Changes for 2011

Over the last few weeks details of several changes to the Oyster charging structure have been announced.  The biggest changes are obviously the actual fares and you can now see what effect the review will have on your fare on the single fare finder on the TfL website.  Some of the other changes are summarised below:

  • The refundable deposit required for an Oystercard is rising from £3 to £5.  This is intended to further deter passengers from throwing away a card with a negative balance.
  • The trigger amount for auto top-up is rising from £5 to £8.  This is aiming to prevent cards getting a negative balance because the last journey was an expensive peak fare.
  • Cards with a National Railcard discount attached will now be eligible for reduced off-peak single fares on the tube and DLR as well as National Rail (inc Overground).
  • The maximum off-peak child fare is extended to National Rail and remains at 65p.  The child off-peak cap rises to £1.30.
  • Several adult price caps are being withdrawn.  There will no longer be peak caps for zones 1-3 or 1-5; plus both peak and off-peak caps avoiding zone 1 are withdrawn.  This is particularly harsh on people who travel in zones 5 and 6.
  • Some of the maximum journey times for journeys within zones 1-4 are being increased.  Full details will be included on this site shortly.

11 thoughts on “Changes for 2011”

  1. I notice from that you will no longer be able to buy Day Travelcards at Oyster Ticket Stops. This is a nuisance because they are a much better way of wondering about on the system without having to worry about touching in/out and maximum journey times.

  2. Yes, I agree. I did think about mentioning that change, but it’s not directly linked to Oyster, so I didn’t. I also agree about the advantage of paper travelcards when roving around.

  3. I am totally insensed about the removal of the 2-6 price caps. So annoyed ! The price will rise from £5.10 now to £8 in 2011 !! This is absolutely not on and I feel like camping outside City Hall to protest!

    Anyone else have any thoughts about this?


  4. Hi Adam,

    I must admit that I too was incensed when I first saw the news. I even fired off an FOI request to find out how many cards cap at the 2-6 rate each day. I was quite shocked at how low the figure was. In fact the figures for the all-zones caps were also lower than I expected. What I think this means is that Oyster is working exactly as it should. Cards only actually cap when they need to. I’m sure a lot of people used to buy a travelcard “to be on the safe side”, but not actually use it enough. I know I have on a couple of occasions, and I’m pretty clued up on fares.

    The other thing you need to remember is that it’s only an increase from £5.10 to £8.00 on days when you travel enough to rack up £8.00 of charges. If you only make journeys to £6.00 then it won’t cap whereas previously it would.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that the move is right, or even fair, just that it’s not necessarily as bad as even I first thought it would be.


  5. Uh, this thing with average travels that don´t reach the cap limit is really stressful. I know the idea is to make people don’t travel more than they actually have to, but in reallity it leaves the travellers the option of either feeling stupid that they can’t or won’t bother to figure out the optimal route to do their errands, or losing some time of their lives to figure out the optimal route.

    Do they really want people outside central London to use public transport instead of going by car?

    By making most travellers not reaching the cap (or making a travel card not the best choice) they are removing one of public transportations advantages over going by car…

  6. Hi Mia,

    That’s an interesting observation. I have to say though that I find the knowledge that I’ll only be charged for a travelcard if I need it quite reassuring. Optimal routes can sometimes be a challenge, but I don’t think I actually ever lose sleep over it.

    As for car vs train in the suburbs, they have only made the travelcard seriously more expensive if you would not quite or only just reach the all zones cap. And the recent rises in the cost of petrol mean that I think the train is still quite an economical way to travel.

    Just my view though.

  7. re: the loss of the 2-9 ODTC’s, people having to use 1-9 tickets or Oyster and fares capping are now charged at £11.00, this representing an almost 100% increase on the price of the former 2-9 ODTC.

    Horrified and angry Simon

  8. Hi Simon,

    I fully agree with you over paper tickets, but with Oyster it is only the full amount if you actually do enough travel to make the 1-9 travelcard worthwhile. Many people won’t and they will be correctly charged for their journeys.

  9. Hi Mike

    First of all, this is a really useful site and I wanted to thank you for running it – and your family for allowing you the time 🙂

    I have two questions I wonder if anyone can help with.

    First, I notice that the TfL site does not give a price cap for Oyster journeys on Non-TfL Rail. See here:-

    I assume that Non-TfL Rail fares are capped in the same way as the others? If so this is either an oversight or if you believe in conspiracy theories another way for the rail companies to encourage you to buy travelcards.

    Secondly, I have a Network card. I assume that I still cannot link the card to my PAYG Oyster card so as get the off peak travelcard reductions (I think 34% subject to a $5.30 minimum) automatically?

    Thanks for any help on these two points.


    • Hi Harry,

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      Yes, the price caps are not repeated on the Non-Tfl Rail table. Rest assured that the caps do still apply. I think it’s just a case of not wanting to repeat the information again on the same page. The Monday – Friday minimum fare is in fact the reason why you can’t link a Network card to an Oyster card. It is actually £13.00 and means that no single journey within the Oyster area would be worthwhile. The software cannot cope with a discount that’s only available at weekends and bank holidays.

  10. Thank you Mike. I get it. I have myself played the “Isle of Wight trick”…

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