The public transport network in the UK is fragmented and, quite frankly, confusing – but it doesn’t mean that we have to have a perception of ticketing like that as well.
The ultimate aim of smartcards should be to replace the numerous paper tickets issued with a single plastic card, itself capable of holding many tickets. As it stands, we’re moving towards an environment where we will simply end up in a scenario with as many smartcards as paper tickets. There are already over 35 million cards in the UK that are, or could be, used for transportation and yet we simply can’t use just one single card for all journeys on public transport within the UK. This is formed of 22 million recently used Oyster cards and 15 million ITSO compatible cards. There are, however, 50 million active Oyster cards. The number of smartcards is anticipated to rise by another 15 million by 2015 meaning that there will be almost one for every adult in the living in the UK! 
We can sort this now, with some effort, and it will bring benefits to everyone – operators and passengers alike.