15 May 2017

TfL zone extensions

I've written a few times before about the downside of PAYG Oyster/Contactless - but one of the upsides (when it works), is that if you travel outside your normal zones, you only pay the daily cap for the zones you travel in.

So if I'm usually paying £6.60 per day to travel within Zone1-2 but on one day in the week I make journeys in Zone3, my daily cap kicks in a £7.70 - so just £1.10 extra for all my journeys in Zone3.  It gets more complicated if your journeys are on your 6th or 7th day, when the Monday to Sunday cap has already kicked in (I need to follow up with TfL on my refund request).

The downside of the Oyster Travelcard is that for extra journeys outside your Travelcard zones, you pay as if you are making a single journey from the edge of your zone.  So with my Zone1-2 Travelcard, if I want to visit a friend in Zone3, TfL will charge me £3.40 for a return during peak, or £3.00 for a return off peak.  And if you're travelling to a Zone3 National Rail station, it become £4.20 during peak and £3.80 off peak.  This seem rather a lot for what can be just a single extra station.

One way you may be able to reduce that fare a little if you're travelling off peak is by using your Network Railcard (assuming you have one) when purchasing a ticket in advance.  On Saturday I bought a ticket from the edge of Zone2 to West Norwood in Zone3 (from the ticket counter at Victoria station) and saved a whole pound sterling !

The ticket agent checked that my Oyster really did have a valid Zone1-2 Travelcard, and didn't seem overly keen, but she did eventually come up with it.

No comments: