The new extension to the Northern line to Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station is scheduled to open on Monday 20th September. It will initially be served by 5 or 6 trains an hour which will run via the Charing Cross branch. The extension cannot physically connect to the Bank branch.
In terms of fares the two new stations are in zone 1. There will be walking interchanges between Battersea Power Station and the National Rail stations at Battersea Park and Queenstown Road. The OSI List has been updated and the allowance is 20 minutes each in both directions. These interchanges will be treated in the same way as those at Vauxhall and Elephant & Castle so if your Underground journey is only within zone 1 and your National Rail journey extends beyond zone 2 then special fares might apply.
Those are the facts. My opinion is that TfL have created a confusing monster by agreeing to put the new stations in zone 1. I completely get that the developers wanted their new residents to have zone 1 only fares to the centre of London. This could have been achieved by putting them all (Battersea Power Station to Elephant & Castle) in zones 1/2. Yes it would mean that people travelling in that corridor would only pay zone 2 fares, but in the grand scheme of things, does that matter?
What does matter is Vauxhall. Both stations (NR and LU) are dual zoned 1/2 and there would be an outcry if they were to be moved into zone 1. In fact neither the Mayor nor South London MPs could countenance the political backlash if it happened. But Vauxhall is between the extension and the rest of zone 1. Consider this scenario. Someone lives near Clapham South station and wants to visit the large Sainsbury’s at Nine Elms. They can change at Stockwell for Vauxhall and walk about half a mile, fare £1.50 off-peak. Or they can change at Kennington for Nine Elms which is next door to Sainsbury’s, but the extra journey time will wipe out the savings of not having to walk, and the fare becomes £2.50 off-peak.
And then there’s the question of how you show the extension on the tube map or the rail and tube map. They’re either going to have a confusing finger of zone 2 stretching up to Vauxhall and try to explain that the extension doesn’t go into zone 2, or they’ll draw the extension above Vauxhall and have to lose the dotted interchange with Vauxhall pier. What a mess!
My prediction: Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms will become dual zoned 1/2 at some point in the future.