Fares Guide (Dec 2015)

This is an old page. The current version can be found here.

Despite setting zonal fares a few years ago, the fare structure for rail journeys is still incredibly complex.  TfL have a series of pages on their website which describe the various scales in great detail.  Here is a link to the page describing National Rail fares.  On the right hand side of the page are links to the other pages in the series for TfL rail fares, buses and trams, river boats and the indispensible single fare finder.  In an effort to simplify some of the information, this site now hosts a page with all the daily caps and travelcards for zones 1-9.

The single fare finder is the bible for finding the fare between any two rail stations in the Oyster area.  When you select your start and end stations and type of fare (adult, child, etc) it will display the fares for the default route and any alternative routes below.  You no longer need to click on an “Alternative fares” button.  It is really important to describe your journey the right way round because the times when peak fares apply can be different depending on the direction of travel.

There is only really one flaw with this utility and that is that it doesn’t describe what it thinks the default route is.  In most cases this doesn’t matter, but it can cause confusion in some cases.  You also need to be careful when selecting stations which are split in two but with the same name (eg Lewisham NR and Lewisham DLR).  The default route from Richmond to Lewisham NR is via Waterloo and Waterloo East while the default route from Richmond to Lewisham DLR is via the District Line and the DLR.  The latter also offers a cheap roundabout route avoiding zone 1 via Overground, Stratford and the DLR.

Finally, a little bit of explanation about the different scales for rail journeys.  Outside of zone 1 there are only two scales, one for exclusively TfL-Rail (although some of these fares differ on the lines out of Liverpool Street) and one for National Rail (including mixed NR+TfL).  If the journey includes travel via zone 1 then it becomes a little more complicated.  In addition to the two scales already mentioned, the mixed travel includes an additional surcharge, currently £1.60 peak and £1.50 off peak for adults.  Note that this applies to any mixed journey that goes through zone 1, even if the bit within zone 1 is exclusively National Rail.  And just to complicate things a little further, if you switch between National Rail and the Underground at either Vauxhall or Elephant and Castle you can sometimes get a cheaper fare where the NR bit ends in zone 2 and the Underground bit is only in zone 1.

Please see the definitions page for an explanation of the lines included in TfL-Rail and National Rail.

1,066 thoughts on “Fares Guide (Dec 2015)”

  1. Hello. Here’s a geeky anomaly I think I have discovered. It seems that the parts of London Overground which were the East London Line and its extension northward as far as Dalston Junction are treated as National Rail even though the ex-ELL parts aren’t.

    The single fare finder says (and my personal experience bears out) that you get charged £1.70 (zones 1 and 2, national rail only fare). The single fare finder when applied to journeys between New Cross/Gate and Dalston Junction applies National Rail only fares (£1.30 for zone 2 alone; £1.70 if you touch Shoreditch High Street in zone 1)).

    It’s hardly the end of the world but these are (mainly) ex-tube stations; the fares map colours the whole line green, not red, and your own excellent definitions I think may imply it’s TfL Rail, as the old East London Line was part of the Oyster system before June 2010.

  2. Hi Harry,

    The East London Line is definitely an anomaly. There were problems when TfL ruled that Shoreditch High Street would have to be in zone 1 because of it’s close proximity to Liverpool Street. I think the unusual treatment is probably linked to compromises made to appease LOROL.

    As for what it is, it is TfL Rail because it is operated by London Overground, not because it used to be a tube line. While the fares might be odd on the old ELL section, when used from further afield it is definitely treated as TfL Rail. In particular, it is cheaper to travel via LO and Jubilee line between Crystal Palace and the West End than it is to travel via London Bridge and then Jubilee line.

    Anyway, thanks for your comments. I may include this issue in a future revision.

  3. Hi Mike,

    I am wondering if you can help me on this question, I wish to travel from west croydon to dalston junction on the london overground line, West croydon is on zone 5, and Dalston Junction is on zone 2. If i was going to do this commute everyday, would i need to buy a zone 1 – 5 monthly travel card becuase of Shoreditch Highstreet is zone 1 even though i wont be getting off there, or could i buy a 2-5 monthly travelcard?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Kwai,

      You’ll need a zone 1-5 unfortunately. The travelcard required is based on the zones travelled through, not the start and finish zones.

  4. Hi Mike,

    Following on from Kwai’s question, if I may:

    I have a Zones 2-5 travelcard for my daily commute from Vauxhall to Twickenham (NR route). Next week however, I need to travel from Finsbury Park (Zone 2) to Twickenham, requiring that I travel through Zone 1.

    Will the system charge me nothing, will the system charge me a PAYG Zone 1-5 fare or will the system charge me a Zone 1 fare only to complement my travelcard?! Subsequently, what is the best plan of action to minimise the additional cost of this journey (as I fear this may become a regular occurrence)?

    A brilliant website, thanks for the much needed help!

    • Hi Chris,

      There are several options. The worst you will be charged is a zone 1 fare, whichever way you go. Your options are:
      1. Victoria line to Vauxhall then as you currently go – charge just a zone 1 single fare.
      2. Piccadilly and District Lines to Richmond then SWT to Twickenham – charge just a zone 1 single fare.
      3. Victoria line to Highbury & Islington, Overground to Richmond then SWT to Twickenham – no extra charge as long as you touch the pink route validators at both Highbury & Islington and Richmond.
      Because your travel in zone 1 for both the first two options is entirely on TfL Rail you will not need an OEP.

      Hope that helps.

  5. Hello Mike,

    I know that the fare capping system is programmed to charge an off-peak cap plus individual peak fares if it is cheaper to do so, but do you know if the same applies to the bus cap? eg., if I use the bus many times, but make only one journey by train would I be charged the bus cap plus the individual train fare rather than the “full” cap?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes, the bus cap will cover all the bus fares and the train fare would be added on top, unless it was enough to activate the relevant travelcard cap.

  6. Hey Mike
    I touched in at Stratford main gates then again on a pink oyster validator on platform 2 as i was travelling to Earlsfield via Clapham Juction on London overground. It charged me £4.10 instead of £2.30 which i thought it would cost. could you explain this to me please. why i was charged more than expected.

    • Hi Ash,

      Stratford to Earlsfield is one of those journeys that has been defined as requiring travel via zone 1. All I can suggest is that you contact TfL and ask them to consider revising that definition. As it stands I think they expect you to go via Central Line and District Line to Wimbledon and then NR from there.

      A point to note is that the pink validators are only supposed to be used when interchanging along the route. They have no effect if touched at the start or end of the journey.

  7. Hi Mike.

    If I use my Oyster to travel from Tulse Hill (zone 3) to London Bridge it costs £2.90. Buy a paper ticket at London Bridge to Tulse Hill and it is £3.40. Look at the TfL website and it says that Oyster for four zones is £3.40. Do National Rail have the location of Tulse Hill wrong or is Oyster just cheaper in this instance?

    • Hi Mick,

      Oyster is generally cheaper for single journeys. When Oyster was rolled out across the whole of London in January 2010 there were some changes made to the fares structure for journeys wholly within the Oyster area. Firstly the old cheap day tickets (off-peak) were abolished leaving only the Anytime fares. The Anytime single fare is usually a little over half of the Anytime return. Oyster only works in single fares so this sort of model wouldn’t work. The peak Oyster single fare was set at (and remains after the Jan 11 fares increase) half the Anytime return fare or possibly a little (5p or 10p) cheaper. Thus an Oyster peak return is guaranteed to be no more than a paper ticket. For off peak the Oyster single was set at half the old cheap day return such that an Oyster return was guaranteed to be no more than the old off-peak return paper ticket. Off peak paper tickets no longer exist for comparison purposes, but in Jan 11 there was little change to the off-peak fares so it’s reasonable to assume that they aren’t increasing out of proportion.

      So in the peak hours an Oyster single will be a bit cheaper than a paper one (though it’s coincidence that the zones 1-3 paper fare matches the zones 1-4 Oyster fare) while off peak the difference is much greater.

  8. Hi Mike

    I travelled from West Ham (z3) to Queenstown Road (z2) via Waterloo (z1) during the weekday afternoon peak. I took the Jubilee Line from West Ham to Waterloo then National Rail to Queenstown Road.

    As I have an annual travelcard Z1-2 on my Oyster Card; I was expecting to be charged £1.40 (for the Oyster PAYG Zone 3 tube-only portion of my journey). But I was charged £1.50.

    I’m not too bothered about the 10p… but I would interested to know how it arrived at this figure.

    17/05/11
    18:36 West Ham Entry -£4.60
    18:58 Waterloo (Jubilee line entrance) Exit +£3.75
    19:14 Queenstown Road Battersea [National Rail] Exit -£0.65

    • The simple answer is that it charges you for the zones not covered by your travelcard at the rate which would be applicable for your whole journey. Your journey was a mixed NR and TfL journey so the rate for zone 3 is £1.50 because it was in the afternoon peak.

      However, the bit of journey history above is quite interesting. It’s actually charged only 85p for the first part of the journey because that was TfL only ending in zone 1 so you get charged off-peak and your railcard discount also applies. I then assume that you touched in at Waterloo NR but it’s not shown because being within your zones it won’t have deducted a charge. Finally, on exit it re-evaluates the whole journey which is now peak and mixed mode so it deducts the extra 65p.

      For the future there are two ways round this. Firstly you could wait around at Waterloo for 40 minutes so the OSI expires and then the second part would be treated as a new journey. Obviously most people won’t want to waste that much time. The other dodge is to go out to the bus stops and touch in on any bus and then get off again. The driver may be puzzled, but a bus breaks an OSI so the second part would again be charged as a new journey (and thus not charged).

      Hope that helps.

  9. Hi Mike

    How odd having to pay an 10p even though the whole of my NR journey was covered by my annual travelcard. But now I know where the 10p came from.

    Many thanks Mike for the information.

  10. In regards to Kwai’s question above from February.

    I have a Zone 2-4 travelcard, and I travel frequently between Whitechapel and Highbury & Islington, this passes through Zone 1 (Shoreditch High Street) and I am not charged any extra. And so I think a none Zone 1 travelcard would be ok.

    I was just shocked when I looked at my Oyster statement and found out when I did swipe out of Shoreditch it charged me, I had no idea Shoreditch was in Zone 1!

    • Thanks for that Alexander.

      I am aware that there are some differences between the fares charged on PAYG vs the travelcard zones required on a season. They usually offer the benefit of the doubt where a user might forget to touch a pink route validator within their zones because there is no penalty for not touching in or out within the zones of a travelcard.

      It looks like this may be a similar case. I don’t know how far down the line it would work. I will see if I can make enquiries and get a definitive answer.

  11. I have PAYG oyster card that I only use for a train to train journey on first capital connect from Zone 4 to Zone 1. Today alll trains were cancelled due to a broken down train. So I had no choice but to travel by train and underground. This cost me £1.20 extra. Is there anyway to get this extra charged refunded? As it seems a bit unjust that due to cancelled trains I had no choice but to go by underground.

    Thanks

    • I agree that it should get refunded. It is possible that FCC will arrange for automatic refunds to be processed where there are regular journeys that were disrupted. This usually takes up to five days and you should get an email confirming that you have a refund ready to pick up. If nothing appears then you can call the helpdesk and ask them. I can’t guarantee that they’ll agree though.

  12. mike,
    I had and oyster bus rduction ticket which renews every 6 months as I am not working. The post office refuse the same B+W picture on paper for the renwall as they sell colour compuer generated pictures, what is the required picture which I have in order not to pay for new pictures every time. I am happy to print on shiny paper but this guy wont process my application.
    Regards
    dave

    • Hi Dave,

      I’m sorry but I don’t know the requirements for photos. I know that for kids zip cards it has to be a passport approved colour photo, so I think it’s likely to be the same in your case as well.

  13. Hi Mike,
    Could you me please, what’s wrong with my trip?
    I have monthly travel card from z2-3.
    Last week, my trip was mile end – st john’s wood.
    To avoid z.1, I took central line mile end – stratford
    then stratford – west hampsted (overground)
    after that west hampsted – st. john’s wood (jubilee line)
    It charged me 1.90 when i touched out at st. john’s wood station.
    My travel trip shown as
    mile end – westhampsted (overground) [no charge]
    mile end – st. john’s wood (1.90)
    I didn’t pass z.1 at all.
    note – from mile end – stratford (central line) i didn’t touch out at stratford (tube) and didn’t touch in at overground as well.
    Today,again, my trip was mile end to shepherd’s bush (overground).
    I started with central line from mile end – stratford
    but I touch in-out correctly at stratford as I thought i missed this point last week.
    and took overground to shepherd’s bush.
    It charged 1.90 again when i touched out at shepherd’s bush station.
    My travel history shown as
    Mile end – stratford (no charge)
    Mile end – shepherd’s bush (1.90)
    When I ask some unhelpful staff there they kept saying
    I have to pay more credit (as i’ve got a minus balance from 1.90 charge)
    Do I misunderstand something about using travel card from z2-3? like I can’t travel from east to west without any fee or
    any time limit reasons?
    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Paul,

      You’ve nearly cracked it. You need to touch on one of the pink validators on the Overground platform at Stratford. I believe there is sometimes a problem with touching out and in again in quick succession at Stratford, i.e. it ignores both touches.

      As to the negative balance, if you have one then you do need to clear it because your travelcard is invalid in that situation.

      Hope that helps.

  14. hi mike this is paul again
    Thank you for your answer but I’m still connfuse.
    From my second trip to shepherd’s bush, I did touch out at
    startford (tube) and very sure that I touched on the pink validator
    at stratford overground(it’s shown something like interchange or connection…. on the pink validator’s screen)
    at stratford station, it takes at least one minute (quick walking) to change from tube to underground.
    does it need more time for touching in-out?
    I always look at the yellow or pink machine’s screen and it
    seems working properly.
    For z.2-3 travel card, is it only allowed me to travel by tube only one route at one period of time?
    as my trip shown above, it didn’t charge me
    from mile end to west hampsted(overground) because
    i didn’t touch out at stratford (tube) and didn’t touch on the pink validator at overground station.
    it seems like when i have more than one connection, it’s free only the first trip.
    Regards
    Paul

    • Paul,

      I’ve just double checked the single fare finder and Mile End to St Johns Wood is defined as requiring travel via zone 1. You are going to need to break this journey in two. You need to touch out and touch back in, preferably using the gates, at Stratford. Do not use the pink validators and you may also find that the standalone yellow validators cause problems too.

      Apologies for my earlier advice, I mistook the relative positions of Stratford and Mile End.

  15. Thank you again for your quick respond.
    I’ll try to do that at stratford. If there is something wrong,
    I’ll tell you again.
    regards,
    Paul

  16. I intend to buy a 2-5 travel card to commute from New Barnet to New Cross Gate via Stratford rather than via Shoreditch to avoid buying a 1-5 travel card.

    Will it be necessary for me to touch the pink reader at Stratford every journey to prove that my journey lies outside zone 1?

    Will it be essential to touch the pink reader at Stratford if I have some prepay credit on my oyster as well as the 2-5 travel card to avoid the system taking some of the credit when I exit at New Cross Gate?

    I assume that I don’t also have to use the pink readers at Highbury & Canada Water for the purpose of journey verification?

    Thanks.

    • Hi Eddie,

      New Barnet to New Cross Gate is defined as requiring travel via zone 1. To use a 2-5 travelcard you would probably need to break the journey in two at Stratford. You will actually need to exit via the gate and then enter again. I also believe that you will have to use the pink validators at both Highbury and Canada Water to confirm that you have avoided zone 1 on both legs of the journey.

      If it is going to deduct cash because you have gone via zone 1 it won’t matter whether you have credit or not. If there is not enough credit the balance will simply go negative and you will not even be able to use the travelcard again without clearing the balance.

      Hope that helps.

  17. Thanks for the reply.

    I forgot to mention that New Barnet does not have barriers.

    If I were to buy a weekly/monthly travelcard, would it be possible to start my journey at New Barnet without touching in, travel to New Cross Gate (via Stratford) where I would need to touch out and exit as there are barriers?

    I understand (please correct me if I am wrong) that there is no obligation to touch in/out at stations without barriers as long as you hold a valid travel card and you have only been travelling within your valid zones.

    Thanks.

    • Ah, that’s a possibility then. As long as you are never in zone 1 when inspected by an RPI then I can’t see an issue with that.

  18. Hi Mike,

    I was hoping you could help with a question as I have been fined a penalty for having an “unvalidated oyster card” when checked by revenue inspector on the DLR, despite the fact that I pay the correct fare for the journey (as per TFL website) of £3.40.

    I start my journey at Southall rail station where I touch in, I leave the train at Ealing broadway station and begin my tube journey on the Central line by touching in on a stand-alone reader on the Central line platform. I then go via Bank to the DLR, and touch out at East India DLR station.

    Am I doing something wrong here? Surely if I was I would be getting charged the maximum fare?

    I appealed the fine on the grounds that I was paying the correct fare of £3.40, but the appeal was rejected.

    Please help!!!

    • Hi Rav,

      Yes, you are doing something wrong, but it’s not stopping you paying the correct fare. When you touch in at Ealing Broadway you are actually touching out. The validators that you use are designed for people arriving from outside the Oyster area who want to switch to Oyster before starting an Underground journey. As you are already ‘in’ the Oyster system you don’t need to do anything there. However, to avoid issues with people touching out at the end of their journey and then getting stopped by the gate when they try to leave the station, the validators are set to continuation exit at Ealing Broadway. So, although you are now ‘out’ of the Oyster system (hence your card is unvalidated) when you touch out again at East India it does correctly register an exit and adjust your fare.

      I’m going to send you an email because I think this is an unfair. The signage at Ealing Broadway is unclear and as you say, you do pay the correct fare. Obviously you should now only touch in and out at the ends of your overall journey and you won’t get any more problems. If you don’t get an email this morning, please add another comment and I’ll chase it up.

  19. Hi Mike,
    I am about to change my commute and will need to travel from Brockley area to South Kensington. If I get the train from St John’s to Cannon Street, can I then get the tube and still just pay for that as one journey? I just use pre pay as I don’t have to do this trip daily. Is this a situation where I would touch out and back in at Cannon Street within 20 minutes and not get charged twice?

    Thanks

    • Hi Laura,

      Yes that is how it works. Bear in mind though that St Johns to South Kensington is a combined NR+TfL journey so costs £3.50 peak and £2.90 off-peak. You can knock £1 off both fares if you either travel from Brockley via Canada Water and Westminster or from Lewisham DLR via Canary Wharf and Westminster. In both cases the journey is made solely by TfL rail. If you change at Canada Water then you should also touch on a pink route validator as you walk from the Overground platform to the Jubilee platform.

      Hope that helps.

  20. Hi Mike,

    I see that you are the fountain of knowledge here. I have just bought a monthly travel card from zone 3 to zone 2, because the oyster online system asks you the following questions, but I do travel between Zone 1 to get to Zone 2.

    Choose Travelcard: Monthly
    From zone: 3
    To zone: 2
    Start date:
    I would like an email reminder:

    Now this means there is no place for a new person to actually know that you need a Zone 1 included for the full travel because it goes through zone 1. Is this an error on their part or are we meant know that we should select Zone 1 then Zone 3?

    I do buy lot of things online and will just select the answers to my questions and get a price and if the supplier has made a mistake it’s up to the supplier to refund me the difference or make a loss.
    Thanks,
    DS

    • Hi DS,

      I think you’re supposed to know which zones you travel through and buy accordingly. You don’t say what your journey is, but I would expect you to be charged for a pay-as-you-go zone 1 journey if you need to touch in and out to activate gates. If your PAYG balance falls below zero then your travelcard is invalidated until you top up to clear the negative balance.

  21. Hi Mike,

    Yes I agree but the website when you go to pay if you are just a new user who just clicks on the zones as you are asked on a travel card then it shows you the wrong value for just Zone 2 and 3. I never have a issue with paying but just annoyed that I have to change the whole ticket because they have got the online payment system misleading the user. Just try for yourself as a user who do not know about zones and see what you get if you put in you’re travelling from zone and travelling to zone. Thank you for your response and I do appreciate your work here and it seems lot of people get lot of good advice from you. The funny thing is if you want to change the travel card to add in another zone now you have to pay £10 admin fee on top!!!

    Cheers,
    DS

    • Hi DS,

      I agree that it could be described differently. Perhaps the best thing would be to ask for starting and ending stations, or maybe outermost zone and innermost zone required.

      As to the £10 admin fee, that surprises me. On National Rail there is no admin fee if switching from one season ticket to another with the same end date. That is effectively what you are asking them to do – change from a zone 2-3 to a zone 1-3 travelcard. I think I would go to a major Underground station (eg London Bridge) and ask at the ticket office. Explain that if you had a paper travelcard season and were doing the same thing upstairs at the NR ticket office that there would be no fee.

  22. I want to travel from London Victoria to Mottingham.
    If I go from Victoria to Catford should I touch out at Catford before walking to Catford Bridge to get the train to Lewisham then change to Mottingham. This is in the evening after the last Victoria to Lewisham has gone.

  23. I found an alternative route.
    Victoria to London Bridge
    London Bridge to Mottingham.
    Should I touch out at London Bridge or do I need to?
    for the fare to be £2.30 off peak.

  24. The other alternative is to get from Victoria to Charing Cross and pick up the Mottingham train from there but how can I get from Victoria to Charing Cross to Mottingham included in the £2.30? thanks

    • So many questions. In reverse order, if you use the tube between Victoria and Charing Cross then it will cost £1.20 more. If you go via London Bridge then you don’t need to touch out, just use the footbridge. However, if you do want to touch out to visit the concourse you need to make sure that you use different gatelines. I.e. touch out from platforms 8-16 and touch in at the subway to platforms 1-6. Finally, if you use Catford/Catford Bridge then it will charge the same amount (£2.30) but will take ages. In fact, if it takes too long you might end up with two incomplete journeys, so I wouldn’t recommend that option.

      Hope that helps.

  25. What an excellent site, just reading things. I have a question that I hope you can help. I have a PAYG oyster with a railcard registered to it. My travel at the moment is usually off peak within Z1-4 that caps at £4.80. The other Saturday I went into zone 5 in the afternoon and an extra 50p was taken off. Not a great deal in the grand scheme of things. When I queries this at a ticket office I was told the capping should be £5.30 as this was the off peak price of an all zones one day travelcard. He suggested that I was lucky at only being capped £4.80 previously. Incidently, I have only been capped at £4.80 since then but have only been in zones 1-4. Was it because I went into Z5 on a NR journey.

    • Hi John,

      Yes, the extra 50p is because you went into zone 5 and thus triggered the 1-6 price cap. The ticket office was getting confused with paper travelcards. The cheapest railcard discounted paper day travelcard is the Z1-6 version, another real advantage to having Oyster.

  26. Had an unexpected experience today on PAYG.

    Travelled from West Croydon to Edgware Road via Overground / Jubilee Line / Bakerloo – was charged the off-peak fare of £2.70 as expected.

    Coming back I did the same trip only from Warwick Avenue, even touched the pink validator when changing at Canada Water, expecting to be charged £2.70 again, but was only charged £2. Can’t see any way of getting from Warwick Avenue to Canada Water without going via Zone 1 – not that I’m complaining mind.

    Can only assume the system routes you Warwick Avenue – Willesden Jn – Clapham Jn – West Croydon – but touching the validator at Canada Water told it I didn’t go that way.

    • Hi Mark,

      Looking at the single fare finder it looks like you are right. It lists several alternative fares and the last one is via Willesden Junction. To get that you are supposed to touch the pink validator at Willesden Junction. I think you may have discovered a flaw in their logic.

  27. Hello mike,

    I am due to start studying at univeristy. My degree is between two university campuses; St Georges in Tooting and Kingston University in Kingston. What would be the most cheapest way to travel between the two campuses? I also have a part time job in the city so, will need to travel to zone 1 twice a week. Any suggestions?

    Cheers

    • Hi Alice,

      Without more specific information I can’t really offer precise advice. For travel between the two campuses I’d say the bus may be cheapest. There is a very good journey planner on the TfL website where you can enter two postcodes and it will give you various options. For the City the train will probably be the best option time wise. Whatever, Oyster will get you the cheapest fares.

  28. I’m working in Zone 1 and i’m now required to travel to Watford daily now. What weekly pass do I require? 1-9 inc watford Jct £71.70? Having had a look round I see some stating zones 1-5

    yours
    very confused (Great site)

    • Hi Alan,

      It depends what you mean by Watford. If Watford (Metropolitan) is the nearest station then you need zones 1-7, for Watford High Street it’s zones 1-8 and Watford Junction is 1-9+W. You won’t get anywhere near Watford on a zones 1-5 ticket.

  29. Mike,
    Maybe you can answer this one for me.

    I have a monthly zones 4-6 travelcard and made a Journey in the peak (5.30pm) On Wednesday.

    I travelled from Stratford International to Slade Green using DLR direct from Stratford International to Woolwich Arsenal swapping to Southeastern at Woolwich Arsenal.

    I tapped in at Stratford International and tapped out at Slade Green and was surprised to see that £1.50 had been taken off of my pre-pay balance.

    According to the fares finder the fare from Stratford Int. to Woolwich Arsenal at peak time is £1.40!

    My travelcard covers me from Woolwich back to Slade Green.

    Any idea why £1.50 instead of £1.40 was deducted?

    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      That’s an easy one. Your entire journey was a mixed TfL+NR one between zones 3 and 6. You have a travelcard for zones 4 to 6 so it charged you for a zone 3 mixed TfL+NR journey. The charge is calculated on the whole journey regardless of whether the part which needed charging was a different scale. If you do it again then all you need to do is touch out at Woolwich Arsenal and touch back in a few moments later. This will make it two journeys and the one which needs PAYG for part of it would be all TfL.

      Hope that helps,

      Mike.

  30. Mike,
    Thank you for the response!
    It makes sense, just sadly goes against Oyster’s claim of always giving you the cheapest fare on PAYG!!!

    I might give the helpline a call and see if I can get my 10p back based on that principle. As they do say touch in at the start of your journey and touch out at the end to make sure you get the cheapest and correct fare!! 🙂

    Will post back with how I get on

    Thank you again,
    Chris

  31. No joy with the Oyster helpline – even after speaking to a manager!
    they absolutely insist that the fare is correct at £1.50 as its a mixed journey and there is no more that their office can do.
    I did mention about the Oyster giving the cheapest fare for the journey being made and in this case it wasn’t and the manager agreed with what I was saying but couldn’t do anything about it as the £1.50 is a publicised fare.

    I mentioned that in reality I’ve been charged 10 pence for travelling on National Rail with a valid Travelcard for the journey I was making and he said “in effect..yes that is correct!”

    So, all in all, I would have been 10 pence better off if I had split my journey and left and re-entered Woolwich Arsenal.

    Despite it only being 10 pence I am going to take the matter further by sending in a complaint. again will update the forum with how I get on
    Chris

    • Thanks for the update, Chris. I have to admit that I’m not surprised by their response. One of the solutions will be for the TOCs and TfL to agree to harmonise the fares so that there is only one scale of adult fares for rail journeys. They have more-or-less done this for child fares, particularly off-peak. My feeling is that the system is constrained by the amount of time available at touch out and has to treat the journey as one. In most cases the difference will only be 10-20 pence. The big exception is a journey from outside zone 1 to zone 1 in the afternoon peak where the chargeable bit is on TfL lines and the card has a railcard discount entitlement. However, there are always ways of getting round the combined charge by splitting the journey in two.

  32. Update on my £1.50 fare…I finally got a response back to my complaint about the additional 10 pence and have agreed this time as a gesture of good will to refund me the 10p

    Ironically, I returned back from Manchester today so used the DLR from Stratford to Woolwich Arsenal again…and tapped out..jumped on a 472 and walked out the exit doors to guarantee the breaking of the journey then on the next train back to Slade Green with just the £1.40 taken 🙂

    Sometimes it is worth putting that complaint in!!

    Chris

    • You don’t actually need to use a bus to split that journey. You would at Lewisham where you need to touch out and in again, but at Woolwich Arsenal both modes are within the same station. Just touching out and back in again would be fine.

  33. Hi Mike, excellent website!
    I got a question. I recently changed my commute and I have to travel from Wimbledon to Blackheath via Waterloo/Waterloo East. The trip costs 1.90 peak/1.50off peak. At the moment I’m just using pay as you go because I don’t think there’s a cheaper travelcard alternative or is there?
    I would have to buy a 1-3 travelcard for this journey right? Or am I missing something obvious?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Victor,

      The £1.90/£1.50 fares are not the via Waterloo fares. They are fares for zones 2-3 only which means Wimbledon – Elephant&Castle – Peckham Rye – Blackheath or Wimbledon – Tulse Hill – Peckham Rye – Blackheath. If you go via Waterloo/Waterloo East then it’s £2.80/£2.00. In both cases the travelcard is not really worthwhile unless you also make other journeys by bus/tram or within your zones. Zones 2-3 is £20.80/week while zones 1-3 is £32.20.

      Hope that helps.

  34. Dear Mike

    I live in West Norwood and want to get to Kensington Olympia (Overground) using Oyster PayG. The TFL Journey Planner suggests I get a Southern train at West Norwood to Clampham Junction and then an Overground train from Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia. I will go through zones 2 and 3. Will that be classed as one single journey (£1.30) or will it charge me twice for changing at Clapham Junction?

    • Hi Christopher,

      It will be one single journey, but the charge is £1.50 off-peak or £1.90 peak. £1.30 is the fare for a single zone journey off-peak.

  35. First I just want to say I’m still finding this site invaluable, so thanks for providing it.

    I’ve been using PAYG for around 7 weeks now. I regularly travel from Surbiton to Leicester Square via Waterloo, in the evening peak, as the first journey of my day. In so doing I am always charged £5.20 for Surbiton-Waterloo, and £1.30 for Waterloo to Leicester Square. I can’t figure out why this is happening at all – I thought the tube part should be charged as a continuation (as it is when I travel Surbiton-Vauxhall-Brixton) — and given that it isn’t, why £1.30 and not £1.90?

    • Hi Darren,

      It is being treated as a continuation which is why you aren’t charged £1.90. When you exit at Waterloo you have completed a six zone NR journey. When you go onto the Underground you turn that into a combined NR+TfL journey. There is only a difference in price if the journey involves zone 1, where it adds £1.30 peak or £1.20 off-peak. Your second example is only zones 2-6 so is the same price.

      Hope that helps.

  36. Dear Mike
    Excellent site! Thank you your help.
    I’m a PAYG user having 16-25 Railcard. My journey is from Woolwich dockyard National Rail station to Shadwell DLR station via Greenwich station.
    According to Single fare finder, I should pay £1.90 at peak time, £1.00 at off-peak time. But I paid £2.90 yesterday… I touched in at Woolwich dockyard and touch out and in again at Greenwich to go to Shadwell DLR station. I had to pay 1.5 for the first journey and 1.4 for the second one separately. I did because a staff in woolwich dockyard said I have to do it.
    So, my question is, should I touch in at Woolwich dockyard and touch out at Shadwell DLR station directly – not touching out and in at Greenwich – . It’s complicated!
    Thank you again!

    • Hi Jimmy,

      The staff member at Woolwich Dockyard was mistaken. You do not need to touch out and in again at Greenwich. If you do it treats the journey as two individual journeys rather than one combined journey.

  37. Dear Mike,
    OMG! I’m so afraid about this!
    Thank you for your help and hope that this information can help others.

    • There’s no need to be afraid. You’ve been overcharged so there’s no danger of getting into trouble. What you could do is fill in the comments form at http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk and let them know that someone at Woolwich Dockyard is giving out incorrect information.

  38. Hi Mike
    I’m moving to Elverson Road (DLR) and will be commuting to work at Canary Wharf – can I buy just a zone 2 annual travel card? if so how much does it cost? If not is it cheaper for me to top up PAYG than to buy a zone 1-2 travel card?
    I will be using the DLR/tube at weekends and would go for the travel card only if it is marginally more expensive.

    Thanks
    Emer

    • Hi Emer,

      Unfortunately you cannot buy a single zone travelcard season. Zones 2-3 would be £832 annually while zones 1-2 is £1104. The peak time fare is only £1.40 each way, so ten times a week for say 48 weeks is only £672. Therefore I’d say it isn’t worth it unless you’ll be doing a lot of extra travel during the year.

  39. Dear Mike,

    I wonder if you have a moment if you could help me with this please. I am using a pay-as-you-go oyster and traveling from Northwood to Limehouse. I wish to avoid zone 1 so have travelled the following way:

    Northwood-Finchley Road
    Finchley Road to West Hampstead, touch out
    Touch in West Hampstead Overground
    West Hampstead-Stratford
    Stratford, touch pink reader when get off of overground,
    Touch yellow reader by DLR
    Stratford-Poplar DLR
    Poplar-Limehouse touch out.

    I was charged £4.50 despite having not travelled through zone 1. On the way back, I decided to omit touching the yellow reader by the DLR and just touched the pink reader on the overground platform and was still charged £4.50 touching out at Northwood. Both journeys were made at peak times and I expected a peak 2-6 fare of £2.50. Any light you could shed on this matter would be greatly appreciated please as I need to do this journey for the next 6 months!

    Thank you,

    Ana

    • Hi Ana,

      Unfortunately your journey has been defined as requiring zone 1, probably on the basis that what you are doing is rather roundabout. I’m not convinced that you’ll persuade them to change this either.

      However, I can reduce the fare a little. If you exit Stratford via the gateline (NOT the validators by the DLR) and then enter again it will split the journey in two. You’ll be charged £2.50 for the main chunk and £1.40 for the DLR. You might feel 60p isn’t worth it (and I wouldn’t blame you), so your only other option is to stay on the Met into zone 1 and go the quick way.

      Sorry I can’t be much help.

  40. Hello Mike,

    I would like to ask you a question regarding the london overground. If i travel from Watford Junction to Canada Water how much will cost me?

    Thanks
    Andy

  41. Hi Mike, one of my friend is based out of Queensbury and hold zone 2-4 travelcard to reach Canary Wharf, whereas other friend is based out of Wembley Park but he needs zone 1 – 4 travel card, could you please explain, why it is so?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Mayur,

      Looking at the single fare finder, there are two fares for both stations. One is direct on the Jubilee line while the other changes at West Hampstead and uses the Overground to Stratford before rejoining the Jubilee line at the other end. The latter route avoids zone 1.

      A feature of journeys with more than one route is that with a travelcard loaded the default route often changes to a cheaper one. The reason is that when using a travelcard you do not need to touch on a pink route validator, so they give you the benefit of the doubt and say you’ve gone the other way. These routes aren’t publicised officially though.

      I don’t know how long your friend’s travelcard lasts, but I’d be inclined to load a zone 2-4 weekly travelcard at the next renewal and ensure that they have at least £1.90 PAYG balance before travelling and touch in and out at each end. If the system doesn’t take the money then they can use those zones all the time. Always touch in and out though, and always have at least the zone 1 tube fare available in case of issues.

      If the system does take the money, or starts to at some future date, then your friend will need to consider using the Overground or revert to buying a zone 1-4 travelcard. My guess is that both will work today and if they change it, both will change at the same time.

  42. Hi Mike,

    I have an inquiry. I am travelling from Woolwich Aresnal (z4) to Gunnersbury (z3) via Canning Town (z3) so only enter or exit in zones 3 or 4 but I travel through zones 1 and 2 (Canning Town to Gunnersbury on the District Line). Would a Zones 3-4 travelcard work on this route?

    • No it wouldn’t. You would be liable for a penalty fare if checked on the train in either zone 1 or 2. However, if you travel via Stratford and Willesden Junction you would only need a zones 2-4 travelcard. It is possible that you might be able to go either way with a zone 2-4 travelcard on Oyster as long as you have at least a zone 1 single fare available on your PAYG balance. This is because sometimes a different default route exists when a travelcard is stored on your Oyster card. You must have the ability to pay for zone 1 though in case you need to leave en-route for some reason. You’ll need to try it out to find out as these concessions aren’t published.

  43. Hi Mike,

    I have to say this sight is amazing!

    I do have a question for you as i have just started a new job in london and am not used to rail travel fares. I have to travel daily from Chadwell Heath to Liverpool Street but twice a week to picadilly circus. This as far as i am aware includes zones 1-5 so i know i will need a travelcard which looks like it costs 180.50 per month. This is a huge saving compared to buying a daily ticket but i was wondering how much more i could save it i got a 1-5 monthly travelcard loaded onto an oyster. Is there much of a saving from oyster to paper tickets?

    Your advice would be invaluable.
    Thanks
    Rachael

    • Hi Rachael,

      There is no saving between paper and Oyster travelcards, unfortunately. However, there are a couple of things you can do to reduce your costs a bit.

      Firstly, if you really only go to Picadilly Circus twice a week then you may be better off with a National Rail season ticket from Chadwell Heath to Liverpool Street and PAYG on Oyster for the trips on the Underground. The season costs £131.40/month. Assuming you make 9 return trips to Picadilly Circus in a month that is 18 x £1.90 = £34.20 making a total of £165.60 or a saving of £14.90 over the travelcard. If you also make other journeys which would be covered by the travelcard but not the rail only season then the savings might be wiped out, but only you know how likely that is.

      Secondly, whether you buy a travelcard or a national rail season you can buy for any period between a month and a year. The rate is the same per day for everything except the annual version. Thus you could buy a one month and three days ticket starting Monday 21st November which would run out on Friday 23rd December. You then wouldn’t buy another ticket until after Christmas. If you time your tickets right so you never have one when you’re on holiday you can save quite a bit of money. The one drawback with Oyster is that you would have to buy the tickets at an Underground station, but I’m fairly sure you can have them added in advance. The rail only season you’d get from Chadwell Heath anyway.

      Hope that gives you some pointers.

  44. Hi Mike

    I need to travel from East Croydon(Zone 5) to Hampton(Zone 6) Station daily. The journey planner suggested me the route via Clapham Junction which is in Zone 2 and here I have to interchange. Do I need a travel card for zone 5-6 or 2-6.

    Please help me with this one as I have to make this journey 6 days a week.

    Regards,
    Dilawar Singh

    • Hi Dilawar,

      You will need a zone 2-6 travelcard for that journey. However, if you want to reduce the outlay, consider taking the tram to Wimbledon and changing there instead. That way you would only need a zone 3-6 travelcard.

  45. Hi Mike,

    Can I get a national rail season pass to travel between liverpool street and stratford using the underground?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Elaine,

      Yes you can. Tickets are inter-available between Liverpool Street and Stratford so you can use both Tube and NR tickets on both the Central Line and NXEA.

  46. Dear Mike,

    Just came across your website. It’s a great resource. Thank you.

    My question: For regular peak time journeys between Gospel Oak and Sydenham (changing at Highbury & Islington), will a zone 2 to 3 travelcard cover this, using tfl overground services all the way? If not, does it make a difference if the journey to and from sydenham begins/end at Dalston Junction or Haggerston (or Hoxton)? (I note some comments elsewhere here about anomalies concerning oyster pay as you go pricing on the former East London Line).

    I’m guessing it’s a ‘no’ to each of these questions on account of Shoreditch High Street being located in zone 1.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Milind,

      Sorry, you definitely need a zone 1-3 travelcard for that journey. I think that the anomalies only relate to journeys on the old ELL north of New Cross/New Cross Gate. I haven’t checked to see whether they still exist yet, however.

  47. Hi, usually travel zn 6 via finchley road/finchley rd & Frognal overground /stratford to canary wharf before 0630 so off peak £1.40.
    Due to delays this morning ended up changing again at highbury and Islington to Canada Water to Canary Wharf, still £1.40. Same journey in reverse coming home (still off peak before 1600) came to £2. Not a tragedy but just puzzled!

    • Hi Kirsten,

      I’m puzzled too. £2.00 doesn’t seem to be an appropriate fare for that journey whatever the time or route. Had you possibly used the card for other travel after 0930 such that you capped today? I’ll send you an email shortly and I’d be very interested to see your journey history if you can get hold of it. I’m sure there’ll be an explanation but I’ll need to see the full history to understand it.

  48. nope, that was it, to work and home again. Guy in the ticket office Zn 6 said it was because it was peak time because i hadn’t finished my journey before 4 (!). Awaiting better answer from oyster, i’ll let you know.

  49. Hi Mike,

    I really appreciate your suggestions. I am living in Croydon and my work location is Charing Cross. I am buying Zone 1-5 travel card which costs 191 from this jan. I travel from East croydon to London bridge and then to charing cross. I found alternate route via Vauxhall (from east croydon to Clapham junction and then to Vauxhall and take bus route 87 to my office). Is vauxhall in zone 2? Is it ok to buy only zone 2-5 travel card and travel by bus to office in zone 1 with the same travel card from vauxhall?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Hi Arun,

      Yes, Vauxhall is dual zoned in both zone 1 and 2. Buses are free with any travelcard season so yes, zone 2-5 will do fine.

  50. Mike,

    I’ve just found this forum by googling “pink validator”. It looks incredibly useful.

    My husband and I have used the overground a few times over the last year starting in a zone 4 tube station and changing to the Overground at Stratford and exiting at a zone 2 overground station. We couldn’t understand why we kept being charged a fare that included zone 1 as we never went into zone 1. The last time this happened, the overground station was Overground only so there was no ambiguity (West Hampstead Overground). I phoned Oyster today to ask about why Overground tickets are always charged as including zone 1 and was told about Pink validators. Although we often use Stratford station, this was the first time we’d heard about them.

    There was been very little publicity at all about them – nothing on the front page of Overground website or Oyster website. Why are they a secret?

    The Oyster helpline said there posters at Stratford station, but I’ve now double checked and there are none although we did find the pink validators. They look very similar to the yellow validators and there is nothing to indicate that unless passengers re-validate before joining the Overground they will be charged an incorrect fare. (There is white writing on blue background underneath both the yellow and pink validators, and the wording is only slightly different.)

    I am not against the idea of having pink validators to keep track of passengers routes, but concerned about the lack of publicity. I’ve registered my PAYG Oyster card, so they could easily have sent everyone emails about them.

    Oyster are refusing to refund me the difference.

    I have a second question. I have a network card, and if I manage to get a paper offpeak 1-6 all day travel card I can get 1/3 off on weekends and public holidays, but my local ticket office is often shut. Is there any way of putting my network card on my Oyster account so that my Oyster PAYG cap is discounted?

    • Hi Penny,

      Stratford is probably the worst station for publicity about pink validators because it is so large and most people never go anywhere near them. They have been around for quite a while though, over two years in fact. In most places they are reasonably obvious and the signage does make it clear what they are for. At least you know about them now. The oyster helpdesk could only consider refunding the difference for journeys in the last eight weeks, because beyond that they don’t keep any usage data. Unfortunately without the touch on the pink validator there is no proof that you didn’t actually go via zone 1.

      Sadly it’s also a no with the Network Card. Because of the minimum fare on weekdays the Network card is only useful in London on weekends. This would make it different to all the other National Railcards so TfL can’t cater for it. If you know in advance that you will need a travelcard you could always order it online and pick up from any National Rail ticket machine enabled for TOD. Or can your local station sell them with a future date?

      Hope that might help.

  51. Hello, I bought an annual travel card last eyar z1-2 and was given a paper gold card for 1/3 off rail tickets. Does thsi apply automatically on my oyster card PAYG for instance when i go to croydon in zone 5? Will Oyster deduct the price less the 1/3 off or must I buy a paper ticket.

    I made this journey earlier in the week and oyster took 2.40 off my payg credit on my oyster.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Anita,

      It doesn’t apply automatically, but if you get a clued up clerk they will add it at the same time. The £2.40 is the peak charge for zones 3-5 and the discount only applies to off-peak travel and the off-peak cap. You could take the Oyster card and paper record card to a tube station ticket office and get them to check whether the NR discount has been added, or wait until you make an off-peak journey and see what happens.

  52. Mike,

    My last journey on the Overground when I was overcharged was only a few weeks ago (17th Dec) and the exit was an Overgound only station (West Hampstead Overground), so there is no way I could have gone any other route other than via the Overground. However the Oyster helpline are refusing a refund on the grounds that they only make refunds on incomplete journeys. We went to Stratford station yesterday and searched for any signs or posters about the the pink validators and there definitely isn’t any there now. I am wondering if there is a deliberate policy of minimal publicity/no refunds in order to maximise revenue. A disgrace!

    • Penny,

      I can understand your frustration, and in your place I’d be inclined to ask again for a goodwill refund, although I can also see a semi-viable alternative that does include zone 1. They do make refunds in places where the system has undeniably got it wrong, but in this case the instructions on the single fare finder are quite specific: To ensure you are charged the appropriate fare you must touch on the pink card reader on the Oyster route validator if interchanging at Stratford.

      Certainly I have issues with some of the signage at Stratford and I will take another look myself next time I go there. The biggest problem is the signs that invite you to touch your card in a way that could leave you open to being charged a penalty fare later on.

  53. Mike,

    After reading the page about the lack of publicity on Oyster Extension Permits – I had no idea about these either – and how they used to make people pay penalty fares just because they tried to touch out, the pink validator issue has been set in perspective. This is an amazing website. Can’t understand TFL can’t provide something as useful as this.

    • Thanks for the comment, Penny. I must resist the temptation to re-open the OEP wounds.

  54. Learnt an expensive lesson today! Had £9.95 on my card. Made one bus journey then took the train from East Croydon to Victoria followed by Underground to Hillingdon. Met up with a friend who was driving for the rest of the journey. On the way back he dropped me off at Rickmansworth. I knew Rickmansworth is zone 7 and that the 1-6 off peak cap is now £8.50,but figured the £1.45 would cover the additional charge for going into zone 7! Wrong! When I came off the underground and touched back in onto NR at Victoria I saw I had 30p,when I touched out at Croydon I was on -60p! Put more money on my card,got the bus home. Thought I’d been overcharged until I checked the daily price caps on the tfl website and saw zones 1-7 off peak is £11.60!! Excuse my language Mike but when the difference between the 1-4 cap and the 1 to (5 or 6) cap is 80p,how the hell do tfl justify another £3.10 for an additional zone??

    • Phil, ouch!

      The next cap up from 1-6 is 1-9 and compared to fares going out of zone 6 in other directions it’s not that bad. However, this is one of those odd times where a second Oyster card would have been cheaper. The single fare from Rickmansworth to Moor Park is only £1.40 off-peak. If you touched out at Moor Park and then back in again to continue using the zone 1-6 cap you’d have been better off. I don’t know how Oyster would charge that scenario on one card, but if they went right up to the 1-9 cap then you’d have a case for a refund (but only if you’d separated out the single stop zone 7 journey).

  55. Hi Mike,

    I’m commuting from Brimsdown in Enfield to Tottenham Hale to Vauxhall or Brimsdown to Liverpool St or Brimsdown to Stratford depending on the Victoria line. I have a monthly oyster with zones 1-5, I wish to change my route to Theobalds Grove in Waltham Cross to Seven Sisters then Victoria line to Vauxhall and return Vauxhall to Tottenham Hale to Waltham Cross rail station. I think Waltham Cross & Theobalds Grove is zone 7
    however I cannot seem to buy a 1-7 oyster at any of the station oyster points.

    Pls help.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Kay,

      Unfortunately the final zone in that direction is zone 6 and Enfield Lock/Turkey Street are the furthest stations accepting Oyster. You would need to buy a paper travelcard season instead. I don’t know whether you can buy one valid at either Theobalds Grove or Waltham Cross, but if you can’t and the inter-availability is important to you, you’ll need to buy a Cheshunt to zones 1-6 travelcard season instead.

      This situation may change when NXEA are replaced by Abelio because they have promised to extend Oyster to Shenfield and Hertford East. However, that was agreed when FCC were also planning to extend Oyster to Hertford North, and that extension seems to have been cancelled now.

  56. Thanks for the prompt reply Mike.

    I will look into that.

    And must say this is a great site and you are most helpful to all.

    Cheers Mate.

  57. Hi,

    I will be travelling from Chadwell Heath – Liverpool st 5 days a week. What are the cheapest options for this?

    Thanks

    • Hi Andrew,

      If it is a standard peak time commute then a National Rail season ticket will be the best value. You can buy weekly tickets, or any period between one month and a year. If going for the monthly option then it’s best to buy a few extra days to make the ticket a complete number of Monday to Friday weeks and then have the weekend off before starting the next season on the next Monday. If you can time it right to avoid having a season when you are on annual leave and/or most long weekends (bank hols) then many people find this is roughly similar in price to an annual season without having to pay up front.

      If you can regularly make one journey a day outside of the Oyster peak (0630-0930 and 1600-1900) then PAYG is the way to go. The key time is touch in, so if you get a train just after 0630 but can touch in before then you’ll be charged off-peak.

  58. Hello Mike,
    Can you please help me. I’m about to renew my season ticket from Brentwood to zone1. I am finding it hard to get a price comparison for when oyster is accepted at Brentwood from 12/02/12 so that I will know if it’s worth waiting until then. How can I get a price?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Stewart,

      Have they actually installed Oyster readers beyond Harold Wood yet? I know the intention is to extend the system to Shenfield in preparation for Crossrail, but I didn’t realise it was happeneing quite so soon?

      Anyway, regardless of that, travelcard season prices are the same on paper and on Oyster so there is unlikely to be any financial gain by waiting. I will try to find out more about the extension though.

  59. Hi Mike,

    In a few weeks, my commute will change to Welling (BR) to Heron Quays (DLR. This would mean I have to change at Lewisham, there are new barriers at Lewisham which require you to tap in to get through.

    Does this mean my PAYG Oyster will be charged for two separate journeys:-
    Welling (BR) to Lewisham (BR) = £2.00
    &
    Lewisham (DLR) to Heron Quays = £1.50

    OR
    Will Oystercard recognize my journey as a single journey:-
    Welling (BR) to Heron Quays (DLR) = £2.40

    Thank you.

    • Hi MC,

      As long as you touch back in to the DLR within the time allowed on the OSI page you will be charged as one journey.

  60. Mike, WOW, you are an Oyster genius! I’m hoping you’ll be kind enough to impart some of your wisdom onto me.

    I take a trip from Hackney Central (overground) to Golders Green (Northern Line). I get off the overground at Camden, touch out, then walk a few minutes to the Northern Line station, and touch in, to finish my journey. At no point do I hit zone 1, but I get charged for zones 1-3 rather than only 2-3.

    I’m assuming I need to touch a pink validator at some point, but where? And will it interfere with my journey at all, in that I would have to get off the train in order to touch a validator, and then wait for the next train?

    Thanks in advance,

    Sofia.

    • Hi Sofia,

      You’ve found a mistake in the fares model. There is only one fare between Hackney Central and Golders Green and it assumes travel via Highbury & Islington and Euston. The system can easily see that you’ve avoided zone 1 by the fact that you interchange between Camden Road and Camden Town, a recognised out of station interchange. I suggest that you email the helpdesk and ask them to consider introducing a via Camden fare. I will also do the same and hopefully something can be done about it.

      In the meantime, if you travel every day you can save a bit by buying a zone 2-3 travelcard on Oyster. This will cost £22 per week and saves £9 over 10 peak journeys or £4 over 10 off-peak journeys. The one thing you will need to do between Camden Town and Camden Road is either (a) take more than 20 minutes; or (b) touch in on a bus and then get off straight away. In both cases this will split your single journey into two separate zone 2-3 journeys. With a travelcard on your Oyster card bus travel is free so it won’t affect the system.

      Hope this helps.

  61. I am curious as to the relevance of the OSI on my journey Mike.

    If I travel from Tulse Hill to Elephant and Castle on National Rail it is £2 on Oyster. A journey on London Underground from Elephant and Castle to Bank on the Northern Line is £2 on Oyster.

    The cost of a journey from Tulse Hill to Bank, which uses Elephant as an OSI, is £4.

    This means absolutely no benefit to having an OSI but runs the risk of the two journeys being treated as one and exceed the maximum time.

    • Hi Mick,

      Elephant and Castle (and Vauxhall) are special OSIs because they sit on the boundary between zone 1 and 2. Thus your Tulse Hill to Elephant journey is zones 3-2 on NR while the Elephant to Bank journey is zone 1 on TfL. Where the cost of a journey in two halves is less than the usual through cost they reduce the through fare when using those two interchanges. Off-peak the two journeys are £1.60 and £2.00 but the combined fare is £3.40, saving 20p.

      As to the maximum journey time you get 90 minutes to make a zone 2-3 journey and 110 minutes to make a zone 1-3 journey on Monday to Friday before 1900. If it was two separate journeys then you’d have 90 minutes for the zone 1 journey too, but in reality you would never need that long.

  62. Mike,

    Can you please tell me the cheapest way to get from Clapham Junction to Bank? I have been getting the overground from Clapham Junction to Waterloo, tagging out and then back in when I get on to the Waterloo and City line to Bank. Its currently costing me 7.60 a day and I am getting an annual railcard zobnes 1 and 2 soon but was wondering if there was a cheaper route or if I am doing something wrong?

    • Hi Harry,

      There are basically four different ways to get between Clapham Junction and Bank and they all cost different amounts as follows:

      Peak Off-peak Route
      £2.70 £2.00 changing at West Brompton or Shepherds Bush then Underground
      £3.60 £3.10 changing at Vauxhall then Underground
      £3.80 £3.10 changing at Waterloo or Victoria then Underground
      £2.30 £1.80 NR only via Waterloo/East and London Bridge to Cannon St then walk.

      An annual travelcard for zones 1 and 2 would cover you for all options. It would probably just about be economical for the 1st option. If you decide to use the 4th option then you would be better off with a Clapham Junction to London terminals season ticket.

      Hope that helps.

  63. Hello Mike, hope you are well. I’m new to London and this whole Oyster card shebang so apologies if this is a bit obvious.

    I need to travel from Bethnal Green (zone 2) to Watford Junction on Thursday night. Now I believe this should cost £1.70 on my oyster card for a single.

    Do I have to avoid travelling through Euston, or anywhere in zone 1 to ensure I only pay the zone 2-Watford Jct rate?

    And if I can get away with going through Euston and only paying the zone 2-Watford JCT rate, how do I avoid paying for two separate journeys (BG to Euston, then Euston to Wat) as surely I will need to touch out at Euston underground, ending that journey, then touch back in on the train platform, starting a new one.

    A really long winded way of saying-how do I get there without paying a fortune!

    • Hi Chris,

      Assuming that you have a railcard attached to your Oyster card then the off-peak single is indeed £1.70 as long as you don’t go anywhere near zone 1. You certainly won’t be able to go via Euston, and you can’t in fact travel from Bethnal Green tube. What you need to do is start from Bethnal Green NR station and travel to Hackney Downs, then walk to Hackney Central and change at Willesden Junction onto a train to Watford Junction. You need to touch on the pink validator at Willesden Junction while interchanging.

      Hope this helps.

  64. Hello Mike,

    Congratulations on your excellent website – the oyster oracle…….

    I have a zone 1-2 weekly and travel from North Greenwich (Z2) into central london. I found an alternative (and easier journey in peak) if I go one stop on the Jubilee line to Canning Town (zone 3) and then change onto the DLR and take that into Bank (zone 1).

    At Canning Town, I just walked up the stairs and got onto the DLR – I never needed to touch my card anywhere (nor did I see anywhere to touch it)

    Do I technically need a zone 1-3 to make such a trip – even though I never leave the station ??

    Thanks
    gabster

    • Hi Gabster,

      One of the beautiful things about Oyster is that as long as you stay within the overall Oyster area and have sufficient PAYG balance, you can never be deemed off route. You also need to be careful about maximum journey times, of course. So, my advice is to have enough on your card for a zone 3 journey just in case you end up needing to touch out at Canning Town. However, if you only touch in at North Greenwich and out at Bank then your travelcard will cover it.

  65. Hi Mike,

    I currently travel from New Cross Gate which is in Zone 2 to Wood Green Zone 3. At the moment I have to buy a Zone 1-3 travelcard because I take the London Overground to Highbury and Islington . I was wondering if a Zone 2-3 travelcard would work if I travel through Stratford. The thing is it would add only 15 minutes to my journey every morning which I think is not much for the potential savings I could be making.

    • Hi Femi,

      You can do it, but you’ll need to touch out and in again at Stratford. This will split your journey into two journeys which are both zone 2-3. If you don’t touch out and in again then the system will think you’ve gone via zone 1 and deduct £2 from your PAYG balance.

      Hope this helps.

  66. Hi Mike,
    Might be a silly question but i don’t think i have seen it written anywhere.
    If you purchase a travelcard on your oyster, do the zones you travel through count? For example if i was travelling from Ealing Broadway (Zone 3) to Hendon Central (Zone 4) i have to at some point go through zones 1 & 2, but not surface, so do i need a zones 3-4 travelcard or a zones 1-4 travelcard?

    Many thanks
    Jack

    • Yes the zones you travel though count, but you don’t need zone 4 because Hendon Central is dual zoned. As long as you arrive from the south you don’t leave zone 3. Also, if you don’t mind changing at Shepherd’s Bush, Willesden Junction and Camden Road/Town then you can do it with zones 2-3.

  67. Hi Mike,

    This query may of been answered in a previous question (i had a brief scan of them but couldn’t see anything). Just wondering, if you start a journey during off peak (say, touch in at 3:45pm) and then end a journey during peak times (say, touch out at 4:15pm) are you charged an off peak or peak fare?

    many thanks

    • Hi Charlie,

      The fare charged is determined by the touch in time at the start of the overall journey.

  68. Hi Mike,

    My other half took the train From Twickenham, our home station, to Clapham this morning to see her elderly mother off to Gatwick. Unfortunately at Clapham as she was simply seeing her mother off and didn’t need to leave the station she forgot that she would need to ‘touch out’.

    When she returned to Twickenham her card flashed up a ‘seek assistance’ message and the guy on the gate insisted that she had to pay a £20 fine.

    My partner had £5:30 on the Oyster and, having checked the fares for the trip and the calculator , I’ve found that she was light by 90p for a return trip. Normally though this would have simply resulted in a need to either pay the excess or possibly a penalty fare.

    My partner has a good oyster history and she had intention of avoiding the fare. The man applying the penalty took and checked my wife’s details so he must have known that she was at her local station and the time she checked in would have shown him that her story was likely to be true. One of the colleagues of the man on the gate urged him to simply charge her a penalty fare so it was obvious to him that she wasn’t trying to cheat. Alas he was ignored by the man dealing with my wife.

    I have to say that this seems very unfair. My partner was being honest when she explained and was in tears by the time the process ended.

    Ironically, she realised a couple of stops before she got back to Twickenham that she’d forgotten to swipe but rather than getting out a stop early so she could ‘swipe out’ she decided that honesty and common sense were the way to go.

    My partner is not a cheat and normally there would have been no problem. The need to simply see her mother to a platform in Clapham rather than leave the station meant that she simply forgot to swipe again.

    So my question, is it worth appealing this? If yes, what would be the best grounds to do this on?

    Apologies if this is the wrong place to ask this question.

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Huon,

      OK, firstly an important fact to bear in mind. The £20 is in fact a penalty fare. Only a court can impose a fine, so even though the penalty feels like a fine, it is in fact just a fare for people who make honest mistakes.

      Now, to explain what has happened on the Oyster card. When your wife touched in the system will have deducted a maximum fare from the card, which is currently £6.90 in the morning peak. When you touch out this gets adjusted so that you only pay the fare due. At this point she would have seen the fare deducted was £3.10 and that she only had £2.20 left. Because she didn’t touch out until Twickenham she has been treated as making two undefined journeys so it has tried to deduct a further £6.90 from the card (or £4.60 if it was after 09.30 by that time). This has obviously put the card badly in debt. Before you can use it again you will need to top it up sufficiently to clear this negative balance and leave at least the minimum fare payable for a journey from the station (or £1.35 if it’s on a bus).

      Is it worth appealing? Yes, in my view. The worst that they can do is say no. It would be best to tell the story exactly how it is. I would contact the Oyster helpdesk tomorrow and ask for a statement of usage which will show both deductions. That way you can prove that you have actually paid for the journeys. I would also ask the helpdesk to arrange a credit for the overcharge which they can set up to be applied next time you use the card at a station. They are usually reasonable if your story adds up, and the time between touches at Twickenham will match with a return trip to Clapham Junction plus a bit to see her mother off.

      Finally, the inspector was wrong to insist that the whole penalty fare had to be paid immediately, if that was what he did. I can believe it was though, because this is the number one complaint I hear from people who have been charged a penalty fare. As long as your wife is convinced that she was given no option to pay just the fare due then I would certainly ask SWT to re-iterate to their inspectors that this is always the minimum. The penalty is the remainder of the £20 fare and can be paid or appealed up to 14 days later.

      I hope this helps, and good luck with any appeal if you decide to make one.

  69. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for that. I’ve called and requested a journey history as you suggested.

    Your point regarding fine vs. penalty fare was an interesting one. The rail employee/inspector referred to the £20 as a fine both in conversations with my other half and again to me when she called me to help because she couldn’t understand him (English is not her first language).

    The distinction is an important one as fine smacks of legal sanction whereas penalty fare doesn’t.

    It was bad enough that she was made to feel like a criminal despite having simply made an honest mistake but to be overcharged by someone who obviously doesn’t know his job adds insult to injury. I doubt that he will be fined for his mistaken attempt to charge £20 on top of the fare already paid rather than a total of £20.

    I’ll lodge an appeal as soon as the journey history arrives. I’ll also lodge a complaint regarding the rail employee’s handling of this.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Let me know if you’d like me to update this page with the outcome.

    • Hi,

      Yes, please do come back with the outcome.

      I have to admit that penalty fares for some Oyster problems are actually a grey area. It’s fine if you are caught having not touched in because then you haven’t got a validated authority to travel. In your case more than was required had been taken off your card which is a different matter entirely. You are supposed to have enough funds on the card to complete your journey, but the fact that you’ll have to clear the debt before you can use the card or get the deposit back makes this scenario very different.

      Setting aside the Oyster issues, the way a penalty fare is supposed to work is that the actual fare is due immediately because otherwise you are travelling without the means to pay. The penalty fare is the greater of either £20 or twice the single fare, so the penalty element is always at least half the total. I believe that the details of what has to be paid when is printed on the form, but it should also be explained by the inspector. No-one employed by the railway should ever refer to a penalty fare as a fine.

      If SWT refuse to waive the penalty fare then I’d be inclined to ask TfL to refund everything on the basis that you have paid twice.

  70. Hi Mike,

    The statement has arrived and shows that my wife actually had £6.35 on the Oyster. So enough for a round trip to Clapham without going into negatives.

    The statement shows two entries for the day of travel. An “Incomplete Trip” that incurred a fare of £6.90 and an “Exit Station”. The fare for the Incomplete trip pushed the Oyster to £-0.55.

    Very little detail is shown on the form. The reason ticked is ‘No Ticket’. The form shows a total due of £20.00. My partner didn’t actually pay on the spot so this is still owed.

    Having now seen the journey history I would take issue with the “No Ticket” reason that was ticked. Obviously there was enough for a return journey to Clapham. There just wasn’t enough to pay the fare for an Incomplete journey.

    A sensible explanation from the inspector would have been good but having talked to him, heard what my other half said, looked at the statement and looked at the form I’d argue that he didn’t actually understand what he was trying to explain anyway.

    Given these circumstances and details what should have been done by the inspector and what penalty fare should he actually have levied over and above the fare already taken? Is the ‘No Ticket’ reason actually valid?

    Cheers!

    Huon

  71. Hi Mike,

    Very interesting site! I have a question about oystercard fare capping (leaving aside NR). I understand that the off-peak and peak journeys are essentially capped separately, with the overall daily charge not exceeding the greater of the two caps. But if all the peak-time journeys are in zone 1, while the off-peak journeys are in zones 1-3, does this mean that the daily cost is capped at the peak rate for zone 1 only journeys (£8.40) or the peak rate for zone 1-3 journeys (£10.60) (assuming that the off-peak journeys in zone 1-3 reach the cap of £7.70)?

    • Hi Sam,

      Interesting question. Travel in zone 3 cannot be constrained by the zone 1-2 cap. Your travel costs will be capped by the earlier of the zone 1-4 off-peak cap for your off-peak travel or the zone 1-4 peak cap for your daily travel. Looking at it the other way round, if you travel in the morning peak from zone 6 to zone 1 and then spend the rest of the day after 0930 travelling in zones 1 and 2 before getting a lift home, you will be capped at the zone 1-2 off-peak rate of £7.00 plus your single journey in from zone 6.

      I hope that helps.

  72. Hello,

    I got stung by the insane fare calculations yesterday – got on train at Queenstown Road, traveled one stop to Clapham Junction & changed to London Overground to get to Dalston Kingsland. Was expecting to pay £1.50, since the route is all zone 2. But got charged £3.80

    Was hoping this is an error & I would be able to get the excess refunded, but the official fares calculator shows me the same price – I suppose because Queenstown Road is only served by SW Trains.

    Thanks to your website, I’ve learnt my lesson – I could easily have got to Clapham Junction instead, if I’d but known!

    • Hi Alex,

      You’re right, that is insane. I think that’s one that where they seriously ought to reconsider. When the fares were set there weren’t that many through trains from Clapham to Dalston, but now there are plenty it has to pass the test as a reasonable route based on fewest changes. I’d be inclined to write to the helpdesk and ask them to refer the matter to the fares team.

      In the meantime it is cheaper to touch out and back in at Clapham Junction and pay two zone 2 fares rather than pay the mixed travel premium for the two zone journey accross London.

  73. hi mike….i lived in streatham…my uni is at west london….i used to get underground at tooting broadway>stockwell>victoria>ealing broadway,,,the cost of two ways is about 6.20£
    if i choose streatham common national rail near my home to victoria then ealing,,,is there any difference between the cost of fare in this type of journey??if differnce could you please tell me how much
    thnxxx

    • Hi Andrew,

      You don’t really want to know! You are much better off making the whole journey on TfL rail services. If you want to combine NR and TfL rail on a journey that goes to or through zone 1 then there is at least a £1.40/£1.20 surcharge per journey.

    • You can get a refund of unused credit on any Oyster card, including visitor ones. You don’t get a refund of the initial fee for a visitor card, whereas you do get a refund of the deposit on a normal card.

  74. Dear Mike,

    I’m new to Oystercard travelling as of this morning and find the tfl website really quite confusing. Here is the journey I did this morning:

    Whitton (zone 5)-Waterloo (zone 1)
    Waterloo (zone 1) -Marylebone (zone 1)

    I travelled on peak times, and thought this be a simple zone 1-5 peak fare, but I was charged £5.90. Would you be able to enlighten me on this?

    Many thanks, Matthew

    • Hi Matthew,

      There is a premium for using both NR and TfL in any journey including zone 1. TfL calls this the NR Through rate and applies to any journey including both NR and either LU or DLR. It doesn’t apply if the NR journey is entirely on London Overground or one of the lines that joined the Oyster system before 2010. See the definitions page for more detail on that.

      Hope this helps.

  75. Hi Mike

    Can you please help me with this problem . I am required to travel from post code SM6 7DT to W12 8AA . If I buy a 7 day travel card do I need to buy a zone 2-4 card or a zone 1- 4 card ?

    Which is my cheapest option .

    Thanks Mike

    A

    • It depends which way you go. The journey planner is suggesting Hackbridge to Clapham Junction to Shepherd’s Bush. That only requires zones 2-4. You would only need zone 1 if you want to go via Central London. A zone 2-4 weekly travelcard costs £24.20 while each single journey in the peak is £2.40. There’s not much in it if you make 10 single peak journeys. If it’s less than that, or some of the journeys might be outside the peak, then you might be better off using PAYG.

  76. Hi Mike,

    I travel from kingsbury (z-4) to canary wharf (Z-2), if i use jubliee line than i have to pass through zone 1 to reach canary wharf. So can i use zone 2-4 pass or i have to pay for zone 1 as well?

    Thanks
    sagar

    • Hi Sagar,

      There are two routes from Kingsbury to Canary Wharf. One is via the Jubilee line direct and does indeed require travel through zone 1. The other is to use London Overground between West Hampstead and Stratford and for this there is no zone 1 requirement. You may find the cheapest way to do this is to have a zones 2-4 travelcard and use LO most of the time, but also have some PAYG credit available so that it can deduct the £2 zone 1 single fare if you go direct.

      Hope this helps.

  77. Hi Mike
    I took LU at Euston station to Hoxton Overground station.
    Hoxton is both z1 and 2 but I was charged peak time on peak time journey 2.70 rather than 2pound, zone1 only fare.
    Why I need to pay 0.70 more?

    • Because you went through zone 2 to get there. The only zone 1 only journey which is possible from Hoxton is to Shoreditch High Street.

  78. Thanks very much Mike!

    That helps alot. It actually accords with what the girl on the Oystercard helpline told me — though she didn’t explain it at all as clearly!

    Sam

  79. Hi Mike and Everyone,

    I need some help figuring out the cheapest way to get from london liverpool street or bethnal green to cheshunt -every day for work. I have a 16 -25 card and was wondering if there was an annual railcard that would cover this route as well as free travel around zones 1 and 2. I would really appreciate any advice of help!

    • Hi Anna,

      Unfortunately Cheshunt is outside the Oyster area at the moment. Your 16-25 card will not help with season tickets, so there is little you can do. Your choices are a London terminals to Cheshunt season at £47/week or a Cheshunt to Zones 1-6 season at £67.30/week. Annual tickets are 40x the weekly cost.

  80. Hi Mike and everyone,
    Left this a little late.. but anyways.. I’m starting work at St.Helier Hospital tomorrow and I’m looking for the cheapest way of getting there Mon-Friday from Highbury&Islington. If I buy a zone 2-4 travelcard, will I get charged more for going through zone 1? If you have any alternative route, (trains?) please advise ;)Thanks very much in advance!

    • Hi Daryl,

      There is only one fare between Highbury & Islington and St Helier, so whichever way you go you will be charged for a zone 1 journey. There is another route which you could consider, and avoids zone 1, but you need to be very careful using it. The route is Overground from Highbury to West Brompton, District to Wimbledon then FCC to St Helier. If you make this journey then you MUST touch out and in again at West Brompton. It is not enough to use the pink validator at West Brompton because that would only work if the Oyster system offered an avoiding zone 1 fare. Thus Highbury to West Brompton will be treated as a zone 2 only journey and West Brompton to St Helier as a zone 2-4 journey.

      If you buy a zone 2-4 travelcard then you can always go through zone 1 as long as you have £2 PAYG credit available. The difference between a zone 2-4 and a zone 1-4 weekly travelcard is £17.60, so you can make 8 zone 1 trips without making it more expensive.

  81. Hi Mike,
    Im planning a college trip to Thorpe Park but Im finding it difficult to figure out the cost of the journey, can you please tell me how much it’ll cost each person to get to Thorpe Park from Liverpool street?
    We all have 16+ student oyster cards.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Sophia,

      Thorpe Park recommend Staines as the best rail station to use which is outsode the Oyster area (just). There are some special combined travel and admission tickets from SWT which might be of use.

  82. Hi Mike,
    Yesterday I was on the 11.23 Grand Central from Kings Cross. My intention was to get the 10.32 FCC from East Croydon to St Pancras,however it was cancelled,so I had to use Southern to London Bridge and then the underground. Of course,on PAYG this cost me more than using the direct FCC train would have done. Would I be entitled to a refund of the difference?

    • Hi Phil,

      I don’t think so, unfortunately. Your best bet would be to write to FCC with your journey statement and ask if they would consider compensating you as they cancelled the direct train. I’m sure the Oyster helpdesk will not be interested because you paid for the route you took.

  83. how do i travel to oxford circus from marks gate romford without paying zone 1 fares. Because i discovered that it only cost £24.80 for zone 2-4 and 41.80 for zone 1-4.
    thanks

    • Hi Olu,

      Short answer is you don’t. Oxford Circus is a zone 1 station so you have to pay for zone 1 to get there. You will need to travel from Newbury Park on the Central Line to start from zone 4. Your nearest station is Chadwell Heath in zone 5. If you have a travelcard and really want to avoid zone 1 then you have to get off the train in zone 2 and take a bus. Bethnal Green is the last Central Line station in zone 2, or you can change at Stratford and take the Overground line to somewhere like Camden Road.

  84. Cheers Mike. I’ve emailed the help desk and will let you know their response.

  85. Mike, I’ll be starting a new job tommorrow in cheshunt from stratford. Can i use oster from stratford to waltham cross or to cheshunt? Does oyster apply to the buses in waltham cross and cheshunt?

    • Both Cheshunt and Waltham Cross are outside the Oyster area so you cannot use it to get there by train. If the buses are red and run as TfL services then you can use Oyster on them.

  86. Thanks for the informative site – I thought I’d understood my part of the Oyster world but then got confused with a fare, and wondered if someone could explain!

    I have a Z2+Z3 travelcard. I went from Hayes & Harlington (Z5) to Putney Bridge (Z2), changing to the District Line at London Paddington (Z1), starting at about 17.00 Friday and changing at Paddington about 17.35. I made the OSI in time. I didn’t use the bible of the single fare finder in advance, thinking this would be an off-peak Z5->Z1 fare, £2.90. The fare finder reveals that actually this should be £4.40. I was actually charged £3.50, presumably helped by the travelcard. So my questions are:

    (a) Why is this not a straight Z1-Z5 fare, even forgetting the travelcard? H&H to London Paddington is all ‘green’ on the Oyster map, so I don’t understand why the fare finder lists a higher fare for changing in Paddington.

    (b) How did my travelcard work here? I didn’t expect any benefit from it, as I crossed straight through my zones. Clearly, though, on the Paddington -> Putney Bridge journey, it’s helped as Putney Bridge is Z2.

    (c) Why does the fare finder list this as a peak hours journey? And which bits of my journey got charged on- and off peak?

    If it helps, my statement says (nb, times are +1hr at present!):

    17:58 – 19:07 Hayes & Harlington [National Rail] to Putney Bridge £3.50 £14.60
    19:07 Touch out, Putney Bridge +£1.40 £14.60
    18:30 Touch in, Paddington (Circle/District and Bakerloo gates only) £2.00 £13.20
    18:25 Touch out, Paddington (H&C line) & [National Rail] +£2.00 £15.20
    17:58 Touch in, Hayes & Harlington [National Rail] £4.90 £13.20

    Sorry for so many questions, but I regard this site as the bible for these things!

    Many thanks,
    Mabs

    • Hi Mabs,

      Where a travelcard covers the middle zones of a journey you get charged the cheaper of (a) the fare for the whole journey, and (b) the sum of the fares for the zones either side. In this case the whole journey was peak because it ended outside zone 1 and would have cost £4.40 as you say. Zone 4-5 peak is £1.50 and zone 1 peak is £2.00 giving a total of £3.50 which is what you were charged.

      However, there is a way to get this journey cheaper. If you get off at Earls Court and touch out then you finish the journey in zone 1 so it becomes off-peak and the whole fare of £2.90 is then cheaper. Then you touch back in and go to Putney Bridge for a jourmey wholly within zone 2 so covered by the travelcard. All this because Earls Court is in both zone 1 and zone 2.

      But wait, if you avoid Paddington it’s even cheaper. Change at Ealing Broadway and Earls Court and you will only be charged a zone 4-5 peak single at £1.50.

      Hope this helps.

  87. Hi Mike,

    Thanks, that does help me with the wrinkles I had not understood, and this was my first experience of the Z1 peak/offpeak thing too. In theory, I was using Paddington to be quickest, but alas the District Line had other ideas!

    I certainly wouldn’t have thought of the dance at Ealing Broadway, though, which is useful to bear in mind; and the Earls Court option is also something I hadn’t appreciated was possible. I guess the trouble with them both is that I would lose my train and have to wait for the next one.

    Though – there are standalone readers at Ealing Broadway, so could I use those twice in immediate succession (out, back in) without actually crossing the gateline, or would that get me some kind of fare confusion?

    Thanks again,
    Mabs

    • Hi,

      You don’t need to touch out and in at Earls Court if you’ve come from Ealing Broadway because you’re never getting into zone 1 then. You also don’t need to touch anything at Ealing Broadway because using that option you don’t need to split the journey in two. The out and in was only to force the journey via Paddington to end in zone 1 and thus be off-peak.

      Also, the Ealing Broadway validators are set to continuation exit, so you couldn’t touch back in on them.

  88. hey mike im a bit confused on what to do, me and my boyfriend are going to london in 2 weeks n i want to get an oyster card but im unsure what to do.. we are travelling quite alot in a day and were there for 4 days so we need unlimited travel for a day. it says the fee for unlimited travel in zones 1-2 is £8.40 0ff peak n £7.00 peak but i was wondering how do i do this on oyster card do just put a certain amount of money on it before i go and put 30 pound n when i come to get on train will it give me a choice for the unlimited day travel or is there a different way to go about it.. i hope you understand what i mean i think its a bit like going the ticket station and asking for and asking for and all day ticket or all day travel card but i just don’t no how to do it on an oyster card and also off and on peak what one would be better for the way im travelling around London because i don’t really get it n we are travelling around all day in zones 1-2 leaving from around 9-10 in morning 11 at night please help me im clueless with stuff like this pleas reply soon thank you . sophie

    • Hi Sophie,

      Don’t panic! First off, for just zone 1-2 you are looking at a peak cap of £8.40 and off-peak of £7.00. The difference is whether you start your first journey before 9.30am (which is peak) or after (which is off-peak). As you can see there isn’t a lot of difference in zones 1-2, it gets bigger the further out you go from the middle. Also, weekends and bank holidays are off-peak all day.

      You will each need an Oyster card and you can add credit to it whenever you want. Let’s assume that one day you make six zone 1 tube journeys all off-peak. The first one will cost £2.00, as will the second and third. The fourth one will only cost £1.00 because the cap will have been reached. Thereafter the rest of the journeys are free, but you must still touch in and out at each end. You never actually ask for a travelcard, just when you reach the price of a travelcard the Oyster system caps and stops charging you. As long as you have enough credit to cover the cap for the day you should be fine. The beauty of the Oyster system is that should you end up only making three zone 1 tube journeys one day (because you spent longer at a museum than planned for instance) then you will only be charged £6.00.

      Hope that helps.

  89. hello mike, do you know how much will I be charged from oakleigh park (NR)-harringay – OSI – harringay green ln – richmond (overground) (I travelling with bicycle)
    TFl quotes me 3.70 and offers me only one cheaper route through highbury and islington interchange which I can’t use due to cycle ban on NR from drayton park towards zone 1.
    Thanks

    • Hi Toni,

      Well, first off it should charge you the same avoiding zone 1 fare. I am aware of other journeys where using a different interchange or pink validator to the one specified in the single fare finder still results in the right fare being charged. I’m also aware of one place where it doesn’t work, but TfL have set up a system of auto refunds to return the overcharge. So, my advice is to try it and see what it charges. If it thinks you’ve gone through zone 1 then come back here and I’ll assist getting the issue rectified.

      Good luck,
      Mike.

  90. Hi mike. If I wanted to go from acton town to seven sisters and changing at green park is it ok to get a zone 2-3 and just have my oyster loaded with payg instead of getting a 1-3 travelcard?
    Thanks
    Ella

    • Hi Ella,

      Yes, you can always mix a travelcard and PAYG. Just make sure that you touch in at the beginning and touch out at the end and always have enough credit to pay for the zone 1 journey.

  91. Thanks Mike, I was charged 1.80 for Oakleigh park (NR)-Harringay – OSI – Harringay green ln – Richmond (overground) – although I touched the pink reader at Gospel Oak for additional info to the system :-); it seems it does not matter if the route was offered on TFL single fare finder or not as long is reasonable.
    On the return journey I was unlucky. I accidentally touched twice on Harringey NR station (actually it seems I was holding the card too long on the reader) and my balance dropped from 3.60 after I left the Harringay green lanes, to 40p…Nonsense because it’s no barrier station so way would somebody do that here on purpose..Evening, no staff, no ticket office, touched again in, had to travel last part without proper ticket…touched at oakleigh park out, beep beep seek assistance etc…no barrier, no staff, goodbye.
    Should I try to ask for refund tomorrow or this is to time consuming?
    Thanks

    • Sorry for the delay replying Toni,

      It sounds like you have managed to confuse the system by holding the card too long over the validator. Unfortunately this is a side effect of using the same validators for both entry and exit. I would definitely call the helpdesk and ask them to refund the overcharge. They will be able to see what has happened so there should be no problems.

      As for the route, I’m not surprised that it was valid, and in these pro-bike days I think advertising the alternatives to changing at Highbury & Islington would be a good idea.

  92. I recently travelled from East Croydon to Hendon (National Rail) changing at Clapham Junction, and West Hampstead, and was charged £2.80 the same as if I’d gone through Zone 1.

    TFL’s Single Fare Finder does not give an alternative fare avoiding Zone 1, although the route I took seemed perfectly viable. However, if you look up the route on nationalrail.co.uk and put in Via West Hampstead it suggests a single Oyster fare of £2.10 – hence why I thought it worth a try.

    Would this be one of those journeys where you get charged as if you’d travelled via Zone 1, no matter how you actually did travel? If so, is there any point in querying it with TFL?

    I think it would be good if an alternative fare could be put on their system using the route I took.

    • Hi Mark,

      There are lots of holes in the method that NRE use to suggest equivalent Oyster fares. You could ask TfL to consider allowing the alternative route, although the direct route via Farringdon doesn’t incur the mixed mode surcharge and is considerably quicker, so I’m not sure that they would see it as a popular alternative.

  93. Mike – I just called TfL who said East Croydon – Hendon is pre-defined as including Zone 1, regardless of the actual route taken.

    However, the route I took will be considered as an official alternative fare on the next review, which is imminent.

  94. Hiya Mike,
    Is there a way of me travelling from Barking zone 4 to pinner zone 5. i plan on taking overground from barking to gospel oak and changing at gospel oak for another overground to west hampstead, hence i get the jubilee line towards west ham stopping at finchley road and hopping on the metropolitan line to pinner. did i successfully avoid zone 1, or is there something else i could do

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes, that is a version of the cheap route. Make sure you touch the pink validator at Gospel Oak when you change there. You can also go via West Ham and Stratford, touching on the pink validator at Stratford as you change, and on both versions of the route you can also walk between Finchley Road and Frognal and Finchley Road.

  95. Hi Mike,

    can you help me in finding the best way to travel from Hounslow east(zone4) to whitechapel (zone2) without paying fare of zone 1. I am in a real mess due to cost of zone 1 falling on me even though I am not working there. 🙁

    • Sorry Pawan,

      I can’t see any reasonable route to avoid zone 1 for that journey. If you have a zone 2-4 travelcard then you could try going via Stratford, but this involves either changing at Turnham Green and Gunnersbury or Earls Court and West Brompton. Additionally you would need to exit and re-enter at Stratford before continuing via Mile End to Whitechapel. That would work with a season, but not using PAYG fares because the overall cost would be higher.

  96. Why does Oyster charge me £2.60 to travel from East Finchley to Dalston Kingsland, even though it knows (because I have to touch out at Camden Town and back in at Camden Road) that I haven’t gone through Zone 1. I understand how some journeys are ‘deemed’ to be Zone 1, but I can’t actually think of a logical way to make this journey via Zone 1 which anyone with the slightest knowledge of London Transport wouldn’t immediately say takes longer (perhaps they are thinking of Euston-H&I but… really!). What exactly is the point of the Camden out-of-station interchange if this route doesn’t work?

    • Hi Terry,

      This is a known issue. TfL have agreed with London Travelwatch to issue automatic refunds to people making similar journeys. You should get an email after a couple of days and the refund should then be picked up next time you touch at the chosen station. If this isn’t happening then contact the helpdesk and mention the agreement with LTW concerning Northern Line to North London Line via Camden/Kentish Town and they should look into it and resolve it.

      As to the reason why, you’ve hit the nail squarely on the head mentioning Euston and Highbury because that is exactly what they think you’ve done. It’s a problem with the way the routes are defined which means that they can’t tell the difference between the two routes at the time of touch out. Retrospectively they can see you avoided zone 1 when examining the full history, hence the automatic refund. I’m hoping that they will be able to resolve the issue properly, but it is not just a simple change to the fares database.

  97. Hi Mike
    Thanks. Yes in fact almost as soon as I saw your reply I got the email, and its been successfully credited to my card. Though they credited back the full £2.60 not the difference to the correct fare, so it appears that until they resolve this issue in their route programming software you can do this journey for free. I’m obviously not complaining.
    Great website by the way, what a fantastic source of information.

    • Hi Terry,

      That was my experience too. I gather that if you make a return trip you only get one back, which is more-or-less right depending on the length of the journey. It’s certainly a lot better than saying “tough”.

  98. hi ,
    i was surfing the net with my problem and this page looks the most active . guys please help me out i have just shifted to london and have a 18+ oyster and 16-25 national rail card , so anybody knows what do i use if i have to get from waterloo to kingston ? or i can use both of them by clubbing them ?
    please advice me !

    • Hi Jay,

      You can add your 16-25 discount entitlement onto your 18+ Oyster card. The two offer discounts in different ways, the NR one is 1/3 off off-peak single fares and caps, while the TfL discount is off period travelcards.

  99. Mike, different question this time to the volunteer oyster card I have been posting to your website. It transpires we cannot use the oyster card to help pay towards fare to any further training. Therefore I’m looking to travel from St Albans to Woolwich Arsenal (but VIA Stratford International using the high speed train, as this is the route I plan to take when I do actually volunteer). Travelling on a Saturday, with a network railcard, nationalrail website automatically comes up with a £7.90 travelcard. When I drill down further into the details it does state to transfer at St Pancras to Stratford International and then pick up the DLR from Stratford International down to Woolwich Arensal DLR – albeit changing at Canning Town.
    Are you aware if this travelcard ticket for £7.90 can be use on on the High Speed train. National Rail website certainly suggests it a a route to take as an interchange station. I e-mailed nationalrail and they said yes. I wonder if I should e-mail Southeastern as well but just wondering if you definitely knew one way or another. Thank you

    • Hi Stacey,

      I can’t seem to get the NRE journey planner to offer me routes via Stratford. Every time I’m given just one change at London Bridge. If you can get an itinerary printed from the National Rail website and take it with you, it could help, but I wouldn’t like to suggest that you’d have no problems. I don’t think that Southeastern will agree that it is valid.

  100. Hi guys!
    I have a question, I have 16+ card and monthly travel card to zones 2-3. My everyday journey is from Streatham Common-Clapham Junction-Willesden Junction- Acton Central (zones 2-3 only!) everyday i have been charged additional 1,6 or 1,4 GBP Why????

    • Hi Lukas,

      TfL consider that the number of changes required means that most people would go via zone 1, so there is only one fare available which is the via zone 1 fare. However, you can force the system to notice that you’ve avoided zone 1 by touching out and in again at Willesden Junction. Note that you must use the yellow validators at the exit rather than the pink route validators. This will give you Streatham Common to Willesden Junction and Willesden Junction to Acton Central which are both charged without zone 1 by default. As you have a travelcard you can make as many journeys as you want in a day.

  101. can one get a london day travel-card with NR discount loaded on the oyster ?

    AND WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST AND CHEAPEST WAY TO TRAVEL FROM BERMONDSEY TO KINGSTON ( THRICE A WEEK ) . I HAVE A 18+OYSTER AS WELL AS A NR 16+25 CARD . HOW DO I MAKE USE OF BOTH OF THESE CARDS .. THANX …..

    • 1) Please avoid shouting by using lower case letters.

      2) No, a day travelcard cannot be loaded onto an Oyster. If the railcard is linked to the Oyster then the off-peak caps will be reduced by 1/3. See this page on my site for further details about getting the two cards linked.

      3) I’ve already explained to you that you can’t use both discounts together. The 16-25 card discounts day tickets whereas the 18+ card discounts period travelcards.

      4) There is only one set of fares from Bermondsey to Kingston, £6.90 peak or £3.05 off-peak with railcard discount. The 18+ discounted zones 1-6 travelcard is £37.30. If your three return journeys are all at peak time then the travelcard will be cheaper – just.

      5) You may wish to consider using South Bermondsey instead. There are several sets of fares from there to Kingston. If you travel via Waterloo East and Waterloo then the fares are £5.50 peak and £2.25 off-peak with railcard. However, if you travel via Tulse Hill and Wimbledon then this comes down to £3.60 peak and £1.50 off-peak with railcard. That journey will probably take longer, but avoids zone 1 hence the low cost.

  102. The best information blog i have ever come across on london travel .
    Hey mike , ok so my friend told me this just correct me if am wrong , like i have zone 1 to 2 monthly travel card activated on my student oyster . Does it entitle me to travel on buses from zone 1 to 6 ?

    • Hi rosh,

      Yes it does cover all TfL run buses, even those that extend beyond the zonal area. Note that it doesn’t entitle you to travel free on Croydon’s trams as it doesn’t cover any of the zones that the routes run through.

  103. Hi I’m a student living in Kingston and will need to travel to Birkbeck in central London. If I purchase a yearly travel card for a one off fee, will this cover my journeys or will I have to pay extra depending on where I travel in and out of London?

    • Hi Kay,

      You would need a zone 1-6 travelcard and that would cover you for all travel on rail, buses, tube and dlr (except St Pancras International to Stratford International and Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow Airport). If you want to try and reduce the cost then a zone 2-6 travelcard would allow you to travel to Vauxhall by rail and then use buses to get into Central London.

      Hope that helps.

  104. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the great source of information.
    I have recently started a commute from Vauxhall to Richmond and back every day. I have been paying for it on PAYG oyster (2.40 each way on peak) but having discovered your site I’m wondering if there’s a better way to go about it. I have a 16-25 railcard which I now understand I can add to my oyster and add a season as well. However, when I search on the TFL website it seems a weekly season would cost 24.20 – 20pence more than 5 return journeys on PAYG. Also I occasionally continue past Vauxhall in the evenings to Waterloo, it seems in this case an oyster season is much more useful than a paper ticket as only the additional from Vauxhall to waterloo would be charged to the PAYG. Is that correct?

    • Hi Richard,

      A travelcard is often not cheaper than 10 simple single journeys. It is most useful if you need buses as well, or your journey includes tube and national rail. If your Oyster had a season on it then yes, you would only be charged for the extra zone to get to Waterloo. But if you were using PAYG then the extra would be less than a zone 1 single. If you have a paper season then you would need to get out at Vauxhall to touch the Oyster and take the next train. Fortunately they are quite frequent between Vauxhall and Waterloo, plus because Vauxhall is in both zones 1 and 2 you won’t be overcharged anyway.

      Hope that helps.

  105. Hi Mike,

    2 questions:

    1. I am going to buy an annual oyster to travel from Hackney Central to Kensington Olympia, sometimes going into Zone 1 on weekends. Do I need to purchase Zone 1-2 or a Zone 1-3 fare; it’s confusing as Willesden Junction on the Overground Line sits on the border between Zones 2 and 3. By going through Willesden Junction am I expected to hold a valid Oyster for Zone 3 as well?

    2. I was using a registered pay as you go Oyster Card which I lost. Before I was able to cancel I had a message from TfL to say that due to an operational error I was due 4.50 on my card and to touch in at my local station with the card. I then phoned up and cancelled the lost card and registered a new pay-as-you-go Oyster card on my account. How can I now claim the amount owed to me due to the error but have it put on my new card?

    Thank you!
    Victoria

    • Hi Victoria,

      1) Your journey from Hackney to Kensington uses two of the zone 2 approaches to Willesden Junction so you don’t need zone 3. However, you need to weigh up how many times you will go into zone 1 versus the reduced price of a zone 2-3 travelcard. Weekly, zone 2-3 costs £22.00 while zone 1-2 costs £29.20. Each single trip into zone 1 or out again costs £2.00. Buses are free throughout London with any travelcard, regardless of the zones. The annual travelcard costs 40 times the weekly one.

      2) It should be a simple phone call th the helpdesk. They will either put the refund on your new card or send it direct to your bank.

      Hope that helps.

  106. Hi Mike,

    A question re. the all-knowing single-fare finder. I’m going Clapham Junction -> Southwark, around 18.30 on a weekday. The fare finder says this can be done for £2.00, or £3.60/3.70 via Vauxhall/Waterloo respectively. How would I obtain the £2 fare? All I can think of is Overground -> West Brompton + District -> Westminster + Jubilee->Southwark. Am I missing a trick and there is actually a sane route for £2?

    Relatedly, I’m actually arriving Clapham Junction on a Gold Card National Rail only season from Basingstoke. Am I forced to disembark the Waterloo-bound train all the way to the gateline in order to Oyster back in? Otherwise it seems I have to pay the fare in cash CLJ->WAT and then Oyster Waterlook->Southwark, obviously over-paying.

    It occurs to me that I could buy a CLJ->WAT single in Basingstoke station, using my Gold Card discount = £1.85, and then a TfL-only Z1 single likewise Waterloo->Southwark = £2 (or is it £1.30 – I assume it’s not off-peak in Z1 at 18.30). Total = 3.85, which is close to the £3.70 via Waterloo and avoids losing my train in Clapham Junction.

    …which leads me to a (yet further) question: in NR+TfL mixed Oyster fares like Clapham Junction to Southwark via Waterloo, do Gold Card discounts apply off-peak?
    Many thanks,
    Tam

    • Hi Tam,

      Lots of questions, hopefully a few answers here …

      1) Clapham Junction to Southwark for £2 is via West Brompton and Westminster as that is TfL only.
      2) To switch to Oyster PAYG at Clapham Junction you will need to exit the gateline and come back in.
      3) Gold card discounts apply to all Oyster off-peak fares and the off-peak caps as well. The gold card has to be logged on the Oyster at an Underground station before that works.
      4) You won’t get a discount at 1830 on a single fare (but the lower cap would apply if you reached it).
      5) There might be another way. Southwark is the opposite end of Waterloo East station to Waterloo mainline. If you have used Oyster to get to Waterloo then you can pass through Waterloo East and Southwark tube station for no charge. I’m not sure that it would work with a rail only paper ticket though. The single fare from Clapham Junction to Waterloo is £2.30 peak or £1.20 off-peak with railcard. I wouldn’t take the tube from Waterloo to Southwark on it’s own as it’s almost certainly quicker to walk.

      Hope that helps.

  107. Hello Mike

    Just to say that you got a great website. Just wondering can I use my pay as you go oyster card on First Captial Connect. I am going to St Albans from Kentish Town.
    Thanks
    Neil

  108. Hi Mike,

    I am very much surprised to see your committment to help people like me who are confused with oyster system.

    I would appreciate if you can guide me for my route.

    I am planning to travel from Wembley park station to Potters bar railway station on daily bases. I have checked this route on TFL website / national rail which shows me that I need to go to king cross london via tube (monthly oyster travel card -Zone 1 to 4 – GBP160.60) and then I need to take national rail to potters bar (monthly rail card – GBP 177.10). Thus my monthly cost goes to around GBP 337.72,which I cant afford.

    Hence, I tried to search some alternative route which showed me that I can travel from wembley park station to london king’s cross with metropolitan line and from there I can catch picadilly line toward Arnos grove. This will be covered with monthly oyster travel card of GBP 160.60 (I assume that monthly oyester card from wembley park to arnos grove will be zone 1 to 4 card costing 160.60 – am I right?) and then I can travel from arnos grove to potters bar railway station via bus, which will be free because of my monthly oyster travel card. This will cause me to spend 37 minutes extra on either way daily, but it will save my 170 bucks on monthly bases.

    Do you have any other option which can save my money by any other way?

    Thanks a lot in anticipation.

    Regards,

    Dhaval

    • Hi Dharval,

      There are a few options (and none of them cost over £300!)

      Firstly, with a zone 1-4 travelcard you only need to buy a paper season from Oakleigh Park to Potters Bar as long as you are prepared to travel on trains that call at Oakleigh Park. This costs £83.40/month. Or you can get a season between Potters Bar and London zones 5-6 for £129.80 which can be used on non-stop trains. You don’t have to touch in and out at both ends of a journey if it is covered by a season on your Oyster, so there is no problem there.

      Secondly, if you change at West Hampstead and Highbury & Islington then you only need zones 2-4 for the London end of the journey. This then only costs £93.00/month. As it is on Oyster you can always go via zone 1 on the odd occasion for an extra £2.00 off your PAYG balance. And yes, as long as the bus to Potters Bar is a TfL bus then it is free with any travelcard on your Oyster.

      So, you have the following monthly options:
      £93.00 – rail avoiding zone 1 to either Oakleigh Park or Arnos Grove then bus. Z2-4
      £114.40 – rail avoiding zone 1 to either New Barnet or Cockfosters then bus. Z2-5
      £160.60 – rail including zone 1 to either Oakleigh Park or Arnos Grove then bus. Z1-4
      £173.40 – rail avoiding zone 1 and the train must call at Oakleigh Park*. Z2-4 + OKL-PBR
      £191.30 – rail including zone 1 to either New Barnet or Cockfosters then bus. Z1-5
      £222.80 – rail avoiding zone 1 but no need to call at Oakleigh Park*. Z2-4 + PBR-Z5-6
      £244.00 – rail including zone 1 and the train must call at Oakleigh Park. Z1-4 + OKL-PBR
      £290.40 – complete freedom! Z1-4 + PBR-Z5-6

      * If you choose to go via zone 1 for £2.00 a journey then you MUST touch in and out somewhere in zones 2-4 either side of your time in zone 1.

      Hope that gives you a bit to think about.

  109. Mike – thanks for the detailed answers. The idea of walking through the Waterloos to Southwark is an interesting one!

  110. Hi Mike

    I am starting my new job at ealing broadway and will be traveling from dagenham heathway station. traveling both ends at peak times.
    1) Would like to know the cheapest travel on cost route.

    tom

    • Hi Tom,

      At the moment the cheapest route will be to change at Barking, Gospel Oak and Shepherd’s Bush which will keep you out of zone 1. Later in the year you will have an alternative changing at Whitechapel, Clapham Junction and Shepherd’s Bush when the new South London extension to the East London Line opens. Both routes will cost the same.

  111. Hi Mike. I will soon be making regular (daily) journeys between wood side tramlink via east Croydon to Gerrards cross. I have done this before with Oyster PAYG wood side to east Croydon then a return paper ticket to GC. Is it worth getting (and viable) a travel card in my Oyster to south ruislip and another travel card to Gerrards cross. Can the second one be loaded onto my oyster and do I need to get off at SR to touch out?

    • Hi selt852,

      For East Croydon to South Ruislip (and the tram) you need a zone 1-5 travelcard. Within zones 1-5 you do not need to touch in or out if there are no gates to be opened so you wouldn’t need to get out at South Ruislip. You can’t put an out-boundary ticket on an Oyster card, so South Ruislip to Gerrards Cross would need to be on paper. If both your travelcard (on Oyster) and the paper ticket are seasons then the train does need to call at South Ruislip.

      If that is a problem then you need to make the paper ticket a Gerrards Cross to zone 5-6 travelcard season and only put zones 1-4 on your Oyster. You’d also need to use the paper season at East Croydon. Because both seasons would then be zonal there is no requirement for the train to stop. You have to include at least two zones on any travelcard season, hence the split at zone 4-5.

  112. Hi mike thanks. So I would need to get into EC station using a paper ticket season that was a season ticket to Gerrards cross from Zone 5-6 and it would be sufficient to have the travel card for zones 1-4 on my oyster but not have to touch in and out. Is that correct? What if my other journeys are from EC to zone 1 yet I don’t want to have to on a train that stops at south ruislip only passes through it!

    I guess what I really want to know is the cheapest and quickest way to get from EC to Gerrards cross which is by children railway , while still being able to get from EC to aldgate or shore ditch which ate the neatest stations to my main place of work!

    • Unfortunately cheapest and fastest don’t always go together with rail fares. I’ve looked in more detail at your options and it appears that a paper travelcard from Gerrards Cross to London zones 1-6 is actually the cheapest at £75.80/week. If you don’t need to go to Gerrards Cross every day then you might be better off with a zones 1-5 travelcard on Oyster at £49.80/week and a return from South Ruislip to Gerrards Cross at £5.50/day. Because only one of the tickets is a season ticket you can use this combination on fast trains that don’t call at South Ruislip. When using the Oyster card with a travelcard season loaded on it you don’t need to touch in or out when in your zones unless you need to open gates or you are travelling beyond the zones using your PAYG balance (which won’t work to Gerrards Cross).

  113. Hi Mike

    If i use a mixture of tube and buses does the daily cap apply on the oyster card or are bus travel counted as seperate

    Thanks

    Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      Buses count first towards the daily bus cap of £4.20 and then towards the relevant daily travelcard cap. You stop paying on buses (and trams) as soon as one of them is reached.

  114. Hi Mike

    I travel from King George V DLR station to Bromley South by taking DLR to Woolwich Arsenal and then take NR thru London bridge or Lewisham. If I take a zone 3 to zone 5 travelcard, would it be ok or do I need zone 1 to 5 as I am touching London bridge although I don’t change lines or touch out.
    Many thanks for all your help.

    • Hi Rana,

      The default route for your journey is via Lewisham, Catford Bridge and Catford. As long as you have enough PAYG balance to leave in zone 1 should you need to then you will be fine with a zone 3-5 travelcard. Also, you MUST ensure that you touch in at the start of your journey so that if your card is checked outside zones 3-5 it will show a recent validation.

      Finally, depending on where you go to in Bromley, have you considered Bromley North? It is in zone 4 and would mean you only needed zones 3-4. The route is via Lewisham and Grove Park and as above you will be fine outside of that route as long as you have a PAYG balance and a recent touch in.

      Hope that helps.

  115. Thanks Mike, I did check Bromley North but the small difference in the monthly card cost was not worth the longer walk I will have to take 🙂
    Thanks for the explanation though, saved me some money and gave me a lot of peace of mind

    Cheers

  116. Hi Mike, do you know why Oyser PAYG for zones 1-4 is £3.60 offpeak yet the journey between
    Goodmayes [National Rail] and London Bridge [London Underground] is £4.90?

    I dont understand why there is an extra charge?

    • Hi James,

      That’s the surcharge for mixing National Rail and TfL Rail on a journey involving zone 1.

  117. Hi
    Mike

    I need to go from walthamstow central to st johns wood, as i need to change tubes in between do i pay for a single fare of three ten or will it charge me for the interchange
    Thanks

    • Hi Sonal,

      It will charge £3.10 if the journey starts in the peak (0630-0930 or 1600-1900) or £2.60 at other times. Alternatively you can reduce that to £1.50/£1.40 by avoiding zone 1 and changing at Highbury & Islington and West Hampstead. Remember to touch on the pink validator on the NLL platforms at Highbury & Islington.

  118. Hi Mike,
    Okay so i go to university of Greenwich and my campus is based in eltham (Zone 4)
    So i get a bus from potters bar to cockfosters station (zone 5/6)
    If i was to get a monthly on my student oyster for zones 1-6 would i still be able to use the bus from potters bar to cockfosters with that same oyster or would i have to add extra just for that bus ride? if that made sense?

    • Hi Rae,

      TfL buses are free with any travelcard regardless of the zones covered, including sections which go outside the travelcard area. Cockfosters is in zone 5 so you would only need a zone 1-5 travelcard. If you were to continue on the bus to Arnos Grove you could then restrict the travelcard to just zones 1-4.

      Hope that helps.

  119. Hi Mike,
    I am moving to blackheath. I will need to get into central London via national rail and tfl.
    I have a 16-25 railcard.
    As Blackheath is in zone 3, will it charge the same as going to a tube station in zone 3 or would it cost more because of the combination of different travel types? I will be travelling into central London through zone 1, in this case would you recommend getting a travel card?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Jessica,

      Blackheath to Central London using both NR and TfL will involve the premium for mixing modes. If you are travelling there and back in peak hours then a travelcard will save you money. The 16-25 railcard has no effect on peak travel or travelcards, but can reduce the afternoon peak journey as part of the off-peak cap. However, if you only make one journey each way the afternoon fare will not be enough to trigger the cap. The other thing to bear in mind is that if you can travel instead from Lewisham on the DLR followed by a tube from Bank then all your travel would be TfL set fares and PAYG would probably be cheaper (unless you do lots of extra journeys). Lewisham is also dual zoned so starting there would only involve zones 1 and 2. Finally, a zone 1-2 travelcard would cover you to Lewisham either by DLR or NR and you could then get a bus to Blackheath for no extra charge; or if in a hurry you could occasionally stay on to Blackheath for a single zone 3 fare deducted from your PAYG balance.

      Hope that helps.

  120. Hi Mike – this is my first time using oyster card & national rail. I can’t work out whether it is better to use my oyster card from Coulsdon south to Paddington & then pay the rail fare to Bristol or pay the entire rail fare from C/South to Bristol. Can you help please? Thanks

    • Hi Shelley,

      It’s difficult to answer without knowing more about your intentions. The Oyster will be good value, especially if you are starting travelling outside the peak hours (0630-0930 & 1600-1900). Whether it is cheaper then the add-on to the London to Bristol ticket depends on what sort of ticket you get. In particular, it may be possible to get cheaper advance tickets for London to Bristol than a corresponding ticket including connections from Couldon.

      You might get a better answer from the fares and ticketing experts at http://www.railforums.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=105 if you can provide more details like times, dates, how much flexibility you need and whether you have any railcards.

  121. Hi Mike,

    I’m moving to Wimbledon, my closest station is Wimbledon Park and I work in Feltham. What is the cheapest way to make this journey?
    If I take the train from Wimbledon to Clapham Junction and then to Feltham do I need a zone 2-6 or just 3-6 oyster?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Nuno,

      The cheapest way is Wimbledon Park to East Putney then walk to Putney and take SWT from there. That avoids zone 2 completely and may be cheaper using PAYG unless you make more than the usual 5 return journeys a week. The same could also be said for going via Clapham Junction, but if you did get a travelcard then you would need zone 2 if using Clapham Junction.

  122. Hi Mike,
    I’m looking to travel from Denmark Hill to Stratford – tfl suggests taking train to Elephant and Castle and then changing to underground for the rest.
    I have a national railcard attached to my oyster so the single fare finder is quoting me just £1.05 (£2 peak). This seems surprisingly cheap to me given that it will involve taking rail and tube and going via zone 1, but there’s nothing on the fare finder that specifies which route to take.
    Do you know why it’s so cheap?

    • Hi John,

      My biggest bugbear with the single fare finder is that it doesn’t describe the default route. In this case the fare suggests a rail journey in two zones where neither is zone 1, so I’ll take a stab in the dark and go for Denmark Hill to Lewisham then DLR to Stratford.

      However, the only alternative route shown is changing to the Underground at one of the south London terminals. Quite often there are special fares when changing at Elephant and Castle (because it’s dual-zoned), so I have no idea what it will charge if you go that way. I can understand how one might be upset if it charges the same as via London, but my guess is that it will.

      The situation will change again in December when the quickest route is likely to be Overground to Canada Water then Jubilee, making it a TfL rail journey rather than a mixed NR+TfL. Could be one worth watching.

      Edit: In this case there is no benefit to changing at Elephant & Castle, so it will be the same as via London.

  123. Hi Mike,
    What do think the default route from Hither Green to West Dulwich is? Both of these are zone 3 NR stations and the sensible route (and the one suggested by the journey planner) would be to change at Petts Wood in zone 5. The fares given by the single fare finder are for a zone 2-3 or zone 3-4 fare rather than a 3-5 fare though.

    • I’m stumped. I think maybe they aren’t sure what the default route should be. I agree that via Petts Wood should be obvious, but I think it’s priced as Hither Green-Lewisham-Peckham Rye-Tulse Hill-Herne Hill-West Dulwich. Usually that would be deemed too many changes, so maybe they’ve just made a mistake?

  124. Hello Mike
    I’m just wondering would cost me a zone 2-3 cost £1.40-50 if I were to go from Dalston Kingsland Overground to Stratford (4 stops) then from Stratford to Cutty sark (around 13 stops)?
    And do i have to tap the pink validators? Would i get charged for tapping them? Lastly is the stratford overground in a different place to its DLR (i.e would i need to walk outside to find it like canary wharf)
    Thanks in advance for your Time.

    • Hi Abdul,

      The default route for Dalston Kingsland to Cutty Sark is via Stratford so there is no need to touch the pink validators there, but doing so will not make a difference to what you are charged. Stratford is all one station, albeit a very large one with platforms going in multiple directions. The Overground and DLR via Pudding Mill Lane are at opposite ends of the station, but you don’t need to exit to get between the platforms.

  125. Does 15.30 on my oyster get me a daily travel card zones 1-6 pls could you help

    • Hi Terry,

      £15.80 is the anytime cap on Oyster for zones 1-6. You will be charged up to that figure if you start travel before 0930 M-F depending on how much early travel you make. If you after 0930 travel reaches £8.50 before the all day travel reaches £15.80 then you’ll cap sooner.

  126. Hi Mike,

    I am going to study at Kingston Uni soon, and I am so confused. Sorry this can be long!

    1. I lived in Brentwood, which is out of the zone that oyster card could cover.

    2. I intend to apply for a 18+ oyster card to travel from Stratford to Kingston, but the TFL website state that people reside outside the greater london is not eligible to apply for the card. So should go ahead and apply see what happen? Or do I have to go for the normal oyster card.

    3. Definitely, travel at peak time as uni starts pretty early. 16-25 can only be used at off-peak, do you think I need it? as returning from kingston will be in off-peak times.

    4. A weekly travelcard from Brentwood to Zone1-6 cost me £78.40, from Brentwood to Stratford cost £50.80 and lastly Brentwood to London Terminals (waterloo) cost £56.40. So I want to know how much it will cost for me to travel by oyster from Stratford to Kingston and from Waterloo to Kingston. I hope that travel from Stratford is <£5.52 perday and from Waterloo is <£4.40 perday. Please can you tell me the price for a normal oyster and a 18+ oyster?

    5. This means I intend to separate my journey into half travelcard half oyster.
    I don't know what to do? If you have any recommendation I love to hear from you soon.

    6. I saw from your previous post that 18+oyster zone1-6 is £37.30 so I can buy a weekly travelcard from brentwood to harold wood which is £21, that is cheaper, do you think it will work?

    Thank you so much for your help.

    • Hi Lee,

      You need a London address for the 18+ card, either permanent or at least term time. This is because the concession is funded by the London councils. If half your journeys are going to be off-peak then you may well find a travelcard more expensive. You can mix Oyster and a paper ticket but if both tickets are seasons then the train needs to call at the changeover station.

  127. Hello, I was reading all of the previous comments and I am in awe of just how complex this system is, I was in Clapham Junction late this evening, my travelcard would not work because I travelled into another zone and had no clue that I did, the staff member at Clapham Junction said he works for the train company and if I had a problem I have to take it up with TFL, if TFL are so quick to suck up the publics money they should at least have adequate members of staff to help the public, it seems like staff are quick to tell you whats the problem is, but no help to resolve it, its a bit difficult to talk to a machine, I had no money with me and was travelling late at night, not everybody has a degree in oyster awareness. Where are the staff members? why cant there be staff on at every station to deal with questions or complaints, there are thousands of people who will never make a complaint purely because of the process to go about it, it really is a disgrace. Clapham Junction is one of the busiest train stations in England, they are making millions of pounds from communters, and there is not one member of staff who could help me, Perhaps announcements should be giving on tubes and trains to let communters know what zone they are entering into it that if you hear the announcements due to seating positions on the trains, or lack of them and to stand on a train, when the first class seats are always empty or when hundreds of people are trying to get off at their destination, and everyone is rushing, you forget to touch in, again your penelised, then its like a guarantee you wont get a sit becuase your usually feeling traumatised after the journey and have now lost all the money on travelcared. Put posters on the walls with information that is clear and concise,give us a direct number, where someone is going to answer it, treat customers with repect.

  128. Hi mike,

    If just use national rail, overground n dlr for my full journey (Purley to poplar) I avoide going through zone 1 to save the cash so I take train from Purley to Norwood junction n take the overground to shadwell n then take the dlr to poplar…so the travel card for a week is 36.40. So I just wanted to find out hence if I don’t use the tube do I get more cheaper? Or it does not matter if I dnt use the tube r not?

    Thanks

    • Hi Dan,

      I’m not quite sure what the question is here. A travelcard is valid on all National Rail, tube, and DLR within the zones covered. Your route avoids zone 1 so you only need a zone 2-6 travelcard. The peak single fare for your journey is £3.60 so if you make 10 trips in a week it is slightly cheaper than the travelcard; but any extra journey will tip the balance so I’d certainly just get the travelcard in your case.

  129. I was really glad to find this post!

    I regularly take the Overground from Hoxton to Whitechapel, and I understand that I am traveling through Zone 1, so I assume this is a Zone 1-2 route.

    My question is, I’m charged 1.80 for off-peak and 2.30 for peak. These seem to coincide with the National Rail prices rather than TfL prices despite the route being green on the NR map. Is that correct? (Which would be OK since the NR fare is cheaper).

    Also, would a Zone 1-2 Oyster Travelcard be valid on this line if it is being treated as a NR route? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Will,

      Overground is part of NR so I guess if the NR price is cheaper it would be the right one to charge. Travelcards are accepted on all National Rail services within the zones (except St Pancras to Stratford International and Hayes&Harlington to Heathrow), so yes, a zone 1-2 travelcard would be vald on that route.

  130. i would like to go to heathrow terminal 4 from woolwich. could you please tell me how much it will cost me and the best way from woolwich arsenal to heathrow terminal 4? thanks

    • Hi,

      There are three different prices for that journey depending on how you travel. The most direct is also the most expensive. In each option below the first price is peak and the second is off-peak.

      1: £6.90/£4.30 – NR to London Bridge/Cannon Street/Charing Cross then Underground to Heathrow.
      2: £4.80/£2.90 – DLR then Underground (any route excluding NR but using zone 1).
      3: £2.60/£1.40 – DLR to Stratford, Overground then Underground but avoiding zone 1.

      You can find more details of the 3rd routes on the TfL single fare finder.

  131. Hi Mike, I am travelling from “Watford Junction” to “Old Street” every working day. I am planning to take annual pass. Should I take a paper travelcard or get my oystercard topped up by an annual pass? Which is better (I think the cost would be the same but any otehr benefits?), Thanks in advance

    • Hi,

      As your journey encompasses pretty much the entire Oyster area there is little real benefit either way. The major difference would be if you lost the Oyster card it could be cancelled and the ticket transfered to a new one.

  132. Hi Mike

    I’d been wondering why I was (seemingly) randomly charged through the nose for journeys to visit my parents across London in Blackheath, and I think your site starts to explain it, though there seems little logic to it.

    Blackfriars National Rail to Blackheath is £3.00 peak, £2.10 off peak.

    But travel from Blackfriars Underground and the fare becomes £4.40 / £3.40.

    Finsbury Park to Blackheath, a much longer journey, remains at £3.00/£2.10. Finsbury Park, like Blackfriars, is also an Underground station, but currently I don’t think the fares system can distinguish which route I use from there.

    So what’s the rule? The red/green routes map doesn’t really help as all of these routes are bi-coloured; it seems to be the starting and ending on National Rail stations that matters. Is there an assumption that the cheaper routes are on pure National Rail? The Finsbury Park to Blackheath Oyster route does involve TfL in reality, though perhaps the system gives us the benefit of the doubt.

    Thanks for any thoughts

    Alan

    • Hi Alan,

      This one is complicated. There is a premium for mixing NR and TfL on any journey which includes travel via zone 1. Certain TfL priced lines are counted as NR if the mixed journey doesn’t use any other TfL lines. This includes London Bridge NR to St Pancras NR. It also includes some tube lines where inter-available ticketing applies, notably Finsbury Park to Kings Cross.

      So, Blackfriars NR to Blackheath assumes travel via London Bridge and is charged at NR rates while Blackfriars LU to Blackheath thinks you’ve changed at Cannon Street or Embankment or Victoria so charges the mixed premium.

      With Finsbury Park to Blackheath it charges as if you change at Kings Cross, St Pancras and London Bridge. You can use either tube or NR for the first bit, NR for the second bit and NR obviously for the last bit. If you touch in or out at any of the tube stations attached to south London terminals (Blackfriars, Victoria, London Bridge, Cannon Street etc) then it will charge the higher mixed premium.

      Hope that helps.

  133. Can you tell me how much a return journey from Turkey Street OG to Wandsworth via either Vauxhall or Waterloo will cost travelling at peak time and using an oyster card

    • Hi Sue,

      You don’t say which Wandsworth (Town, Common or Road) but they all appear to be the same with no alternatives. At peak time that is £6.90 each way or £13.80 return. There may be an alternative added once the extension to the East London Line to Clapham Junction opens, especially in the case of Wandsworth Road.

  134. Hi Mike,
    How much does it cost to get a return from Earlsfield to Waterloo? Would it make a differance if I add my rail card?
    Many thanks
    Tom

    • Hi Tom,

      All this is answered on the single fare finder page on the TfL website. Select the type as “National Railcard” and where appropriate the fares will be reduced. Returns are always priced as two singles on Oyster.

  135. Hi

    Yesterday I travelled from Waterloo to Camden and Camden to holloway road and it cost me nothing! I’m not complaining but why is this? I have my 16-25 railcard attached to my oyster.

    20:26 – 20:46
    Waterloo [London Underground / National Rail] to Camden Town
    £0.00
    £12.55
    19:54 – 20:17
    Holloway Road to Waterloo [London Underground / National Rail]

    Thanks

    • Hi Craig,

      Had you made any other journeys on that day? My guess is you’d capped for the day.

  136. Hi Mike

    I would like to know plain and simple. I wanna travel from Northolt(Zone 5) to Walthamstow Central(Zone 3) and i wanna buy a monthly travelcard zones 3-5 but it seems i have to change the train from Central Line to Victoria Line at Oxford Circus(zone 1) but i dont actually have to get out of the underground. My question is can my travelcard cover this journey or i’ll be charged for traveling through zone 1 and 2. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Cos,

      I wish I had a pound for every person that asked this sort of question. The Oyster system knows which route you are likely to have taken and charges accordingly. You will need a minimum of a zone 2-5 travelcard if you are prepared to change at Shepherds Bush and Highbury & Islington.

  137. Change with what mike cause i cant see any connection between the two lines (central and victoria). Sorry i am new in London and i am trying to find my way around. Cheers

    • Sorry, let me explain a bit further. At Shepherds Bush you change between the Central Line and London Overground. You take LO round to Highbury & Islington where you then change onto the Victoria Line. The advantage of this is that you avoid zone 1 and thus only need a zone 2-5 travelcard. If you want to go via Oxford Circus then you’ll need to add zone 1 as well.

  138. Dear Mike,

    I would like to ask your advice.
    I have purchased this week a weekly travel card zone 2-3 and when I have used it between canary wharf and oval i was charged an additional cost of £2. I have travelled on a saturday at 8pm and the lines I have used were jub line between CW and London Bridge and northern line between LB and Oval. Am i paying the right fare or being another victim of tfl ripping off? is there any other way i can go to oval without paying this extra z1 fare?

    looking forward to hear from you

    • Hi Claudia,

      Sorry for the delay replying.

      Canary Wharf to Oval is a zone 1-2 journey so you are correctly charged £2 if using a zone 2-3 travelcard. To avoid zone 1 you will need to travel via Lewisham, Pechkam Rye and Clapham High Street/Clapham North, or from December via Canada Water and Clapham High Street/Clapham North using the new ELL/SLL extension. You would also need to touch out and in again at somewhere like Peckham Rye (ie not an out of station interchange) so that the journey becomes two rather than one.

      Hope this helps.

  139. Last Saturday night I caught the 23:50 First Capital Connect train from Kentish Town to London Bridge, where I changed to a Southern train to Forest Hill.

    My Oyster card was charged £2.60, but as far as I can figure it should have been only £2.10, as the PAYG Tariff on NR map shows the London Bridge to New Cross Gate section as a “red” route.

    It seems to have assumed that I took tube and then overground to get from KT to FH, although this wasn’t actually possible that night as the Kentish Town branch of the Northern Line was closed for engineering works that day.

    I’m not that familiar with KT station, and must admit I can’t remember if there were separate gates to NR and the tube (I guess not), but I do note that the TFL fare finder doesn’t distinguish between KT NR and KT Tube. However, the National Rail website does say that the Oyster fare for that journey should be £2.10…

    • Hi Mac,

      That’s a big bug on the fares database. I guess it comes down to the fact that most journeys involving TfL rail from Forest Hill are routed via Canada Water or Whitechapel to avoid using any ‘red’ NR routes. In this case the whole journey is possible on NR so the cheaper NR only fare should apply. I’ll report this issue to Oyster in the hope that they can fix the fares database.

  140. It looks like the same applies to all East London Overground line stations that share with NR (ok, at least the few I’ve looked at; I didn’t check all of them! 🙂

    However, it appears that the issue isn’t so much that journeys from shared NR/East London line stations are routed via Canada Water or Whitechapel _in general_, but specifically those to/from Kentish Town.

    If you try the TFL fare finder for Forest Hill to Farringdon (which is another shared NR/tube station with common gates) you’ll see it says £2.10 — although it fails to list the £2.60 option (via Whitechapel) in the alternative fares.

    • Hi Mac,

      I suspect the error is one of grouping. Kentish Town is probably grouped with other stations on that branch of the Northern line whereas it really needs to be a station by itself. Farringdon has been done correctly and there is no point including the via Whitechapel option as it would rely on touching a pink validator. By definition they are only used to reduce a default fare.

      What I’m trying to get at is that there are three scales of fare for a journey including zone 1. Zone 1-3 TfL rate is £3.10/£2.60, NR rate is £3.00/£2.10 while the mixed rate is £4.40/£3.40. LO stations south of New Cross Gate can get TfL rates to Underground destinations if they change at Canada Water or Whitechapel while changing at London Bridge triggers the mixed rate as the route between New Cross Gate and London Bridge is NR only. Kentish Town is unique on that branch of the Northern line because it is possible to get there by NR alone.

  141. Hmmm…well if the pink validators are only supposed to be used to reduce a default fare, then the “correct” thing to do would be to have Farringdon to LO stations south of New X Gate default to charging the TfL rate (£2.60) and have a pink validator at London Bridge so people taking that route can reduce it to the NR rate (£2.10). As it is now one can travel from, e.g., Forest Hill to Farringdon on a completely TfL route (via Whitechapel) but only pay the NR fare. Not that I’m complaining you understand 🙂

    Also, what you say about changing at London Bridge triggering the mixed rate isn’t totally the case as one can change there to get NR to Farringdon and from there switch to the Underground, all without going through any intervening ticket barriers. So one can, in fact, get TfL rates to Underground destinations from LO stations south of New X Gate while actually taking a mixed route.

    Anyway, all that’s a bit of an aside to the Kentish Town to Forest Hill fares database bug, and while you’re reporting that to them you might also let them know that the single fare finder has no fares whatsoever from West Hampstead [London Overground] to Forest Hill….

    • Hi Mac,

      I think it’s fair to say that a pink validator at London Bridge is never going to happen as it’s far too big a station. I meant to say that changing between National Rail and Underground at London Bridge would trigger the mixed fare. I agree that changing at Farringdon gives you a cheap way to make the journeys, although the service is relatively infrequest, especially in the peak, and takes quite a long time to negotiate all the junctions on the way.

      With West Hampstead I think the expectation is that you would either take FCC to London Bridge then Southern or Jubilee to Canada Water then LO. The route via Highbury is probably seen as the least likely.

  142. Re pink validators at London Bridge, actually they’d only need them on platform 5/6 as it’s only changing to/from FCC trains that causes the issue and (I think) that’s the only platform they go from. However, I agree that asking them to fix the Kentish Town fare in their database is much more likely to happen than suggesting such new physical infrastructure! 🙂

    Yes, the FCC connection through London Bridge most often isn’t that useful, as you say, infrequent and slow (the main delay being the several minutes at Blackfriars, presumably for changing supply from overhead to third rail, lowering the pantograph, etc), however occasionally that routing does come up trumps, depending on timing, where you’re going, etc, of course.

    Re West Hampstead LO to East London LO, maybe so but they should still have fares for it! Indeed, they do have fares for West Hampstead LO to East London LO stations down to New Cross Gate, but not to anywhere south of there, so looks like just a straightforward bug of omission.

    • Hi Mac,

      Yes, it may just be omission then. The fares originate from before the extension of the ELL south of New Cross Gate. Up to that point it is reasonable to use the NLL+ELL but south of Canada Water the Jubilee line takes over as the more logical route. I agree that they ought to have fares though.

  143. hello there just wanted help on this. say if i get on the train from gidea park and take the train to chadwell heath without tapping. at chadwell heath i tap my oyster. how much would this cost?

    • Hello Jinks,

      It would be a maximum fare which would not count towards the daily cap. You would also be at risk of a penalty fare if stopped by an RPI before touching out.

  144. Hi Mike
    I travel from Enfield Chase to Canary Wharf. My plan is National Rail to Highbury & Islington, then Overground to Stratford and Jubilee to Canary Wharf. So zone 2-5 National Rail travelcard I think. From time to time I may need to go through zone 1 so would put some extra on Oyster. Just on the main 2-5 route, do I need to touch a route validator? Or just the normal readers going through barriers?

    • Hi Gray,

      You should be alright just touching in at the start and out at the end of that journey. However, I have heard of one case where a pink validator was required to be used with a travelcard loaded. If you can afford one extra £2 then I would be inclined to try it and see what happens. If it charges you then you’ll know you do have to touch the pink validators.

  145. The other day I travelled from Surbiton to Homerton during morning peak. I deliberately avoided Zone 1 by changing onto London Overground at Clapham Junction. Please note that at no point in this route is there a pink validator, unless I managed to jump out, tap my card and jump back on at certain stations (Willesden Junction?). And I am not sure even that would have made a difference. I assumed that because I hadn’t interchanged at Vauxhall or Waterloo (which requires a tap out and tap in), the system would understand that I had not travelled through Zone 1. But I was charged £6.90.

    When I phoned Oyster helpline, my case was at first referred to the “back room”, but I never heard back, and when I called them again my attention was turned to the really infuriating stipulation that “Some journeys have been defined as requiring travel via Zone 1 and are charged accordingly, irrespective of the route taken”. The person I spoke to didn’t seem to have an answer as to why, when I managed to complete a journey without travelling through Zone 1, the system insisted I couldn’t possibly have done so.

    This is a journey I will be making regularly, and many others have, I’m sure, tried this tactic to save a couple of quid. Tomorrow I will need to travel from Surbiton to Hoxton, and can do by avoiding Zone 1 – but the Single Fare Finder suggests it’s not possible!

    What am I doing wrong? Is this something to do with the mixed use of NR/TFL? If so it is quite unfair, given that I am actively choosing a cheaper, less crowded and slower journey. Any advice would be welcome.

    • Hi Billy,

      You’re doing nothing wrong. TfL have decided that the route via the NLL is too far and slow compared with crossing London direct. I’m not sure that I agree with that decision, so I would suggest writing to them and asking them to consider setting an alternative fare. In the meantime you can reduce the overall fare a bit by touching out and in again at Clapham Junction. It then becomes £3.60/£2.30 + £1.50/£1.40 which is less than the through zone 1 fare.

  146. If time is not of concern, Billy could also touch out and in again at Wimbledon, take the District to West Brompton, touch pink validator there, and change to Overground or Southern to Willesden Junction, where he’d have to change again I expect. This gives £3.10/2.10+£1.50/£1.40

  147. Thanks for your advice and reassurances. So, who are TFL to judge whether a route is slower/longer than direct through London?! Surely that’s the whole point; it’s a choice I have actively made.

    I used to live in Chadwell Heath in the east, and travel to Clapham Junction during morning peak. Often, I would take NR to Stratford, then interchange onto the Overground via a pink validator, and sit on it for 65 mins to Clapham Junction. It is much slower than going across London (though arguably easier) but it cost me much less indeed. But here, when I try going the other way, West to East, it’s not possible. I don’t mind there being inconsistencies in the system, as long as they are quickly cleared up – which I’m not entirely confident that they are.

    Who/where is the best place to write to in relation to my query? I have already written in to London Overground, who passed on my details to the Oyster team, but I’ve not and probably will never hear back.

    • Hi Billy,

      Well, TfL run the Oyster system which I think gives them the right to do as they please within reason. Obviously different priorities dictate different routes for different people/reasons. There are some limitations in the Oyster system, one being the ability to define endless alternative routes. Sometimes they have to weigh up the likelihood of using a long/slow route over a much faster one where the system cannot readily differentiate between the two at the time of touch out.

      However, that’s not to say that they don’t always get it right, and they have made changes where possible when people have pointed out routes that they hadn’t thought about. If the journey involves NR then sometimes the TOCs stipulate that a zone 1 avoiding fare can only be offered if they offer a paper ticket for the same route. The best place to write to is the Oyster helpline, with as much supporting evidence as possible.

    • Hi Linda,

      Not yet. It will be added to the Oyster area when Crossrail starts serving that line.

  148. Hi Mike,
    I stay in Broxbourne and communte to Kingston daily, can I get the 18+oyster that gives me 30% of my bus fares? or do I need to reside in london to get it?

  149. Hello Mike,
    i was wondering if you could help me , i live in zone 3(turnpike lane) and i work in zone 1(warren st) , i currently have a monthly bus pass but i do occasionally go on the tube which means i have to top up and this is happening a lot more now and i’m thinking should i get a zone 1-3 train travel? but it is expensive for me , can you tell me the cheapest way to get to work by train.

    • Hi ij,

      If you only make 10 single journeys at peak time between zone 1 and 3 on the Underground then a travelcard is not really worthwhile. If you want to use the train every day then stop buying the bus pass as that isn’t being used.

      Hope that helps.

  150. Hi
    I want to travel by rail from Greenwich to London Cannon Street. Can I use an Oyster zones 1-2 Monthly, or am I better off just using PAYG Oyster?

    • Hi C,

      It depends whether you want to do any other travelling. If it is just 10 single journeys each week then use PAYG, but if you find yourself making other trips then perhaps a season might be better. Don’t forget that you can also get a Greenwich to London terminals paper season from Southeastern which is slightly less than the peak Oyster singles but does only cover you between Greenwich and Charing Cross/Cannon Street/City Thameslink.

  151. Hi Mike,

    I have ORYSTER TRAVEL CARD(weekly one)for zone2-4,I was wondering if I would be charge extra if I am going from Mitcham Junction on a tram to east croydon.What would you recomend?

    Regards

    • Hi Cela,

      Trams are free with any travelcard as long as the travelcard contains at least one of zones 3-6. So in your case you will not be charged.

  152. Hi Mike

    I will be commuting to work each day from Farringdon to Elstree and Borehamwood for a short while. In a few weeks time, I will be travelling from West Hampstead to Elstree & Borehamwood but with frequent trips on weekends and after work to zone 1. What is the best transport options for me.

    Thanks

    • Hi Lorraine,

      For now you’ll need a zone 1-6 travelcard season (Oyster or paper). Once you start from West Hampstead most days you can change it to a zone 2-6 season on Oyster which means that you’ll only be charged for a zone 1 single each time you travel into zone 1.

  153. Hi Mike,
    When Purchasing Point-to-Point Season tickets, is there anything to stop you from specifying the furthest station out in the fare zone, in order to take advantage of occassional need to travel within the fare zone on the same route? Relevant for me as I live in Z3 (Balham) and normally travel ‘in’ to Victoria, but occassionally need to travel ‘out’ towards Honor Oak Park/Crystal Palace. Season tickets cost the same from any station, so I figure I might as well specify the last station in the zone (which is Honor Oak Park). Can you see a problem with that?

    • Hi Dave,

      No, that is fine. I’d buy the ticket to Crystal Palace as it is valid to go either way to London from there. You are allowed to use your season twice in one journey without getting off, to travel from Balham to Honor Oak Park.

  154. Hi Mike,
    Some family members are planning a weekend trip to Watford, staying in a hotel near Watford High St. I can’t find any reason why they can’t use Oyster Pay-as-you-Go on the fast London Midland service Euston – Watford Jn, then take the Overground service Watford Jn – Watford High St without any intermediate Oyster touches. Is this valid and can they expect to be charged only a Zone 1-7 fare?

    • Hi John,

      The standing instruction is to always touch in at the beginning and out at the end of the journey. I have also been told that you cannot be off-route with an Oyster card unless you exceed the maximum journey time or venture outside the Oyster area (eg to Epsom). I can therefore see no reason why you shouldn’t travel via Watford Junction, unless the Overground platforms are in a seperately gated area. As long as the maximum journey time isn’t exceeded they can expect to be charged a zone 1-8 fare. Watford (Met) is in zone 7 while High Street is in zone 8.

  155. Hi Mike,

    I’m planning to travel from West Ham to Ealing Broadway tomorrow during the afternoon peak times, I checked the single fare on the TFL website and it says the alternative route avoiding Zone 1 altogether through Stratford, Willesden Junction and Shepherds Bush would cost me £1.50. I’ve never been to Stratford or Ealing Broadway before so reading some of the posts here makes me a bit wary of touching in or out wrongly somewhere. Can you tell me if this is the way to go about it?
    West Ham- Touch in (DLR-yellow reader)
    Stratford-Touch out (DLR-Pink reader)
    Stratford-Touch in(Overground – Pink reader)
    Willesden Junction
    Shepherd’s Bush-Touch out(Overground – yellow reader)
    Shepherd’s Bush-Touch in(Underground – yellow reader)
    Ealing Broadway-Touch out(Underground – yellow reader)

    Also how the fare calculated if my first touch-in is during peak hours and last touch-out is after 1900 hours, when it is off-peak?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Sundar,

      Two things. If you really mean tomorrow (as in Saturday) then it’s off-peak all day. As to the touching, there is only one set of pink validators at Stratford which are on the overground platforms. That is all you need to touch there. Shepherd’s Bush is two stations so you do need to touch out and in again.

      If it was a Monday to Friday then the first touch in of the whole journey dictates what fare is charged.

  156. My bad.. forgot weekends are fully off-peak! So it should be £1.40 then. Does this fare still apply if I extend my journey to Hayes & Harlington on National Rail? Is there an extra charge for using a combination of Underground and NR on the same journey?

  157. Hello,

    I made the journey below, with a Gold Card on my Oyster card, expecting to be charged £3.70 (the single fare finder concurs). I can’t work out what the system thinks I did (or what I actually did!) to pay a £2.30 fare instead. Any suggestions? Is this maybe something to do with travelling to ‘London Terminals’? Thanks, Tam.

    17:37 – 18:17 Clapham Junction [National Rail] to Paddington (Bakerloo, Circle/District and H&C) £2.30
    £18.10
    18:17 Touch out, Paddington (Bakerloo, Circle/District and H&C) +£4.50 £18.10
    17:55 Touch in, Waterloo [London Underground / National Rail] £4.50 £13.60
    17:54 Touch out, Waterloo (platforms 12-19) [National Rail] +£4.50 £18.10
    17:37 Touch in, Clapham Junction [National Rail] £6.80 £13.60

    • Hi Tam,

      It won’t be to do with London terminals. Had you made any other journeys that day? Is it possible that you’d capped? Remember that the off-peak caps with a railcard are £5.60 (z1-6), £5.10 (z1-4) and £4.60 (z1-2).

  158. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply. That was my Oyster first journey of the day (on Fri 30 Nov, btw), so no capping, and in fact I was not capped at all. The return journey, off-peak, and via Victoria was charged correctly at £2.05, and my total fare for the day was £4.35 (I had expected to pay £3.70+2.05 and get the Z12 off-peak cap). It’s as if the gateline at Waterloo at 17.55 has been configured as a continuing National Rail journey rather than a TfL+NR interchange. The [square brackets] sort of suggest something like that.

    Regards,
    Tam

    • Hi Tam,

      It definitely looks like something is going on. If you made the journey using Overground and Underground (via West Brompton) then you’d be charged off-peak in the evening as it’s a journey ending in zone 1 on TfL fares. Perhaps they do the same when you use a mixture except that you won’t get a refund on what has already been paid. I’ve heard similar stories about some journeys from Wimbledon or Richmond as well.

  159. Hi Mike,
    Great website, very informative, and you clearly take a lot of trouble to help people out.
    A quick question:
    I am planning to travel from Clapham Junction to Heathrow using Oyster PAYG. I worked out that I could do this as one tube/Overground journey, changing at West Brompton and Earls Court. Will the system correctly identify this as a single zone 2-6 journey?
    The only reason I ask is that TfL’s journey planner recommends completely different routes (involving SWT to Feltham, then a bus to Hatton Cross, or using Heathrow Express), so I’m not sure whether my version is programmed into the Oyster system as a valid route. I thought I’d touch the pink validator at West Brompton as a precaution.
    Cheers

    PS
    Sorry, forgot to add: TfL’s Single Fare Finder shows the correct £1.40 fare for my planned journey, despite this fare not applying to any of the journey options that the Journey Planner advises (since they include buses or Heathrow Express).

    • Hi Jim,

      The journey planner is completely seperate to the fares database and often provides ‘interesting’ options. Your route appears to be the default route, but there will be no harm touching the pink validator at West Brompton.

  160. Mike,
    Thanks for your reply. My journey and fare worked out fine. Keep up the good work!

  161. I went by the ELLX today from Whitechapel to South Wimbledon via Clapham High St/North, expected to pay £1.60 for a non-zone 1 journey, charged £2.60. The relevant section of journey history looks something like –

    Whitechapel-South Wimbledon 2.60
    Whitechapel-Clapham High St. 0.00

    I shall be making a call to the Oyster Helpdesk tomorrow. Suppose this proves that as long as the Single Fare Finder say the only cheaper route is via Balham that is indeed the case. Just feel cheesed off that after all the “song and dance” over the new line it does not work for me. Surely they should alter the fares database when a new service starts? How ofter do they update anyway?

    • Alun,

      Updates are usually 3 times a year in line with the National Rail fares updates (Jan/May/Sep). They did an extra update in October for the ELLX changes to keep them away from the general price change round. It does seem as though they haven’t quite got it all right. You might wish to raise your concerns with London Travelwatch.

  162. Hi Mike

    If I purchase a ticket from my local Zone 4 station to London Terminals it says on the National Rail website that “Using National Rail services you can travel to / from the following London stations: London Bridge [LBG], London Cannon Street [CST], London Charing Cross [CHX], Vauxhall [VXH], London Blackfriars [BFR], London Waterloo East [WAE], London Victoria [VIC], London Waterloo [WAT], City Thameslink [CTK]”.

    However when request a season ticket Travelcard to St Pancras it offers me the same price. Does this mean I can use a ticket to London Terminals to take me from say Bromley North to St Pancras by changing at London Bridge onto Thameslink?

    Thanks for any insight you can provide.

    Captain

    • Hi Captain,

      Basically No. A paper ticket to London terminals is not valid for travel between St Pancras and City Thameslink. If you buy a paper ticket for that journey then it must specify St Pancras as the destination. With Oyster there is no such problem.

  163. The fare from Wimbledon Chase to Whitechapel is now £1.60 because the default route is presumably via Wimbledon-Clapham Junction-ELLX. However bizarrely from Wimbledon, it is £2.60, with no cheaper alternative, presumably because you are supposed to go via the District Line. Note that all other stations between Wimbledon and Sutton are £2.10 as you are supposed to travel via West Croydon and Overground. I vote for pink validators at Clapham Junction!

    • Hi Alun,

      Yet more discrepancies/anomalies with ELLX pricing. Keep them coming!

  164. Stations out to Surbiton, Kingston, Chessington South, and Ewell West also provide a cheaper price to Whitechapel. Only seems to be Wimbledon where existence of route via ELLX is not recognised. Bit annoying if that is where you want to leave from!

  165. Hi I have a zone 1-2 travel card but was charged £1.50 for travelling from Canada water to peckham rye. Was this because I’d gone on the jub line from canary wharf first or did I need to re tap my card again at Canada water? Thanks

    • Hi Rach,

      Canary Wharf to Peckham Rye should be covered by a zone 1-2 travelcard. You don’t need to tocuh anything at Canada Water because you have a zone 1 travelcard (had it been a zone 2-3 travelcard then you would need to touch the pink route validator). If you can post your journey history I’ll see if I can see anything else going on.

  166. Suppose a possible solution to my problem of 10th Dec. Whitechapel to S. Wimbledon via Clapham High St./Clapham North costing £2.60 is to do ELLX to Clapham Junction, then out to Balham, change to Northern Line. That ought to meet the criteria for TFL’s £1.60 fare, and ought not to take over whatever the maximum journey time is!

    • Yes, that would work, but you shouldn’t need to do that. Also, you are walking virtually from one side of Clapham Junction to the other, so it may take a few minutes if it’s busy.

  167. Hi Mike,

    Just wondering if you have any advice on the cheapest way to get to Watford Junction from Finsbury Park, Monday to Friday, peak times?

    Many thanks,

    Kate

    • Hi Kate,

      As luck would have it, there is a way to make that journey very cheaply. Touch in at Finsbury Park then travel to Highbury & Islington. Touch on the pink validator on the overground platforms before taking a train to Willesden Junction. Change again, but before getting on the Watford train you should touch out at a gateline and then back in again [Note: DO NOT USE the pink validator at Willesden Junction]. Your first journey is a zone 2 only fare of £1.60 peak while the second journey is a zone 3 to Watford Junction fare of £1.60 off-peak because you are using the Euston to Watford line against the direction of peak flow.

      If you travel at fully off-peak times then you should touch poink validators at both Highbury & Islington and Willesden Junction so that you pay the off-peak fare of £2.70 for the whole journey. Without touching out and in at Willesden Junction the peak fare would be £4.50 and if you go via zone 1 it becomes £8.60. It’s just a shame you have to faff around touching out and in to get the £3.20 total for contra peak travel.

      Hope this helps.

  168. Hi Mike

    I wanted to pick your wealth of knoweldge on a weird pricing anomaly I noticed today on the new overground extension. I took a journey from Feltham National Rail to Bermondsey via Clapham Junction using the overground. I was charged £7.20 on my oyster card which is the fare via a zone 1 station. I was really surprised as I thought Clapham Junction was in zone 2.

    According to tfl it is a 1/2 boundary station and so they are claiming that I have entered zone 1. This doesn’t seem fair as this is the same cost as actually going through Waterloo which is faster and a real zone 1 station. Would you have any idea if this pricing is correct? What would you expect the price to be on pay as you go oyster? I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thanks

    • Hi Nat,

      Oh dear. You ought to complain about that response from the helpdesk because it is completely wrong. Clapham Junction is entirely in zone 2, and even if it was on the boundary (like Vauxhall) you have to make a journey that definitely uses the zone 1 side of the station before you get charged as such. Thus Clapham Junction to Brixton changing at Vauxhall is a zone 2 journey because you travel on the zone 2 side of both Vauxhall stations.

      As to why you were charged the full zone 1 price, that is quite simple assuming you changed at Canada Water. You need to touch on a pink validator, located around the stairs/escalators down to the Jubilee line platforms from the overground platforms. That tells the system which way you’ve gone so it can charge you accordingly. If you change at Peckham Rye to go to South Bermondsey NR station instead then you would be charged the cheaper fare by default.

  169. Hi Mike,

    Can you please explain the charging on the Sydenham to Leicester Square route below. According to the Single Fares tool it should be £2.60 but I got charged £3.60. The two subsequent journeys seem to be ok.

    Date / Time Journey / Action Charge Balance
    Saturday, 05 January 2013 £7.20 daily total
    18:49 – 19:16 North Greenwich to Sydenham £1.50 £5.60
    19:16 Touch out, Sydenham +£3.40 £5.60
    19:00 Touched pink card reader, Canada Water £0.00 £2.20
    18:49 Touch in, North Greenwich £4.90 £2.20
    17:32 – 18:26 Leicester Square to North Greenwich £2.10 £7.10
    18:26 Touch out, North Greenwich +£2.80 £7.10
    17:32 Touch in, Leicester Square £4.90 £4.30
    16:04 – 16:53 Sydenham to Leicester Square £3.60 £9.20
    16:53 Touch out, Leicester Square +£1.30 £9.20
    16:31 Touch in, London Bridge [London Underground] £2.70 £7.90
    16:30 Touch out, London Bridge [National Rail] +£2.70 £10.60
    16:04 Touch in, Sydenham £4.90 £7.90
    16:03 Topped up, +£10.00 £12.80

    Many thanks,
    Nick.

    • Hi Nick,

      You went via London Bridge. If you click on the “Alternative fares” box on the single fare finder once you have the results back you will get any other routes that are valid. Incidentally, TfL have failed to take down the old fares on the old link to the single fare finder. You need to use this one instead. You will see that the default is now £2.70 while the alternative if you change between National Rail and Underground at a London terminal is £3.60.

  170. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the quick response. I have checked the “Alternative Fares” box as you suggest and yes the higher fare is there. I didn’t realize that London Bridge and Victoria carried a premium. Is this correct or is it a mistake on the part of Tfl/NR?. I suppose I should have taken the overground to Canada Water and then taken the Jubilee line ??. Thank you for the correct Single Fares link.

    I really appreciate your page and your brilliant service to us all.

    Nick.

    • Thanks Nick,

      Travelling in zone 1 is more expensive than other zones. Mixing NR and TfL on a journey involving zone 1 is even worse.

  171. Mike

    Travelling from North Dulwich (1-2 boundary) to Shoreditch High St (1) by changing onto the ELL at Peckham Rye, I was charged £3.90 on Oyster PAYG. I checked with the ticket office who advised that this was the correct fare.

    However, according to the fares section of the TFL website, a 1-2 peak single on PAYG is £2.80. Do you know why I’m being charged more?

    Thanks
    Colin

    • Hi Colin,

      Firstly, because the journey starts at North Dulwich it is charged as a National Rail fare which should mean £2.40 peak and £1.90 off-peak. Unfortunately there are some errors in the fares table where new journey opportunities were added last December. This would appear to be one of those errors. TfL are aware of the problem and are trying to get it fixed. They should also be refunding overcharges. It would not hurt to email the helpdesk and ensure that your journey is included in this.

  172. Hi, looking for some quick advice.

    Live in Weybridge and start a new job next week in Zone 1. I would have to take NR to London Waterloo then Underground to my office. I also often have to travel to Wimbledon (zone 3) and Balham.

    I am trying to work out the cheapest option for season tickets for me. Will a NR season ticket from Weybridge to Wimbledon plus a Zone 1-3 travelcard on my oyster be allowed? This is the cheapest option I can find. if I buy this, do I have to take trains that stop at Wimbledon to get to Waterloo, or will the oyster cover this.

    thanks

  173. Travelling from Clapham High St to Dalston Junction on the Overground isnot Zone 2 because of that damn ShShore ditch High St. I bought a zone 2/3 card for the month because I didn’t realise (I thought Overgriynd was all Zone 2!). Is there anything I can do – this one station is simply there to ruin my journey!

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes, there is something you can do. Either pay £2.10 per journey from your PAYG balance, or, change at Canada Water and Stratford and finish at Dalston Kingsland instead. You must touch the pink validator on the overground platforms at Stratford, but then your journey will be zones 2-3 and covered by your travelcard.

  174. Hi,

    I am so confused about the new oyster fares at Brentwood.

    For a single to Ilford (Zone 4) on on-peak times it is £3.80 thats fine. Which under the the tfl website comes under Zone 4-6 + Brentwood.

    However if I want a weekly travel card on oyster, as I take bus aswell there is not price for that zone.

    If I go on the national rail website and look for a travelcard for Brentwood to Ilford it comes up as zone 4-6 priced at £48.40.

    So is Brentwood zone 6? If so then I should be able to buy oyster travel card that is zone 4-6, which costs £25.50. Correct?

    • Hi Cherelle,

      I am also confused about some of the travelcards available from the new GA stations. The £48.40 price is for Brentwood to London zones 4-6 which is more than just a zones 4-6 on its own. I don’t know why you can’t put it on an Oyster card. Perhaps you could write/email both Greater Anglia and TfL and ask them. All I can add is that Oyster online says that you’ll be able to buy travelcards from Brentwood, Broxbourne and Shenfield online from the end of February 2013. Watch this space, maybe?

  175. Hi,

    I live in Zone 1 and work in Weybridge. I originally got a paper annual travelcard Z1-6 + Weybridge but I’ve had to replace it 5 times due to failure to work and the ink wearing off really quickly. I was thinking of getting an Oyster travelcard 1-3 and a paper season 4-6 + Weybridge. My problem is I can’t find the latter as a valid option on any of the online season ticket calculators. Is this something i can only get at a ticket office ? Do you know how much this is?

    Thanks

    • Hi Peter,

      You need to enter it the other way round. In NRES if you put Weybridge to any zone 4 station on the same line it lists three options, the middle one of which is zones 4-6. It costs £1524/year.

  176. Thanks for the reponse Mike, I had tried the reversal trick but when I saw there was only a named station option as a destination I didn’t continue !

    One further question though. I’ve just gone onto the National Rail Enquiry page and chosen an annual season ticket Weybridge – Raynes Park (Z4 station). The cheapest season ticket option, Weybridge – Z4-6 via Surbiton, it gives me is £2032. This is quite a lot more than the £1524 you found – am I missing something?

    Thanks for your help – great site , information so much clearer than the official sites!

    • Hi Peter,

      No, I’m getting confused by all the options. That was the Weybridge to Raynes Park price – sorry.

  177. HI wonder if you can help my season ticket with Travel card expires next week

    My Season Ticket is costing the following from Witham in Essex to London Liverpool Street i then normally get the Bus 11 or 23 to strand in the westend.

    £4888 with Travel card
    or £3976 without Travecard

    therfore is is better buying the ticket without the travecard or with? or should i just have a normal ticket to Liverpool street and an oyster to Strand

    Thanks

    will

    • Hi Bill,

      Each bus journey costs £1.40 (but capped at £4.40/day if you use 4 or more buses). Assuming you only use one bus each day that would be £2.80/day, £14.00/week, or £560.00 for 40 weeks. Given that the travelcard adds £912.00 to your ticket you would need to make considerably more use of trains outside of your usual commute to make it worthwhile.

      There is another option which is Whitham to Zones 2-6 at £4232 per year. Change at Stratford onto the DLR to All Saints and then get the 15 bus to the Strand. Buses are free with any travelcard, even if they go outside of the zones covered by the travelcard.

  178. Hi Mike,

    Just one question. Maybe stupid, but I have to ask. I live East Ham and my job is in Hammersmith, so I`m lucky as I have District Line directly. I DO NOT need to go anywhere else, so my question is : do I have to buy Zone 1-4 Travelcard (just because the tube passes Zone 1)? Or Zone 2-4 should be enough? (East Ham – zone 4, Hammersmith – zone 2).
    Thanks

    • Hi Daniela,

      There’s good news and bad news. Firstly, East Ham is dual zoned 3 and 4, so if the first/last station you pass through is Upton Park then you don’t need zone 4. However, if you take the District line direct then you will need zones 1-3 because you do travel through zone 1. If money is more important than time then by changing at West Ham, Stratford, West Brompton and Earls Court you can avoid zone 1 and only require a zone 2-3 travelcard. You will need to touch on the pink validators while changing at both Stratford and West Brompton to tell the system you’ve gone that way.

  179. Hi Mike, another question about the GA stations. I need to travel from Bermondsey (zone 2) to Brent wood and back every day. Today I used Oyster Pre pay to get to Stratford then bought a 7 day season ticket to Brentwood which cost £52.90, which is actually more than 5 x day returns at £9.40, but I surely dont have time to buy a ticket every day.

    When I got off at Brentwood low and behold there are Oyster readers there. Do you know what return from Bermondsey to Brentwood would be on Oyster pre pay? Or if there is a better option?

    thanks
    Gordon

    • Hi Gordon,

      A single from Bermondsey to Brentwood is £6.30 peak, £4.20 off-peak and the travelcard for the whole journey is £64.60. If you buy longer periods then it might just be worthwhile, or if you intend making other trips during the week, otherwise PAYG would seem to be the way to go.

      On the plus side Oyster extends to Shenfield, so you could use the fast trains and come back one stop as long as you have enough credit on your card to cover the extension fare (which I think is about £2). As long as you don’t touch at Shenfield then you won’t be charged extra, because Oyster won’t know which way you’ve gone.

  180. Hi Mike,

    If I have a zone 1-4 travelcard and I wish to travel from zone 4 to say zone 6 (to-n-fro) in a bus, will there be any extra charges incurred on my card? Are the tfl buses free with any zone travel card? How does this system works?

    Regards
    Himanshu

    • Hi Himanshu,

      Bus and tram fares are flat regardless of how far you go, so yes, all buses are covered on any travelcard and trams are covered providing the travelcard includes at least one of zones 3-6.

  181. Hi There,

    Can you help me with one question my dear?
    Can travel from Welling to central london and comeback with my oyster for zone 1-3 for a week, im just interested..

    many thanks, Vita

    • Hi Vita,

      Welling is in zone 4 so you would need a zone 1-4 travelcard to fully cover your journey. You could take a bus to the nearest zone 3 station (eg Kidbrooke) if you need to keep the costs down.

  182. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Staines to King’s street, I took travel card and its too expensive £286 per month. Could you please tell me if i can save money?

    Many Thanks,
    Ria

    • Hi Ria,

      I’m not quite sure where you mean by King’s Street. Staines is outside the Oyster area so you will be talking about getting paper tickets. One way to save money would be to buy a ticket from Staines to London zones 2-6, alight at Vauxhall instead of Waterloo and then take a bus to wherever you need to go. All TfL buses are free with any travelcard.

  183. Hi mike

    firstly i like to say that thanks.

    i’ve just moved to london and i’ll be traveling week days from clapham north to Camden Town. do i have to get a zone 1 +2 travel card or will a zone 2+3 work instead ?

    thanks
    gav

    • Hi Gav,

      If you use the Northern line across zone 1 then you’ll need a zone 1-2 travelcard. If you travel on the Overground from Clapham High Street to Camden Road via Clapham Junction then you’ll avoid zone 1. Unfortunately that isn’t a valid route on it’s own so you’d have to touch out and back in again while changing trains at Clapham Junction. Alternatively travel via Canada Water and Stratford also avoids zone 1 and you only need to touch the pink validator at Stratford while changing trains there. Both those options will take considerably longer, so it depends whether cost or time is your main concern.

  184. Hi Mike

    Great website and I just want to commend you for taking your time in answering our queries. Very confused about oyster travelcards so I hope you can answer this question.

    I will be travelling from Elephant and Castle to Vauxhall underground
    and then Vauxhall to Kingston on the national rail.

    1) I checked the tfl website and it says I should buy a rail through oyster travelcard for zone 2 to 6 (£146 per month) but does that include my travel from elephant and castle to Vauxhall (via underground) or do I need to add PAYG oyster extra to use underground?

    2) If I have to top up extra for PAYG oyster to travel underground, is it ok to just buy zone 2 since I know Elephant and Castle and Vauxhall are both in zone 2.

    • Hi Tue,

      It’s all included in the zone 2-6 ticket. Both Elephamt & Castle and Vauxhall are dual zoned 1 and 2, but if you travel between them you are assumed to have gone via Stockwell in zone 2.

  185. Thanks Mike! So as long as I top up oyster with zone 2 to 6, I’m good to use underground, rail, bus for these zones.

    The tfl website is super confusing. they should just say that the oyster can cover rail, underground and bus provided of course that you pay for these zones?

    Many thanks

    • It’s not just that though. Rail includes all of train, underground and dlr. With any travelcard you can use all TfL operated bus services because there is no such thing as zones for buses.

  186. Hey mike. I wanna know that what is the monthly fare for journey from southall(zone4) to bethnal green(zone 2)

    • Hi sahib,

      It depends on which Bethnal Green station and possibly which route you take. If you go to Bethnal Green (Central Line) then you’ll need zones 1-4 as there is only one fare available. If you go to Bethnal Green (Greater Anglia) then you have a choice. Travel through zone 1 and again you’ll need a zone 1-4 travelcard, but change at Ealing Broadway, Shepherds Bush, Willesden Junction and Hackney Central/Hackney Downs and you will avoid zone 1 and only require a zone 2-4 travelcard.

      Zone 1-4 monthly is £167.50 while zone 2-4 monthly is £96.80.

  187. Hi Mike,

    Hoping to pick your brain please. I have a new job that would require me to commute to Rickmansworth two or three times a week and work the other days at Bank. I live in zone 3 (Tooting Bec) and wondered what is the most cost efficient way to go. Am I best to just go pay as you go or do I buy a monthly pass or a combination of the two e.g. Zone 1-3 monthly pass and the rest as pay as you go, any help would be much appreciated.

    David

    • Hi David,

      That’s a tricky one. Do you make any other journeys apart from commuting?

      Tooting Bec to Bank is £3.20 single in peak hours.
      Tooting Bec to Rickmansworth is £5.50 peak single.
      Zone 1-3 weekly travelcard is £35.60.
      Zone 4 to Rickmansworth is £2.70 peak single.

      Assuming 2 days to Rickmansworth and 3 days to Bank:
      With T/card: £35.60 + 4x £2.70 = £46.40
      PAYG only: 6x £3.20 + 4x £5.50 = £41.20

      Assuming 3 days to Rickmansworth and 2 days to Bank:
      With T/card: £35.60 + 6x £2.70 = £51.80
      PAYG only: 4x £3.20 + 6x £5.50 = £45.80

      So if you only commute to work then PAYG is cheaper than weeklies, but make an extra trip to London or catch a few buses and the travelcard starts to win. A monthly travelcard is slightly better value as long as you don’t take too many days leave in the month. I’d probably go for the travelcard, especially as you get free bus and tram travel throughout London.

  188. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for coming back to me, really appreciate it. I do quite a bit of weekend travel in zones 1-3 and do make trips in 1-3 during the week other than going to work so sounds like travel card is the best?

    From the above are you saying that if I buy a 1-3 travel card then the single PAYG to Rickmansworth is o my charged for the zones i don’t have? I.e. zone 4-7?

    Thanks

    • Yes, that’s right. It’s as if there is an imaginary station on the boundary between 3 and 4.

  189. Hi Mike

    So glad I came across this site. So much practical and useful information. I cannot resist and have to ask you a question.
    You see I commute from Chessington North (zone 6) to East India (zone 2/3).
    I have been travelling for a number of years via Waterloo.
    Which means that I was buying a 1 to 6 zone travel card.
    Recently I started thinking how I can save money.
    I realised that I must find a route that would avoid zone 1.
    I found that I can go to Clapham Junction (instead of Waterloo) and take overground to Canada Water. Then i take jubilee line to Canning town. Then 1 stop via DLR to East India.
    As long as I make my connections on time it works out ok.
    Is that the best route in terms of cost?

    On one occasion there were problems on the overground and there was no service for me to catch to Clapham on the way back. I ended up going via Vauxhall paying extra charge since the system worked out that I went through zone 1. What alternative routes could you suggest?

    Thank you for you time.
    Many thanks
    Maria

    • Hi Maria,

      Yes, I’d say that is the most cost effective route. As for when there was disruption, how did you get to Vauxhall? Did that route take you through zone 1, even if you didn’t touch anywhere apart from Vauxhall? You could try calling the helpdesk and asking for a refund because you were forced off-route by disruption. In the future it might be better if you can still avoid zone 1. If you could get to Peckham Rye then perhaps a detour via Wimbledon would have worked. Or an alternative route to Clapham Junction from Canada Water is via Crystal Palace.

  190. Thanks Mike
    I got to Vauxhall by going to Waterloo and got a northern line and then Victoria. I thought that I might get a penalty if I went to Waterloo directly since my travel card did not cover it. Just shows the lack of understanding how the oyster works. However I was very surprised that the system worked out that I ended up at Vauxhall by going through zone 1 since i did not touch in at Waterloo. Still puzzled.

    Thank you for suggested alternative routes, I look forward to exploring them!

    Many thanks
    Maria

    • Hi Maria.

      The system is very clever at working out how you are likely to get between two stops. You would only get a penalty if you didn’t have enough PAYG balance to cover the extra zones. And usually it would just put the card balance negative which has the side effect of disabling the travelcard until you’ve topped up.

  191. Hi Mike,

    Just wondered if you had a link to the 2012 oyster fares page. I can’t find it at all and I need to check an old fare. My online oyster account will only go three months back and I’m looking at travel expenses for July! I don’t need a receipt I just need to know how much it would have cost.

    Thanks very much for your time.
    Harriet

    • Hi Harriet,

      Sorry, the old links were taken down shortly after the new year. If you let me know what the journey(s) were I can try and find out the price from other sources.

  192. Mike
    i have a zone 2-4 monthly student oyster. Can you tell me the best way to travel to Stratford from Wimbledon without extra charge? I’m being charged surplus for going through zone 1 even though im not stopping in any stations.
    Thanks
    Tina

    • Hi Tina,

      You need to actively tell Oyster that you aren’t travelling through zone 1. If you are, even if you don’t stop, then you need to pay for it. According to the single fare finder there are two routes that avoid zone 1. Either use the Jubilee line south and change at Whitechapel*, Shadwell or Canada Water* onto the Overground to Clapham Junction then via National Rail to Wimbledon; or use the Overground from Startford to West Brompton* then the District line to Wimbledon.

      * While changing trains at any of these stations you need to touch a pink route validator.

      Note that there is a flaw in the system which means that you cannot use the Overground direct from Stratford to Clapham Junction (via North London) followed by National Rail because there is nowhere to touch a route validator at Clapham Junction. If you use this route you will be charged for zone 1.

  193. How much should I expect to be charged if I travel from Bromley South to Clapham Junction, changing from NR to LO at Denmark Hill in order to avoid zone 1?

    This route isn’t mentioned on the fare finder, which instead suggests going via Brixton and Vauxhall on LU as the official ‘avoiding zone 1’ route, but it appears on the journey planner if you specify that you want to travel via Wandsworth Road.

    • Hi Richard,

      The default route is an avoiding zone 1 route as it is charged the same as if you change at Brixton and Vauxhall.

  194. Thanks Mike
    I took the jubilee line to canada water from stratford then got on the overground to clapham north and the northern line to south wimbledon!
    Tina

    • Hi Tina,

      Ah, that changes things then. If that journey was in the last few weeks then it should have charged correctly. There was a problem with the system not recognising the Clapham North interchange, but TfL were supposed to have compensated everyone who used it since the beginning of December automatically. If you didn’t receive a refund then you should call the helpdesk.

  195. Sorry if the answer to this is blindingly obvious but I am new to London travel!

    Yesterday I bought a return ticket from a machine at Liverpool Street, to Southall. As far as I could work out, the only way to do this was to use the tube to Paddington then catch a National rail train to Southall on the Heathrow service.

    But when I tried using my ticket in the gate at the tube station at Liverpool Street, it wouldn’t let me and I had to use my Oyster card.

    Looking at the ticket again, it doesn’t say from Liverpool Street, it says from London Terminals.

    Where did I go wrong? Did I select the wrong ticket?

    • Hi Steve,

      It’s not your fault, but it is a major flaw with the TVM software. Usually tickets to and from London do say London terminals because there are pretty much always more than one appropriate terminal that can be used. A side effect of this is that sometimes machines sell tickets to destinations not served by that terminal. Technically the ticket you needed was U1 London to Southall which includes a tube journey within zone 1 first. However, as Southall is within the Oyster area you could have used it for the whole journey and that would be the cheapest way as well.

  196. Thanks Mike, and for an excellent website. That will help. I commute from Suffolk to Liverpool Street and work near St Pauls within 15 minutes walk of the station, so just have a PAYG Oyster card for when it’s raining or very cold. I wanted to avoid using my Oyster Card for journeys like the one yesterday as I’m working with the civil service and it’s so much easier on expenses to have an old-fashioned NR ticket to put in rather than an Oyster printout. But I’ll get used to it I’m sure…

  197. Hello Mike,

    I wonder if you could give me some advice.

    Tomorrow I’m travelling from Walthamstow Central to Norwood Junction. I’ve got a zone 2-4 Travelcard and I’m hoping to get there without passing through Zone 1.

    I originally thought I would be able to do this by touching on the pink validator at Highbury & Islington and continue on the Overground towards West Croydon, but according to the single fares finder it appears that I will need to pass through Stratford as well!

    Do I REALLY need to travel through Stratford though, but if I do, can I touch the pink validator only once at Highbury & Islington?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Ellie,

      The line between Highbury & Islington and Norwood Junction passes through zone 1 at Shoreditch High Street. Therefore to avoid zone 1 you do need to go via Stratford, and also touch the pink validator there as well.

  198. Hi Mike,

    Thank you very much for clearing this up! Stratford it is then 🙂 I just realised I can get a bus to Woodford Station, so I can save two journey legs on my way to Whitechapel.

  199. Hi Mike. Have followed your website for an age now and it’s fascinating to see what little tips can be picked up now and again. But two items on the TfL Fares Charts are baffling me…
    Under “Tube, DLR and Overground” fares there are fares shown for ‘Zone 9 only’ (except a cash fare). However, I can only see Amersham in this zone, so how can TfL charge for a ‘Zone 9 Only’ journey when it can’t be done?
    Also, under “Adult National Rail” only fares the Oyster PAYG fares for ‘Zones 1-9’ cost MORE than ‘Zones 1-9 + Grays’ = More cost for less travel!! How can this be? Am I missing something here?

    • Hi Colin,

      The first one is easy. Bothe Amersham and Chesham are in zone 9, but you can’t travel between them without visiting zone 8, so your point still holds. The reason the fare exists is so that if someone has a travelcard season including zone 8 (but not 9) and they want to travel to Amersham, they can be charged just a zone 9 fare.

      The second one is very interesting. Grays is just outside zone 6 but C2C wouldn’t allow it to be classed as zone 7. I wonder if that cap ought to be just zone 1-6 + Grays. Moreover, if you travel to/from Grays first and then venture out to zone 9, I wonder how it will really cap. That could be the subject of a future day out for me.

      Thanks for asking the question.

  200. Hi Mike,

    I use Oyster and commute from Northwood to Baker Street and as luck would have it often miss the semi-fast train back. Last week I wondered if I could just get a fast service to Moor Park and then come back on myself one stop to Northwood. Is that allowed, and if so would it take me into Zone 7 and cost me extra? I haven’t worked out if it would be quicker than taking a slow train but it would probably be an easier journey and better than waiting for the next semi-fast. Thank you!

    • Hi Lizzie,

      Yes, that’s fine. Moor Park is in both zones 6 and 7 so you don’t go into zone 7 unless you go beyond it. As long as you touch out within the maximum journey time from your touch in then there will be no problems.

  201. hi mike

    i am starting a new job at canary whatf and will be travelling from hillingdon. what is the best way to pay for my travel and also the cheapest? not sure whether to do travel card or oyster?

    TFL website says i can do it avoiding zone 1 to make the journey cheaper but wont show me how!

    thanks

    • Hi Tanya,

      The avoiding zone 1 route is to take the Met line to either Wembley Park or Finchley Road and then continue (or go back one stop) on the Jubilee to West Hampstead. Change there to the Overground station and take the Overground to Stratford then take the Jubilee line again down to Canary Wharf. You must touch the pink validator at Stratford while changing to tell the system you’ve gone that way.

      As with many simple journeys if you only make 5 return trips a week then PAYG will be cheaper, but if you make other journeys you’ll probably find a travelcard more convenient and economic. If you only have a zone 2-6 travelcard on your Oyster then you’ll still need to touch the pink validator at Stratford or the system will try to take £2.10 from your PAYG balance for a zone 1 single.

      Hope that helps.

  202. Hi,

    I travelled from Warwick Avenue to Kew Gardens. The route I took was the Bakerloo Line to Willesden Junction and then the London Overground to Kew Gardens. The journey was made during the offpeak hours and I’ve been charged £2.70 but looking at the fare guide I think this should’ve been £1.50 as I’ve avoided zone 1. Any thoughts ? Thanks Steve

    • Hi Steve,

      You need to touch the pink validator at Willesden Junction to tell the system that you’ve avoided zone 1.

  203. OK, thanks, I didn’t realise that – I’l keep an eye out for it next time. Are they the similar to the yellow buttons on posts that are at National Rail stations ?

  204. Hi Mike,

    I am going to be making daily journeys from Rayners Lane to Mile End for the next few weeks. I am contemplating buying a zone 2-5 weekly travelcard as this is cheaper than the zone 1-5. What route should I take and where should I tap in to show that I have not gone through zone 1? Please let me know also which stations I should touch the pink validator. Thanks, Nayani

    • Hi Nayani,

      Unfortunately there is no avoiding zone 1 fare for Rayners Lane to Mile End. This means that you have to fool the Oyster system into thinking you’ve made two journeys. Touch in at Rayners Lane and out at West Hampstead (Jubilee). Then touch in at West Hampstead (LO) and travel to Stratford. That is your first journey and walking between the West Hampstead stations tells Oyster that you’ve gone that way. At Stratford you must IGNORE the pink validator and instead go to the gateline and touch out to end the journey. You can immediately touch back in and then go to the Central Line for the 1 stop to Mile End. Both these journeys avoid zone 1 so your travelcard will be fine. Please note, you MUST use the gateline at Stratford, not the pink validator or the yellow platform validators within the station. Only the gateline will work as intended.

      Hope that helps.

  205. did the oyster cards covers any zones which can help me to transfer and transport from weybridge to oxford street in central london ?

    thnaks

    • Hi mmm,

      Weybridge is outside the Oyster area so you cannot use it to travel from there.

  206. Hi Mike, brilliant effort providing people with help. I’ve read through most of your comments and think there’s no way I can avoid purchasing a zone 1-2 travel card, but thought I’d double check. I’m looking to travel Hampstead Heath to Whitechapel return 5 days a week, and I’m prepared to stump up for a full annual season ticket. I’d be extremely grateful if you could confirm what options I have…

    Many Thanks

    • Hi Luke,

      Basically 2 opyions. Option 1 requires a zone 1-2 season and involves Hampstead Heath -> Highbury & Islington -> Whitechapel. Option 2 requires a zone 2-3 season and involves Hampstead Heath -> Stratford -> Mile End -> Whitechapel. You must touch the pink balidator at Stratford to prove you’ve avoided zone 1. Mile End is a cross platform interchange between Central and District lines. If you needed to cross zone 1 on a zone 2-3 season then you would only pay the zone 1 single (currently £2.10) per journey.

  207. Hi Mike, I travel from potters bar to greenford mon-Fri.can I buy a zone 2-6 ticket instead of zone 1-6 because I don’t actually come out zone 1 at all. I come in from finsbury park which is zone 2 and greenford is in zone 4.
    I’m sure you have answered this previously but I have tried to read through but its difficult. Great job you are doing
    Thanks

    • Hi Ken,

      If you travel through zone 1 then you need a ticket that covers it. If you don’t want to pay for zone 1 then you’ll need to change your journey to Finsbury Park -> Highbury & Islington -> Shepherd’s Bush -> Greenford.

  208. I am a little confused. The National Rail Enquiries website advises the fare from London (Victoria) is from £2.20 with an Oyster card but I didn’t think I could use an Oyster card on this journey. It appears the normal “cheap” fare is £4.00 for a singlr journey. Can you clear it up for me?

    • Hi Kevin,

      You can use Oyster from London Victoria as long as the journey remains within the Oyster area.

  209. Hi Mike,

    Sorry if this seems obvious, but I can’t seem to find an answer. Is Oyster valid on any train between Euston and Watford Junction, or just on London Overground trains? Thanks

    • Hi Charlie,

      Oyster PAYG is valid on any Overground or London Midland train between Euston and Watford Junction. A travelcard is additionally valid on Virgin trains in conjunction with a boundary zone X to somewhere up norf ticket. Virgin do not carry passengers solely between Euston and Watford.

  210. Hi Mike.
    What’s the default route for Wallington to Kingston please? The single fare finder shows £3.20 peak/£2.20 off peak. I’m finishing work on Friday and going straight to Kingston to meet former workmates for drinks. I can get the slow train to Clapham Junction and back out again or I can go Sutton-Wimbledon-Kingston. If I choose the latter a) is it any cheaper and if so b) how do I tell Oyster I’ve taken this route and avoided zone 2? I’m using PAYG for the whole journey. Thanks.

    • Hi Phil,

      That fare is a 4 zone outside zone 1 NR fare so the default route is via Wimbledon. You won’t be charged any more if you go via Clapham Junction.

  211. Hi Mike,

    I plan to visit London next June and start my Europe tour from there, since my hotel will be near Finsbury Park, and the meeting point will be near Canada Water, what is the best route to take? Learning from the tube map, can I take Victoria line to Highbury & Islington then to London overground to Canada Water? Is it possible? And is it faster than go straight to Green Park and take Jubilee line to Canada Water? I will be using Oyster Card. Thanks

    • Hi Eviyana,

      Yes, Victoria then Overground is possible and should be quicker than Victoria and Jubilee.

  212. I forgot to tap out at the station now oyster didn’t work for bus what do I have to do to make it work again?

    • Hi Dave,

      It is likely that your card now has a negative balance. You’ll need to top it up to allow it to be used again. You can also contact the helpdesk to arrange a refund of the overcharge, or they may email you anyway (if it’s a regular journey), or if you have an online account it may appear as an available for refund maximum charge. Whichever way it gets sorted you won’t be able to use the card until you make a top up.

  213. Re: Bromley South to Clapham Junction via Wandsworth Road – I was charged £4.70 for taking this route even though it avoids zone 1. We could do with some more purple interchange points for some of the stations on the new overground line!

    • Hi Richard,

      You shouldn’t have been. If there are no additional touches between Bromley South and Clapham Junction then it assumes avoiding zone 1. Was the journey a recent one? Can you copy the journey history?

  214. hi i need to know if i want to buy pass from wembley park to stratford which pass i have to buy from zone1-4 or zone 3-4

    • Hi Mahesh,

      If you want to travel all the way on the Jubilee Line then you’ll need zones 1-4. If you are happy to change at West Hampstead and use LO between there and Stratford then zones 2-4 will do the trick. You will definitely need more than zones 3-4.

  215. Hi, I am travelling in London in a few weeks time. I am parking at Epping and travelling from Epping to Stratford International and back again. This will be on a Saturday and need a bit of advice on what ticket i will need etc. Is it just a single both ways? Thanks

    • Hi James,

      Cash singles on the Underground are very expensive. You will be better off buying an Oyster card and loading £3 credit. At the end of the trip you can either get a refund of the deposit or keep the card for the next time you visit London.

  216. Hi – fab website!

    If I have a zones 1 – 2 travelcard loaded on to my Oyster card and then do a journey from zone 1 to zone 3, do I just have to pay the zone 2 – 3 PAYG charge?

  217. Re your reply to James, I don’t think you can get an Oyster card with just £3. The minimum load seems to be £5, although possibly a friendly Oyster Ticket Stop might do less.

    • Thanks Thomas,

      Even if he does have to load £5 it will still be cheaper than the £11 cost of two singles. Certainly National Rail TVMs allow you to add any amount you want.

  218. Hi Mike,
    This might be a silly question since I’ve just moved to London. May I ask if I travel from Hendon to West Hampstead via national rail and then to Olympia Kensington via overground using the oystercard, how much will be charged? The TfL website said it would be £2.1, or £1.7 for off peak. But I understand that the West Hampstead is three seperate stations so that I need to touch in and out. Could you please kindly let me know how much will I be charged? Thank you in advance.

  219. Hello,

    I travel from Hertford East to Oxford Circus for work
    For going to work – I generally take the route from Hertford East to Seven sisters (national rail), then seven sisters to Oxford Circus (victoria line).
    For coming back I coudl take either Oxford Circus to Seven Sisters to Hertford East or Oxford Circus to Tottenham Hale to Hertford East (depends on which national rail train – I can catch depending on time).
    I generally take the monthly travelcard from Hertford stations to London Zones 1-6 which cists me around 345-350 quids.
    I am sure to board the train and get down at Hertford east. The only thing which I am not sure of is at which London terminal – it could be either tottenham hale or seven sisters.

    What is the cheapest ticket/travelcard I could buy if i need to travel from Hertford East to Oxford Circus? I am planning to take a monthly pass? What would it cost to me? (I travel 5 days a week for work)

    Could I get a London underground travelcard for only Zones 1, 2 and 3 (thinking it would be cheaper than London Zones 1-6)
    everytime I had asked one at the station – they had said – they dont give for London Zones 1, 2,3 but only for Zones 1 to 6?

    • Hi,

      Unfortunately it is unlikely that you can save anything on that journey. With an out-boundary travelcard you start buying zones at 6 and carry on as far as you need down to 1 if you want to go all the way into Central London. The difference between a ticket to London terminals and a ticket including a travelcard is less than you’d spend on 10 peak tube journeys in zones 1-2, so you won’t save by buying a smaller travelcard and a point-to-point season.

  220. Hey Mike…. brilliant website! I think you may be my new hero… a human who can make sense of TFL! So… I will be commuting From Finchley Central to Wimbledon in a couple of weeks (I am usually a bus traveller) I have calculated the single peak journey as £3.80 (so both journeys ££7.60) Now… there is no barrier at Finchley Central station… if I don’t touch in… am I automatically charged the peak price cap when I touch out at Wimbledon? I hope you can help me with this… I am sooooo confused!

    • Hi Fay,

      No. You would be charged an incomplete journey and it would not count towards the cap. It would also be considerably more than the single fare you need to pay. You must touch in at the start and out at the end to be charged correctly. If the gates are open then you can still touch on the reader as long as it displays an amber light.

  221. Hi Mike,
    I have a question about weekly travel cards. We normally renew online. This week, my wife hurt her back can cannot go to work and we cannot go to the nominated station to activate. Do you know whether we will get refund if we do not activate within the 3 days window?

    • Hi Tan,

      Yes you will. The sale will be cancelled and monies returned to the accunt used for payment.

  222. Hi Fay,
    Was wondering which would be the cheapest way formy husband and I who both have purchased senior rail cards to travel from St Pacras railway station to Canada Water Station

    • Fay? Hmmm

      You’ll need to log the senior railcard onto an Oyster card to give you the discount off off-peak fares/caps. This can be done at any Underground station, although larger ones are usually better at knowing what to do, and Kings Cross St Pancras is known to be very good. Then take any appropriate route. Two obvious ones are Ham&City to Whitechapel then Overground to Canada Water, or Northern to London Bridge and Jubilee to Canada Water. Whichever way you go it will cost the same.

  223. Hi Mike,

    Firstly, thanks for this amazing site and your free advice.

    I’m working in North Greenwich (Zone 2 & 3) and looking for accommodation near Clapham Common (Zone 2). I was hoping to get a monthly Zone 2 travel card on my Oyster card for work, however I would travel through Zone 1 (London Bridge) to change lines (Northern Line to Jubilee Line).

    Would I still be able to get a Zone 2 travel card if I traveled from Clapham Common (Northern Line) to Clapham High Street (change to overground), then proceed to Canada Water where there’s a pink validator and get the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich?

    I’m not sure if this is even possible, but it’s worth a try 🙂 Maybe there’s an alternative route you could suggest too please?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Paul,

      Your avoiding zone 1 route is the first alternative option and will be selected when you interchange between Clapham North and High Street, so no problems there. You cannot get a zone 2 only travelcard, however. The cheapest for you would be zones 2-3.

  224. Hi Mike ,
    I am travelling from Dagenham Heathway to Amersham tomorrow and I looked on tfl fare finder and it said that it will be cheaper if I touch the pink card reader at West Hampstead
    and change for the jubilee line but I’m worried that I might have to pay two seperate train fares because West Hampstead (Overground) and West Hampstead (jubilee line) are two seperate stations . Will it be cheaper going via West Hampstead

    Thanks

    • Hi Joe,

      I note this reply is too late for you – sorry. As long as you don’t exceed the interchange time between the West Hampstead stations then the two journeys will be combined and charged as one. It won’t be a pink reader at either West Hampstead station because you have to exit and re-enter. See the Out of Station Interchange page for more details.

  225. Hi, my daughter is sixteen with an oyster card, Im trying to find out what the cheapest travel option would be for her when she starts college. She will be travelling from Mottingham Station to Oxford Circus 3 days a week???

    Thank u

    • Hi Annie,

      A 16+ Oyster card will allow purchases of travelcard seasons at half price (ie child rate) which should be cheaper than 3 days of adult fares on PAYG. Mottingham is in zone 4 so she’d need a zone 1-4 travelcard season.

  226. Hi Mike, I will need a monthly pass as I will be travelling from bexley to Belsize park. I will take train from bexley to London bridge and then underground from London bridge to Belsize park. Which zones travel pass do I need?? Thanks

    • Hi Shatrughan,

      Bexley is in zone 6 so you’d need a zones 1-6 travelcard season.

  227. Hi Mike,
    Was hoping that you’ll be able to answer a question for me. Soon I will be travelling by national rail from brentwood to chadwell heath then getting a bus to Dagenham. What is the most cost effective way to do this? Is there a travel card I could put on my oyster and how much would it cost?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Rhian,

      There is a travelcard, but because of a flaw in the Oyster pricing model you should not put it on Oyster. You need a Brentwood to London zones 5-6 travelcard at £37.70/week.

  228. Hello Mike,

    I was hoping you can answer my question. I am travelling from Vauxhall to South Bromley via zone 1 (London Victoria). I am using the zone 1 – 5 weekly travel card. If I choose to travel through Brixton i.e. Vauxhall to Brixton and taking the overground from Brixton to South Bromley can I use the zone 2 – 5 weekly travel card? Please advise which way will be cheaper for Vauxhall to Bromley South as i want to cut my oyster expense down. Even the price finder website is showing cheaper rate instead of zone 1-5 rates.

    This is a bit confusing and it will be useful for me if you can help advice.

    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Srinivas,

      A journey from Vauxhall to Bromley South will be much cheaper if you avoid zone 1. The drawback is that it will probably take longer.

  229. Hello Mike

    I am enquiring about the best – and cheapest – options for my commute from Bowes Park to Old Street. The FCC website have priced a monthly ticket at £85.30 whilst TFL price a zones 1-3 travel card at a much more expensive £136.80. It makes more sense to get a First Capital Connect season ticket. Would you agree this is the best option? If so, should I continue to use the PAYG oyster card I have for any nights out after work where I may go into another part of London and home via a different route?

    Also would you advise that it’s easier to get a paper version of the FCC season ticket and switch between that and the PAYG Oyster when needed? Or is it possible to combine the two (PAYG+ FCC season ticket) on an Oyster card?

    Thanks in advance
    Danni

    • Hi Danni,

      You can’t load a point-to-point season onto an Oyster card. If your other usage is minimal compared to your commute then I’d say the paper season will be cheapest. You may have to monitor how much other usage goes on your Oyster, because if you regularly spend more than the difference between a zone 1-3 travelcard and your season, it could be time to change tack.

  230. Is there a way to complain about the fair finder/default route? Just checked Cockfosters to Clapham junction is a £3 single fair, but the route you need to take for this isn’t specified and the alternative fares listed show £4.30 for going via Vauxhall, Waterloo, Victoria, and a host of other stations.
    Surely listing £3 is wrong as the most reasonable ways to make the journey would be via one of the £4.30 options above. There are only a few alternatives I can see not covered such as via West Brompton or Balham – not options I would have thought of!

    • Hi Ian,

      I share your pain. My advice is to always load up the alternate fares page and examine all the routes because that will often explain what the default isn’t. Also bear in mind that the default route will often be one that can be made using TfL routes only.

      As to complaining, please do. You can complein on the website using the “help and contact” link at the top right of the page. If enough people say it they might just listen.

  231. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for your very informative website. I am traveling to London for the first time this summer. I figured the best way to go from Victoria to Watford is to take the tube from Victoria to Euston, then take the midland train to Watford. I have a couple questions though, hope you don’t mind:
    1) At the Euston station, do I have to touch out from the tube and then touch in for the rail service? Will this be considered 2 separate journeys then?
    2) I will be touching in at Victoria before 9:30 (so peak), but will be arriving at Euston after 9:30, will the Euston to Watford leg be considered peak or off peak?
    3) For the return trip, again, will this be considered one journey or 2? I will be touching in from Watford potentially between 16:00-19:00, I believe if I end my journey at Euston, it will be the offpeak price…but if I carry on to Victoria, will the whole trip be considered peak?

    As you can see, I am trying to figure out if I am better off trying to travel after 9:30 and return before 16:00, or if I want to stick with my original schedule, if I should get a separate one day Zone 1 travel card for the Victoria Euston portion of the trip (assuming I will use it for other travels the same day) so the Euston Watford leg will be offpeak, or I can use Oyster PAYG without incurring the additional charges.

    Thanks so much for your help!
    Claudia

    • Hi Claudia,

      Firstly, as long as you touch back in within the set interchange allowance the two journeys will be combined as one. In your case this may be a blessing or it might not. Full details of the times allowed are on the out of station interchanges page, but for your journey it is 40 minutes when going from LU to NR and 20 minutes the other way round. For the price of a bus journey (£1.40) you can break the journey in two by touching on a bus and getting straight off. Most drivers are used to people making this supposedly illogical move, so you won’t have any problems. You could also plan to get some refreshment at Euston taking enough time for the OSI to lapse, particularly on the way back. If you do try this I’d add a couple of minutes on just to be sure that the system won’t still combine the journeys.

      As with all journeys, the key time is touch in at the start. If that is before 0930 at Victoria then it would make the whole trip to Watford a peak one, and again in the afternoon if you start between 1600 and 1900. However, you mention possibly making other journeys within zone 1 that day. If you do, you may not need to worry about the way back as the total of off-peak journeys including Watford Junction and zone 1 is capped at £15.70. This includes any journeys in the afternoon peak. I don’t think it would be worth getting a separate one-day travelcard for zones 1 & 2 (you have to have at least 2 zones) as that costs £7.30 off-peak or £8.80 peak. The Euston to Watford Junction fares are £4.50 each way off-peak, so you’d end up spending more.

      Hope this helps.

  232. Mike,

    Thanks so much for your quick response! And I didn’t even think about the price caps which adds another layer of complexity.
    Just to confirm my understanding:
    1) I think I understand how all time and off peak price cap is determined – everything count towards all time and off peak is basically all travel after 9:30. And they will stop charging once I hit one of the 2 caps. Is this correct? And let’s say after 9:30 I make a journey between Zone 1 and Watford, and later make a bunch of Zone 1 only journeys. Will I have 2 different price caps, or they will always pick the higher one (£15.70?) and my zone 1 only journeys will be counted towards the higher price cap?
    2) I read from your website that Watford to Euston between 1600-1900 is considered off peak since it’s in the wrong direction…but if I add the Euston Victoria leg to the overall journey, I suppose they will consider the whole journey peak and charge me £8.60 instead of £5.70? But If I wait 20 minutes+ in Euston, then it will be considered 2 trips, then it becomes £4.5 + £2.1 = £6.6?

    Many thanks again for your help!!!
    Claudia

    • Hi Claudia,

      1) Yes, it stops whenever one of the caps is reached. You can only have one cap per section (anytime and off-peak), so if you go out to Watford it will set the cap accordingly.
      2) All correct.

  233. Great website! I need to take my 4&7 yr old sons to sports camp daily for 3days in Brentwood. F&F or network card? We are based in Waterloo. What’s the cheapest way to get there? Since kids travel free on Undergrd, would it help if I go to the furthest tube station to pick up the rail to Brentwood. Would a zip oyster help?

    Another thing, is it free travel for kids btw Waterloo and Watford Junction?

    • Hi again Su,

      I don’t think a zip Oyster would help you because it will cost £10 and you wouldn’t be able to get adult discounts without a paying child. This also negates the value of travelling as far as you can on the Underground. The cheapest ticket is probably a Zone U123 London to Brentwood return which allows you to take the Jubilee line to Stratford and then to Brentwood from there.

      Waterloo to Watford Junction is free for under 10s, although with the F&F card you will probably find it cheaper to pay for a child. In this instance a Zone U1 London to Watford Junction ticket will allow tube to Euston and National Rail from there.

  234. Hi Mike,

    I have a zone 2-3 travel card.

    Today I started my journey from Forest Hill to Caledonian road and Barnsbury then took a bus to get to my work in Kings Cross in order to avoid zone 1 charges.

    I double checked this route with 2 different oyster helpline staff who confirmed that I would not be charged for travelling via Shoreditch High Street. Despite this advice the system still charged me £2.10

    I guess I was been misadvised? I would appreciate your comments and any suggestions you may have to avoid zone 1 charged to Kings Cross

    Thanks in advance

    • Yes, you were misadvised. There are posters at many stations in SE London advising people that zone 1 is required to travel via Shoreditch High Street. To avoid zone 1 on your journey you need to go via Stratford and touch the pink reader on the overground platforms. You can either change at Canada Water or at Whitechapel and Mile End.

  235. Hello,

    I thought I had understood the red/green division of NR+Tube fares on the fares page, especially as I use Clapham Junction! However, I travelled from Clapham Jct to Stamford Brook, via Richmond NR + District Line, touching a pink reader during my change at Richmond. The (gold card) fare was only £1.00, which I thought a mistake until I saw the fare finder says the same. Why do they charge as if it’s a TfL-only Z2-Z4 fare when I touched in at a NR station and pink-readered at one also? As far as I can see, using the pink reader at Richmond is unequivocally proving a red NR+TfL Z2-Z4 journey of £1.25 (so perhaps I’m being generous to TfL in touching it!).

    Thanks,
    Tam

    • Hi Tam,

      It’s being generous. There are two reasonable routes for your journey; the one you took and via West Brompton and Earls Court. The latter is a TfL only route and is what is being charged for. The rationale behind pink readers is that they should never charge more after touching them (when using Oyster correctly) because then people would be wise and just ignore them. When you touch out at Stamford Brook it will look for a via point indicating that you’ve used zone 1 (Vauxhall, Waterloo etc) and if it doesn’t find one it is left with the default zone 2 only fare.

      Note that this works where the route identifier is a pink reader, but not if the route identifier is an out-of-station interchange. If Richmond were two stations that you had to touch out and back in again you would be charged the fare to the intermediate point on the first touch out and this would not be refunded at the end of the journey.

  236. Hi Mike,

    First time used London tube and DLR. Below is the statement where I’ve been charged for the journey from Temple to Crossharbour via OSI from Cannon street to Bank DLR as two separate journeys (I’ve touched out and touched in during OSI).
    On a way back from South Quay to Temple, I’ve been charged as one journey but I did change in Bank to Monument and was not touching out and touching in during this change as haven’t found any validators on the way. What could have I done wrong? Appreciate your support as want to understand really the principles.

    Date / Time Journey / Action Charge Balance
    Monday, 24 June =£7.00 daily total
    16:56 – 17:28 South Quay DLR to Temple £2.10 £0.70
    17:28 Touch out, Temple +£5.10 £0.70
    16:56 Touch in, South Quay DLR £7.20 -£4.40

    16:58 Topped up, +£2.70 £2.80
    08:36 – 08:59 Bank to Crossharbour DLR £2.80 £0.10
    08:59 Touch out, Crossharbour DLR +£4.40 £0.10
    08:36 Touch in, Bank £7.20 -£4.30

    08:16 – 08:28 Temple to Cannon Street [London Underground] £2.10 £2.90
    08:28 Touch out, Cannon Street [London Underground] +£5.10 £2.90
    08:16 Touch in, Temple £7.20 -£2.20

    Sunday, 23 June £0.00 daily total
    11:16 Topped up, Embankment +£5.00 £5.00

    • Hi Alisher,

      There is no OSI between Cannon Street LU and Bank because you are expected to use Monument instead. The OSI between Cannon Street NR and Bank does not involve the Underground at Cannon Street at all.

  237. Hi Mike. Thanks a lot for your reply.. Now I understand why I was charged for two separate journeys. Actually, I followed the route which Android software suggested:) But by looking at tube map now, it is clear that software does not always suggest the right thing to do:)

  238. Hi Mike,

    I want your help. I will be travelling from east ham to haggerston 5 days per week..which is the best way to go there? and how much it will cost per day?

    • Hi vasilis,

      You can find your journey on the single fare finder. The fastest route is the default which involves travel via Whitechapel. The cheaper alternative requires you to change at West Ham, Stratford and Cannonbury and touch the pink validator at Stratford.

  239. Thanks for your reply..on the other stations I wont touch anything? touch the yellow validator on east ham, pink on stratdford and then again yellow at haggerston?

    • That’s right. West Ham and Cannonbury are normal stations where you don’t need to touch anything.

  240. Hi Mike.
    My journey yesterday was Croydon to Stratford for Hard Rock Calling. Took the Overground from West Croydon to Canada Water, swiped the pink reader, then got the Jubilee line. I’m unfamiliar with Stratford station and on coming up the escalator I couldn’t see a gateline-but I did see a stand alone validator so I swiped on it for exit. I then followed the signs for “Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park events” and came to the gateline. Told the guy I’d already done an exit swipe, he said that was ok and to swipe again on the barrier, which I did, it opened okay and I left the station.

    For the return journey I came back to East Croydon. When I got to Canada Water I had just missed the West Croydon train. Faced with a half hour wait I decided to get the Crystal Palace train and a bus home from there, but then realised there was a Southern going to East Croydon following behind the CP train, so I changed onto it at Sydenham. Got to East Croydon and swiped out ok.

    Journey history email received today shows I was charged £1.50 for the outward journey and £2.20 for the return? did my double exit swipe affect the fare, and if so how?

    • Hi Phil,

      West Croydon to Stratford is a TfL rail fare while Stratford to East Croydon is a mixed NR + TfL fare. I’d guess that that explains the difference. Stratford has continuation exit set on all validators which is why it didn’t matter that you’d already touched out.

  241. How far is Enfield from Central London?
    If I am new to London with limited source of income (student), would it advisable to stay somewhere in Enfield, or where do you suggest i get a very economical and safe place to stay in London?
    If I were to bring my wife later on with our Lab dog to stay with me in London what are the options for a reasonable rented small place to stay close to Central London (which where my University is located)?
    Can you please guide me regarding all these factors, I am from India?
    Thanks in advance for whatever guidance you can give me.

    • I’m sorry but I really am not quallified to offer opinions of the sort you require. All I can say is that Enfield is about 10-12 miles north of Central London and the main railway stations are in zone 5.

  242. Hi Mike, This maybe a silly question. If I get a zone 1-4 travelcard on my oyster, can I travel from Stratford to Victoria or Upton Park to Blackfriars and on to Mitcham Junction?

    • Hi Peter,

      Yes. A travelcard entitles you to make unlimited journeys within the zones covered, including going from zone 4 to zone 4 via zone 1 if you want.

  243. Hi Mike,

    It might be a simple one for you. I use oyster with young person rail card. I used to travel in the evenings between 6-7pm from Kensington Olympia to Holborn via Sheperds Bush and was always charged £1.6 but now doing the same journey from Marble Arch costs me £2.10. I am perplexed with this?

    • Hi Suri,

      This is one of the few cases where the off-peak concession on TfL journeys ending in zone 1 in the evening peak actually costs less than a wholly within zone 1 journey. From Kensington Olympia it’s a zone 2-1 journey which is £2.10 off-peak discounted to £1.40 with your railcard. From Marble Arch it’s a peak journey (because it starts between 1600-1900) where the fare is also £2.10 but can’t be discounted.

  244. Hi Mike, thanks for the great work!

    I’ve got a Zone 1 – 2 Annual season ticket at the moment – this costs £1216 / 12 = 101 monthly) , however I would soon be moving houses to zone 4 (Arnos Grove). After my move, I would be coming to zone 1 every Sunday. I am trying to determine what would be the cheapest option:

    1. Remain on the annual zone 1-2 card and do pay as you go for 3 – 4.
    What’s the cost of zone 3 – 4 for a Zone 1-2 annual card especially considering the Gold card discount for annual cards?

    2. Switch to a monthly zone 2 – 4 (£96.80), use PAYG each weekend I enter zone 1. I can go from Canary wharf to Stratford to Highbury & Islington to Finsbury park and finally Arnos Grove without entering zone 1.
    What is the cost of Zone 1 entry with a 2 – 4 card. I would multiply this by 4, to get my total per month if I choose this option.
    P.S. – I realize an annual 2 – 4 would be cheaper monthly, but I may be moving office locations before the end of the year, so I do not want to get another annual season ticket at this point.

    Many thanks, Ify

    • Hi Ify,

      Zone 3-4 singles are minimal: £1.60 peak and £1.00 off-peak with railcard discount. Zone 1 single with a 2-4 card is £2.10 peak or off-peak, unless you get a railcard discount when the off-peak fare drops to £1.40.

  245. Hi Mike,

    Firstly, amazing thread of info you have here, truly invaluable!

    I have a few questions so my apologies:

    I commute 9-5 from Ealing Broadway Z3 to Iver (just beyond the Z6 boundary) and have nowhere to touch-out, which is costing me £7.20 per day! There was a FGW “Revenue Inspector” at Iver today who said I was only valid for travel as far as West Drayton, and recommended a ~£30 weekly travelcard in future. (I see his point, none of my money is going to FGW)

    How do FGW and TFL divvy up this £30 travelcard then?

    Does this travelcard cover all other travel in Z3-6? ie Can I bus to Brentford and train to Barnes with it as well? Or even better, bus to my other half up in Golders Green?

    Can they put this travelcard on my oyster so I don’t have to show my ticket everyday at Ealing Broadway?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Ols,

      Firstly you were lucky not to get a penalty fare or worse for using Oyster outside it’s area. There are two season tickets which would be appropriate for you. The cheaper one covers just Iver to Ealing Broadway and costs £33.20/week. Barring selling costs, all the money for that would go to FGW I believe. For £36.40/week you can get a travelcard between Iver and London zones 3-6. This would be valid throughout zones 3-6 and TfL on buses throughout London. I have no idea how the revenue would be split on this one. The difference between a weekly zones 3-6 (£30.20) and this ticket would probably all go to FGW, but the rest would be split according to the complex rules for travelcards.

      Sadly you cannot put any ticket valid outside the Oyster area on an Oyster card. You will be able to once Crossrail extends the Oyster area to Maidenhead, but not yet.

  246. Mike,

    The £36.40 between Iver and Z3-6 sounds ideal and keeps me moving around Z3 on the weekends! I did not even know you could get a travelcard between whole zones a specific station outside London!

    I don’t know if I was lucky yet, the Inspector read me the caution blurb without arrest “fail to mention something you may later rely on in court” etc, then interviewed me, and said they will send me letter in the next couple of weeks. Similar to the approach with a speeding ticket I guess? The guy next to me had no ticket at all and just coughed up £20 charge and carried on.

    As for putting the ticket onto the Oyster, just gives me something to look forward to when the Crossrail comes in!

    Many thanks again!

    • Hi Ols,

      That’s not so good. He has probably reported you for prosecution on the basis of repeated fare evasion. It would be a good idea to write down everything you can remember about what you said to him. When the letter arrives (which may be more than 2 weeks) it will probably ask you for your side of the story. It’s best to be honest and remorseful at this point, while not contradicting anything you said at the time unless that was wrong. My only concern is that you may have given the impression that you regularly use the Oyster rather than buying a ticket. I don’t know how much that may change what they intend to do.

      The other thing that you may well need to do is seek urgent professional legal help.

  247. Hi,
    so all said and done, what is the cheapest way to get from Brentwood to Liverpool Street in peak times? What is the breakdown of the alternatives?

    I have so far seen people suggesting going to Romford and using the bus, tapping in and out at Stratford but really I would just like to know whether to get a PAYG Oyster card or weekly travel card?

    Thanks for all the help.
    Mr P

    • Hi Mr P,

      Sorry for the delay replying, but I needed to check some things out. If we discount the absolute cheapest way (walking) and use of buses, then the picture is like this:

      Brentwood to Liverpool Street (NR) is £7.30 peak single while a weekly travelcard is £82.50. If the journey is solely Brentwood to Liverpool Street then you can buy a weekly point-to-point season for £58.80 which will save money over Oyster PAYG if more than 4 return trips are made in a week. Monthly and longer period seasons will save a bit more.

      Where it gets complicated is if you go onwards from Liverpool Street on the Underground. Then it becomes £9.40 single fare and the travelcard becomes worthwhile. However, the peak single fare can be reduced to £8.40 by splitting (touching out and in again) at Stratford. If either half of either journey is then charged off-peak because of the times you can save even more. However, if you make 5 fully peak return trips the travelcard is still just cheaper, plus you get all the benefits for extra travel as well.

  248. Hi mike! Can you help me put please a bit confused at the moment if I start my journey before 9.30 but when I tap out it it no longer peak does my journey count as peak or off peak?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Touch in time defines the charge made, so if that is before 0930 then the journey will be peak, even if it ends after 0930.

  249. Hi,

    I was wondering if anyone could help me work out my journey from South Croydon to Camden Road.

    I have a zones 2-3 travelcard as I have only just moved into the area.

    What I am currently doing is getting the Southern train from South Croydon and going to Clapham Junction where I then have to go all the way to platform 17 to touch out and in again and then go all the way to platform 1 to get on the overground to Camden Road. There are no pink readers at Clapham Junction, which is just crazy! Anyway… Would I be able to get the train to West Brompton and use the validator there to get to Camden Road? I spoke to TFL and they told me that it will still charge me £4.20… I have no idea why though. I would really appreciate some help on this! 🙂

    Thanks

    • Hi Nadine,

      There are two routes for this journey. The cheap one involves changing at New Cross Gate, Canada Water and Stratford which avoids zone 1. To get that fare you must touch the pink validator at Stratford on the overground platform. Any other route charges the default fare which includes zone 1. You could go via West Brompton, but you would need to exit the station and re-enter rather than just touching the route validator. This makes it two journeys (like you currently do at Clapham Junction) both of which avoid zone 1 by default.

  250. Hi

    Just wondering if National Rail journeys from London Waterloo to Clapham Junction are included in a daily travelcard on Oyster PAYG? I use my Oyster PAYG to get to work on 1-2 buses, and then another 1-2 buses home but would sometimes like to get bus and train home rather than the bus.

    Thanks

    • Hi Rosanna,

      You can certainly use Oyster PAYG on NR services between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. If you only use buses then the daily cap is £4.40 whatever time of day you travel. If you add in a train or two then the zone 1-2 cap of £8.40 (all day) or £7.00 (after 09.30) might apply. The individual rail fares for that journey are £2.40 peak and £1.90 off-peak.

  251. Hi Mike.
    I wanted to know of it possible for me to travel on my oyster from uxbridge to new malden because when I checked on tfl it says some of my journey is on national rail. The journey planner said to go london waterloo but when I tried to find a single fare in the website from uxbridge to london waterloo nothing came up.

    Thanks.

    • Hi Nabiaa,

      Yes it is possible to travel from Uxbridge to New Malden. Just make sure that you touch in at Waterloo NR within 40 minutes of the time that you touch out at Waterloo LU and the two bits of the journey will be combined as one.

  252. Hello Mike could you answer a few of my inquiries please?

    If I buy a yearly or ~ 10 month Travelcard for Zone 1-9 + Watford Junction, does that mean I will be able to travel ANYWHERE in London + London-Watford junction and back anytime I want with that yearly season ticket?

    Or is it between fixed stations only? For eg, ONLY Euston-Watford junction and back but NO validity in central london.

    Or is it, for example, Waford Junction-Euston-Oxford Circus and back ONLY?

    Could you reply with examples please?

    Thank you very much for your help Mike!

    • Hi Gav,

      Anywhere within London zones 1-9 plus Watford Junction anytime you want. The only lines you can’t use are St Pancras Intl to Stratford Intl and Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow.

  253. Hi Mike
    I am using an oystercard to travel between Grove Park and Stratford. The oystercard fare finder shows a fare of £1.90 off peak. When I tried the journeyplanner the obvious route, via Lewisham DLR does not appear.
    What is the recognised route?
    Is use of DLR breaking the journey?

    • Hi Patricia,

      The journey planner is more concerned with speed rather than cost and often doesn’t show expected routes. The DLR is definitely included in rail travel with Oyster and the default fare involves changing at Lewisham onto the DLR.

  254. I’m utterly confused.

    The Fare Finder quotes the default fare (no alternative routes) from Brockley to Watford Junction to be £4.50 peak, £2.70 off-peak, but default fare for New Cross Gate – Watford Junction is as much as £8.60 / £5.70 respectively. Whence the difference? Surely any journey from Brockley must pass through New Cross Gate? And how do I get the cheap fare from Brockley? Must I change at Canada Water and Stratford, touching in on both pink validators?

    • Hi Daniel,

      That’s quite an easy one. Firstly though, I am getting alternative routes for both journeys and if you go via New Cross Gate from Brockley you will be charged the same as if you started there. The cheap fares are avoiding zone 1 which in the case of Brockley means via Crystal Palace or East Croydon, and then Clapham Junction, possibly also at Willesden Junction. At a guess the extra distance involved from New Cross Gate means that the option isn’t available from there, though I guess it should really be.

  255. Mike: I can’t see how to go via either Crystal Palace or East Croydon. There are onward rail services from Crystal Palace to Victoria, but that’s zone 1 as well, and to go via East Croydon would require getting to West Croydon first and then taking a bus or tram, which would be more than one journey. The way to go via Clapham Junction would be to change at (wait for it…) New Cross Gate for Overground towards Clapham Junction.

    Phil’s comment dated 1 Aug 2011 on
    https://www.oysterfares.com/route-validators-pink-readers/ seems to hint that the Overground-only route via Highbury & Islington and Willesden Junction is charged the cheap fare, despite passing through Shoreditch High St. There’s also http://www.londonbanter.co.uk/london-transport/12230-oyster-fare-confusion-osis.html which suggests changing at Whitechapel for H&C Tube.

    I’ll just call TfL to ask about the cheapest route and see what they say.

    • Sorry, looks like I should have carried on describing. From Clapham Junction you go via Kensington Olympia and Willesden Junction.

  256. Hi
    We (2 adults + 2 kids) are looking to travel to Wembley from Waterloo, I have 2 oyster PAYG cards, bought recently for zones 1 and 2, with £3.20 on each. Please let me know how much I would need to top these up and which zones would need to be included. Also how much is the journey for a child as a return.
    thanks

    • Hi Sam,

      PAYG cards do not have set zones. The system works out which level to cap at depending on the zones used each day. I wonder therefore if you mean that you have a zone 1-2 travelcard on the Oyster. If that is the case then you will be charged a TfL zone 3-4 single which is £1.60 peak and £1.50 off-peak each way. If there is no travelcard loaded then the full fare is £3.80 peak and £2.70 off-peak. If the kids are under 11 then they travel free on the Underground, or the single cash fare is £2.70 meaning that £3.40 for a child off-peak day travelcard is better value. If you are travelling one way before 0930 M-F then 2 child singles are less than an all-day travelcard.

      Hope that helps.

  257. Thanks Sam, about that Grove Park to Stratford journey, should I look for the pink validator at Canary Wharf when changing DLR trains?

    • Hi Patricia,

      There is no pink validator at Canary Wharf, so just hop across the platform. You shouldn’t have long to wait anyway, the trains connect tightly there.

  258. Hi

    I plan to travel from Luton, to get to Waterloo Station (Kings College Uni).

    The route I can best work out is going from Luton to Kings Cross and then catch the Northern Line to Waterloo. But theres a lot of stops along that underground route, and wondered if there was an alternative faster route? Overground maybe?

    Thanks

    • Hi Sandy,

      There’s no easy way to get from Kings Cross St Pancras to Waterloo without changing tubes somewhere. You’ll probably need to try a few routes out and see which one works best for you. The main ones are KXSP-Warren Street (Vic line) then Northern to Waterloo, KXSP-Leicester Square (Pic line) then Northern to Waterloo, KXSP-Oxford Circus (Vic Line) then Bakerloo to Waterloo, etc etc. You could also stay on the FCC train to either London Bridge or Elephant&Castle then go back to Waterloo using either NR/Jubilee or Bakerloo from Elephant. Finally, if the FCC train calls at West Hampstead you could change to the Jubilee line there. Unfortunately all the options include some relatively slow sections.

  259. Hi Mike,
    I’ll be having to travel from Mile End (zone 2) to Windsor & Eton Central, 5 days a week and wondered if the season ticket £74 from London stations to Windsor & Eton Central would cover the travel from Mile End? Or if I would need to buy a Season ticket and use my oyster card to get me to a National Rail station, before I can use the season ticket?
    Thanks,

    • Hi Louise,

      There are four season tickets available from Windsor and Eton Central, two of which also allow travel from Windsor and Eton Riverside.

      Central only to London Terminals only £63.90/week
      Cent/Riverside to London Terminals only £74.20/week
      Central only to London inc zones 1-6 £82.50/week
      Cent/Riverside to London inc zones 1-6 £89.00/week

      Travel everyday between Paddington/Waterloo and Mile End will add £28/week on Oyster PAYG so you will be better off with the combined rail and travelcard option. I’d only include travel to and from Riverside if you think you’ll use it, particularly if you have a travelcard as well.

  260. I am starting a new job where I will have to travel from Wimbledon to Waterloo stations. I will also have to take a short bus ride from Waterloo to my office and another one from my home to Wimbledon station. Under these circumstances what would be a better option for me:
    1. Zone 1 to Zone 3 season ticket costing £1424
    2. Season ticket between Wimbledon and Waterloo. If I take the second option, which will cost me £888, will it include bus rides. If the second option does not include bus rides, what is the best and cheapest way I can get bus rides?
    Thanks.

    • Hi Monika,

      Option 2 does not include buses. Using Oyster PAYG the single bus fare is £1.40, but bus travel is capped at £4.40/day so the 4th bus is almost free and any after that are free. You can also buy period bus passes to make greater savings. However, the annual bus pass still costs £784, so it looks like option 1 is better value. The other thing to consider is could you make the bus journey from Vauxhall rather than Waterloo? If you can you can get the zone 2-3 travelcard at £920/year. This is valid on all London buses, even in the zones not covered by the trravelcard.

  261. Hi Mike,

    I travelled from New cross gate to new barnet via highbury and islington and was charged £2.90, I have been trying to figure out why but cannot understand. Here is my journey info

    15:37 – 16:56 New Cross Gate to New Barnet [National Rail] £2.90

    Would like to know why? I expected zone 1-5 travel charge? Has going through shoreditch high street got anything to do with it?

    • Hi Asha,

      There are three different zone 1-5 fares. If you travel exclusively on TfL-Rail routes then it is £3.00, if you use exclusively NR routes it is £2.90, while if you mix NR and TfL it costs £4.30. London Overground is a weird case where it is treated as TfL on it’s own or if you also include other TfL routes (eg DLR, Underground), or as NR if, as you did, you only include other NR routes.

      Going through Shoreditch High Street makes it a zone 1-5 journey. If you avoid zone 1 by changing at Canada Water, Stratford and Highbury and Islington then it reduces to £2.20. You need to touch the pink validators at Stratford and Highbury to make that route work.

  262. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for answering all these questions. Here goes one more..

    If I have monthly Oyster travel card 2-4 and want to travel to Mile End, Stepeney green or WhitechapelI is there anyway that I can avoid being charged zone 1? I’m mentioning these three stations because any of these will work out for me and they’re all in zone 2.

    I’m travelling from Raynes Park (zone 4) and ideally would like to get off the train at Vauxhall Rail station and then take the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus and exchange for the Central line to get to either Mile End or Whitechapel.

    Will I be charged zone 1? This is not the fastest route from Raynes Park according to TFL.

    Many thanks.

    Trevor

    • Hi Trevor,

      You will be charged for zone 1 if you go via Oxford Circus because that is in zone 1. To avoid zone 1 you need to get off at Clapham Junction and take the Overground service to Whitechapel via Peckham Rye.

  263. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the answers to my other questions – this time, I wonder if I have understood Z1-Z2 offpeak fare correctly, or whether I have been overcharged (by 20p!). I made these two journeys only on Friday 13th, and have a Gold Card:

    Friday, 13 September 2013 £4.60 daily total
    21:40 – 22:00 Embankment to Clapham Junction [National Rail] £2.20
    22:00 Touch out, Clapham Junction [National Rail] +£1.05
    21:49 Touch in, Victoria (platforms 9-19) [National Rail] £1.85
    21:46 Touch out, Victoria [London Underground] +£1.85
    21:40 Touch in, Embankment £3.25

    17:10 – 17:31 Clapham Junction [National Rail] to Charing Cross [London Underground] £2.40
    17:31 Touch out, Charing Cross [London Underground] +£4.70
    17:24 Touch in, Waterloo [London Underground / National Rail] £4.70
    17:23 Touch out, Waterloo (platforms 12-19) [National Rail] +£4.70
    17:10 Touch in, Clapham Junction [National Rail] £7.10

    I think they should be exactly the same fare, £2.20, or is there a mysteriosity I have missed? The single fare finder offers no £2.40 fare by any of the various routes.

    • Hi Tam,

      You’ve been overcharged by more than 20p, but for the actual journey you made it is right. The first journey started in the afternoon peak and should have cost a lot more, but you benefitted from a quirk that reduces the price for some mixed NR+TfL journeys where the LU end is linked to an NR station. Clapham Junction to Waterloo NR is a peak fare of £2.40. Going on to an Underground station in zone 1 would normally add a further £1.50 in the peak, but it’s charged you as if you went Waterloo East to Charing Cross on NR which would have made the whole journey NR and still £2.40.

      However, you could have made the journey for £1.40 each way. You’d need to change between London Overground and the Northern line at Clapham High Street/Clapham North. This woud have made the whole journey at TfL prices, and because the afternoon one is a journey ending in zone 1 from outside zone 1 it would be treated as off-peak as well.

  264. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply. Wow, that’s really complicated. Is there an easy way to express the rule behind the quirk, because it apparently applied differently to my return journey via stations with the same characteristics, ie same zones, via LU connected to NR, and mixed mode. Is the single fare finder quoting an incorrect fare for Clapham Junction – Charing Cross LU via Waterloo, because it claims £2.20 (inc gold card)?

    Also, I thought that my first journey would benefit from the outside z1 terminating in z1 in evening peak becoming off peak, and then getting a gold card discount, but I think you’re saying that didn’t happen, or do I misunderstand? I have other evening peak journeys like Clapham Jct via Victoria to e.g. South Kensington charged at off peak (£3.30 in that case, when I had no gold card). I wondered if that was a West Brompton assumption, but clearly I touched gate lines at Victoria so it can’t be that.

    Top tip for me to remember that the Northern line is not as far away as I think, and gives me TfL- only fares. I always think I cannot easily reach it, when of course I can!

    • Hi Tam,

      £2.20 is the correct off-peak fare, but your journey was peak. The outside z1 terminating in z1 concession only applies to TfL fares.

      Are you sure your journey to South Kensington was in the evening peak? If it was then it’ll be another example of the quirk, possibly because it can be done using TfL only fares. I know there are some instances of fares from Wimbledon being charged for TfL only when travelling via Waterloo.

      Incidentally if you make the journey from Clapham Junction to South Kensington via Victoria with a gold card in the evening peak and the quirk applies you will actually be charged £2.40 rather than £2.20. This is because the system won’t reduce the charge made on touch out at Victoria.

      Complicated isn’t it?

  265. Hi Mike,

    It’s fiendishly complicated – to the outsider, a random deduction between about £1 and £3.50 might occur for any given journey!

    Yep, my Clapham Jct – Victoria NR – South Ken journey was definitely weekday evening peak for £3.30 … of course, should have used Overground then, too!

    Thanks for helping me understand.

  266. Hi Mike,

    I have a query you may be able to help with. If I have a Zone 2-4 weekly Oyster card what would happen in this scenario:

    I get on the Underground at Brixton (zone 2) and want to get off at Finsbury Park (also Zone 2). Clearly I need to commute through ZONE 1 to make this journey. So my question is:

    When I attempt to tap out at Finsbury Park with my Oyster card will the barriers let me through? Or would I have to top up using PAYG before I was allowed to exit?

    • Hi Chris,

      It would be better if you topped up first, but I believe that the system will let you exit and put your balance negative. This will then mean that your travelcard won’t work until you clear the balance.

  267. Hi Mike,

    I have started university in Elephant and Castle so will need to travel there from North Wembley most days. Will a travel-card for zones 2 to 4 cover my journeys?

    Also, will a travel-card for zones 2 to 4 cover journeys from Wembley Park to Canary Wharf?

    And one more question for a friend – which zones are needed for travel cards going from North Wembley to Putney Bridge (Roehampton University)? Will 2 to 4 also cover this?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Rita,

      The simple answer is that if you travel through zone 1 you need to pay for it.

      North Wembley to Putney Bridge is doable with a zone 2-4 travelcard – change at Willesden Junction and West Brompton. For Canary Wharf change at Willesden Junction and Stratford. Elephant and Castle is more difficult as it is right on the boundary of zones 1 and 2. You can do it, but it will take far longer than a through train from North Wembley. Change at Willesden Junction, Clapham Junction and Clapham High Street/Clapham North. Remember to touch the pink validators while changing at Willesden Junction, Stratford or West Brompton.

  268. Hi Mike,
    I’d like some fare advice and hope you can help.
    I have to go to Lewisham next week. My nearest station is WFJ. Lewisham is in both zones 2-3. I am thinking of getting a travelcard for my journey. Should I get the Euston-Z3 or Zones 1-9 + WFJ or a completely different travelcard?

    • Hi Jack,

      Just to clarify, you need to travel every day from Watford Junction to Lewisham in the morning and back in the evening? If this is the case then you need the zones 1-9 + Watford Junction ticket. The Euston to zone 3 ticket only covers you in the inner 3 zones.

      If time is not critical then there is a cheaper alternative using PAYG. Travel from Watford Junction to Willesden Junction, then to Stratford, then to Lewisham using the DLR. The peak single is then only £4.50 because you avoid zone 1. You’ll need to touch the pink route validators at both Willesden Junction and Stratford to get the cheaper fare.

  269. Hi Mark, I have to travelled to Bexleyheath from wembley everyday 6 days a week. My duty timing would be from 07:00am to 04:00pm. Can u please guide me what will be the best either oyster pay as you go or day travel card or a weekly.

    • Hi Rocha,

      That sort of cross London journey would almost certainly be better using a travelcard season.

  270. Wow Mike,you are the TFL guru!
    Question:I travel from West ham to Enfield Lock using a weekly travel card z 3-6.for the weeks when I have to travel to Enfield lock only for one day,is it cheaper to buy a ticket or use the oyster?
    Thanks for your time!

    • Thanks Bianca,

      Assuming you travel via Stratford then you should only buy a travelcard when you are making 5 return trips. The peak single is £3.20 while the travelcard is £30.20. Obviously if you make other journeys within your zones or on buses then the travelcard becomes more worthwhile, but it’s not unusual for a ‘simple’ rail commute to be cheaper using PAYG rather than a travelcard.

  271. Hi Mike, this site is brilliant! keep up the good work!
    I have a question about how much would it cost if I used an oyster PAYG only for national rail. If I was to go from Grove Park to Noribiton, how much would it cost?

    From the Osyter NR tables (on the tfl site) I calculate it to cost £7.20 each way on peak times.

    If I use the national rail website to find ticket prices, it claims Oyster price is £9.40 (10.40 for an Anytime return rail ticket), and if I use the Oyster fares finder from Grove park to Norbiton it shows £3.20.

    How would you work this out?

    • Hi Kwai,

      Grove Park is in zone 4 and Norbiton is in zone 5 so you only need to look at zone 1-5 fares if travelling via Waterloo. Thus the £7.20 becomes £6.20. However, that is the fare if you were to use the Underground for part of the journey. That is unlikely, so the fare you want is the NR only zone 1-5 at £4.70 which is the why National Rail says it would cost £9.40 return. Those fares apply if you touch out at Waterloo East and back in at Waterloo to indicate you’ve gone via zone 1. If you don’t go via zone 1 then the fare drops to £3.20. An example of that is Grove Park -> Lewisham -> Denmark Hill -> Clapham Junction -> Norbiton. Because that is the route without any intermediate touches it is shown as the default, for the obvious fares you have to click on the Alternative fares box on the single fare finder.

  272. Hi – as many others have said, this site is fantastic and your knowledge is incredible!
    Apologies is this is a simple question but I resisted buying an Oystercard and clung onto my paper travelcard for as long as possible but alas no more…. I now have a monthly Zone 2 & 3 Oyster travelcard and travel each day from Brockley to Southfields in the following stages: Brockley-Clapham Junction (train), Clapham Junction-Wimbledon (train), Wimbledon-Southfields (tube) and then the reverse coming home. I’m so used to just getting straight on the tube that I’ve already forgotten to tap the pink validator at Wimbledon – what’s the worst that will happen? Will the system assume that I’ve gone via zone 1?
    In addition to this, do the max journey times apply to travelcards or just PAYG? If I were to just miss the connection at C Junction in the evening, I could wait for the next train 30 mins later, potentially taking my journey time to over 90 mins. Would this be a problem?
    Sorry if these are obvious, but I’ve found myself v confused!
    Many thanks

    • Hi Colin,

      Don’t worry about the pink validator at Wimbledon, it has no effect on your journey. As to the maximum journey time, it shouldn’t be a problem because both your touch in and out stations are covered by your travelcard. If you look at journey history it would show two incomplete journeys rather than one complete one, but they’d both be charged at zero because they are in the zones.

      Finally, have you considered taking the Overground from Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays and then south to Brockley?

  273. Many thanks – that’s put mind mind at ease!
    I have done the Clapham – Peckham – Surrey Quays – Brockley route and (a) its an extra change with no time gain (b) both sections of overground seem to be much busier than the mainline – I know where to get on for a seat 9 times out of 10, and it’s pretty much empty by Gypsy Hill!
    Thanks again

  274. Hi Mike,

    I work in kings cross and live in putney, so use the national rail to vauxhall and switch to the Victoria line to kings x. I wanted to find out what would be the cheapest option for travel fares and how it would work.

    I read your fare guides page but I’m getting rather confused with the red routes, interchanges at vauxhall and surcharges for zone 1.

    Putney is a z2-3 boundary station so I thought id only be paying z1-2 fare. Currently the PAYG oyster charges me £3.80 for a single journey at peak time. Is the cheapest option or can I do better?

    Thanks!

    • Hi Neena,

      Sorry it’s so confusing. You don’t really need to worry about red or green routes for this fare. What you do need to understand is that when TfL and NR fares are combined on a journey that includes zone 1 there is a premium to pay. Vauxhall is on the boundary of zones 1 and 2 so the Oyster system charges you the lesser of the through fare (including premium) or the NR fare to zone 2 plus a TfL zone 1 fare. In your case the latter saves you 10p in the peak. If you changed at Waterloo instead you would pay £3.90.

      You can’t do better from Putney, but if you go to East Putney instead you will be charged £2.80 at peak times.

  275. Thanks for your response Mike, it’s hugely helpful as I find all of this such a muddle!

    I looked at the fares table and it seems that the saving on through fare routes (or the same as the tube cost) is to buy a 7-day or longer period travel card for z1-2, and still travel from putney station. Is that right?

    • Hi Neena,

      A period travelcard will certainly save money on the through fare, although if you only make 10 single tube journeys a week (from East Putney), PAYG still works out slightly cheaper.

  276. Hi – great site. It’s been helpful in explaining a few things to me. I’m currently switching jobs and leaving my beloved z2-3 which covered work and home. I was wondering if anyone knew how much it would cost between Brockley and Sydenham, if my travelcard only covered me for z1-2. I’m hesitant to pay an extra £30 just for 3 stops on the train.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Lj,

      It’s a one zone fare so either £1.50 or £1.60 depending on time of day.

  277. Hello…..How much is the Oyster fare from Gipsy Hill to St Johns?….Return.

    I Change at London Bridge.

  278. I travel from East Croydon to Queens Park by avoiding central London. If I touch the pink reader at Clapham Juction, do I have to touch the pink reader again at Willesden Junction before I go to Queens Park.

    • Hi Gary,

      That’s actually a very interesting question. The single fare finder suggests that you need to touch the pink reader at Willesden Junction, so that is probably all I’d do. If you’re feeling adventurous you could try different combinations, as long as you’re prepared for some of them not to work. If you do, come back here with your results!

  279. Hello Mike,

    I have a travel card zones 1-2 but tomorrow need to make a trip to canning town, zone 3 at 8am. What will i be charged for going out of and back into zone 2 for this journey?

    thanks!!

    • Hi Jessica,

      You’ll be charged the appropriate zone 3 charge for the journey you make. This is £1.60 if started in the peak time and £1.50 if started off-peak.

  280. I have recently started travelling from Elstree & Borehamwood to Chessington North using a season ticket (travelcard?). I change trains at Wimbledon but noticed that if I left my first train at Blackfriars and walked to Waterloo (1/2 mile) there was a good chance of catching an earlier Chessington train. However, I wondered if I would be allowed to do this? – or am I limited to changing at Wimbledon?

    I always used to use an annual Oyster for bus.tube/rail when I worked in the City and the NR rules confuse me!

    • Hi Steve,

      If your season is for rail only (route London Not Underground) then you can change in London as long as you don’t try to use the Underground. This rules out using Southwark/Waterloo East as a walking route, but otherwise walking from Blackfriars to Waterloo main line is fine.

  281. Thanks Mike

    I have a PAYG Oyster as well. I realise I can’t use the rail only ticket on the tube but the guy at the station insisted I couldn’t use the ticket for anything other than changing at Wimbledon even if I paid for the tube!

    • He’s wrong! The permitted routes include changing in London as long as you don’t use the Underground. In fact, a logical rail only route would be Elstree to London Bridge, then to Waterloo East, then Waterloo to Chessington. With Season tickets you can make any number of journeys on any permitted routes stopping short wherever you want, so Elsetree to Blackfriars and Waterloo to Chessington is definitely fine.

  282. Hi Mike,

    What will be the cheapest way to travel from Tw3 2eh to Canary wharf ? I have to travel from zone 5 to zone 2 , crossing through waterloo in zone 1. So will the fare be for zone 1-5 or zone 2-5 ?

    • Hi Raj,

      If you go via Waterloo it will be zones 1-5. If you change at Clapham Junction and Canada Water instead it will be zones 2-5.

  283. Hi Mike

    I have a zone 2-5 annual oystercard. For the last couple of years I’ve travelled regularly from Richmond (zone 4) to Norbiton (zone 5) on the direct train which runs in a loop via Kingston (zone 6). I’ve never been charged extra for going outside of the zones. The past couple of times, though, I’ve been charged £1. Do you know why this has suddenly started happening? I could do the same journey via Clapham Junction and remain within zones 2-5, but that would be longer and add to rush hour congestion at Clapham Junction which doesn’t seem sensible.

    Many thanks for any advice you can give.

    • Hi Dav,

      According to the single fare finder Richmond to Norbiton is a 3-zone outside zone 1 fare which is consistant with it being zones 4-6. £1 is the discounted off-peak single for zone 6 only which is what I think you’re being charged. When using PAYG you are given the benefit of the doubt and charged for zones 4-6 whichever way you go. With a season it looks like they have changed what is recorded for that journey. It might be that they used to assume zones 2-5 but had complaints where people had zones 4-6 travelcards and were charged for zones 2-3. It’s a tricky one for sure, and not one you can easily get around.

  284. Hi Mike,

    Today I traveled from Uxbridge to Clapham Junction. My usual route is £1.50 (Uxbridge-Earl’s Court-West Brompton-Clapham Junction). Due to closures on the Overground today I took the route suggested by TFL because of the closures when I reached Earl’s Court, then taking the route Uxbridge-Earl’s Court-Victoria-Clapham Junction.

    On the way back I followed the suggested route to Uxbridge (Clapham Junction-Victoria-Finchley Road-Uxbridge).

    Both routes charged me £4.90, should it have, seeing as I was forced into Zone 1?

    • Hi Amber,

      It was right to charge the full fares today, but now it knows what your actual journey was you should get a refund, in my opinion. This may happen automatically over the next few days, or you may have to call the helpdesk.

      One thing does puzzle me. Did it really charge £4.90 for the return journey, or did it cap at £8.50 by charging an extra £3.60?

  285. Hi Mike and Amber
    TfL’s Conditions of Carriage (on their website, page 42) actually state that refunds aren’t given in cases where planned engineering work alters the route someone takes, so there may not be an automated refund available on this occasion.

    • Thanks Matt,

      That seems harsh, but understandable I guess. The key would be whether there were any replacement buses which would have avoided zone 1. If there weren’t then I’d expect to be able to make the journey at the same price. Might be worth asking anyway. They can only say no.

  286. Hi Mike

    I have a zone 2-5 oyster travel card for my daily commute but this week i have to travel from Gospel Oak to Surbiton on a couple of occasions. I cant figure out how much i will be charged for this journey if i travel gospel oak to west hampstead via overground change onto jubilee down to Waterloo and then national rail to Surbiton. Or, do i need to travel to Clapham Junction on the overground and change there to national rail to avoid zone 1?

    Thanks

    Amanda

    • Hi Amanda,

      If you go via Waterloo then you’ll be charged £2.10* for the zone 1 bit and a zone 6 single for the last bit. If you avoid zone 1 then it’ll just be a zone 6 single. The zone 6 single is £1.70 peak or £1.50 off-peak.

      *If you travel back from Surbiton starting in the peak then the zone 1 single will be £2.20 due to an annoying quirk in the way the Oyster system works. It’ll be £2.10 at other times and the other way round.

  287. If i have a zone 2-5 travel card can i get out at elephant and castle underground without being charged extra?

    • Hi Georgia,

      Yes if you’ve travelled from south of Elephant and Castle, no if you’ve travelled from the other side of zone 1 through zone 1.

  288. Thanks Mike and Matt

    It did say that tickets would be accepted on replacement buses and I believe the quote was “reasonable rail routes”.

    Looking at my Oyster history today every step of the route is correct however they have charged me for two incomplete journeys! No idea why. This has brought my charge to £12.60 (including two bus fares). Very frustrating. Is there any way I can send you a copy of the journey history for you to show me what has happened?

    • Hi Amber,

      I sent you an email earlier which you can reply to with a screenshot of your journey history.

  289. Amber

    The same happened to me because of the overground being down. I called TFL and told them that due to the overground being down i was forced to travel through zone 1 and that was their recommended route. They refunded the cost of the journey to my oyster card the following day.

    Amanda

    • Thanks for letting us know, Amanda. For info, Amber’s situation was compounded by an emergency OSI at Clapham Junction which meant that both journeys were combined into one. That is why when she got back to her starting station it charged her two incomplete journeys.

  290. Mike. The TfL fare finder says the Oyster PAYG fare from Hornchurch to Broxbourne is £3.10. I would make this journey by going to Stratford on LU, and then changing to NR for the remainder of the journey. Would I be charged £3.10 for this route? I notice there are more expensive options but I assume there would be exit gates at certain points on these other routes, whereas it is a straight check in and check out on my route. Thanks

    • Hi Andrew,

      Yes, the default route assumes you don’t enter either zone 1 or 2. Other logical routes require some sort of touch out and in.

  291. Hi Mike

    Last week I topped up my oyster intending to travel to Hemel Hempstead for an interview. I touched in at Kings Cross but was surprised to learn there are no touch-out points at Hemel. I use my car to travel around London on most occasions so it’s ignorance on my part for not checking I could validate my journey to Hemel using my Oyster. Long story short this lead to a fine of £20 which I needed to pay to pass through the turnstiles at Hemel. The alternative being to go back to Lings cross and pay again to travel to Hemel. I contested it but due to my being late for a meeting I little option but to pay the fine to be on time for my meeting. The attendant did explain I could appeal to TFL as this was an exception and went on to explain the fine is more aimed at individuals who purposely set out to avoid fares.

    Do you suppose I could get this refunded?

    • Hi Grant,

      The £20 charge is not a fine, it is a penalty fare, charged to people who make genuine mistakes. The company who issued it will have been London Midland, not TfL. You could try appealing, but I wouldn’t suggest you have much, if any, hope of success.

      You will also have been charged an entry fee on your Oyster. If you contact the Oyster helpdesk and explain that you went beyond the Oyster area and have paid a penalty fare, they may agree to refund the charge on your Oyster. Depending on the time of day it is likely to be either £4.90 or £7.20.

  292. Hello Mike, and thank you for all your help!

    I have a question. I have a monthly Oyster Travelcard for zones 1-2. I flew in to Heathrow and went: Heathrow Terminal 5 -> Piccadilly -> Green Park -> Jubilee -> London Bridge. I was charged £1.5 which is okay because it was weekday, I started the journey at 14:20, and I guess was charged for out-of-travelcard zone travel 3-6.

    However, at London Bridge I immediately entered the National Rail station at 15:42 and touched out at Lewisham at 16:00 (took Southeastern train). I got charged £0.70 for this – I really don’t understand why since I had a valid Zone 1-2 Travelcard! Do you have any idea why this happened?

    • Hi Marko,

      Yes, I know exactly what has happened. When you touched out at London Bridge LU it correctly charged you for a zone 3-6 TfL-rail journey. When you touched in at London Bridge NR you continued the journey by completing the OSI, so when you touched out at Lewisham you had turned it into a zone 3-6 NR+TfL journey which costs £2.20.

      There are a few things you could have done. At London Bridge you could have waited 40 minutes for the OSI to expire so that the NR part of the journey was a separate charge covered by your travelcard. Similarly you could have touched into a bus and got off again. Buses are free with any travelcard and they also break an open OSI. However, in your case I think I’d have stayed on the Jubileee to Canary Wharf and then changed onto the DLR. This would have remained a TfL-Rail journey and thus wouldn’t have charged more than £1.50.

      Hope that helps.

  293. Hi,

    I have a Railcard discount applied to my Oyster card.

    Today I used my Oyster card to conduct a return journey from Southbury to Manor Park via London Liverpool Street. The outward journey was during peak hours and the return was off-peak.

    The Oyster card charges I should have incurred are mentioned on this link, where different routes are given:
    http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/tickets/faresandtickets/farefinder/current/default.aspx?mode=alternate&on=Southbury+%5bNational+Rail%5d&dn=Manor+Park+%5bNational+Rail%5d&ft=National+Railcard

    For the outward journey, I touched in at SBU, touched at LST, and finished by touching out at MNP. I was correctly charged £4.60, as mentioned in the “Route 1” section of the page.

    For the return journey, I touched in at MNP, and then touched out at SBU at the end of the journey. I did not touch my Oyster at LST because the ticket barriers were open. For the return, I found that I was charged only 90p.

    These are my questions:
    1) For the return, why was I charged only 90p?
    2) The link mentions a ‘single fare’ of £6.20 peak and £2.20 off-peak between SBU and MNP. As it is not possible to travel between the two stations directly, in what circumstance would I have been charged at these prices?
    3) With regards to Routes 2 and 3, at what points should a traveller touch their Oyster card on a reader?

    Thanks.