2014 Fares Changes

On Tuesday TfL announced details of the  new fares to be charged from 2nd Jan 2014.  Overall it’s very good news for Oyster PAYG users, especially those with 16+ zip cards.  Not so well off are those who buy travelcards, although the actual size of the increase on those has been put into doubt by the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement this morning.  We may have to wait a few days to see if anything changes.

In the meantime, here are the main changes from an Oyster perspective:

  • The 50% discount on adult TfL-set fares for 16+ zip card holders is being extended to all rail fares.  This is very good news for families.  A side bonus means that it will no longer be necessary to add the 16-25 railcard to a 16+ zip card which cuts a fair amount of hassle for those living away from Underground stations.
  • PAYG fares for TfL-Rail are frozen apart from the zone 1 single and the zone 1-2 off-peak single which rise by 10p.
  • PAYG fares for NR and NR+TfL rise by 10p or 20p, but the detail here must be subject to change after the autumn statement.
  • Bus and tram single fares rise by 5p, but the daily cap remains at £4.40 meaning that the 4th journey now only costs 5p.
  • Daily caps, both peak and off-peak, remain at 2012 levels for the third year, further increasing the differential between the caps and related one-day travelcards.
  • As a side note, the zone 1-2 and 1-4 off-peak travelcards are withdrawn while the caps remain.

Further analysis and discussion is happening over at London Reconnections.

19 thoughts on “2014 Fares Changes”

  1. Hello there

    Thanks for this ever helpful site!

    I would be very grateful if you might be able to advise on a quick query, likely to be relevant to many others.

    I currently have a annual zones 1-4 Travelcard which I want to replace by 31 dec. I may change jobs in the year however meaning I travel far less into zone 1. I live in barking and commute to wood green.

    Is it possible to return the zone 1-4 card part way through the year and replace with a zone 2-4 card and get a partial refund? and if so what is the mechanism for this please? I haven’t been able to find this out online, the helpline didn’t help much.

    Also, if I commute barking to wood green on a daily basis (almost never via zone 1, sometimes via the goblin line and sometimes via highbury and whitechapel) how often roughly would I ‘need’ to go into zone 1 each week to justify the extra expense of zone 1 travel.?

    If I get a zone 2-4 card instead this year can I upgrade it instead to a zone 1-4 if I get a new job meaning I need more frequent done 1 travel?

    Have you had any reports of the new ‘security guard’ style ticket officers on the overground, whose job seems to include yelling at Travelcard holders to touch out when it makes no difference if they do or not, and only adds to congestion for payg holders who have to swarm over limited oyster readers at overground stations?

    Thanks loads


    • Hi Tim,

      National Rail seasons (including travelcards issued at NR stations) can be changed midway through their validity with costs adjusted pro-rata. I don’t think the same can be done at Underground stations. Barking is run by NR and has Oyster facilities so it may be possible, but I’m not sure if the mechanics of loading and unloading the season onto the Oyster card cause problems.

      The current difference in price between an annual zone 1-4 versus 2-4 is £736. Assuming each journey in zone 1 will cost £2.20 next year that means over about 334 single or 167 return trips a year will make the 1-4 travelcard worthwhile.

      However, neither of your journeys actually requires zones 2-4. Barking – Harringay – Alexandra Palace only uses zones 3-4 while Barking – Whitechapel – Highbury – Alexandra Palace/Wood Green requires zone 1 to travel via Shoreditch High Street.

      Finally, I’ve seen the ticket officers you mention but I wasn’t aware that they were forcing un-necessary touches on travelcard holders. Unfortunately they are technically right because the Oyster conditions of carriage state that you should always touch in and out at the ends of every journey. My best suggestion is to write to London Overground and ask whether they will consider installing more readers if every travelcard holder has to touch in and out.

  2. Thanks….that’s really useful.

    So if I get a zone 1-4 (renewing my current oyster) it’s better to do this at Barking than say Wood Green (tube only) as the ticket is easier to change if needed in future? Ironically despite Barking bring a larger station they have always discouraged getting Oyster tickets there saying its easier to go to a tube station (ie a replacement Oyster or a refund) I bought by current ticket on 31 dec last year and was advised by staff at barking to go to Canning town! Crazy!

    Thanks, I will write to Overground. I would never object to random ticket checks to deter evaders, but there appear to be a new platform based group of staff who don’t actually check tickets but stand by the stairs on ungated stations shouting at people to touch out! The other unwelcome addition is staff at the top of the stairs down to highbury overground stopping people as they hurry down to the trains even if they have just come through the barriers!

    Surely a journey from wood green to highbury and islington to whitechapel to barking is only zone 2-4?

    • As Matt suggests above, it is possible to change the zones at LU stations, so maybe there isn’t so much of a problem. Not being a regular Underground traveller I wasn’t aware of that bit.

      Unfortunately, Highbury and Islington to Whitechapel goes through Shoreditch High Street which is in zone 1. It has to be in zone 1 because it is very close to Liverpool Street and would lose heaps of revenue if it was in zone 2.

  3. It’s certainly possible to exchange an Underground-issued Travelcard season for one with different zones. Details about how to do it are cunningly hidden in the ‘Types of Refund’ section of the TfL website at the following location:


  4. Mike

    I use a seaon split ticket which costs me £2100. Part 1 ticket covers the jounrey from Hertford North to Bow Park by train. Make sure morning and evening trains stop at Bow Park. Part 2 is zones 2-3 season ticket. I get off at Highbury and join the overground there to bypass zone 1 to Camden Town or Hampstead Heath.

    Is it the cheapest way to travel 5 days to work?

    • Hi Lena,

      Yes, that’s pretty much the cheapest way. You are correct that the most important consideration is that the train calls at Bowes Park. To get it any cheaper you’d have to consider walking some of the way.

  5. Hello Mike,

    First of all, let me say that I think you have done a fantastic job. I have been here for a month and have an oyster card and your website has finally given me the answers that I have needed to many questions!

    One clarification: You mentioned that I have a 70 minute period on the tram where I can catch two trams…this is a one way route I’m assuming and not on the return route if my journey is within the 70 minute period?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Jules,

      It would be very difficult to decide whether you were going back or carrying on at many tramstops. If you touch on the tram reader before boarding it will either deduct a fare or not. There will be a record of the touch, so you are covered either way.

  6. Hello mike why oyster charge me £1.20extra today. I travel between barking to chafford hundred.they charge me pack time chafford hundred to barking £4 .&off peak return £2.90 .&also what is bus oyster pay as you go fare
    Because I use bus from barking station to barking industrial park.and returns barking industrial to barking station. Today total journey cost £10th took.

    • Hi Apeksha,

      The bus PAYG fare is now £1.45 so your total should be £9.80. The two rail fares went up 10p and the bus fares 5p, so it should have been 30p more expensive. Were you late touching in at Chafford Hundred? If you usually touch in at just before 0630 but today it was just after 0630 then you will have suffered the switch from off-peak to peak.

  7. Hi Mike thanks for responding to my question earlier today. Oyster site show £88 for zone 5-6. If I am not getting out of Clapham junction I thought I could take this and save some money. Am I missing something here? Pls let me know.

    • You need to have a travelcard which covers your entire journey. If it doesn’t then it will attempt to take a fare from your PAYG balance for zones 2-4. If you do not have enough balance then you could be liable for a penalty fare or prosecution.

  8. My son is in full-time education, lives in a London borough, and has an Oyster Zip 16+ card. Currently, he travels to school free, using only buses. However, he is considering transferring to a school in Shenfield. He would need to travel sometimes from Tottenham Hale via Stratford, and sometimes from Canonbury via Stratford. What would be his cheapest travel option?

    • Hi David,

      I think a Shenfield to zones 2-6 travelcard loaded on Oyster is probably the cheapest option. If the majority of the journeys are to Tottenham Hale then PAYG might be cheaper because you don’t touch zone 2. If the return journey is likely to start before 1600 then definitely use PAYG.

  9. Hi Mike,

    I’ve always paid a weekly oyster. I wanted to know if there was an insentive to go for the yealry option.
    I’ve been offered by my company that they will pay my annaul oyster and I will remunerate monthly.

    Does it make more sense on saving money? Or is there no difference? For some reason it is very difficult to find the answer to this on the TFL websites.

    Thank you for the advise – much appreciated.

    • Hi Jack,

      An annual season ticket does make sense because you only pay for 40 weeks. Unless you get more than 12 weeks holiday you will be better off. You also get other benefits like reduced off-peak travel in the South East.

Comments are closed.