationally-accepted ITSO-compliant cards will bring to integrated travel.

“FCC is fully committed to introducing this technology for the benefit of customers as early as possible.”