I’ve managed to break the oyster system again! I’ll admit that this time it was a deliberate attempt to try something out-of-the-ordinary, but not impossible. I was returning from Balham to Crayford and I changed at New Cross Gate to avoid using zone 1. It was raining, so rather than walk to New Cross I caught a 453 bus. Yes, you’ve guessed it, the bus journey ended the OSI so the leg from New Cross to Crayford was classed as a seperate journey. In the context of my travel yesterday I was only overcharged either 10p or 90p, but it’s the principle that matters.
On the outward journey I have gone via London and was correctly charged £3.20 for a zones 1-6 journey. My rail journey home should have been £2.20 as I avoided zone 1. This made a total of £5.40. The oyster fare for a bus is £1.20 which would take the total up to £6.60, yet because the rail journey was split in two I ended up being capped at an all zones travelcard of £7.50.
You might think, well that’s tough, but consider another approach. Rather than use the Oyster card on the bus I could have paid £2 in cash. This would have preserved the OSI and made my total for the day only £7.40, still 10p below the travelcard rate. But hang on a minute, TfL say that Oyster should always charge the cheapest fare. Time for another letter I think.
In the meantime, don’t use a bus in the middle of an out-of-station interchange, even if it is raining or you’re carrying heavy shopping.