Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets

When you want to use a PAYG Oyster card

With PAYG there are no ifs and no buts, you have to get out at the station where you switch from paper to Oyster or vice versa.  This doesn’t necessarily make it useless, but it’s certainly a disadvantage where services are infrequent and/or there are no validators on the platform.  It can be useful when using some major stations as a gateway to the world beyond Oyster, like Watford Junction, East Croydon, Orpington, Surbiton, Amersham, Upminster and Shenfield.

When you want to use a Travelcard on Oyster

A travelcard on Oyster is exactly the same as a travelcard on paper.  There is no penalty for not touching in or out providing the whole journey (on the Oyster card) is within the zones covered by the travelcard.  There is also no longer a requirement for the train to stop where you switch from one ticket to another (from Oct 1st 2016).  All you need to ensure is that the tickets cover the whole journey.  If your paper ticket is between two named stations then one of them must be within the outer zone of your travelcard (or a dual zoned station with one zone covered).  If your paper ticket is to a boundary zone or includes zones itself then the zones must be adjacent.

As examples, the following are all valid with a zone 1-2 travelcard on the Oyster card:

  • A single or return to or from boundary zone 2.
  • A single or return to or from Clapham Junction (zone 2).
  • A single or return to or from West Ham (zones 2/3).
  • A season ticket to or from Clapham Junction.
  • A season ticket to or from West Ham.
  • A season ticket to zones 3-6.

Where a named station is used, the train MUST pass through (or call at) the named station.  Care should be exercised if using Lewisham (2/3) as not all trains from Hither Green or Ladywell pass through Lewisham.  There may be other examples of this issue.

For those interested, the new conditions of travel can be found on the National Rail website.  The relevant condition reads as follows:

14. Using a combination of Tickets
14.1 Unless shown below, you may use a combination of two or more Tickets to make a journey provided that the train services you use call at the station(s) where you change from one Ticket to another.
14.2 If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that station for your combination to be valid.
14.3 Some Tickets specifically exclude their use in conjunction with other Tickets. This will be made clear in the terms and conditions when buying such Tickets, and you cannot use such a Ticket in conjunction with another except as set out in 14.1 above.
14.4 In all cases you must comply with the specific terms and conditions of each of the Tickets you are using (for example, keeping to the valid route(s) and train services for which each Ticket is valid). It is your responsibility to check that you comply with the Conditions listed above.

Note that it is condition 14.2 which allows the train not to call when using a travelcard season as one of the tickets.  Note also that despite appearances to the contrary, there is no gap between London zones and therefore it doesn’t matter if the switch takes place between stations as long as the zones covered are adjacent.

484 thoughts on “Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets”

  1. I have a 60+ photo Oystercard and want to travel to Heathrow on the Heathrow Connect. I know that I need a paper ticket for the Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow leg.

    The journey will be at the weekend when there is a 30 min service and I will have luggage, so jumping off the train and looking for an Oyster platform validator (if there is one at H&H) will be a a bit problematic.

    If I simply tap in at Paddington and don’t tap out again, will I encounter any problems or actually be doing anything wrong ? I won’t be using the Oyster for at least another week+, so plenty of time for it somehow to reset itself.

    • Hi Ricardo,

      You’ll be fine. The 60+ Oyster card is treated like a season ticket so there is no penalty for not touching out or in. You just have to have it with you to show if asked.

  2. Can you please advise what would be the cheapest / quickest means of transport from Camden to Maidenhead at present I am having to take bus to Baker street, tube to Paddington then train to Maidenhead.

    I am paying ~£15 return from Paddington to Maidenhead in peak hour travel plus the oyster usage for bus and train

    • Hi Farhad,

      Sadly cheapest and quickest often mean completely different options in transport terms. The 27 bus goes from Camden to Paddington and would cut out the Underground so you’d only be paying 2x £1.50 on Oyster. Or you could take the tube from Camden Town and change at Euston, short walk to Euston Square then onto Paddington. This would cost 2x £2.90 on Oyster which is still less than tube plus bus.

  3. Which is cheaper, a travel card from my home national rail station or a weekly cap on contactless? I’m looking for an annual ticket from RLG to Canary Wharf.

    • Hi Mark,

      You can’t use Oyster or contactless from Rayleigh. An annual travelcard from Rayleigh to zones 2-6 is just about the best value. You could save £4.00 by splitting that into an annual season from Rayleigh to Chadwell Heath and a zone 2-5 travelcard, but I’m not sure that the hassle of having two tickets is really worth it. Other splits cost more than the single ticket.

  4. Hi Mike,
    I have a monthly zone 1-6 travelcard, but relatively regularly travel to sevenoaks or tonbridge on southeastern from waterloo east. Orpington is the last major station in zone 6 so is it appropriate to buy a ticket from orpington to sevenoaks/tonbridge at waterloo east, tap in with my oyster and then use the paper ticket to clear the barriers at sevenoaks/tonbridge? Thanks

    • Hi James,

      Yes, that’s fine. It doesn’t have to be Orpington though. You can either buy from Boundary Zone 6 or from Knockholt, whichever is cheaper. The train can be non-stop to Sevenoaks in either case.

  5. Hi Mike

    Travelling from St Pancras International to Clapham Junction on Thursday 10th, 7pm. Not sure what the cheapest way is. Do I use my oyster card for the first bit (underground to Victoria Station) and buy a paper ticket from Victoria to Clapham Junction, or do I buy a paper ticket from the start? I find it all rather confusing. By the way: I’m travelling with friends who don’t have oyster cards. What would be the best solution for us all?
    Thank you very much!

    • Hi Lise,

      The best solution for all of you is to use either an Oyster card or a contactless payment card/device for the whole journey. Starting at 7pm, the single fare for that journey is £3.70. If you want to save a little extra you can make the journey for £2.40 by travelling on Thameslink and London Overground via Denmark Hill.

  6. Hi Mike,

    I think I understand your explanations about how to mix paper tickets and travelcards. I still struggle to understand when I need to touch in/out with my Zone 1-2 travelcard (loaded on Oyster) though. Let’s say I am going from London Waterloo to Winchester and return. I am buying a Clapham Junction to Winchester return ticket and for the rest I am covered with my Zone 1-2 travelcard. Do I need to touch in at London Waterloo national rail gates with my Zone 1-2 travelcard? Wouldn’t that result in an incomplete journey as I don’t touch out and attract more charges? And same for return? If I exit the national rail gates by using my Zone 1-2 travelcard then that would be another incomplete journey? Or should I not touch in and out at all and just explain to station staff at Waterloo and they let me in/out without touching?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  7. Oyster PAYG and train paper is a real pain at CLJ. There are no yellow validators on the Overground platform just pink ones. NR expect you to leave the station on PAYG and come back in on your rail ticket. I never have (and until recently have never had a problem) but now it is showing up as an incomplete journey albeit it notes I touched the pink validator. Surprisingly difficult to get a refund too “you must exit the station” hmm

    • Hi Paul,

      I doubt there will ever be yellow platform validators at Clapham Junction (apart from the ones on the highest number platform). Their provision would simply be a fare-dodgers paradise. When using PAYG you simply have to touch in and out.

  8. Thanks Paul – and of course I don’t want to get out of my train at all to validate anything. I just don’t want to pay full London to Winchester ticket when London to CLJ part is already covered by my travelcard. So my intention is to buy a CLJ to Winchester ticket and travel from Waterloo to CLJ by using my zone 1-2 travelcard. I could do so by touching in at Waterloo with my travelcard, leave train and touch out at CLJ and then go in again with a CLJ to Winchester paper ticket. But of course I don’t want to change train and leave the station…

    • Hi Marco,

      You don’t need to touch at Clapham Junction if you have a zone 1-2 travelcard on your Oyster. There is no penalty for failing to touch within the zones covered by a travelcard, so you’ll be fine.

  9. Hi Mike,

    That is great news, thank you! So I can simply touch in and out at Waterloo National Rail with my zone 1-2 travel card and not being worried about incomplete journeys!

    But it leads to another question: if I travel from central London with my zone 1-2 travel card to London City Airport in zone 3 then I would touch in at central London tube station and touch out at London City Airport DLR station. An additional fare is charged PAYG when touching out as I am gone out of zone 1-2. Couldn’t some people just avoid to pay the additional fare by just not touching out? This of course goes for all stations without gates within zone 1-9 Oyster card area?

  10. Hi Mike
    Yes I’m sure you’re right although checking tickets on the trains would remedy that. Having said that I’m sure there was once a couple of yellow validators on the Overground platform. Memory playing tricks I suppose. Curiously going the other way – pink validator in at CLJ and yellow validator out at West Hampstead doesn’t seem to cause a problem

    • Hi Paul,

      That’s an unfortunate side effect of the pink validator programming. If you aren’t in the system then a pink reader will act as a yellow and touch you in. They will never touch you out though. Personally I wish they wouldn’t do that because it’s confusing.

  11. Hello,

    What is the cheapest option from Grays (zone G) to London zone 1 monthly travel/oyster. I know I can purchase a paper travel card that includes grays and London underground stations but find it it very expensive. Was wondering if I can get a paper travelcard with my oyster card some how..


    • Hi Karts,

      You can now purchase a paper season for Grays to West Ham and a zone 1-2 travelcard on your Oyster. That combination is valid as long as the train passes through West Ham (ok for Fenchurch Street, not Liverpool Street). Weekly prices are (monthly and longer will be proportionate):

      Grays to zones 1-6: £84.60
      Grays to West Ham: £45.80
      Zone 1-2 Travelcard: £32.40
      Saving £6.40

  12. Hi ,

    Could you help me find out what the oyster fare would be for going from Watford junction to victoria station (apollo theatre) please by using a 18+ Oyster card


  13. Hi Mike,

    I have an annual zone 1-3 oyster travelcard but am moving in with a friend temporarily in Epsom.
    The oyster card should cover the part of the journey from Waterloo to Wimbledon.

    So if I purchase a monthly season ticket for my journey between Epsom and Wimbledon can I simply touch in with that card at Epsom and then touch out at Waterloo with my oyster (and vice versa)?

    I get very confused about the touching in/out system! Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Andrew,

      As far as the Oyster is concerned, that’s fine. If the Epsom to Wimbledon ticket is paper then it is also fine, but if it is stored on the SWT smartcard (assuming that’s possible) then I’m not sure.

  14. Hello,

    I’m moving to Colchester shortly but still need to change at Stratford for a zone 2 station exit.

    I was thinking of use a greater anglia smart card and an Oyster card PAYG combination, do I need to touch in at Stratford on the Oyster card reader to validate entry?

    Other solution would be purchasing a season ticket with London zones added, however again, would I need to touch in at Stratford to validate entry into a London zone?

    Many thanks


    • Hi Jessica,

      If you are using PAYG then you need to touch at both ends of the journey. If you are using a travelcard then you don’t, provinding both ends of the journey are covered by the travelcard.

  15. Hi Mike,

    I currently have an annual travel card on my oyster (zone 1-6) which expires at the end of this month. Next month I’m moving to Kent and my nearest station will be Farningham Road, what will be my cheapest option travelling into Victoria and travelling around zone 1 daily?


    • Hi Sarah,

      There are two sensible options. First is the Farningham Road to zones 1-6 travelcard at £90.70/week. Second is to split at St Mary Cray where Farningham Road to St Mary Cray is £30.80/week and zones 1-6 is £59.10/week saving 80p/week. Annual prices are 40x the weekly ones. If you split you can keep the zone 1-6 on your Oyster card. New rules mean that the train doesn’t need to call where you switch from one ticket to the other.

  16. Hi Mike,

    We are moving to Potters Bar in December and will be commuting to Covent Garden for 3 days a week for work. What is the most cost effective way? Carnet tickets and payg?

    My partner works in Holborn and would travel for all 5 days. Can she get a return ticket to Hadley Wood and Zone 1-6 travel card and still board a direct train to kings cross?


    • Hi Amit,

      For the three days a week I agree that Carnet tickets plus PAYG is probably best. Do be VERY careful when dating the Carnet tickets. Ask if the station can provide a suitable pen. If they can’t then I believe sharpie pens will work. Ordinary biros don’t mark properly and you’ll look like you’ve altered the date if you try to go over it again. That is obviously a complete no-no and the TOC are very hot on Carnet abuse.

      For your partner, yes she can use a ticket to Hadley Wood along with a travelcard season on Oyster. The Hadley Wood ticket can even be a season now that the rules have changed, and the train doesn’t need to call. Or she can just buy a paper travelcard from Potters Bar. It might even be possible to put this on the Key smartcard, but I’m not 100% sure on that one.

  17. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Sidcup (Zone 5) to Maidenhead 3 days a week. 1. If I use Oyster from Sidcup (Zone 5) to West Drayton (ie Boundary – Zone 6) via Paddington (Zone 1) and buy a return GWR train ticket from ticket office ie. from Boundary 6 to Maidenhead, please advise that I don’t need to get out of train in West Drayton (Zone 6 boundary) and touch out the oyster and continue my journey by catching next train to Maidenhead.
    2. Similarly while returning from Maidenhead to Sidcup using return ticket from Maidenhead to Boundary 6 and then continue to Paddington, should I get down the train on West Drayton (Boundary zone 6) to touch in the Oyster and again catch next train to Paddington or I can only do touch out at Paddington continuing on the same train from Maidenhead to Paddington ? Thanks.

  18. Hi Mike,

    Just to add currently I am buying Zone 1-6 all day travel card £17.20 + return ticket Boundary 6 to Maidenhead £5.60 ie total @ £22.80 / Day. Checking if Oyster option is cheaper than this with Daily Peak travel cap of £11.80 & buying returning Boundary 6 to Maidenhead. Thanks.

    • Hi Amar,

      As the page above says, if you are using PAYG then you MUST touch in and out at the ends of each journey. Also, if you do use PAYG you are not purchasing a day travelcard so the ticket needs to be from West Drayton, not boundary zone 6.

      Have you considered using Oyster from Sidcup to Hayes & Harlington (both zone 5) and a paper ticket from there? That cuts the cap to £11.00 with a £6.20 off-peak* paper return. Hayes is also served by Heathrow Connect services so if you time your journeys right you won’t have to wait so long for the next train.

      *Valid to depart Hayes & Harlington after 0930.

  19. Hi Mike! Thanks for all you do, this site is absolutely essential and very much appreciated. Stupidly dumb question: if I buy an annual season ticket from Chertsey to Zone 5-6, can I get the Zone 5-6 bit loaded onto Oyster, or must I have that as paper? If the former, where would I go to have that done? If the latter, what’s the least expensive way to travel into London from a Zone 5 station without paying for Zone 5? Paper tickets would seem silly (and expensive), but resorting to Oyster for that journey would negate the fact I’ve paid for Zone 5 with my rail season ticket, so I’m hoping the zones can be loaded to Oyster which would fix all of it. Thank you again!

    • Hi John-Paul,

      Sadly there is no way to put the zone 5-6 bit on an Oyster card unless you split the ticket with the Chertsey to Feltham bit on paper. That costs quite a bit more. The only way to avoid paying for zone 5 on Oyster would be to take a bus to a zone 4 station.

  20. Hi there
    I am about to start a new commute Barnes-Staines daily. Staines just falls outside Z6. What do you recommend is the cheapest and easiest way to travel please? I am considering an oyster season ticket Z3-6, and then a paper season Feltham-Staines? Assume I wont need to get off in Feltham? Also, I noticed the last time I went to Staines, the train emptied at Syon Park (I think) and I couldn’t understand why as it doesn’t seem to be a connecting station! Many thanks for your views.

    • Hi El,

      If you only need to use SWT then a point-to-point season ticket is likely to be cheapest. If you also need buses or Underground then you can get a Staines to zones 3-6 travelcard season which can be used either way round. If you do buy split seasons then you are correct that you won’t have to get off at Feltham, but this is likely to be more expensive than the Staines travelcard.

  21. Hi Mike,
    I’m travelling from Shepperton to Holborn daily and wondering what is the best ticket to use. About twice a week I travel via Walton so have been buying a monthly ticket from Shepperton to Waterloo, with the option to use Walton, and using contactless on the bus from Waterloo to Holborn. Aiming to buy an annual pass next month, not sure what is the best option.

    • Hi Orla,

      Unless you start needing to use the tube regularly, then keep going with the Shepperton to Waterloo AAA Walton On T ticket as an annual. One bus each way (or even two if the journey is short) won’t warrant a season for the buses, so keep using contactless for that. If you do need to make occasional journeys on other rail lines in London then get an Oyster card and get the gold card discount added to it.

      Finally, if you can buy the annual season to start by Jan 1st you’ll get it at 2016 the price. From Jan 2nd it will cost more.

  22. Hi Mike,

    I have weekly oyster card 1-5 zones. I need 1 day go to Luton Airport and back. I’m going from East Croydon so oyster should cover part of my journey. Is there a way to avoid getting off the train as they run every 30 mins at best?


    • Hi Greta,

      Huge apologies for the delay replying. You need to buy a ticket from boundary zone 5 to Luton Airport Parkway. Then you can just stay on the train.

  23. Hi mike, please could you tell me the cheapest way to travel off peak from hildenborough to Bond Street? I have been buying a travel card but is it cheaper to go to London Bridge and then use oyster? Thanks.

  24. I need to get a monthly commuter ticket from Walton on Thames to London Waterloo and then be able to move around in zone 1. Is it worth getting a Walton to London terminals monthly paper ticket and then a zone 1-2 monthly Oyster travelcard or should I get an Oyster zone 1-6 travelcard and then a monthly extension paper ticket between Surbiton and Walton? Many thanks.

    • Hi Jen,

      Apologies for the delay. The cheapest ticket is a Walton on Thames to zones 1-6 travelcard at £291.50. Walton on Thames to Waterloo is £223.90 and a zones 1-2 travelcard is £124.50 totalling £348.30. Walton on Thames to Surbiton is £104.50 and a zones 1-6 travelcard is £227.00 totalling £331.50. All prices are 2016 monthly ones valid until 1/1/2017.

  25. Hi, I want travel to Epsom from Vauxhall, what is the cheapest way? I usually just top up my oyster pay as you go. However, I found out that Epsom is not included in oyster. So what should I do? Thank you.

    P.S I might need to travel to Epsom everyday so what is the cheapest way to commute to there, thank you.

  26. Hi Mike,

    In the new year i will need to travel to st Albans city from Hainault underground for work. I have a 16 – 25 rail card and figured its cheaper to go via Stratford. Using Pay as you go to get from Hainault to Stratford. Then on the paper ticket go from Stratford Overground to West Hampstead and finally st Albans city. Doing the math, it’ll cost £15.40 a day. My concern is where to touch out at Stratford (at the gates or are there validators on the overground platforms). So, then the paper ticket covers the rest of the journey.

    Thanks, in advance

    • Hi Abdul,

      In the new year it will cost £15.55 as the paper ticket increases slightly, but I agree that this is the cheapest way. You will have to touch out at Stratford and back in again in the evening. This has to be done at yellow readers, either one of the gatelines or the various validators on the station. The validators on the overground platforms are pink and cannot be used to end a journey. They will start a journey in the evening, although I gather that there is often a queue when a train has arrived from the Hackney direction.

  27. Hi Mike,

    I work in Stevenage but live near Tooting Broadway in South West London. What is the cheapest ticket option for the commute?

    I am currently looking at a Zone 1-3 and then an annual ticket from Kings Cross to Stevenage. Is there a cheaper way of doing it? Would I be able to use all services from Kings Cross i.e. both the Virgin and Great Northern services?

    Thanks for your help.


    • Hi Andy,

      The cheapest way to use all services is a zone 1-3 travelcard and an Alexandra Palace to Stevenage season. Note that if you end up commuting 4 or less days a week then you may be better off with daily anytime returns (Ally Pally to Stevenage) because your commute is the wrong way round.

  28. Hi Mike – great site so thanks so much for all your efforts. Much appreciated.

    I commute daily from Potters Bar to Zone 1 (victoria) and normally get an annual gold season ticket from Potters Bar for Zones 1 – 6. Is there a cheaper way of doing that journey please or is the annual gold card still the best value?

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Janet,

      Potters Bar to zones 1-6 is just about the cheapest option. If either of your tube journeys (Finsbury Park to Victoria) can be outside peak hours (0630-0930, 1600-1900) then Oyster PAYG with the Gold Card discount added thanks to an annual Potters Bar to Finsbury Park season might just be cheaper. This also assumes you don’t travel in London that much when not working.

  29. Hi

    I am planning on getting a 16y/o oyster PAYG however my station is brookmans park (one off Potters Bar). I like to travel to London with friends and BP has no barries/oyster tapper. Thus when travelling back ffrom fins park, how do i tap back out with my oyster? can i even do so? is it worth getting a child’s oyster? many thanks indeed

    • Hi Josef,

      You can’t use Oyster north of Hadley Wood. If you want to use a zip card you would have to get off the train to touch in before continuing your journey, and the same on the way back.

  30. Hello
    I want to travel from Waterloo East to High Brooms (next to Tunbridge Wells) on 3 JAN at 08.05
    I have some credit left in my PAYG oyster. Can I use the remaining credit towards my paper ticket or can I use the oyster for part of the journey? FYI the first stop is Sevenoaks outside the TfL area.

    • Hi Chris,

      The only way to use the remaining credit for other purchases is to get the Oyster card refunded at an Underground station. If the train doesn’t stop within the Oyster area then you can’t use PAYG on it.

  31. Hi Mike,

    In the new year I have a new job which means lots of travelling around London. I will mainly be leaving from Three Bridges and need to get to Holborn Monday – Friday, although some days I will need to travel around London (e.g. Go to Wembley instead, or elephant and castle). I’m thoroughly confused about whether a travel card is best. I’ll be leaving three bridges around 7-7.30am and most likely getting tubes/trains back from 5.30pm. The other confusing thing is that some days I may be leaving from Catford instead of Three bridges as I’m in the middle of moving house (from Catford to Three bridges). Is there a travel card that covers all of this or do I need a mix of paper tickets and travel cards?

  32. Hi Rachel

    A non-expert comment pending Mike’s return:

    A Zones 1-6 Travelcard from Three Bridges will cover all your travel within the Zones including those days when you start from Catford.

    If you can commit to using Thameslink services only from Three Bridges as far as Zone 6 (Coulsdon South/Purley – in practice East Croydon) the weekly price is (today) £81.70 instead of £106.70. Once inside the zones the ticket is valid on all brands of train just like any other travelcard.
    Consult the timetable carefully before deciding!

    Splitting at Coulsdon South would be more expensive, except if there is a period when you are travelling mostly from Catford.

  33. Thanks Colin. Which ticket costs £106.70? I think I’ll have to go down to the station tomorrow to buy the travel card from there. Not having much success online. Some days I will be going to Hastings so I guess those weeks I’ll have to buy a ticket as and when I’m going in to London.

    • Hi Rachel,

      Thanks to Colin too for his help. £106.70 was yesterdays price, it’s now £108.70, and the Thameslink only option is now £83.30. My concern would be how many Thameslink trains stop at Three Bridges.

      If you need 5 days in London then a travelcard option will cover everything you’ve mentioned (apart from Hastings of course). It will still be worthwhile for 3 or 4 days. Anything less will be daily tickets.

  34. Hi Mike

    Thank you for all the great advice, its good to know that I am not the only person who finds this all too confusing.

    I am looking to move to Basildon and travel to Canary Wharf. On the C2C website I can enter to go from Basildon to Limehouse and when the options come up it states Basildon to Zones 2-6. Would this be all I needed? I think the price is around £2960 for the year?


  35. Hi Mike,

    I live in East London zone 2 and will soon start commuting to Staines for work on a daily basis. The quickest route is via tube to Waterloo and then the train to/from Staines. What is the cheapest way to do this? I know a monthly season ticket from Waterloo to Staines is £242.70 (and I will have to pay my tube fare on top of this – either PAYG or get a zone 1-2 travelcard).

    Would it be cheaper to get a zone 1-6 travelcard and then buy a season ticket from Feltam to Staines on top of this? How much would it cost for either a 7 day or monthly ticket to do this?

    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      What you need is a Staines to zone 1-6 travelcard which is £311.10. Out boundary travelcards can only be specified with the out station as the origin, but you can of course use it either way round. Depending on where in East London you need to get from you could also consider a Staines to zone 2-6 travelcard (£232.00/month) and use London Overground between Clapham Junction and Canada Water, then the tube.

  36. Hi Mike,

    I’m travelling to my university that is in Egham. The closest station to my house is Queensbury station, but I always take two buses to get to Harrow & Wealdstone, and then I take the train from there since its much cheaper. I always bought paper tickets to travel since Egham does not validate Oysters. Could you find out the cheapest I can pay to get to Egham? I currently pay £9.70 off peak with railcard from harrow & wealdstone.

  37. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your input on the route earlier. I’ve confirmed the location of the yellow validators on the Central/ TFL rail platforms at Stratford.
    I’ve purchased and collected my first week of tickets. The ticket states Valid via West Hampstead Only. The route from Stratford where the ticket starts goes via the over ground to West Hampstead Overground station. However, if I were to take the central line to Bond street and change over for the jubilee to west Hampstead would the ticket cover the travel? The tickets do not have the Plus or Maltese Cross.

  38. Hi Mike,

    Can you tell me the cheapest way to travel between Potters Bar and Canary Wharf 5 days a week in peak time. Is it cheaper to get a season ticket to Hadley Wood and then use Oyster for the rest of the way?

    Currently I have an annual Gold Card but this is due to expire in March.


    • Hi Yasmin,

      As far as I can see, the cheapest way is to buy a Potters Bar to zones 2-6 season and avoid zone 1 by changing at Highbury & Islington and Stratford. Splits don’t appear to save anything over this.

  39. Thanks Mike. I use thameslink mon -fri (From Luton to Victoria) and need to renew my ticket in February. Based upon this thread it looks like I might be able to save £668pa?

    Z1-3 oyster season £1548 + luton to hendon season £2860. Hendon is zone 3/4

    Looking at the Luton plus Z1-6 ticket its £5076? Have I interpreted this correctly?

    • Hi Gavin,

      Yes you have. It is one of the better gains since you are now allowed to mix two seasons without the train needing to call. There may be a change to this in the future, but if you get the tickets now they will be valid until they expire.

  40. Hi all,

    I do hope you can help.

    I need to travel from Epsom to Canary Wharf 2 or 3 times a week but am struggling to find a ticket. The most cost effective and often fastest way to do this is via Canada Water as it avoids Zone 1. Depending on the time you transfer at West Croydon, Norwood Junction or Clapham Junction. £9.60 return to Canada Water and then £1.70 each way on the tube. Epsom Downs station is too far for me to get to which is a shame as it is in Z6.

    A weekly travel card does not seem to work for me as I travel too infrequently. It does not seem to be possible to buy a daily Epsom to Zone 2 as they are only available as weekly travel cards. I can buy a daily Epsom to Canada Water (although infuriatingly not on the Souther Key card or the Southwest Trains smart card and obviously not on the Oyster, so that means the long queue at Epsom each day). It then seems I need to go upstairs and leave the station at Canada Water to touch in with a PAYG before walking back down to the tube, and the same on the way back, which takes an age. I can see Pink Validators at Canada Water but not Yellow.

    Can anyone suggest a more convenient way to achieve this journey (other than paying £19:30 for a travel card including Zone 1)?



    • Hi Scott,

      I can’t help much I’m afraid. Day travelcards do only exist by including zone 1 so you are limited to buying paper tickets. You can buy these online and collect from a ticket machine if that saves some queueing. As for touching in at Canada Water, you can actually touch in at Clapham Junction or New Cross Gate and pay the same PAYG fare if that helps. As long as it’s still a zone 2 only journey you’re fine.

  41. Hello there,
    we’ll be a group of 9 in March, having booked a hotel in Walton on Thames. Is it possible to use the Oyster Card from Walton station to Waterloo or is it just for Central London?


    • Hi Helge,

      You can’t use Oyster at Walton on Thames. You may find it is cheaper to buy a Walton-on-Thames to zones 1-6 travelcard and use that for everything instead of using Oyster. The off-peak day return to Waterloo is £11.50 whereas the off-peak travelcard is £17.80. The zone 1-2 cap on Oyster is £6.60 which would mean £18.10 for a day with the day return.

  42. Hi Mike, I’m moving to luton from london, but will be commuting to holborn everyday for work. Can you please advice on the cheapest option/route for both monthly and annual tickets

    • Hi Cynthia,

      If you can use City Thameslink rather than Holborn then all you’ll need is a ticket from Luton to London Thameslink. If you must use the tube then it’ll need to be a Luton to zones 1-6 travelcard. Both can be bought as season tickets valid for a week or any period between a month and a year.

  43. Hi, I’m commuting every weekday from Surbiton to Camden Town area. I’m buying ‘Surbiton(SUR) to London Travelcard Zones 1-6’ weekly (£60.20) or monthly tickets (£231.20). I’m not traveling around the London. Is there any other cheapest option? For example: ‘Surbiton(SUR) to London Travelcard Zones 2-6’ for weekly (£41.20) or monthly (£158.30) going to Camden Road station?

    • Hi Alexandra,

      Zones 2-6 will work fine (Surbiton is in zone 6). If it’s on Oyster and you need to go into zone 1 occasionally you’ll only be charged a zone 1 single.

  44. Hi, I have to travel from West Brompton to Leatherhead with a 60+ Oyster card. It doesn’t take me all the way. Can you please advise how I can combine this with an extension ticket? Thanks

    • Hi Kevin,

      You’ll need a boundary zone 6 to Leatherhead ticket. You can use that on either route between Clapham Junction and Epsom (where Ewell East and West are the boundary stations).

  45. Hi Mike, Can you please advise the best way of getting to London Bridge or Farringdon Station from Oxted. Currently driving to Upper Warlingham ( which accepts PAYG Oyster) If I bought a ticket from Oxted to East Croydon would I need to get out of the train and touch in using Oyster for the remainder of journey. My end of journey is Barbican or Moorgate tube.

    • Hi Lorraine,

      If you are using PAYG then you do need to get off and touch in/out. If it’s a travelcard then you’re fine to stay on the train. How many days a week do you travel and at what times roughly?

    • Hi Lorraine,

      To be honest, if you are travelling every weekday then an Oxted to zones 1-6 season ticket is your best bet. It’s £77.20/week.

  46. Hi Mike

    From tomorrow I will be travelling (return) to Purley from London Bridge (in rush hour). I have a 60+ card. Will I be able to use this? Or for part of the journey? Or will I need to revert to my old PAYG Oyster? Thanks

    • Hi Peter,

      The 60+ Oyster is not valid on Southern services until 0930. You could minimise your costs by using an adult Oyster in the morning from Purley to Norwood Junction, then touch out, touch in with the 60+ and take Overground to Canada Water and Jubilee to London Bridge. In the evening the 60+ is fine everywhere.

  47. Hi Mike,

    I travel between Stevenage and City Thameslink 4 times a week (not via Underground). Is the cheapest way using a paper travel card for the entire journey or paper ticket into King Cross then contactless on Thameslink via St Pancras?

  48. I have an adult Oystercard and will have to travel from central London to Laindon several times a week for a few weeks. What is the best/easiest way to do this please?

  49. Hi!
    So basically I currently use a student 18+ Oyster card with a travel card for zones 1-6 I live in Hornchurch and travel to surbiton for Uni. My travel card is about £160 which is reasonable.. but we may be moving to laindon or Basildon still not decided.. I am trying to figure out what’s the best and cheapest option I can do for travel from these locations.. I still need to travel to uni and work.. which is in Stratford so I need something that works like my zone 1-6 travel card.. please help!

    • Hi Nida,

      I don’t believe that you’ll still qualify for the 18+ Oyster card if you don’t live in Greater London. Can you give me an idea of a typical week; number of trips to Surbiton, number of trips to Stratford, any other transport needs (eg buses). It’s not going to be a nice number though.

  50. Hi

    I’m looking to travel more than three days a week from Brighton to Catford. I know that it’s cheaper to change at East Croydon and get the tram or bus towards Catford without going in and out of Victoria, but is there a cheaper way to do it than just to get a season ticket for Brighton to London Zones 3-6?

    • Hi K,

      It depends how you want to get to Catford. If you only want to use trams and buses then you only need zones 5-6. If you want to use Southeastern trains between Elmers End and Catford then you do have a slightly cheaper option than zones 3-6 on the travelcard. Instead of a travelcard from Brighton just get a Brighton to East Croydon season ticket. Then get a zones 3-4 travelcard on an Oyster card. This is valid on the trams and also trains in zones 3-4 which is enough to cover Elmers End to Catford Bridge.

  51. Hi Mike,
    I have a 18+ oyster but I’ve been conflicted as to whether or not I should buy a travel card for zone 2-1. This is because I go to uni 3 times a week only occasionally 4 times. I take the 210 bus to Finsbury Park station then Victoria line to Oxford Circus and pay the full adult price go and back. I was wondering if you could advise me to a cheaper alternative I could use?

    • Hi Hodan,

      The adult zone 1-2 daily cap is £6.60 so 3 days is £19.80 and 4 days is £26.40. The student weekly travelcard for zones 1-2 is £23.00. Any additional travel on days you don’t go to uni may make the difference.

  52. Hi Mike – great site as always! I have a question – Sometime this month I’ll need to travel from Cambridge to Chafford Hundred, and then make various stops in London Zone 1 before returning to Cambridge. Would the best way to do this be to purchase a Cambridge – Zones 1 to 6 Travelcard along with a Upminster – Chafford Hundred return, or would there be any better alternative that I have overlooked? And assuming I pick up all the tickets beforehand this will allow me to stay on the same train from Fenchurch Street all the way to Chafford Hundred, I believe?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Lexi,

      To properly advise I really need to know times of the Cambridge to London and return journeys, along with any preference for route (either to Kings Cross or Liverpool Street). The Liverpool Street route is slower but also cheaper.

      However, on a simplistic note, Cambridge to zones 1-6 and Upminster to Chafford Hundred can be used on the same train.

  53. Hi Mike, love the site.
    I have a mixing oyster & paper ticket query.
    I’m moving to Hemel Hempstead soon & rather than getting a Zone 1 to Hemel Hempstead season ticket, I’m thinking about getting a Zone 1 to 5 (Harrow & Wealdstone) season ticket, & then use a pre-ordered rail ticket for Harrow & Wealdstone to Hemel Hempstead for the rest of the journey. But I’d only look to do this if I don’t have to get of the train to tap my oyster out..
    Although I’m moving to hemel I’ ll only be going to hemel a few times aweek, (staying in london the other times) so i don’t think i’d get the full financial benefit getting Zone 1 to Hemel.
    Any advice / confirmation would be great!

    • Hi Mart,

      If the zones 1-5 ticket is a travelcard season on an Oyster card then there is no penalty for not touching out if you want to travel on a direct train to Hemel Hempstead. It doesn’t even need to call at Harrow & Wealdstone.

  54. Hey Mike, thanks for the prompt reply! My timings are flexible, but I’d like to reach Chafford Hundred at around 11am and return back to Cambridge at around 6pm – no preference for route but if one is cheaper then that would be what I prefer.

    Thank you for the note regarding the combination of tickets though – that is much appreciated!

    • Hi Lexi,

      OK, you need the £26 Cambridge to London zones 1-6 off-peak travelcard (Greater Anglia only). You can take the 0848 Cambridge to Liverpool Street which arrives at 1015. Either take the Circle line to Tower Hill or walk to Fenchurch Street. The 1041 from Fenchurch Street arrives at Chafford Hundred at 1112. If you need to be there earlier you’ll have to get an Anytime ticket (£48.80).

      All travel between Cambridge and Boundary zone 6 (Turkey Street/Enfield Lock) must be on Greater Anglia trains. There are no evening restrictions other than using GA once you leave zone 6. Hope that helps.

  55. Hi Mike.

    I’m Traveling in from Eynsford to Canary Wharf Every day without going into Zone 1 . This starts outside the Oyster zone but goes to zone 2.

    I’m wondering if i can get a paper Ticket for the part outside the Oyster zone (to swanley) and then an Oyster card for the rest?

    This would be a lot easier than having to show my paper ticket at the barriers each day.


    • Hi Jon,

      You can split the season in two, but you will pay more for the convenience. Eynsford to zones 2-6 is £68.90/week. The cheapest split I can find is Eynsford to St Mary Cray for £30.50/week plus zones 2-6 for £41.20/week making £71.70/week.

  56. Hi Mike.

    I asked you some time ago whether there were any yellow card readers on the platforms at Upminster where you could touch in or out when travelling beyond the Oyster area with a PAYG Oyster and a paper ticket. In case anyone would be interested, I now have the answer.
    In the Down direction (away from London), you would have to go up on the bridge to touch out. However, in the Up direction, the original (pre-District Line et al) entrance is on the platform, so touching in and getting back on the same train should be possible if you’re in about the 2nd or 3rd coach of the c2c train.
    Just as a matter of interest……..

  57. Afternoon Mike,

    Your previous message:

    Hi Mart,

    If the zones 1-5 ticket is a travelcard season on an Oyster card then there is no penalty for not touching out if you want to travel on a direct train to Hemel Hempstead. It doesn’t even need to call at Harrow & Wealdstone.

    So jusy to clarify I could get a Z1-6 (which would cover me to Hatch End) on Oyster Card, & as longs as my pre-purchased ticket for the rest of the jouney says Hatch End to Hemel Hempstead my journey is covered?, even if the direct trains don’t stop at Hatch End, (ie London midland trains).

    Thanks again for your help!

  58. Hi,

    I need to travel from Hammersmith to Slough daily and am looking for the cheapest option. I thought I had found it at Greenline but no early buses. Can you advise me?



    • Hi Helen,

      I think the cheapest option is likely to be two buses. Probably H91 and 81. It will take a while but you’ll only be charged either £3 or £4.50 per day. The hopper fare lasts an hour and should mean the second bus is free, but if it doesn’t always make it the daily cap is 3 bus journeys.

  59. Hi,

    I am going to be travelling from West Croydon to Wapping (Zone 5-2) on the overground for my new job. I only use the tube during working days and the rest of the days I don’t use public transport. It seems that the single fare is 2.8 for my journey. According to my calculation of 20 days (2.8*2*20=£116), will be cheaper than a monthly travel card at £126. Am I missing something here? I thought it would be the other way round

  60. Mike, I just want to be 100% sure that I’ve understood the rules about mixing my 60+ Oystercard with paper train tickets. For any journey from Central London to a train station beyond the Oystercard zone, I only need to buy a paper train ticket from the the last Oyster-accepting station that the train passes through, even if it doesn’t actually stop there e.g to get from Waterloo to Chichester, I only need to buy a SW Trains tickets from Surbiton or from Kings Cross to Potters Bar, I only need to buy a Gt Northern train ticket from Hadley Wood etc. I tap in with my Oystercard at the start of the journey and exit at my destination with my paper train ticket. Is that it? Thanks for your reassurance.

    • Hi Stuart,

      Yes, that’s all fine. The 60+ Oyster is treated like a season ticket (with am-peak restrictions where applicable) so there is no penalty for not touching out/in where you change to/from a paper ticket.

  61. Hi I need to know the nest and cheapest option for 3 of us travelling to the Wireless weekend in Finsbury park in July. We are staying in hackney Friday to Monday but will be travelling from backwards and forwards over the 3 days between Hackney central railways to Finsbury park via Highbury and islington and well as travelling into London and return this will either be from Guildford or Wimbledon depending on the cost
    I dont know is I need an oyster or a travel card?

    • Hi Liz,

      Taking Guildford first. You need to get a Guildford to Hackney Downs route Not via London single on the Friday which costs £13.00. You then need to travel Guildford to Clapham Junction, change to London Overground for Hackney Central and exit there. Use the reverse on the Monday. If you buy the tickets at Guildford then make sure you ask for Hackney Downs because the fares to Hackney Central are £3.20 more expensive. Buy the return single for Monday at the same time. Use Oyster/contactless for the journeys between Hackney and Finsbury Park.

      If you start at Wimbledon then just use an Oyster card or a contactless payment card for the whole lot.

      If you have a 16-25 railcard then the fares from Guildford will be discounted by a third and you should get it added to your Oyster card as soon as possible. If you can’t get it done at Wimbledon or Clapham Junction then Hackney or Finsbury Park will be OK. Do NOT use contactless if you have a railcard as you won’t get the discount then.

      Hope that helps.

  62. Hi Mike,

    This is really a general fares question but also falls into the “mixing Oyster and paper tickets” and “when not to use Oyster” camps.

    The short version: is a One DayTravelcard from outside London (specifically http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=BCE&dest=FEL&grpd=0035&rlc=SRN&rte=735&tkt=ODT) a “daily Zonal Ticket” for the purpose of NRCoT 14.2?

    The long version:

    I plan to travel by train Bracknell-Harpenden, walk Harpenden-Hatfield, then train Hatfield-Bracknell, all on the same day, dep BCE 09:02, dep HAT around 17:00. I have a senior railcard, an Oyster card, and the former is on the latter.

    The obvious singles total £29.10.

    The cheapest method is to use paper tickets to/from the Oyster boundary and Oyster PAYG within it. This totals £22.90 but the restrictions on touching in/out at the boundary and the likelihood of having to wait for the next train make this option difficult to use effectively.

    The next cheapest method, totalling £23.60, is to buy a One Day Travelcard Bracknell-Zones1-6 and singles Elstree-Harpenden and Hatfield-Hadley Wood. This is much more flexible than Oyster. My interpretation is that these combinations are valid under 14.2 and my trains do not need to call at ELS and HDW but I’d value your opinion.

  63. Hi Mike,

    I have a zone 2 to 4 Goldcard paper ticket. I have the discount put onto my Oyster. I sometimes travel into zone one or through it.

    At the moment if I travel into zone 1 I use my oyster. It shows my discount but am I paying that fare as a whole ie 1 to 4 or just paying for zone 1?

  64. Hi Mike,

    I travel into london five days a week from Burgess Hill in Sussex. For four days a week I travel to shepherds bush and one day a week to oxford circus.

    My current plan is to get a Burgess Hill to zone 2-6 season ticket to get me to Shepherds bush and on the day I travel to Oxford circus to travel Clapham Junction to Vauxhall on NR and then Vauxhall to Oxford circus on Oyster PAYG.

    Is this the best plan?



  65. Hi Mike. The cheap day return from Leighton Buzzard to Euston gets me into town a bit too late! Is there a way of travelling peak and saving on the usual £30 a day return fare, by buying a paper ticket as far as Watford possibly and using Oyster from there? Or is there a better option. Thanks so much.

  66. Hi Mike,

    I work in central London and live in Fulham and so have a zone 1-2 season ticket. I have begun staying in Radlett, however, a few times a week where my partner lives. Is there an easy, cheaper way to manage this that is not doubling up on my travel?



    • Hi Rhian,

      A lot depends on how many times you go to Radlett in a week. If you can give me some details including where in Central London you work I may be able to better advise. Initial suggestion is a boundary zone 2 to Radlett ticket each way to combine with your travelcard. If you stayed in Radlett two nights together then a return from Radlett to boundary zone 2 would save some money over two singles.

  67. Hi
    I have a zone 2-4 travelcard and travel fairly regularly to Staines TW18. Im not too sure where I should be buying my ticket to Staines from Clapham Junction?

    • Hi JR,

      You should buy a boundary zone 4 to Staines ticket. That way you don’t need to worry whether the train travels via Richmond or Hounslow.

  68. Hi Mike,
    I live in London and have an annual travelcard for zones 1-6. I now work in Reading and am looking at ways to cover me for my journey from zone 6 to Reading. I am looking at the Feltham to Reading ticket, any time and any permitted route. As per article 14.2 above, do you know if this will allow me to travel to Reading from Paddington? I assume the journey from Waterloo is acceptable, but I’m less clear whether the any permitted route will also allow travel from Paddington. Thanks in advance.

  69. Hi,

    I’m just about to move to London. Im living in Clapham and working in Westminsiter. Will it be cheaper to get an annual zone 1-2 season ticket or should I just use contactless card?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Tim,

      For a single peak journey each way on five days a week it is likely* to be cheaper to PAYG, but if you start to use transport at other times then a travelcard will soon become worthwhile. An annual travelcard also gives you other benefits if you travel by rail throughout most of South East England.

      *The exception is if you mean Clapham Junction rather than North/South/Common/High Street.

  70. I’m going to Colchester via Stratford. When I tap my oyster card in at Stratford there is no where for me to tap out resulting in me being over charged. I do have a mobile ticket to cover the rest of my journey.

    • Hi Nadine,

      I’m not quite sure what you’re trying to do. If you want to use PAYG between Stratford and (say) Shenfield then you will need to get off at Shenfield to end the Oyster journey. It’s all explained in the page above.

  71. My son has a SWT season ticket from Ashtead to Clapham Jctn and also a student oyster (with travel card) for zones 1 and 2 for his journey Ashtead to Victoria every day. For the next 2 weeks he needs to get to Fulham Palace Broadway for work experience. This is easy enough as he can change at Wimbledon for the underground. What, if any, extra ticketing does he need or can he simply touch in/out at Fulham Palace Broadway? Not sure if there are any barriers between overground and underground at Wimbledon.

    • Hi Sarah,

      He needs to continue to Clapham Junction then take the Overground to West Brompton and then back one stop to Fulham Broadway. It’s likely to be a similar journey time but it’s free as he’s covered by his tickets. If he changed at Wimbledon he’d need to have £1.70 PAYG for each trip because Wimbledon to East Putney is in zone 3.

  72. Hi Mike,
    I have a Chelmsford to London Terminals paper annual Gold Card valid to Dec 6th. For the next couple of months I will be working in North Acton. The best morning journey for me is Chelmsford to Stratford then Overground to Willesden Junction and the best evening journey is North Acton tube to Liverpool Street to Chelmsford. My Oyster works fine for the tube but I can’t see any yellow readers on the Overground and I get charged £7 plus if I try to touch in on the pink ones. I dont want to leave the station and re enter as I carry a folding bike which is heavy enough without extra stairs etc. My question is: Is there a sensible way to get the Zone 1-2 covered so I don’t have to touch in at Stratford? Thanks in advance. Andrew.

    • Hi Andrew,

      If you are not touched in then touching a pink reader should start a new journey. Can you copy a sample journey history to demonstrate what is happening as that puzzles me. You are presumably touching out on the gateline at Willesden Junction?

  73. Hi,
    I have a 60+ oyster card and I want to travel from Victoria to Rainham in Kent and back on the same day.
    Can I just buy a return ticket from Swanley to Rainham and use my oyster card from Victoria to Swanley and back without having to get off the train at Swanley?

  74. Hi Mike

    Sample journey below. I tried to touch in on the pink reader but it hasn’t worked. (Can you even touch in on these?). I touched out at the Willesden gateline.

    ???? – 08:44 Incomplete journey[No touch-in] to Willesden Junction £7.80

    • Hi Andrew,

      Officially you shouldn’t touch in on a pink reader, but TfL sought to avoid some problems by allowing a touch to count as a touch in if you weren’t already in the system. It is possible that they have changed that. I’ll try and test this out at some stage. If this is the case then you’ll need to use a yellow validator or gateline. There are validators in the Jubilee line concourse, on the way to the DLR platforms for Poplar, and on the Central line platforms.

  75. Hi Mike, is there a list anywhere of which stations have yellow oyster readers on the platforms (and which platforms they are on), for use when switching between a paper ticket and oyster/contactless when interchanging?
    For example at Stratford on the platforms serving Central line and TFL Rail.

  76. Thanks Mike. It would be great if this info could be included in your site, which is such a helpful source of all kinds of other info which for some reason TFL don’t bother to tell the public.
    Is this the sort of thing that an FOI request would easily solve?

    • It will be included on my site when I have enough to make it worthwhile. At the moment it might help those travelling through Dartford, but that is it. FOI would be worthless as none of the TOCs (apart from LO/TfL Rail) are subject to freedom of information legislation.

  77. Oh, I thought TFL ran the Oyster system and therefore would know where the readers were, or at least a fair majority of them? Maybe it’s not that simple!

  78. Ok, will look out for more info on your site when you are able to add it, thanks. By the way a few times I’ve had a problem submitting replies on your site, just get an error message for some reason, and I couldn’t find an email address as alternative way to get in touch. Just to let you know.

    • Hi Bala,

      As you’ll need to start with a bus to get to any rail station you’ll definitely need a travelcard. You basically have two options; either a zone 1-5 for a quick journey or a zone 2-5 which will be a lot cheaper but the journey will be more complex. The annual price of a 1-5 is £2248 while the 2-5 is £1312.

      To avoid zone 1 you need to do either of two options. The official one is to change at Ealing Broadway, Shepherd’s Bush, Willesden Junction and Stratford. The unofficial one is to change at Ealing Broadway, Shepherd’s Bush, Clapham Junction and Canada Water. The unofficial route may be slightly quicker, but you’d have to exit and re-enter at Clapham Junction to split the journey in two. This is because TfL don’t recognise that route and would charge you as if you have gone through zone 1.

  79. I am travelling from Hackney E9 Zone 2 to Redhill for a month for work. I am currently buying a zone 1-6 + Redhill paper travel card at around £88.00 per week.

    I am travelling on the bus to Hoxton Station > New Cross Gate > Redhill. Is there a cheaper way of getting from East London to Redhill?



    • Hi Emma,

      Yes there is. You need to avoid zone 1 (Shoreditch High Street) then the Redhill to zones 2-6 travelcard applies at £55.50 per week. Can you get to Hackney Central station? Then take Overground to Stratford and Jubilee Line to Canada Water, then the Overground as you currently do to New Cross Gate. Or if you can take a bus to Whitechapel you have again avoided zone 1. It doesn’t matter if the bus goes into zone 1 as buses aren’t subject to zonal fares.

  80. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel from Hildenborough to Stratford (off peak) on a number of days over the summer and I have been given a Pay as you go oyster card to help cover costs and use for the journey. I am aware that I will have to buy a paper ticket for travel up to zone 6 (Orpington) but do I need to physically get off the train at Orpington to touch in for the start of the oyster part of the journey?
    My main concern is that I will be travelling home late at night and if I am on the last train I will have no chance to get off the train at Orpington to touch out on the return journey. Hoping you can please advise me. Many thanks.

    • Hi Eli,

      If the Oyster card really is PAYG then yes, you will have to get off the train to touch out. My best advise at the moment is to try and get an earlier train (not necessarily going to Hildenborough) such that you can get off at Orpington. This does mean that you can’t get the absolute last train, sadly. Hildenborough trains usually stop on a platform at Orpington with no Oyster readers at all, so you’ll have no chance of getting the same train.

  81. Hi Mike,
    I have a 60+ Oyster card. When using it to travel on National Rail outside London, is it necessary for the train to stop at the last London zone station? e.g., travelling from Clapham Junction to Guildford direct, do I need to get a paper ticket from Clapham or Surbiton (the last station within the 60+ Oyster zone)

    (and by the way, the Captcha time limit is way too short. This is my 3rd attempt!)

    • Hi Andy,

      It’s not necessary for the train to stop, no, so a ticket from Surbiton will be fine. I’ll look into the captcha time limit.

  82. Hi mike,
    I am currently volunteering for the para athletics. They have generously given us a PAYG oyster ‘to contribute towards our travel costs’. I live in Leighton Buzzard and my volunteer location is Piccadilly station. For my first session I bought a paper ticket return from Leighton Buzzard to Euston then used the free PAYG for Euston to Piccadilly and back. Can I buy a paper ticket return to Watford and then use PAYG from Watford without swiping in (perhaps using the excess window at Euston) as I won’t have time to get on and off train. I’m not bothered about excess fairs as the amount on the oyster they have given me will not be exceeded. I know it is wasteful but as I am a volunteer I’m not paid and so want to save as much money as possible ! (Travel will all be off peak and I have a rail card).


    • Hi Tara,

      No, you can’t avoid touching in at Watford Junction, sadly. If you do you may be liable to a penalty fare or even prosecution. If you want to use PAYG you’ll need to change trains.

  83. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for all of the insight. I’m now living in Burnham and work in Paddington. This is fine for now as the journey is direct. But I will moving into a job at Westminster and will therefore require zone 1 travel to go with this. Interestingly, my Burnham-Paddington travelcard covers the stops in between such as Hayes & Harlington (zone 5) where I have to go regularly.

    Not sure of the most cost effective way to explore this as I’ll require First Great Western travel from Burnham breaking into London zones at least then some form of zone 1-X travelcard?

    Sorry for the wordiness of it!

    • Hi Murshad,

      Your Burnham to Paddington season ticket does indeed allow intermediate travel, but it is NOT a travelcard. All season tickets allow intermediate travel along permitted routes. A travelcard is a fully zonal ticket and can also be a season ticket if valid for a week or more.

      Your best bet will be a Burnham to zones 1-6 travelcard season. This costs £20.10/week more than your current season which is less than 10 zone 1 tube journeys.

  84. I am hoping someone can help me answer this question:

    Suppose I have an Oyster loaded with an annual zones 1-6 travelcard (and also loaded with my Annual Gold Card discount). I want to travel to Borough Green (Kent and outside Oyster zones) from London Victoria. I know that I can just go to a ticket machine at Victoria and purchase a paper ticket extension which would (should) probably charge me the ticket price from St Mary Cray, which is the last station within the Oyster zone 6 boundary.

    But what if I want to book the rail ticket online? I can’t tell the South Eastern Railway site that I am already covered as far as St Mary Cray. So, I could just purchase a rail ticket for the St Mary Cray -> Borough Green portion of the journey. In my eyes, I am travelling with a valid ticket for the entire journey (Oyster travelcard Victoria> St Mary Cray & paper ticket St Mary Cray > Borough Green)

    1) Given that to get through the barrier at Victoria I will need to touch in, I won’t be able to touch out and because of that, I will be charged the full adult fare for travelling zones 1-9). Is that correct?

    2) What is the train I’m on goes fast for part of the route and doesn’t stop at St Mary Cray? Would that matter

    3) Is there any solution to this all that means I can book the rail ticket online and don’t end up paying more than I need to, without actually getting off at St Mary Cray, touching out, and then getting back on the train and travelling on to Borough Green with my paper ticket?

    Hope this all makes sense!

    • Hi Gordan,

      Yes it makes sense.

      1) No. There is no penalty for missing a touch within the zones covered by your travelcard.
      2) As long as it passes through St Mary Cray then you are fine. The train doesn’t need to stop.
      3) Yes, as described above.

  85. Hi Mike

    I have a 60+ oyster, i travel into london on SWT before 09:30, can I add PAYG to my 60+ oyster or do I need to use a separate oyster card for the morning commute?

  86. I have a 60+ Oyster and wish to travel to hersham from catford. I know I can get to Waterloo but do not know where to 60+ runs out. Can you advise me please. Thank you.

  87. Hi Mike. Thank you for info re. comments #38925 & 38930.

    I have one last question, based on me having a zones 1&2 annual Oyster travelcard: If I want to travel from Walton on Thames (outside Oyster boundary) to London Waterloo (typically via Surbiton), I can’t purchase an Oyster extension as I do when I travel from London Waterloo to Walton on Thames (which gives me a paper ticket that I can insert at the barriers at Waterloo).
    If I purchase a paper ticket from Walton on Thames to Clapham Junction to cover me to the zone 2 boundary, when I then touch out at Waterloo, will I be penalised for not touching in?
    I understand I don’t get penalised at underground stations for no touch in/out when I’m within my travelcard zones, but as the barrier will only serve National Rail services, I’m concerned that it may be different.

    • Hi Gordan,

      It’s not different. You aren’t penalised for missing a touch anywhere within the zones covered. Also, you can buy either Boundary Zone 2 to Walton or Walton to Boundary Zone 2 tickets. They can’t be bought online but ticket offices will sell them as will certain ticket machines (ones which allow tickets from an alternative station). In this case the price is the same as Walton to Clapham Junction. The BZ ticket would also allow you to travel via Wimbledon to Blackfriars using Thameslink if you wanted.

  88. Good Evening Mike,

    I am currently commuting from Berrylands to Waterloo around sixteen days a month. This costs me around 7 pounds (including return). I am currently using a contactless bank card for this.

    Over the next month or so I will be moving to leatherhead which is just out of the oyster/contactless zone. I have just looked at the price of a paper ticket from leatherhead to Waterloo and it seems to be costing around £15.50 (including return).

    Is there a cheaper way of getting there?

    • Hi Ashley,

      A monthly season ticket for Leatherhead to Waterloo is £230.40. This is cheaper that the £15.50 Anytime Return providing you make 15 or more trips in the month.

  89. Hi
    Coud you advise how I can find out price of an annual travelcard from boundary zone 3 to chelmsford? None of the online services seem to allow this search and the phone operator at National Rail was baffled by the question as presumably they were keying in to the same search engine?

    • Hi Chris,

      You can’t get season tickets from a boundary zone. What you need is a Manor Park to Chelmsford season ticket. This can be combined with a travelcard on a train which doesn’t stop at Manor Park.

  90. Hi Mike,

    I have bought Grays to West ham monthly ticket and zone 1-2 travel card. Was wondering if i can travel to Royal Victoria Dlr (zone 3) on the grays to west ham ticket. I also travel to Romford once a week, wondering if the paper ticket will cover the travel.

    • Hi Monika,

      Sadly I don’t think either is possible. Grays to West Ham is only valid on National Rail services and the Underground between Upminster and West Ham. For Royal Victoria you would need full coverage of zone 3. A Grays to London ticket or Grays to travelcard zones would be valid to Romford, but not the Grays to West Ham ticket. You may be better off biting the bullet and getting a Grays to zones 1-6 travelcard which would cover everything mentioned.

  91. Hi we are a family of four that would like to travel from Staines to Waterloo on Friday 1st September for the day. Ideally leaving at 9am returning after 7pm. Can I buy a travel card and use that?

    • Hi Caitlin,

      Yes you can. The off-peak day travelcard is valid on any trains arriving into Waterloo after 1000, so the first train you can get is the 0929. If you must leave earlier then you’ll need the more expensive anytime version.

  92. Hi there, I want to know what will be the cheapest way (monthly) to go to surbiton, the fastest way for me is to go by bus to Waterloo then the train I am currently staying near elephant and castle. It will be cheaper if I catch the train in vauxhall? what are the prices?

    thank you so much

    • Hi André,

      Yes, catching the train from Vauxhall will be cheaper than Waterloo. You could also catch trains from Elephant & Castle to Wimbledon and then travel to Surbiton from there, possibly cutting out the bus. The weekly rail-only season from either Vauxhall or Elephant & Castle to Surbiton is £28.90 whereas it is £46.20 from Waterloo.

  93. Hi Mike

    My 16 year old has a 16+ Oyster card and will be doing a weekly return commute from East Croydon to Reigate, during peak hours.

    What is the least expensive option combining the Oyster card with any additional ticket?

    My 16 year currently buys a return ticket when he changes at Redhill. Surely there must be an easier way, perhaps to load the Oyster card and use it to tap out at Reigate? I am told that this does not work.

    • Hi Yemi,

      Reigate does not accept Oyster as it is not on the direct line between zone 6 and Gatwick Airport. Because he gets half-price fares with the zip card he is better off using that to Redhill and then getting an adult return from there to Reigate.

  94. Hi Mike,

    I live in New Southgate and work in Welwyn Garden City. If I get a national rail return on a weekday morning from New Southgate to Welwyn, but then decide that I wanted to carry on to Kings Cross on my return journey after work, can I just stay on the train that passes through New Southgate and tap out my oyster card at Kings Cross?

    My oyster card covers all zones.


    • Hi Sam,

      It depends what you mean by “My Oyster card covers all zones”. If it has a travelcard covering at least zones 1-4 then yes you can join at WGC and leave with your Oyster at Kings Cross. If, however, you use PAYG with your Oyster card then no, you’ll get a maximum fare when you touch out at Kings Cross.

  95. Hi Mike

    Sounds a bit of an odd question but here goes.

    I am looking to commute from Apsley to Zone 1. I am likely to be travelling in peak times. But I predict some travel at the weekends and off peak too.

    I wondered if you can advise if there are any viable cheaper alternatives to just buying a season ticket with zones 1-6 as well. I often see fellow commuters get off at Watford Junction to tap in their oyster or contactless. Is there any merit in obtaining a season ticket Apsley to Watford Junction and then using Oyster from there either as a travelcard or PAYG? Especially with using the Gold Card discount that could be applied to it when purchasing a season ticket for the first journey.


    • Hi Simon,

      Apologies for the delay responding, it’s been an incredibly busy week.

      I haven’t really got enough to go on, sadly. If you can let me know where in zone 1 you need to get to then there may be something. However, if you’ll always be commuting 5 days a week with some extra on top then the travelcard is likely to be the best option.

  96. Hi Mike, Apologies if this has been asked before but here goes…
    I’ve currently got a Marlow to London zones 1-6 annual Season ticket ticket (Gold) and commute 5 days a week. Am I able to link the season ticket to an oyster card (I don’t currently have one) so I am able to use this rather than a paper ticket through the barriers (in London) and not pay any additional fees (except approx £5 for the oyster card itself)? Many thanks in advance. Andy

  97. Hi mike,
    I’m a student travelling from Gillingham Kent to East Croydon on weekdays it cost £22.30 a day (monthly travel card £320) but i usually only buy it to Bromley south as I use my oyster from there. Is it possible for me to buy a ticket to Swanley which is in zone 9 and then use my +16 Oyster card and stay on the train to Bromley south or do I need to get of the train and tap it at a barrier?

    Gillingham Kent > Bromley south
    Bromley south > Beckham junction
    Beckham junction > East Croydon (tram which is free)

    • Hi Ben,

      I’m struggling to see where you get some of those prices from, particularly the monthly travelcard. Anyway, as the page above states, if you want to use an Oyster (inc zip 16+) for PAYG then you will need to get off the train. Gillingham to Swanley Anytime return costs £16.40 and Swanley to Beckenham Junction is £2.00 each way on a 16+ zip card, so you will save some money. Sadly if you wanted a season ticket for the Swanley to Beckenham Junction bit it would need to be a travelcard and you wouldn’t save anything over the Gillingham to zones 4-6 travelcard price.

      BTW. Swanley is actually zone 8.

  98. Hi Mike, I live near Angel/Kings Cross and have a new commute to Epsom starting soon, estimating 3-4 return trips per week. Really confused about what will be the most economic and flexible way to travel and what combination of tickets are OK given that Oyster has not reached Epsom yet.. Really grateful for your advice, thank you.

    • Hi Sally,

      I’m not sure how much clarity I can provide. 3-4 return trips a week suggests that a season ticket or travelcard season is unlikely to be worthwhile. Economic and flexible are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The cheapest option will by definition not be as flexible. If you are happy to walk to Kings Cross St Pancras then a rail only ticket from St Pancras to Epsom is probably the cheapest option. The Anytime day return is £13.70 and routed NOT UNDERGROUND. This is valid via a number of routes once you escape from the Thameslink core. The simplest are St Pancras to Wimbledon with Thameslink then to Epsom with South Western Railway; or St Pancras to Sutton with Thameslink then to Epsom with Southern. If you want to use the Underground in zone 1 then you’re better off using Oyster for two daily singles. You could then go Angel to London Bridge on Northern line and pick up an Epsom train from there.

      I hope that helps a bit, but do ask again if anything isn’t clear.

  99. Hi Mike
    I want to use my Oyster from Gidea Park to Shenfield and then pre-purchase a Greater Anglia ticket from Shenfield to Colchester. Will I be able to touch out my Oyster on the platform at Shenfield or will I need to exit via the ticket hall and re-enter? I have a problem walking and don’t want to walk further than essential!

  100. Hi Mike, thanks so much, honestly can’t believe how much time you dedicate to this site and yet remain so helpful.
    Initially flexibility is key but great that there are so many potential routes routes for me! .

    Can I just check a couple of things on the status of Epsom today.. 1) is it in zone 6? 2) If so, I can use a zone 1-6 travel card for my return travel there 3) Can you use an Oyster pay as you go to travel there? the info on the web is really confusing me on these points. Many thanks on again, really appreciated.

    • Hi Sally,

      No, Epsom is outside the zones. If it were in zone 6 then Oyster would be accepted. You might be getting confused with Epsom Downs which is in zone 6. This is because it is a little used branch terminus and the zone boundary was stretched to try and encourage more use.

  101. Thanks Mike, so if I want to be able to travel back in and out from Epsom to any London station (London Bridge, Vauxhall, Waterloo, Victoria, St Pancras etc) then I am concluding my only option is to buy a season ticket for this rail travel on top of my oyster card for the tube element to one of the mainline stations from my home near Angel/Kings Cross (or cycle sometimes). This might be wasteful if I am only taking the trip 3/4 times a week but I won’t have time to queue each day for a ticket which I think I would have to do if making the decision on route daily!
    Is there any option to use travel card to the station before Epsom which is in zone 6 (not getting out at it) then buy a season ticket for just the one stop part of the journey?
    Thankyou once again, Sally

    • Hi Sally,

      You don’t need to split tickets actually, you can just buy an Epsom to zones 1-6 travelcard. This will be cheaper than a travelcard and an Epsom to Ewell season ticket. Sadly there is a little complication. You can either buy a Southern only ticket which is not valid between Epsom and Ewell West, or an Any Permitted ticket which can be used via either Ewell East or West. The weekly prices are £63.80 (Southern Only) and £68.30 (Any Permitted).

  102. Hi
    I will be travelling from Woking to Clapham junction to Kensington Olympia and then a bus to work
    I have a Zone 1-3 OysterCard weekly pass. can you tell me how much it would cost for the travel from Woking and can i get the travel only to the boundary to Zone 3?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Saleem,

      You would need to get a Woking to Wimbledon ticket at £60.80/week. However, you don’t actually need zone 1 for that journey as Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia is all zone 2. Buses do not operate in zones and they are covered with any travelcard. Unusually, Woking to Wimbledon plus zones 2-3 is slightly cheaper than Woking to zones 2-6, so you can keep the travelcard on your Oyster.

  103. Hi Mike,
    Have recently moved to Gillingham (Kent) and looking at using the train for my daily commute to work at Bond Street. I have tried catching the train from Gillingham to London Victoria and then go on the bus to Marble Arch. I paid £99.60 for a weekly ticket from Gillingham to London all terminals and £1.50 each way per day for the bus. It there anyway I can purchase a ticket that includes travelling on the bus which is cheaper than the total Of £114.60 I pay weekly?
    Many Thanks

    • Hi Felix,

      Sadly not. The combined alternative is Gillingham to zones 1-6 and is £116.40/week. For the extra £1.80 you could use the tube to Marble Arch instead.

  104. Hi Mike,

    My daughter (currently 15) commutes daily from Three Bridges to East Croydon. I buy her a 6 weekly ticket at the moment, but was wondering whether any combination of Paper to Gatwick and then using Oyster on to East Croydon would be cheaper?
    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Phil,

      It won’t be cheaper at the moment, but when she is 16 it will. She’ll need a 16-18 zip Oyster card and she’ll then get half adult price travel. She will need to get off at Gatwick to touch in (and out on the way back), but that shouldn’t be too much of a delay between Gatwick and East Croydon.

  105. Hi Mike

    1.If I have a paper ticket of national rail from Pitsea to upminster and then want to use oyster till Canada water do I have to get down the train(C2C) at Upminster and validate the oyster.This means I would need to catch the next train to west ham(where i would change for the tube) as the previous train(C2C)n on which I came would have gone by the time I get off the train and validate my oyster.
    2.On my return journey I would again need to get off the train(c2c) at upminster to end my oyster journey and then board the same or the next train.What if the train(c2c) does not stop at upminster,can I still carry on the journey to Pitsea)

    • Hi Karen,

      As the page above states, if you are using a xones 1-6 travelcard on your Oyster then there is no need to touch at Upminster. If you are using PAYG then you must touch, and you can’t then use a fast train.

  106. Hi Mike. I am planning to travel from Walton on Thames to Green park zone 1 via Waterloo 5 days a week. What would be the best option? Thank you

    • Hi Ross,

      A Walton on Thames to zones 1-6 travelcard is likely to be cheapest. As for speed, if your train from Walton calls at Vauxhall then you may find it quicker to change there to the Victoria line in the morning. In the evening you may have a better chance of a seat at Waterloo.

  107. Hi Mike,
    I got a job near Weybridge station. The issue is that I am currently living in King’s Cross Station. Therefore, I want to know whethere there is cheapist way to travel by travel card, etc or I just have to pay £22 per day. Thanks for your concern.

    P.S. I figured out that Weybridge is not inside of the London. ;(

    • Hi Young,

      I’m not sure what the £22 fare is. You can get a weekly travelcard season for £83.50. This has to be specified the ‘wrong’ way round as a Weybridge to zones 1-6 travelcard. Make sure that it is routed via Surbiton, unless you want the option of using the slow scenic route via Chertsey at a higher price.

  108. Hi Mike,
    I have a season ticket from Three Bridges to London including zones 1-6 on a Southern Key card. I want to travel to Shenfield, my season ticket will get me to Romford in zone 6. Do I have to get off the tube at Romford and tap out with my season ticket key then tap in with my oyster payg and continue the remainder of the journey. Is there a simpler way?


    • Hi Jim,

      In your case the ticket on the Key is the equivalent of a paper ticket. If you want to use PAYG between Romford and Shenfield then you will have to get off. Assuming it’s a day trip then you can buy a paper boundary zone 6 to Shenfield off-peak day return for £6.30. That’s cheaper than from Romford but more than the off-peak PAYG singles.

  109. Mike,

    Thanks as ever for a brilliant site.

    Am I right in understanding that the new rules mean that a 60+ oyster card used in conjunction with a paper ticket from the last station in a zone does not require the train to stop at said last station? In other words that a 60+ oyster is “another area based ticket” within the meaning of condition 14.2?

    The specific use case I had in mind was a trip to Guildford using my 60+ card plus a paper ticket (with senior railcard) from Surbiton to Guildford. fast trains from Waterloo to Guildford do not stop at Surbiton. But since the change, that’s ok and I don’t have to use a slower train.

    Am I right?



    • Hi Harry,

      It was actually always ok, but it definitely is ok now. The 60+ Oyster, like the Freedom Pass, is treated as a season ticket for condition 14.2. The one thing you can’t get is a slow train via Epsom.

  110. Thank you Mike. Yes, if I wanted for odd reasons to go via Epsom I would have to work out which Ewell station I was passing through and buy a ticket from there to Guildford.



  111. PS And having read the old page yes I see this particular use case (season ticket + paper point to point ticket) has indeed not changed.

  112. I’m surprised that TfL still offers the paper single ticket, and hasn’t started to force people who want a paper ticket to have a paper day travelcard instead.

  113. As more and more payment cards become contactless (and phones which can do contactless become cheaper) the lack of a paper single will matter less and less. There isn’t really a paper single for the bus anymore anyway. The final gap to achieving a reasonable non-Oyster, non-paper single ticket provision available to almost all levels of wealth and capability would be contactless pre-paid debit cards (which aren’t common yet?)

    Pre-paid contactless cards would be quite challenging unless TfL would accept an increase amount of non-payment caused by it not being practical to validate available funds (online auth) at the gate line/bus reader and current practice of only settling some time afterwards, and blocking pre-paid cards which did not have available credit until re-enabled by a online auth at a ticket machine to prove available balance again (or reenablement using online account).

    I think this type of non-payment happens to an extent anyway with other contactless cards, but there is greater incentive for someone to re-enable their main debit/credit card by arranging to make a payment through the card than a potentially disposable prepaid debit card (which typically cost £10 to obtain but can be free if the initial fund load is large enough)

  114. Hello – I need to travel from Ewell West to Chancery Lane and from Chancery Lane to Epsom four days a week (Mon-Thurs, peak times). I assume, due to the fare to Epsom in the evenings, the cheapest way to do this is a 1-6 paper travel card but I wonder if I’m missing a trick and can save through a combination of daily paper tickets and Oyster pay as you go? Any help gratefully received. Cheers, Charlotte

    • Hi Charlotte,

      To use PAYG you would need to get off at Ewell West on the way to Epsom to touch out. Have you considered the north exit of City Thameslink as an alternative? It is on Holborn Viaduct, not that far from Chancery Lane. You could change at Wimbledon onto a Thameslink train and the whole journey would be covered by an Epsom to London Terminals ticket.

  115. I have Train pass from Southend to Stratford (no underground zones included on the ticket). If I have to travel to Canada Water for a few weeks on the DLR, do I just tap my credit card on the yellow card readers at the start of the dlr on platform 4 after I’ve got off the train, or do I have to leave the station? Sorry – station staff didn’t seem to know and I’m new to contactless. Is this also the cheapest way to pay?

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes, just tap on the yellow readers, no need to leave the station. Is the DLR really the best way to go though? If you really mean Canada Water then the Jubilee Line seems more appropriate. There’s a yellow reader alongside the wall of the concourse leading to the Jubilee line platforms.

  116. Do you know if there is a cheaper way to commute between north London zone 3 oyster to Crawley (from London Victoria). At present use PAYG oyster and a monthly southern card.

  117. Hi Mike, I managed to get £70 off my monthly ticket by combining both underground and overground, unfortunately had to compromise on having a paper ticket but 70 back in my pocket every month it was worth it.

    Thank you

  118. Mike i am on zip 16+ oyster. Can i ask how do i travel from Walton on Thames to lancaster gate London zone 1. Every time i have to touch in /out in Surbiton as Walton not accepting oysters and have to come out the train buy a travel card from Surbiton to Walton. I know there are travel cards from Waterloo to Walton but machines are not accepting my oster to buy travel card. Thank you

    • Hi Charlie,

      If this is a regular commute then I’d buy two season tickets. One for Surbiton to Walton on paper and the other for zones 1-6 on your zip Oyster card. The two tickets can be used without needing to get off at Surbiton. If it’s a one-off journey then you’ll need to get off at Surbiton to touch in/out.

  119. Thank you Mike. Do i need to touch out in Walton on the way back from Waterloo and viceverca? Probably not because i am using season ticket but not sure. Thank again

    • Hi Charlie,

      You don’t need to touch the zip Oyster card out. There is no penalty with a travelcard if you don’t touch in or out at one end. If there are gates at Walton then you need to use the paper season to get through them.

  120. Hi Mike – I need to travel from Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes return and I have a 60+ oyster card. What ticket do I need to buy to get me the rest of the way from the limits of my oyster card? Many thanks. David

    • Hi David,

      It depends which trains you intend to use. If you use Southern or London Midland north of Harrow and Wealdstone then you’ll need a ticket from there. If you can use London Overground to Watford Junction then your pass is valid and you only need a ticket from Watford.

  121. Hi Mike, I have a zone 1-2 annual travel card (with gold card) and I need to get from Herne hill to Ashtead (which seems not to be in the oyster zone) on a Saturday (off peak). I think I have figured out that even with my annual travel card, it will be cheaper for me to buy a return trip national rail ticket from HH to Ashtead using my gold card discount (approx £4.90) instead of using my oyster travel card as far as I can go (eg HH to Cheam in zone 6, in the oyster zone) in combination with a return trip national rail paper ticket from Cheam to ashtead (ends up being £1.50 HH to cheam X2 for the return + £2.80 return from Cheam to ashtead). Am I missing anything or do you have any other suggestions? Thank you!

    • Hi Dev,

      No, you’re not missing anything. I’d buy a paper ticket for that trip. Just for info, Herne Hill to Cheam is a National Rail fare scale on Oyster, so £2.30 off-peak each way.

  122. Hi Mike,

    This is a great resource; you must have put so much time into this!

    I live in Walton on Thames, but frequently (more often than not) stay at my partner’s in West Byfleet so often travel from there to a site in Brondesbury (zone 2, which I can get to either through or avoiding zone 1). Season tickets don’t really work out for me what with holidays and occasional days where I need to travel elsewhere instead.

    Would it be a case of paper ticket to Surbiton, get off the train, touch an Oyster reader and get back on either same train or next one? Over £20 peak time is horrific, so anything I can do to cut costs would be great!

    • Hi Terry,

      You’re in luck. The default route from Surbiton to Brondesbury is avoiding zone 1 and costs £4.20 each way at peak rates. An anytime return from West Byfleet to Surbiton is £10, so £18.40 in total. You’ll need to assume that you won’t get the same train because the Oyster readers are at the gates in the booking hall at Surbiton.

      The reason it works so well is that neither of the paper ticket options avoid zone 1.

  123. Hi Mike,
    Currently I use Oyster PAYG to commute from Sutton to London including some fun evening stuff. Southern Delay Repay is a pain with PAYG.
    I’m thinking about a Southern annual ticket not including a zone 5 travelcard. Can I load the goldcard onto my Oystercard to give me discounted TfL trips? Also if I wanted to get to East Croydon would I have to exit the station at Norwood Junction then re-enter with Oyster for the short trip to East Croydon? Thanks

    • Hi Dan,

      Yes, you can load the goldcard discount for any annual season that qualifies as a goldcard. You would need to touch in at the last station on a permitted route to start your Oyster journey. In the case of East Croydon though, remember that West Croydon is on a permitted route from London to Sutton.

  124. Hi Mike,
    I travel from Burnham-on-Crouch (BUU) to Canary Wharf weekdays but occasionally work from home one day a week so not sure of my best option – Season/Monthly to Stratford and then PAYG contactless to Canary Wharf vs a Zone 2 travelcard. Or some other intermediate split.

    TBH it’s a hassle to have to remember to tap in/out on the yellow reader at the far side of the Jubilee platforms at SRA every day – would be great to avoid if cost effective. THANKS!

  125. Hi Mike, i will be in London for 8 weeks, i was wondering what the best ticket option is, i will be travelling from Bishops Stortford to oxford circus every day, it seems complicated as bishops seems to be out of the London zones! any help would be greatly appreciated, many thanks

  126. Hi Mike,
    I have to travel from Twickenham station to Weybridge, at the moment I’m using a bus to Surbiton and take a train to Weybrige with a two way ticket which costs me £9.20 every day excluding the bus pass. I’m an apprentice and i can get the apprentice oyster card. do you think I can use this card from Surbiton to Weybridge? or if you know any cheap way please!

    • Hi Yoseph,

      The Apprentice Oyster is only useful where Oyster itself is accepted, which doesn’t include beyond Surbiton. If you are buying two single tickets at £4.60 then you could immediately switch to a return ticket which is £8.80. If you travel 5 days a week then a weekly season ticket is £35.90.

  127. Evening.
    Nothing urgent, just received my Oyster 2 card, transferred my credit from the old one, but need to “swipe” the new one before the 20th Jan.
    Where is the nearest place to Marden, Kent, that it is possible to do so ?

    I’m not very good with computers, sorry, but I think it will be Knockholt station, is this correct ?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Paul,

      Knockholt probably is the nearest station, but you need to then make an Oyster journey. If you aren’t planning to come to London by this weekend I’d call them up and ask what happens next. They may well agree to refund the money to your bank account considering your location.

  128. Thank you very much for your quick response/reply, really appreciate it.

    I’ll try to get up there by Friday, but if not, will contact them.

    Thank you again.

  129. Hello Mike,

    I travel from Highbury and Islington to Oxted during term time. What is the most cost effective and quickest way to travel.

    Than you

    • Hi Barbara,

      Sadly cost-effective and quick are often mutually exclusive. That’s also quite a long commute without making a detour to lower the cost.

      The quickest way is probably Highbury – Old Street/Moorgate – London Bridge – Oxted (possibly changing at East Croydon). You could also try Highbury – Victoria – Oxted (again potentially changing at East Croydon). To make it cheaper you have to avoid zone 1 by going Highbury – Stratford – Canada Water – New Cross Gate/Norwood Junction – East Croydon – Oxted.

      The ticket you need is either Oxted to zones 1-6 or Oxted to zones 2-6 if you avoid zone 1.

  130. Hi, I’m trying to figure out the best way and cheapest to get from east Croyden to Staines.

    I can’t seem to get a monthly season ticket so will have to have a season ticket from Clapham to Staines and use oyster from Croyden to Clapham?

    • Hi Chris,

      No need to get two tickets or use PAYG. Travelcards from outside zones 1-6 must be specified with the outside station as the origin, so you want a Staines to zones 2-6 travelcard season. There are no restrictions on which way you use it, so it’s fine to do it in reverse.

  131. I have a senior rail card, and would like to know how I can go about getting discount on travel around London when I visit.

    I lived in London until 9 years ago and now live in Peterborough. Unfortunately I do not qualify for any other over 60’s travel discount and Peterborough do not offer discounts unless you are receiving state pension.

  132. I have a paper annual season ticket for Hertford to London zones 1-6. On Friday I would like to travel to Witham in Essex. The best train is from Liverpool street which is direct, however I do not wish to pay full price. If I got a ticket from a zone 6 station, i.e. Romford to Witham, would it be an issue that the train I get on does not stop there (it does pass through)?

  133. Hello, I asked a oyster card question last year & you were a great help thank you. I now have a new query ;0)
    I’m trying to find the cheapest Seasonal travel option, I currently have a seasonal oyster 1-6 which expires next month. I now travel from Hemel Hempstead into London Terminals week day, & currently by buy extra tickets for the rest of the journey, so I’d ideally like a seasonal ticket from Hemel to london, but to include London Underground / London Buses. The best i can find at the moment is Oystercard zone 1 to Watford Junction, & then another £1,600 for rail Watford Junction to Hemel Hempstead. is that my only option? any help would be greatly appreciated – thanks Martin

  134. Thanks Mike, I’m assuming that can be purchased at any Rail station? I don’t suppose you know if it can be purchased on line? Once again thanks for your help.

  135. Mike great site and really helpful. I commute regular via southeastern into London, but I am changing jobs and will need to get the tube to West Brompton. An Annual Tunbridge Wells to Zone 1-6 season ticket is £5340. However, if I got a season ticket from Tunbridge Wells to Orpington it is £3084 and a Zone 1-6 annual travel card is £1704. Total £4788 and a cost saving of £552 a year. From what I read of your site this would be legal, but does the train have to stop at Orpington? Thanks

  136. Hi Mike thanks again for your reply above about the Z1-6/Hemel.
    I’m just looking at alternative ideas, as I may not be travelling everyday.
    If i was to buy an annual gold oyster card Z1-4 or Z1-5, & pre buy tickets for the rest of the journey to hemel hempstead, (obv getting my 1/3 off), can i stay on the train & not worry about tapping by oyster card out at a station in Z4 or Z5 ?
    Also lets say I buy a Annual Oyster Z1-4 (£1,960), do i put Harrow & Wealstone as my start station when buying a ticket for the rest of my journey, or Kenton Station which is the last season in Zone 4. Thanks! ;0)

    • Hi Mart,

      You’d need to put a station within the last zone of your travelcard. Also, do bear in mind that you can’t use your gold card discount in the morning peak.

  137. Apologies if this is widely known about already but it wasn’t to me until recently. If you have a photo Oyster Card which gives you free TFL travel etc and is available to those of us lucky (if that’s the right word) enough to be over 60 and maybe others, then you get free travel on most Network Rail providers out to the edge of Zone 6, generally after 09:30. This means that if you are travelling from somewhere in London to outside Zone 6 after 09:30 you only need to pay the fare from Zone 6. For example, last week I travelled from Waterloo to Southampton and by buying a ticket from Zone 6 rather than Waterloo saved about 20% on the ticket price. Caveats: I have only done this on South Western trains but there is no reason why it isn’t applicable to other train operators; I don’t know how to put ‘I want a ticket from Zone 6’ into the ticket machines or online therefore so far have been restricted to buying a ticket at a manned ticket office; obviously if you do this you actually have to carry your photo Oyster Card with you to legitimately travel to Zone 6 before your rail ticket kicks in for the rest of the journey.

    • Hi,

      Yes, an Oyster 60+ card is like a freedom pass so you do only need to buy from the boundary of zone 6 as long as you aren’t using it before 0930. You can’t buy these tickets online (or from most ticket machines), but the fare is often the same from the last station in zone 6.

  138. Hi Mike,
    We are Belgian and my boy (11 ya) and I, both have our “Visitor Oyster Card”; it’s very useful when we go to London.
    In a few weeks we’ll need to go to East Grinstead from Victoria Station and the Oyster card is not valid after Upper Warlingham station (end of zone 6); so shall we get off at this station, touching out and buy a ticket for East Gr. or is it possible to have a reduced ticket already at Victoria Station ? Sorry for my English… and thanks for your answer.

    • Hi Mylène,

      You haven’t said what time of day you’ll be travelling but the likely answer is that you’re better off with paper tickets for the whole journey. It is possible to do as you suggested, but there’s no guarantee you’d get on the same train after touching out and they only run every half an hour.

      Other things to note: Do you get the young visitor discount set on your boy’s card? This means he only pays half the adult fares. The details are on the TfL site towards the bottom of the page. Also, if you visit London regularly it might be worthwhile applying for a zip 11-15 card for him. It costs £15 but the most he will pay after 0930 on any day is £1.50. You can click through from the page above for more details and you don’t have to live in the UK to get one.

  139. You’re right Mike, it’s better to get paper tickets to go to EGR. We already have the young visitor discount and thanks very much for all the information. This is a great and helpful site. Thanks !

  140. Hi, I’m looking to travel from Alton into London. I am wondering is I can buy a paper ticket to the earliest oyster zone and continue my journey using that?
    Key is that i will Ben in the same train the whole way

    • Hi Wesley,

      Surbiton is the first station in the Oyster area, but you will have to get off the train to touch in if you want to use Oyster PAYG from there. You definitely won’t get the same train after touching in.

  141. Hi, can you please help me, because I am so lost. I need to go from HAYES&HARLINGTON to Oxford street which means I will have to catch a bus, then take a train to Paddington and after use a tube to Oxford Steet. Can you please tell me which way is cheaper: a daily travel card or pay as you go. And can you please tell me when do I have to touch in/out on the yellow reader if I will be making 3 journeys (bus, rail and train). I would appreciate your help

    • Hi Anna,

      Use an Oyster card so that you cap below the day travelcard rate. You might not actually cap anyway.

      Touch in on the bus, then touch in at Hayes, out at Paddington National Rail, in at Paddington Underground and out at Oxford Circus.

      Alternatively you can change at Ealing Broadway onto the Central Line so you don’t have to worry about touching at Paddington. The journey may be a little longer, but the interchange at Ealing is a lot quicker, and no need to touch. There won’t be much in it overall.

  142. You could do with a page on mixing oyster and contactless. Redhill to Shepherd’s Bush peak is £10.70 but Redhill to East Croydon and then East Croydon to Shepherd’s Bush is £5.30 + £3.70 = £9.00, i.e. a saving of £1.70. The downside is you have to touch out with one card and back in with a different card.
    Who can I complain to about price anomalies like this? TFL say they are not responsible for pricing outside the zone area.

    • Hi John,

      You don’t have to use two cards, just touch out and back in again with the same card. There is a problem if you have to use validators rather than gates as you need 2 minutes between the touches, but at East Croydon it’ll work fine.

      As for anomalies from outside the zones, TfL are correct, you’ll need to contact Govia Thameslink Railway.

  143. Hi Mike

    I will be commuting from Hatfield to London (kings cross/moorgate) and possibly to st Paul’s underground. It will be during a week day once a week or once a fortnight for work. What would be the cheapest way to get to London if I used an oyster card. I know I would need a paper ticket but where should I change to use the oyster card and for the price to be reasonable? Also if I was to switch to use the payg then do I need to exit the station and come back in? Generally it will be during off peak hours but somedays I could be travelling peak time.

    • Hi Sara,

      I’m not sure I could recommend splitting that journey. You need get off to touch in/out at the station where you switch from paper to Oyster/contactless. I’ve checked some of the switch points and the combined tickets cost more than the single paper ticket, unless you are using the tube to get to St Pauls. Is City Thameslink any good? If you must do St Pauls then get a paper ticket to London Terminals and use contactless (or Oyster – no difference) for the tube.

  144. Is it possible to use a Hadley Wood to Potters bar season ticket in conjunction with a freedom pass/over 60’s Oyster to travel into London using GTR services. Thank you.

  145. Hi Mike
    I have a 60+ card and senior rail card. Part of the week l need to travel to Epsom from Parsons Green via Wimbledon, usually before 9.30am. Can l use my 60+ card to Ewell West then buy on the internet a paper ticket for the rest of the journey? I also travel part of the week to Chatham (after 9:30am) can l also travel to Swanley with my 60+ and then buy a paper ticket from Swanley to Chatham. Just needed to check l was buying the right tickets.

    • Hi Sonia,

      You can only use the 60+ card between Wimbledon and Ewell West after 0930. But the Swanley to Chatham plan is fine as it is after 0930, and the train doesn’t even need to stop at Swanley.

  146. Many thanks Mike, so l need to buy paper ticket from Wimbledon to Epsom in the morning but could use my 60+ to get back from Ewell west after work in the evening? as long as l have a ticket from Epsom to Ewell West?

    • Hi Sonia,

      Yes. Singles may well be the best bet as you can’t use the senior railcard before 0930 either, but you can reduce the afternoon ticket.

  147. Hi. Can you help me with this please. I have recently bought an all routes annual season ticket from Hassocks (on the Brighton mainline) to Victoria to travel to work Mon to Fri. I travel often on the Brighton/London Thameslink route from to St Pancras international where I change for the underground to Highbury & Islington. As my season ticket covers the part of the trip to East Croydon(?) how do I use an Oyster card to cover the London part of these trips? Will I have to get off the train at East Croydon, leave the station then tap in/out with Oyster before getting on the next train 30 minutes later? Thanks

    • Hi Steve,

      The short answer is yes.

      You shouldn’t have to wait 30 minutes though, you can take any train from East Croydon to London Bridge and change there if necessary for St Pancras. You could also travel to Victoria and take the Underground from there direct to Highbury & Islington. That way you’d only pay for the Underground and only zones 1-2 on Oyster.

  148. Hi Mike, I know you get a lot of questions, but was just wondering if you could help me. I am changing jobs and will be travelling from Biggleswade to Kings Cross daily. I have a staff nominee pass (husband works on London Buses), would I be able to use this half way through the journey (From Hadley Wood to Kings Cross)? If so, this will save be loads of money! So Ideally I would just like to buy a ticket from Biggleswade to Potters Bar. Hoping you can give me some direction.

    • Hi Annette,

      I can’t help you with what you can and can’t use the nominee pass for; there may be commuting restrictions. You’ll need to check the details with your husband. If you can use it then you’ll need a ticket to Hadley Wood, otherwise you’ll have a gap between there and Potters Bar.

  149. Hi Mike, thanks for the very useful site! I was wondering if you have any official documentation/statement that confirms that “despite appearances to the contrary, there is no gap between London zones and therefore it doesn’t matter if the switch takes place between stations as long as the zones covered are adjacent”, in case I run in to an inspector unfamiliar with how London zones work? (I want to combine an X to zones 3-6 travelcard and an oyster zones 1-2 travelcard on a non-stop train from X to a London terminal in zone 1.)

    • Hi Jimmy,

      I think your best route is to take a bus or walk to Hounslow station (South Western Railway) and take the train straight to Barnes, which is the nearest station to Roehampton. Assuming this is a regular commute then a zone 3-5 travelcard will cover buses and the train between Hounslow and Barnes. You can travel either way (via Richmond or Chiswick).

  150. Hi Mike,
    I need to make a return train journey from London Bridge to Earlswood (surrey) can I use my 60+ card from London Bridge to Purley and pre-buy a return from Purley to Earlswood and then use my 60+ card from Purley to London Bridge ?

  151. Hi Mike
    Great site! Two weeks ago I have started a new commute Staines – South Kensington daily attending Imperial College. Staines just falls outside Z6. Currently, I use Staines to Richmond train and District Line from Richmond to S. Kensington, but plan to switch to weekly / monthly Travelcard as that seems to be a cheaper option. What do you recommend is the cheapest and easiest way to travel please? I am considering an 18+ student oyster season ticket Z1-6, and then a paper season Feltham-Staines? Assume I wont need to get off in Feltham? Many thanks in advance for your views. Regards, Istvan

    • Hi Istvan,

      Assuming that you meet the eligibility criteria for the Student Oyster then what you propose is fine, and you don’t need to get off at Feltham.

  152. Hi Mike,

    They don’t make it easy for you to buy boundary zone tickets online. I’m heading to Nottingham and have a annual zone 1-3 travelcard, so would like to buy a boundary zone 3 to Nottingham ticket – makes sense, right? However, this isn’t an option online. I’m not really sure what station to say I’m travelling from to get the best ticket. Any ideas?


  153. Hi Mike,
    I purchased a national rail return paper ticket from Guildford to Wimbledon. On my return journey return I started my journey at Battersea Park where I used contactless to come through the barriers. I then changed at Clapham Junction onto the Guildford train but didn’t leave the train at Wimbledon (where my paper ticket became valid) to tap out. Will this show as an incomplete journey (effectively starting at Battersea Park – but not finishing….) and any idea how much I would be charged or if there is anyway I can contact someone to advise the contactless part of the journey was completed at Wimbledon (where my paper ticket became valid)??

    • Hi Jason,

      You can contact the helpdesk. If your contactless card is registered to an online account on the TfL website then you can complete the journey there. You’re not advised to make a habit of this though. Contactless journeys are supposed to be completed by touching in and out at each end. They are not designed to be combined with any other payment method.

  154. I commute from Egham to Richmond on a South West Railway train using a paper ticket. At Richmond, I change to the District line and tap my Oyster on the purple readers inside the station between platforms. However, I have noticed that when changing from the District line to the national rail train on the way home (tapping in at Barons Court and tapping the purple reader as I pass through the station) that I am charged for an inconplete journey. Is there a way to get around this without having to physically exit the barriers and re-enter using my paper ticket?

    • Hi Ruby,

      The short answer is no. Pink readers are not supposed to be used to start or end Oyster journeys. They will start a journey if you are not in the system at the time you touch, but they will never end a journey.

      However, you may not be getting the best deal. A weekly Egham to Richmond season ticket costs £49.40 and ten peak singles on the Underground is £24.00. Thus you would pay £73.40 per week. A weekly Egham to Zones 2-6 travelcard season is only £70.10.

  155. Hi Mike, could you please advise me on the cheapest way I can travel. I need to travel Monday to Friday from 7am and return 17.30ish from St albans to Whitechapel. I have made a 16+ oyster zip photo card and a 16 to 25 rail card. How can I go about this in the cheapest and easiest way

    • Hi Aysha,

      OK. Cheapest and easiest aren’t always the same, and aren’t in this case. Your 16-25 railcard will give you discounts which mean that a season ticket is not worthwhile. There are two routes. Easiest is St Albans to Farringdon on Thameslink then Farringdon to Whitechapel on the Hammersmith & City line. This costs £16.85 day return. You need to ask for St Albans to Zone U12* London. The cheaper route is St Albans to West Hampstead Thameslink, walk to West Hampstead Overground, London Overground to Highbury & Islington and again to Whitechapel. That route is £13.35 day return and the ticket is St Albans to Whitechapel route via West Hampstead.

  156. Hi
    Taking my son from weybridge to Victoria on a Saturday for a short junior college course which is for 6 weeks. I will go with him and as it’s full day will go home then return to pick him up so what’s the cheapest way to do this please:
    Adult and child weybridge to Victoria
    Adult Victoria to weybridge
    Adult weybridge to Victoria
    Adult and child Victoria to weybridge I

    • Hi Moneysavingmum,

      First things first, if you don’t have a family and friends railcard then get one for £30. You’ll make back the cost over the 6 weeks and it lasts for a whole year.

      Then, what you need is railcard discounted off-peak returns from Weybridge to London Terminals for one adult and one child (£8.80 + £2.55) and an undiscounted off-peak return from London Terminals to Weybridge for yourself (£10.70). All tickets are routed via Surbiton and are not valid the long way round via Staines.

      If you don’t have the railcard the first set of tickets become £13.30 + £6.65 because it’s more expensive to travel into London and return than the other way round.

  157. Hi Mike,

    My usual commute is between Clapham Common and East Croydon. I am planning on buying a travel card zone 2 – 5 for this. However on occasion (1/2 times a week) I will be commuting to Epsom from CC.

    Obviously the only extra I want to pay is the distance from zone 5 (Sutton) to Epsom, however I won’t be tapping off with my oyster as Epsom is beyond. Is there a way to just pay for this added journey without having to jump off the train in zone 5 to tap out and then use a paper ticket for the remaining journey?

    Any advice would be appreciated, Cheers

    • Hi Izzy,

      Yes, you need either a return from boundary zone 5 to Epsom, or a return from Cheam to Epsom. The boundary ticket costs a few pence more but gives you the option to return via Wimbledon and Clapham Junction if you so desire.

  158. Hi, I have a 60+ Oyster Card. I want to travel to Maidenhead this weekend. I understand my card covers me as far as West Drayton. How and when do I pay to cover for the last leg of the journey that is not covered by my card? I will be going from Paddington. Can I get a West Drayton to Maidenhead return from Paddington? Thank you.

  159. Hi Mike,

    I read with interest the questions and responses on your site. Here is mine which I hope you don’t mind answering. I have seen similar questions, but have done some research and wanted to confirm with you.

    I will be commuting from Hatfield to Green Park Monday to Friday in peak time and returning peak time. This entails Great Northern Service Hatfield-Finsbury Park and then Victoria Line Finsbury-Green Park.

    I have had a season ticket of Hatfield to Finsbury Park plus Zones 1-6 Travelcard this year. This now due for renewal and would be £3,956 for the year.
    This was a paper ticket and then I had it put onto the Key Smartcard so I could tap in at Hatfield and out at Green Park without issue (using the pink readers if needed).

    As I understand it, an alternative option could be Hatfield-Hadley Wood season ticket (£1,160) plus Zones 1-6 Travelcard (£2,492). This would be a total of £3,652 and so a saving of £304.
    Hadley Wood is the first Zone 6 station on this line. Is it OK to do this despite if I take the fast train, it does not stop at Hadley Wood at all, but goes Hatfield-Potters Bar-Finsbury Park. This would be similar on the return journey in reverse.
    Would I need to put it on Key Smartcard, or keep as paper ticket, or will there be no impact either way?

    Please can you let me know if this is a possibility, if there may be an even better option and also confirm that I will definitely not have any issues with ticket inspectors on the train.

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Trevor,

      Yes, it is a possibility. As long as the two season tickets cover the whole journey you can combine them and there is no requirement for the train to call at the changeover station. There is a better option: Hatfield to Alexandra Palace (Z3) at £1676/year plus a zone 1-3 travelcard at £1600/year for a total of £3276/year. I don’t know whether the Key smartcard complains if you touch in at Hatfield and don’t touch out. It shouldn’t, but it would be wise to check with GTR first. I can’t answer the last question. You shouldn’t have issues, but if you do they should be resolved by contacting customer relations.

  160. Hi there

    I am hoping you can help. I travel mainly in zones1-3 on the tube using Pay as you go Oyster. On Friday only I travel from East Action to Victoria via tube and the from Victoria to Oxted via train. At present I use Pay as you go to Victoria and then buy a paper ticket to Oxted but I think that I could travel as far as Upper Warlingham on my Oyster and then fare capping would apply and I could purxhase a ticket (at Victoria) from Upper Warlingham to Oxted. The only problem is that I wouldn’t be able to touch out as would involve getting off the train. Is there any way around this??
    Thanks Jane

    • Hi Jane,

      There’s no way of getting round the issue at Upper Warlingham, but you could make the switch at East Croydon instead. That way you could take any train from Victoria to East Croydon, touch out your Oyster, use the paper ticket to get back in and go for the next Oxted train (which might have come from London Bridge).

  161. To add to your reply to Jane, there are two Oyster validators on the platform by the bottom of the footbridge. If you were in the right carriage (about 3 of an 8 coach train) you’d have a sporting chance of being able to touch out and reboard. But I agree that switching at East Croydon is more sensible.

  162. Is there a yellow validator on St pancras platform? I have a season ticket Stevenage to London, and payg oyster. Sometimes I have to visit Peckham rye or Wimbledon and this means exiting the station on my season ticket and coming back in on my oyster to same platform different train. Thanks.

    • Hi Paula,

      No, there are no validators at St Pancras. Is your season ticket to London Terminals or London Thameslink? If it’s Thameslink then you are valid all the way through to Elephant & Castle or London Bridge. In particular, Farringdon does have platform validators. London Terminals is valid to St Pancras, Kings Cross or Moorgate. With London Thameslink you lose Moorgate but gain the core section.

  163. Hi there
    I am trying to find out if you can use an oyster card to get from Grays to London on a daily basis?
    It appears it is an extra station we can go from and as we will be staying nearby we are trying to find the cheapest way to get into London and travel around
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Karen,

      Grays is an odd one. You can use Oyster, but the daily cap is charged incorrectly. You’re fine for a straight return journey, but if you travel around in London you’ll be overcharged. If you can use a contactless card then that will work out cheaper on Mondays-Fridays (£15.20 – £16.80 max, depending on when you make the journeys to/from Grays). On Saturdays and Sundays there is a super off-peak travelcard for £15.10.

  164. Hi, I travel from Guildford to London Waterloo every weekday.
    As part of my benefits within my company I am entitled to a Zone 1 – 6 annual travel card paid for by them. My company wants to purchase this on an Oyster card.
    Can I get a zone 6 to Guildford extension from Southwestern Rail if I show them I have this annual zone 1 – 6 on and Oyster Card? or Do I have to get out at Zone 6 boundary each day to tap in?

    • Hi Gary,

      No need for an extension, just buy a Guildford to Surbiton season. Your travelcard kicks in at Surbiton and there is no penalty for not touching in as long as the whole journey is covered by the travelcard and any associated paper ticket. The train doesn’t even need to call at Surbiton (but you must go through it, so don’t try the scenic route via Ascot).

  165. Hi,

    A monthly season ticket from Kings Langley is £400 but if I get a monthly to Bushey (on the same line) and then a zone 1-7 oyster travel card the cost will be £360. Would this be fine to do without tapping in/out with the oyster at Bushey every day?

    • Hi Arlind,

      The flaw with your plan is that Bushey is in zone 8 so the travelcard would not be valid there. Had the tickets both been valid at Bushey then it would have been fine to stay on the train.

    • Hi SK,

      If you buy a point-to-point season ticket between West Ham and Southend Central then it only covers travel on C2C services. You can also buy travelcard season tickets between Southend Central and either zones 1-6, 2-6 or 3-6. These can be used either way round but Southend has to be the origin on the ticket.

  166. Hi Mike,

    Have used this page before and your help is always great.
    I live near Earlsfield NR and Tooting Broadway Tube (both Z3), and work in Epsom (outside Z6). My girlfriend lives near London Bridge (Z1).
    I mostly commute from Earlsfield to Epsom and back, or ~1x a week from LBG to EPS then return to EAD.
    I travel into central most weekends, or to my gf’s in evenings (off peak) and would benefit from travelcard on oyster so I can save on bus costs.

    I am looking for most efficient way to get around my usual commuting and weekend travelling, plus finding the best cost for travelling LBG to EPS.

    My thinking so far is to buy a weekly (or monthly) oyster travel card from Z3 – Z5 (which covers EAD to Stoneleigh, Z3 from LBG to Cheam (for Southern).
    I want to ideally buy a paper season ticket for Z5 boundary to Epsom.
    (I have worked out that Z3-Z5 plus Z5 to EPS is somehow cheaper than Z3 – Z6 and Z6 – EPS).
    So my questions are:

    1) How do I buy this paper ticket, do I ask for a boundary ticket? Z5 to EPS, where can I buy this, i.e. NR only etc, and do you have costs for this? The boundary Z6 to EPS would also help if you have it.

    2) How do I reduce costs for my morning commute from LBG to EPS? Providing I have the ticket & TC as above, do I just need an extension from Z1 – Z3? or buy a NR ticket to a zone 3 station? I usually get the direct service at 0755. I don’t want to have to get out of the train on this journey if I need to touch out having touched in at LBG on PAYG.

    Everything works fine with the above proposals, other than working out the journey from London Bridge to Epsom in mornings, avoiding having to get off the train to tap out, and start the paper ticket journey.

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Kind regards,

    • Hi Bradley,

      Season tickets do not work on a boundary zone basis. What you can do is buy a travelcard season for Epsom to any number of zones starting with zone 6, but a minimum of 2 zones. Epsom has to be the origin but the ticket can be used either way round. You could get a travelcard for zones 3-4 on your Oyster card and a paper Epsom to zones 5-6. There is however no easy way to handle the through journey from LBG to EPS. If you touch in at LBG you will have to touch out somewhere in zones 3-4 or you will be charged a maximum fare. Alternatively, for commuting you could get a through Epsom to zones 3-6 travelcard and just buy a paper single for London Bridge to North Dulwich (conveniently dual zoned 2/3). That is cheaper, except you’d probably end up paying for zone 3 again when you travel into London from Earlsfield. For those sort of journeys you can use Oyster as it will cap you at a daily £8 for zones 1-3. Note that your paper travelcard can be used on all buses and trams even if you are in Central London.

      Weekly prices are as follows:

      Epsom to zones 5-6: £30.00
      Zones 3-4 travelcard: £25.50
      London Bridge to North Dulwich: £2.90 peak oyster single.

      Epsom to zones 3-6: £45.50
      London Bridge to North Dulwich: £3.50 paper single.

      Hope that helps a bit.

      PS. TfL are talking about the long awaited extension of Oyster to Epsom happening sometime next year. Fingers crossed, as this will simplify things immensely.

  167. Thank you for that Mike, that’s really helpful and made me look at it a bit differently.

    I hadn’t realised how the season tickets with NR & TfL zones worked, but it is clear now.

    Just to put this out there as it may help others in similar situations…

    I went to look at buying my season ticket for Epsom to Z3-5 and Southern offer the KeyCard which I can load this season ticket onto which avoids having to keep renewing the paper ticket, and is easier to use, probably more durable, plus better for the environment (maybe).
    The other benefit this offers is that if I was to travel on Southern Rail (or any other journey on rail that the card is accepted) then this will come out of a PAYG credit on the card, which is used in combination with any season ticket loaded onto the card.
    So I would be able to tap in at LBG, travel to EPS and tap out with the KeyCard. In theory, I should only be charged for a single Z1-3 journey as PAYG, with the rest covered by the season ticket. The website claims this PAYG fare matches the cheapest fare offered by Oyster/ daily travelcards etc, I will find out when I first use this.

    So I plan to do this, and use my KeyCard for commuting, incl. the morning LBG to EPS journeys, plus any other travel in solely zone 3-5, and any bus journeys are also included.
    I will use my oyster for PAYG going in to central (I have a 16-25 NR card on there which also helps in off-peak, but this cannot be loaded on to KeyCard).

    I wouldn’t have thought of this without your help, so thank you for that!

    All the best,

    • Thanks for the update, Bradley,

      Just to clarify, you’ll be getting the Epsom to zones 3-6 travelcard. Any outboundary travelcard must include zone 6. If they do charge PAYG in the same way as Oyster then you should pay for a zone 1-2 journey because zone 3 is covered by the travelcard. Note that you will have to make one journey starting outside the Oyster area (eg from Epsom) before you can use KeyGo for your zone 1-2 journeys from London Bridge. Also, I don’t think you can use other operators services in zones 1-2, just Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern.

  168. Thank you Mike, yes that should have read Epsom to Z3-6 (my typo).
    I did see that the first journey on KeyGo has to be collected from outside London but I think I will make a journey soon that will cover that. I hope it works fine from inside London to Epsom (on any GTR train) after. Thank you for clarifying all of that.

  169. Hi Mike, I will be a frequent traveler from Feltham station to Weybridge will travelcard works for me, which Zone card should i purchase and what will be the cost for an month. Thanks in Advance

    • Hi Murali,

      For Feltham to Weybridge you need a season ticket. The monthly cost is £192. Feltham is the last station in the London zones so you don’t actually need any zonal coverage.

  170. Hi Mike,

    This has been a really helpful resource and I would love your advice. I am currently commuting from Camden to Ashford (Surrey) two days a week and from Camden to south london (Zone 3) three days a week. I currently have a zone 1 – 3 travel card and have been buying paper day returns (from Putney, with a YP railcard) every time I travel to Ashford. Does this seem like the best option?

    Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Kate,

      It’s close. The cheapest fare is a boundary zone 3 to Ashford day return. You can’t buy this online, but the ticket office at Waterloo can sell it, as can any ticket machine which allows you to buy tickets from another station.

      There is a little bad news. The railcard discounted fare for this journey isn’t valid until after 10am. This is because there is a £12 minimum fare with the 16-25 railcard before 10am (except during July and August). As the undiscounted fare is less than £12 you don’t actually need the railcard for this journey.

  171. Hi Mike
    I have a 60+ Oystercard and Senior Railcard. My nearest station for direct trains to Brighton is Finsbury Park. Can I use my 60+ Oyster to travel part of the journey free then use a paper ticket for the remainder? Which station is the limit for 60+ Oystercard (or is the whole of this line payable as it’s Thameslink & Northern rather than just Thameslink?
    Thanks for your advice

    • Hi JJ26,

      The 60+ Oystercard covers down to Coulsdon South, you’ll need a ticket from there to Brighton. Most fares are the same from East Croydon as Coulsdon South so you might find it easier to book from there. You also have some additional options like Thameslink only from East Croydon.

  172. Hi Mike
    I live in Wandsworth Common and work in Weybridge and I go to school in Central London (Tottenham Court Road).
    And I have an 16+ Oyster Card PAYG.
    What is the cheapest way? to get From home to work/ from work to School/ and from school to work?
    Can I use my Oyster card?

    • Hi Ben,

      You can’t use an Oyster card beyond Surbiton. What combination of tickets really depends on when and how frequently you make each journey. That is the time of each journey and how many days in a week is it made.

  173. Hi Mike
    Thank you for your answer.
    I will travel daily between Wandsworth Common and Weybridge.
    And twice a week in the evenings from Weybridge to Tottenham court road and back to Wandsworth Common/Balham.
    I hope you can help me?
    Is there a possibility to mix the oyster card with a season ticket?

  174. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for putting all this information together, really useful. For the next 6 months I’m commuting from Staplehurst to London Bridge – however I already have a Zone 1-3 annual travelcard. What would be the best season ticket for me to purchase – would it be from Staplehurst to Hither Green (Zone 3)? If so where should I purchase this, as at Staplehurst they weren’t super helpful!

    • Hi Tom,

      Yes, Staplehurst to Hither Green would be fine. You can buy that at Staplehurst. Don’t mention your travelcard, just say you want a season ticket to Hither Green. Under current rules you are allowed to combine two season tickets without the train needing to stop where you changeover.

      If Staplehurst really refuse to sell the ticket then it can be bought at any other station, but you should complain bitterly to Southeastern customer services.

  175. Hi Mike, I will be in the UK this year and have an oyster card.
    If I want to travel from Coulsdon South to Arlesey, how far can I go on my oyster card and which station will I then need a return train ticket from? Or is it cheaper to use my oyster card to Kings Cross and then a return train ticket to Arlesey?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Shelley,

      The furthest Oyster is accepted on that line is Hadley Wood. However, I don’t think it’s wise to use Oyster at all for that journey unless you are travelling in the morning peak. There are direct trains from Coulsdon South to Arlesey via St Pancras International so you don’t want to be getting off to touch out on your Oyster card. Just get a return for the whole journey.

  176. Hi again Mike –
    Thanks for your help on this. Just one more query on the Staplehurst -> Hither Green season ticket scenario for you – the cheapest option shows “Not valid for travel via (changing trains or passing through) London Terminals or Ebbsfleet” on the Southeastern website. Would this ticket be valid for my scenario? So combine this with the Zone 1-3 travelcard I already have to get to London Bridge. Many thanks – Tom

    • Hi Tom,

      Yes, you will stop using the season ticket as the train passes through Hither Green. You’ll then be using your travelcard. If your ticket is inspected after the last stop before London then you need to show both the season and the Oyster card with the travelcard on it.

  177. Hi Mike,
    I have a Zones 1-4 (incl. Tube and Bus travel) annual season ticket as a paper ticket. Do you know if I can get this transferred to an Oyster card?

  178. Hi Mike,
    I’m moving soon and the annual travelcard will work out over £300 a month and I’m wondering if there is a cheaper way to do the journey to work. I’m only in the office three days a week. I’ll be travelling from Dormans to Canary Wharf, so I wondered if I changed at Clapham Junction for the overground to Canada Water and then the tube to Canary Wharf, whether that would be a cheaper alternative?
    Any help would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Amy,

      If you change at Clapham Junction and take the Overground you will avoid zone 1, so you’d only need a Dormans to zones 2-6 travelcard at £3140/year. Depending on connections you might find it quicker to change at East Croydon and Norwood Junction/Sydenham/New Cross Gate.

      There is also another option depending on how many days a year you work and whether you use trains at other times. A daily anytime return from Dormans to Zone U2356* London is £24. This is valid for one return journey including Underground or DLR to finish within zones 2-6. You can’t go through zone 1 though. You can make 130 return journeys (43 weeks at 3 days a week) before the cost exceeds the annual travelcard.

  179. Good evening

    I tourist with an oyster card and I want to go tomorrow at 15 00 from Clapham Junction to Guildford and return in the same day arround 20.00 ?

    Can I use for that trip the oyster card and if yes how much it will cost to check my oyster balance.

  180. Hi Mike
    I understand tfl rail to heathrow allows travel cards. I have a paper z2-6. If I want to travel from Paddington. Would I need to tap in at Paddington and go out at Ealing Broadway on my oyster/ contactless. And back in with paper ticket. Or is there an easier option for this route

    • Hi Andrew,

      Yes, using Oyster/contactless in that way is probably the cheapest way. You could buy a paper ticket to Ealing Broadway which would cost more but mean you could stay on the same train.

  181. Hi Mike,

    Useful website, many thanks.

    So, I have an annual gold card paper ticket which is for Ewell East to Richmond for travle to work. However, it is my understanding it is not possible to get a point to point season ticket (versus an annual travel card) on oyster. When heading into London, for example, on the weekend or occasional evenings from richmond after work, part of my journey would be covered by my gold card and part not. For example, if I head from Richmond on the overground to Waterloo my gold card covers me to from Richmond to clapham but if I touched in on my oyster on PAYG at Richmond I would be in effect paying twice for the Richmond to CJ portion of the journey unless I use my gold card from Richmond to CJ, get off at CJ, touch in there on my PAYG and jump on another train to continue my journey to Waterloo. Is this the case or is there a way around this? I just find it bizarre that I cannot get my Ewell East to Richmond season gold card on an oyster card when both stations are in the oyster zones so I can just use it for my journey to work and pay the PAYG fare for any additional journeys not covered by my gold card. ! I just don’t see why this isn’t possible/an option. Just wondering if I’m missing something?

    Many thanks,


    • Hi Mark,

      The Oyster system works in zones. Travelcards are either valid for a whole zone or not. Point to point seasons are valid for routes between two stations. To program the permitted routes for every possible season within the Oyster area would be way too complicated.

      An off-the-wall suggestion. If you start from Ewell West you can actually travel to Richmond via Raynes Park and Kingston using just a zone 4-6 travelcard. There is a slight complication in that the Oyster system assumes you’ve travelled via zone 2, but if you touch out and back in again at Twickenham you will make it two journeys both within zones 4-6.

  182. Hi Mike, Many thanks for your reply. My main issue is when heading into town from either one of the Ewell stations or from Richmond and duplicating my costs up to CJ unless I get off the train go to the barriers and sign in on oyster from there but, as you say, there seems to be no way around that. I don’t think that the zone 4-6 for getting to work actually works out much difference (annual cost) versus my point to point gold card. The one positive thing that came from exploring this is that I didn’t realise I can at least put my gold card discount onto Oyster for when I do use it to make PAYG journeys which is at least somethings! Again,many thanks for coming back to me, Mark

    • Hi Mark,

      If you have the zone 4-6 travelcard on your Oyster then you won’t have to get out when travelling into London. The system will take a zone 1-3 single from your PAYG balance.

  183. Dear Mike,
    I recently moved to Chelmsford from London. I currently have a monthly London zone 2 to 6 travel card and was wondering how I can connect it with a paper ticket that goes to Chelmsford.
    A plan I had was to maybe buy a Chelmsford to Brentwood (or Harold Wood as its zone 6) and then I finish journey with my oyster.
    Would I need to get off train to touch my oyster or is there a cheaper ticket combination that doesn’t involve changing trains? Thank you.

    • Hi Ola,

      You can connect a paper Chelmsford to Harold Wood ticket with your travelcard and there is no need to get off to touch in or out. I’d need to know where you are travelling to in zone 2 before I can recommend any possible alternative options.

    • Hi Ola,

      There is only 40p/week difference between one travelcard from Chelmsford to zones 2-6 and the combination of Chelmsford to Harold Wood and zones 2-6 on Oyster. The advantage of the combination is that you’ll only pay for zone 1 if you go into the centre whereas with the paper ticket you’d have to pay for zones 1 and 2. One important note: you cannot travel direct from Liverpool Street to Chelmsford using your two season tickets and PAYG for the zone 1 bit. The PAYG means that you have to touch out within zones 2-6 to close that part of the journey. It can be anywhere though, so Stratford would be fine.

      If money becomes a serious problem and time less so you can save a little by getting zones 3-6. From Stratford take the DLR to Woolwich Arsenal, then Southeastern to Lewisham and then to Ladywell. You can also do Woolwich-Greenwich-Lewisham if there’s a long wait for a direct train. This keeps you out of zone 2 thanks to the dual zone 2/3 for Stratford to Canning Town and Greenwich to Lewisham.

  184. Dear Mike
    I have a 60+ Oyster card where I use to travel from London Kings x to Welwyn Garden City. Does this mean I have to get off the train at Hadley Wood (ie. limit of my Oyster Card zone 6 travel) and buy a return ticket? Then jump onto the next slow train to continue my journey? Its a real pain having to line up at Kings X ticket area to buy this return ticket in advance and wondering whether there is an easier way?

    • Hi Keith,

      As long as you have both the 60+ Oyster and a ticket from Hadley Wood then you don’t have to get off the train. In fact, it doesn’t even have to stop at Hadley Wood. The 60+ Oyster is treated as holding an off-peak travelcard season so there is no penalty for not touching out.

  185. “There is no penalty for not touching in or out providing the whole journey (on the Oyster card) is within the zones covered by the travelcard.”

    Is this an official rule, or convention? In TfL’s conditions of carriage, in the section ‘Using a season ticket on your Oyster card or smartcard’ it says:

    “3.3.1 When you use Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail services, you must touch your Oyster card or smartcard on the yellow card reader at both the start and the end of your journey. If the ticket gates at stations are open you must still touch your card on the yellow card reader.”

    • Hi Jack,

      Why stop half way through the condition? The full relevant parts say:

      3.3.1 When you use Tube, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail services, you must touch your Oyster card or smartcard on the yellow card reader at both the start and the end of your journey. If the ticket gates at stations are open you must still touch your card on the yellow card reader.

      Provided your season ticket is valid at the time you travel, you can still use it at stations where there is no yellow card reader or if the reader is not working. You may be asked to show your Oyster card (and photocard where needed) or smartcard.

      You can use the season ticket on your Oyster card or smartcard provided it is valid at the time you travel and any pay as you go balance is not in debit. If you have a negative balance, you must add credit to clear it before you next use your season ticket.

      3.3.2 If your season ticket only covers the start or end of your journey, or only an intermediate section of it, you may be able to use pay as you go for the part of your journey not covered by your season ticket or you must buy a printed ticket.

  186. Hi Mike,

    I read that, but as far as I understand that text is that the exception for not needing to touch your card on the reader is if the yellow readers are broken or there aren’t any.

    Can you clarify?

    • Hi Jack,

      Sadly the condition is not worded in the best way so you have to do some interpretaion. The first point is that a travelcard is a travelcard whether it is held on a piece of paper/card or a smartcard. There is no compulsion to put a paper travelcard through the reader if the gates are open, so the same should apply to Oyster travelcards, as long as they have covered the entire journey made. The issue that the conditions are trying to minimise is that if you have also used PAYG on the journey then you do have to touch to ensure that the correct extension fare is charged.

      The fact that it says you can still use a valid travelcard if the equipment is missing or not working means that they can’t (and indeed won’t) automatically levy a charge if you don’t touch at one end. Further, as there are no Oyster stations I’m aware of which don’t have equipment (it would be a bit silly if it was the case) I believe that that is alluding to the case where you combine a paper ticket with your travelcard and there is no equipment at your random out of Oyster area station.

  187. Hi,

    I’m a bit confused that I may have been overcharged for a paper ticket from Elephant & Castle to Gatwick Airport.

    I purchased a 26-30 Railcard Discounted off peak “CSN Day Single” (any operator) from a TfL/Oyster ticket machine at E&C Tube Station And was charged £15.10.

    I’m very confused as to where this fare came from, since the TfL single fare finder doesn’t display a separate cash fare; the Oyster fares are all a fair bit lower, and paper (National Rail as opposed to TfL) tickets are also all cheaper.

    Do you have any ideas? Thanks!

    • Hi Chris,

      I’ve no idea where that fare comes from. I’m also puzzled why you would buy a National Rail ticket from an Underground station, or even buy a ticket at all if you have an Oyster card, but I guess you must have a reason. You’ll need to contact TfL about the fare they are charging.

  188. Hi, thanks I’ll send them an email. The reason was that I hadn’t linked my new railcard to my Oyster card, and I walked past the underground station on my way to the NR station, and didn’t imagine they’d charge a different invented price compared to a “normal” NR ticket! Backfired spectacularly 🙂

    • Hi Chris,

      No worries. In hindsight you’d have been better getting the railcard linked in the tube station then using it from the NR station.

  189. Hello Mike, what a marvellous resource this is: I’m sure many travellers are thankful for and enlightened by your dedication and enthusiasm. I am in a similar situation to Dave at comment 45750, but I’m making a day-trip from London to Sevenoaks and back. At Clapham Junction (my handiest NR station) I show my tfl 60+ photocard at the ticket office and ask for an “extension” return ticket from the boundary of Zone 6 to Sevenoaks. I assume this can’t be done at a machine. Having then got to Waterloo, I won’t need to get off the Southeastern train before Sevenoaks to touch out/in for Oyster or any other purposes. Is that correct? If the extension fare is roughly equal to the Knockholt-Sevenoaks fare, this will be a welcome saving. Thank you.

    • Hi Lulu,

      Yes, that’s right. The Oyster 60+ photocard is effectively an off-peak travelcard so there is no penalty for not touching in/out. You can actually use either the boundary zone 6 extension or a ticket from Knockholt and the train doesn’t need to stop there.

  190. Is there an online method of obtaining zone boundary to National Rail station ticket prices, not necessarily being able to purchase online?

    I’m aware that a station within the zone can be used, however, where multiple routes exist into the Oyster area different stations result in different fares and restrict the routes that can be used. Re-routing caused by engineering works really messes up the named station method, sometimes resulting in an increased fare.

  191. Thanks Mike.

    I had tried and failed there, but with your confirmation that it’s the right place I’ve read the page source and found the key is to use “Boundary” as the origin, not “London zone” as I had previously tried.

  192. I am trying to find out the cheapest way to travel from Chertsey to central London, then within the city and back the same day for a group of 2 adults and 2 kids (11-15). Can Oyster be used?

    • Hi Jiri,

      You can’t use Oyster at Chertsey and it doesn’t look like it’s cost effective to split at either Surbiton or Feltham. I think your best bet is either an off-peak day travelcard or a super off-peak day travelcard. The super version has tighter restrictions than the plain off-peak, even at weekends. If you have a family and friends railcard then that can be used to discount the tickets.

  193. Hello, great site you have here. Hoping you can help with a query. I already have a TfL zones 1 to 3 annual oyster pass. I now need to start commuting to Crawley. Am I right in thinking I can use my Oyster on the national rail gates at London Bridge, buy a Thameslink ticket starting from Sydenham, but remain on the same direct train from LBG to CRW? Will this trigger an incomplete journey alert on the Oyster? Thank you.

    • Hi Phil,

      That’s fine. There is no penalty for not touching in/out providing all travel using the Oystercard is covered by the travelcard.

  194. Hi there, I have a 60+ Oyster and travelled from Marylebone to Leamington Spa today. I was told at Marylebone that I could not use my 60+ Oyster for part of the journey and buy an extension ticket. The first stop on the train I travelled on was Banbury in Oxfordshire. The train passed through West Ruislip which is within Zone 6. Is this correct? Thank you

    • Hi Josephine,

      No, it is not correct. As long as you were travelling after 0930 from Marylebone then the 60+ Oyster is treated like an off-peak travelcard season and is completely valid to combine with a ticket from Boundary zone 6, or a named station. The train does not need to stop at that station.

  195. Hi Mike

    a quick query if I may, I currently have a GWR smart card which is pre-loaded with an annual gold card between Maidenhead and Hayes and Harlington.

    On occasions when I need to travel in to London – what is my best way of achieving this? I’m thinking that it’s probably a seperately purchased travel card from Hayes, but would be great if there as a way of using the PAYG / Oyster travelcards without having to find the platform validators at Hayes ( the train may not even always stop there)

    • Hi Steven,

      You’ll need a ticket from Hayes unless you are prepared to alight there and touch in. AFAIK there are no platform validators so you’ll have to visit the gates.

  196. thanks Mike – confirmed it this morning – there are no validators on the platform, which is a pain, as would be a couple of £ cheaper to be able to use PAYG for the london portion

  197. Hi Mike,

    I require to travel from East Croydon to Bracknell to work almost 5 days a week. Daily return ticket shows £13.80 while monthly pass is surprisingly £371.4. Though I prefer to use Contactless I’m not finding a convenient cost effective option as I have to do touch out at Feltham and board next train. Do you suggest to take two travel cards one for zones and another to Bracknell from zone6 if that’s economical. Kindly advise the best option. Thank you!

    • Hi Chay,

      The £13.80 return is priced cheaply because you are going against the peak flow between Clapham Junction and Bracknell. This makes it cheaper than the season ticket which could be used either way round. For this reason I don’t think you’ll get a better option.

  198. Mike,
    Thanks for the prompt response. That’s understood now 🙂
    In this case, just kindly asking, is there a better way rather than buying tickets on daily basis either in the morning for same day or in the evening for the next day? Thank you!

    • Hi Chay,

      You can buy several tickets in one go, either at a station or online. The only thing to be aware of is that there may be a £10 admin fee if you ask for a refund because you no longer need to travel one day, so I wouldn’t buy too far in advance.

  199. Mike,
    I have a PAYG Oyster card and want to go to High Wycombe, Do I have to get off at West Ruislip to clock my Oyster and go the rest of the way on a paper ticket? Thank You

  200. Hi Mike
    My son is due to start a new job where he gets an oyster card included as his staff perk. He however needs to travel from Pulborough into London. Can you advise how the best way is to go about paying for the part of his journey that will not be covered by his oyster card? Many thanks for your help and advice.

  201. Hi Mike
    Many thanks for your reply. Apologies for my lack of knowledge but will he have problems tapping in/out or can the season ticket somehow be added to the oyster card?
    Many thanks again, Amanda

    • Hi Amanda,

      There’s no penalty for not touching in/out when using a travelcard on Oyster wholly within the zones covered. As his paper ticket will cover him to within zone 6 he will be fine.

  202. Hi Mike,

    I have a question about my current commute and I was wondering if you could clarify. I live in London zone 3 and I work in Billericay. My outward commute is bus to Leyton – tube to Stratford – train to Billericay (the same in reverse to get home). I currently use a zone 2-9 (incl. Watford Junction) oyster travelcard, and then a paper season ticket from Brentwood (which is in zone 9) to Billericay. However, given that Shenfield is next to zone 9, could I use oyster travelcard zone 2-9 and then a paper season ticket Shenfield-Billericay? It would be a lot cheaper. Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Ming,

      Sadly not. Shenfield is outside the zones therefore a zone 9 travelcard will not reach it and you will have a gap in your tickets for that journey. I can, however, save you a little money. If you buy a Billericay to zones 3-6 travelcard this will be cheaper than the combination you currently buy. The weekly price is £89.80 compared to £29.80 + £62.00 = £91.80. Outboundary travelcards have to be specified with the outboundary station as the origin, but can be used either way round. Stratford is zone 2/3 so you don’t need zone 2 to make your commute.

  203. Hi Mike,

    I have a question about my current commute and was wondering if you could help. I travel four times a week Monday to Friday to Barnes from Egham, all bar two days are peak times going and returning the others only returning back during peak time. I have a 16- 25 rail card already which makes my travel cost at peak time with a return ticket £12.00, but was wondering if it would be cheaper to mix oyster and paper tickets or just get an oyster card and add an extension to it if possible to cover the station outside the zones. If you could advise me on the best opinion that would be great thanks.

  204. Hi, I have a 60+ oyster card and also a senior railcard and need to travel from London to High Brooms (Sevenoaks line) and am struggling to figure out exactly from where I need to buy a paper ticket from or whether my 60+ will cover the whole journey! Any advice is gratefully received. Thank you

    • Hi Mel,

      Knockholt is the last station on that line where the 60+ Oyster card is valid, so buy the paper ticket from there. The train does not need to stop at Knockholt.

  205. Hi, I currently commute from home to work between St Mary cray / Orpington ( zone 6) – City Thameslink (Zone 1). 5 days a week,rota (Every 2months, weekends.) I’m using a annual Goldcard travelcard, is there a cheaper option although , i do sometimes have to use the underground if there are problems
    at weekends or sudden delays , at london bridge.. Please Help!!

    • Hi Chris,

      You can buy an Orpington to London Terminals season ticket for £2080/year. Make sure to get the one marked “AAA St Mary Cray” and that will give you the flexibility for either station at no extra charge. The travelcard is £2568/year so your decision is based on whether your other travel in London costs more than £488. The rail only ticket is still a gold card which you can get added to your Oyster so you get the discount on off-peak fares and caps.

  206. Hi, i have a zone 1-6 Annual gold card (paper) and want to go to Watford underground station. Moor Park is the last station in zone 6 on the Met line so I need a ticket from Moor Park to Watford. Do I need to get off the tube, go out then come back in on Card or Oyster then do the same on way back? Know I can buy a normal ticket but they are expensive.

  207. Hi Mike,

    I think I have just found out how much more I pay for my daily commute and wanted to doublecheck it with you.
    Work: East Croydon
    Home: Tooting
    Usual station used for work commute: Streatham Common
    Distance from Tooting Broadway: 10 minutes by bus

    Now what I currently have is a travelcard for zones 3-5 and then pay everything else on top of it. This tops it up to 111£ only for the card. Let alone everything else. Now I never thought of getting a monthly season ticket to be quite honest since I thought it would be less cost effective.

    Now I m in the phase of reconsidering. Do you think it makes more sense to pay the season ticket from Streatham Common – East Croydon and then top up with the bus or do you reckon it will be more or less the same?

    • Hi Anna,

      £111.80 is the price of a monthly zones 3-5 travelcard and that should cover you for buses and the trains between Streatham Common and East Croydon. If you use tubes to get to London at the weekend you’ll only pay for zones 1-2 because your travelcard covers the rest.

      If you get the rail only season for Streatham Common to East Croydon that is £74.20/month. On top of that you’ll pay buses (£3/day, say £60 for a month) and if you take the tube you’ll pay the full zone 1-3 single fares. I think you’re better off keeping the travelcard.

  208. Hi Mike,

    If I have a zone 1-2 travel card and I want to make a journey from Ebbsfleet to St Pancras, would I only need to buy a ticket from between Ebbsfleet and Stratford? I wouldn’t need to get off the train to tap in with my travel card would I, I would be okay just staying on the train and wouldn’t occur any penalty for not tapping in?

    • Hi Josie,

      Travelcards are not valid on the High Speed line unless they are marked “PLUS HIGH SPEED”. Travelcards on Oyster are not valid at all on that line. To use your travelcard you would need to get off at Stratford and use the DLR and Underground.

  209. Hi I have a 60+ travel card, I want to travel to Lenham at the weekend, I understand you cannot use Oyster cards from Swanley, so if I buy a ticket from from Swanley for the rest of the journey is that allowed?

  210. Hi Mike,

    I’m currently commuting frequently from East Croydon to Milton Keynes Central. I have a zone 1-5 travelcard. If I buy any-permitted route tickets (singles each way or returns) between London Terminals and Milton Keynes, am I right in thinking I can travel *either* across London (via Euston/St Pancras) *or* via the West London Line (e.g. on the slow direct train from MKC to ECR), depending on how the mood takes me? (I know boundary zone tickets would allow this, but these aren’t available through my corporate travel booking system!)

    Thank you!

    • Hi Sam,

      Yes, you are right. However, if boundary zone 5 tickets aren’t available then try Harrow and Wealdstone to Milton Keynes instead. That should be cheaper than London Terminals and as the other ticket is zonal the train doesn’t need to call where the tickets change over.

  211. Hi Mike, I’m looking for the cheapest fair per month. I have mixed locations per week. I need to travel from Putney station to Brentford 1x per week and from Clapham junction to weybridge x3 per week. In both cases I need to catch the bus from my home to the station. I used to have an annual card for some 1-6 and including CJ-weybridge at £343 per month but now since I am going to Brentford once a week and weybridge only 3 times per week I’m thinking there must be a cheaper way to travel. Would you suggest an annual travel card for zone 2-4 or zone 3-4 (to include bus and general travel) and then buying return tickets from CJ- weybridge 3x per week?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Sorry for the delay. The first thing to note is that you only need Hersham to Zones 2-6 for Clapham Junction which brings the monthly cost down to £294.60.

      However, 3 days a week for the majority of the journey isn’t enough to justify a season ticket, so I recommend getting a zone 2-4 travelcard at £118.80 per month and a return ticket from New Malden to Weybridge for £10.60 on each day you travel to Weybridge. The train doesn’t need to stop at New Malden.

      You can also buy a carnet of 10 tickets for £100.70 (a 5% discount) which must be used within 2 months of purchase. These tickets have a bad reputation though because you have to be extremely careful writing the date on each one. If you make a mistake you will end up losing that ticket or being prosecuted accused of using the ticket more than once if you try to correct the mistake. I don’t recommend carnet tickets for this reason.

  212. Hi Mike,

    Thanks very much for the reply, very helpful! Will I not get fined if travelling from CJ station and the route doesn’t go through new Malden?

    That does save me quite a bit a month. I guess from travelling into zone 1 though, I will need to get out at zone2 and tap in again with my Oyster card in order to not get a fine when exiting zone 1? There is no way currently I can link my ticket for zones 2-4 to my Oyster card?

    • Hi Sarah,

      Trains to Weybridge either run via Surbiton or Feltham. Via Feltham costs more and the price you quoted was the via Surbiton price (+/- 40p). Via Feltham also takes longer and is less frequent.

      You can’t put a Weybridge to zones 2-6 ticket on Oyster, but you can put a zones 2-4 travelcard. However, if you want to travel from Weybridge using the paper ticket all the way to Waterloo then you will have to change somewhere between New Malden and Vauxhall so that the system knows you’ve started your Oyster journey within the bounds of your travelcard.

  213. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for publishing all the information about Oyster with National Rail. It is very helpful.

    I have a zone 1-2 travelcard on Oyster, and need to travel from London Waterloo to Wokingham. Can I just buy a ticket from Putney (on zone 2/3) to Wokingham? Only a limited service of trains calls at Putney, but according to section 14.2 it seems to be OK, right?

    The question I have, however, is which ticket I should be using when entering the Waterloo gateline. If I touch in with my Oyster, there is no touching-out at Wokingham, which seems to be a bad idea. Can I instead use the Putney to Wokingham ticket (either paper or electronic) to enter the Waterloo gateline? Will the gateline accept it?


    • Hi Leo,

      You can only use the travelcard to enter at Waterloo. There is no penalty for not touching out within the zones covered. If this is a one-off occurance then you’ll have nothing to worry about. For complete peace of mind keep the Putney to Wokingham ticket as evidence of why you didn’t touch out there.

  214. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for the response.

    So do I not need to touch out when I will have touched in with Oyster at Waterloo? Wouldn’t that make me liable for the maximum fare as if I travel out of the zones covered by the travelcard?

    This travel may be a somewhat frequent occurrence, and these are return trips too. I will have the corresponding Putney return to Wokingham for sure on the days I go there.

    So is your recommendation that I touch in with Oyster at Waterloo, get on the train and use the NR ticket to leave the Wokingham station; and on the return trip I enter Wokingham station with the NR return ticket, and exit Waterloo with my Oyster when I get to London? There is no need to do any kind of Oystercard validation at all (like touching the standalone pink validators in Clapham Junction)?

    • Hi Leo,

      No maximum fare is charged when touch in or out occurs within the zones covered by the travelcard.

      I’m assuming that you live near Waterloo and work in Putney. If you usually touch in and out at Putney then for peace of mind I would keep evidence of your return ticket from Putney to Wokingham for a few weeks/months. It’s unlikely that anything will happen either from TfL or SWR, but as long as you can prove you hold tickets for the whole journey each time then that will be the end of it.

  215. Hi Mike,

    Maybe I should clarify my situation a bit more.

    I live in zone 2 in East London, and I work near Westminster, which is why I have the zone 1-2 travelcard. But starting soon, I will occasionally go to Wokingham for the day and return in the evening.

    The only reason I pick Putney as the NR ticket is because this will be the cheapest “extension” that allows me to travel to Wokingham, even though I don’t plan on taking the trains that call at Putney.

    Accordingly, if I touch in with my Oyster at Waterloo on my outbound journey, and touch out again at Waterloo (or other zone 1 stations, like Victoria) in the evening when I return, the Oyster trip in the system will have passed the maximum time allowed for travel for single journey. Is that going to be a problem?

    Can I still make it work the way I intend to take advantage of the travelcard I already have which covers up to Putney?

    • Hi Leo,

      It’s all still fine. Maximum fares do not apply to travelcards within their zones. A ticket check on the train will be fine if both Oyster and paper tickets are shown. You are absolutely not likely to be the subject of a short faring investigation, but do keep the paper tickets for a while just in case. The return portion which won’t go through a barrier at Putney will be fine, so don’t worry if the out portion is swallowed at Wokingham.

      I don’t know how SWR smart tickets work if you don’t touch at both ends, assuming they do returns yet, so I’d recommend keeping to paper tickets for that part of the journey.

  216. Hi Mike,

    Firstly thanks for the site, it is very helpful. Being somewhat cautious I contacted TfL to see if I could get confirmation that it is okay to not touch out when you have an Oyster season ticket, if you have a paper ticket for the rest of the trip.

    TfL wouldn’t provide confirmation and suggested that I should always tap out on an Oyster journey – even when i referenced your site as explanation. On they other hand they didn’t suggest I would be fined – so it may just be that they wanted to push the line of ‘always touch out’, even though you think they would want to provide absolute clarity on ticketing rules.

    It may be worth adding a line in the body of your article noting that this is what TfL will say – but that it is technically fine to not touch out. Happy to send you the correspondence by email if you like.

    All the best,

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks for this. I am actually planning some changes, especially in the light of the recent TV documentary series. I’ll send you a quick email so you can reply.

  217. Hi Mike,
    I have a 60+ travel card and plan to travel from Stratford ( East London ) to Basildon. My journey is simple, Stratford to West Ham ( Jubliee line ) then overland C2C to Basildon. Calls to C2C have failed to clarify which part of the journey I need to pay for. Can I travel overland on my railcard to Upminster on C2C from West Ham and then pay for the last bit of the journey , Upminster to Basildon.

    Many thanks for your help.


  218. My family and I are planning to move to Bromley and we would very close to Bromley South station. The three of us work in London zones 1 and 2. I know there are trains running from Bromley South to Victoria and from there we would need to finish our Journeys. Would a season ticket allow me to also get on a tube or a bus once I exit Victoria station? Or do I have to have a season ticket + another valid ticket to cover my full journey?

    • Hi Gustavo,

      A rail only season ticket would only cover you to Victoria. A travelcard season ticket also includes buses, tubes, dlr etc. The best option depends on exactly where you are going.

  219. Hi, I will be travelling from Earlsfield to Tonbridge, Mon-Fri for a new job. I asked the best way at Earlsfield station, the TFL guy told me to buy a zone 1-3 weekly in my Oyster (will get me from Earlsfield to Waterloo), & 5 paper ticket day returns from ‘Boundary Zone 3 to Tonbridge’. My question is: how will I get thro’ the barriers at Waterloo East? If I use my Oyster will it charge me a penalty fare? (as I wont ever be touching out again), or will my ‘Boundary zone3 to Tonbridge’ paper ticket open the gate for me at Waterloo East? (Phew, hope you understood all that!) Many thanks for your advice, great site by the way.

    • Hi James,

      That’s not the best advice. I’d get a paper Earlsfield to Tonbridge season ticket. It’s not valid on the Underground but you don’t need that.

      If you were using the combination of Oyster and paper tickets then you’d be ok using the Oyster to touch in at Waterloo East because there’s no penalty for not touching at the other end providing you have tickets covering the whole journey.

  220. Hi, I’ll be travelling from Charlton to Horsham Mon-Fri for a new job. I am 60+ and have a senior oyster card plus a senior railcard. How can I use them for a best dayly fare?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Antonella,

      Can you give a bit more detail about your travel times? I assume that the ‘senior oyster card’ is actually a 60+ Oyster card.

  221. I have an Oyster card and want to travel outside of the Oyster zone coverage can I purchase a paper ticket for the part of the journey outside of the Oyster Zone coverage ie from London Liverpool street to Shenfield using my Oyster card and from Shenfield to Wickford using a paper ticket that I purchased at London Liverpool Street and can I stay on the train or do I have to get off the train at Shenfield touch out using my Oyster card and the board the next train to complete my journey

    • Hi Jason,

      As the page says, it depends on what you are using on the Oyster card. If it is PAYG then you have to get off. If it is a travelcard to Shenfield then you can stay on the train.

  222. Hi Mike, I have to make a one-off, any time, any day return journey from Cheam to Chelmsford and have a 60+ Oyster card. How is it best to do this. Thanks.

    • Hi Graham,

      As long as you start from Cheam after 0930 you need a return from Harold Wood to Chelmsford. Don’t worry about not touching out/in at Harold Wood.

  223. Hi I need to go from Stratford to Chelmsford and oyster payg is only valid till shenfield, and Chelmsford is another 2 stops away how can I make this journey in the cheapest way?

  224. Quick question – at stations where people frequently connect from Oyster to Paper where there aren’t platform validators (ECR, CLJ for most platforms, etc), are the gateline staff used to seeing people tap out without proceeding through the barriers? I usually go around the loop (doing it “properly”) but that addd a few seconds, I occasionally wonder whether it’s necessary.

  225. Hi I have now got a 60+ Oyster card and my family live in Wilmslow. I am aware that I can use on railway in London. What is the best way to use the 60+ part of the journey From Vauxhall to link up with paying for the rest of the journey to Wilmslow please?

  226. Thank-you for this marvellous resource. I live in London but often need to travel to Billericay. Does my 60+ Oystercard take me all the way to Shenfield, or only to Harold Wood (or perhaps only to Stratford)? Does it makes a difference whether I travel on (slow) TfL trains Stratford->Shenfield or (faster) Greater Anglia ones? Would I be able to buy a ticket for the additional paper-ticket journey to Billericay at my starting station in London (Canonbury) or would I have to get out at Shenfled/Harold Wood/Startford and buy it there?

    • Hi Russell,

      The 60+ Oyster card is valid on TfL Rail services all the way to Shenfield, but only as far as Harold Wood on Greater Anglia. You should be able to buy a ticket at Canonbury (assuming it has an open ticket office). If you want to use the fast GA trains then you need a boundary zone 6 to Billericay ticket.

  227. Hi Mike,

    Very useful site. Many thanks.

    I have a Zone 1-6 annual travel card. We’re having building works done and I’m currently living in Haslemere. Only need to head into the office every fortnight.

    Am I able to get a national rail ticket from Haslemere to a zone 6 station and use my travel card the rest of the way without stopping at the zone 6 station?



    • Hi Mike,

      Yes you are, but, I would seriously recommend getting a refund on the travelcard if you are only using it once a fortnight. How long is left until it runs out?

  228. Thanks for the quick reply!

    It’s a work paid for travel card. It’s only temporary travel arrangements, whilst the building works are going on during September. Should be back in the office full time in October.


  229. Hi Mike,

    I remember seeing in a comment a while back (which I now can’t find…) that you were considering/working on publishing a list of stations with platform validators (or standalone entrance validators that are close enough to the platform that the same train can be caught). Is this something you’re still considering? It’s something I keep looking up for individual stations (with limited success) for various journeys I intend to continue on paper, so I think it would be a really useful resource!

    Even an incomplete list of notable stations which are known to have them and known to not have them would be a great reference point – I noticed Barking and Upminster both have them, but they seem in poor repair. I did wonder about an FOI to TfL for a list of all standalone validators (which would be a great starting point) but I’m trying to hold off bothering them at present!

    On a semi-related point, I saw Loughborough Junction’s ridership stats fell by over 50% when they turned theirs off and installed barriers a while ago, which is probably a hint as to why there aren’t that many since ridership stats usually increase with barriers! (By far the bleakest station in London that I’m forced to use regularly).

    • Hi Chris,

      It’s a project, but I didn’t get very far before my circumstances changed and I’ve not gone back to it since. Still might happen.

  230. Hi Mike,
    I’m trying to look for a single travel card that allows me to travel from East Croydon to Ebbsfleet daily. Is there such a thing? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Fiona,

      Yes, you need to ask for an Ebbsfleet to zones 1-6 travelcard. Where one end is outside the travelcard zones then that has to be the origin. A season ticket can be used either way roud though.

  231. Hi,
    I currently travel from Langley to Farringdon using the Elizabeth line and its costing me £18 per day with a 16-25 railcard. Would it be cheaper/possible to get a paper ticket from Iver to Hayes and Harlington and then use an Oyster to tap out at Farringdon without switching trains? Or is there any other way I can travel for cheaper as I currently have to go to Farringdon 3/4 times a week.
    Thank you for any advice

    • Hi Dylan,

      Can you confirm what time of day you make each journey?

      I’m not sure you can reduce the price I you want to stay on the same train, but there might be ways to make it cheaper if you’re prepared to step back.

  232. Hi Mike,

    Would greatly appreciate your assistance.
    Currently travelling between Potters Bar to Gunnersbury 6 times a week (peak times Monday-Fri).
    Are you able to suggest a season ticket/split ticket for my journey?
    I understand it’s best to avoid Finsbury Park and change at Highbury and Islington?
    Please advise, happy to use any combination you suggest.
    Thanks Mike!

    • Firstly, apologies for the delay in replying.

      I think the best option will be a season ticket from Potters Bar to London zones 2-6. Change at Highbury as you say and take the Overground to Gunnersbury. If the train you take from Potters Bar is going to Kings Cross or St Pancras then you can change at Finsbury Park onto the Victoria line to Highbury & Islington if there’s too long to wait for a Moorgate service.

      The current price is £70.40 which saves money when used for 10 single peak journeys.

  233. I have a 60+ London Oyster Photocard. I am going to Nothampton for a couple of days.
    I will be leaving home after 9.30am so I know I will get as far as Euston without a problem. Will my Oyster get me far towards Northampton, or will I need a separate or Extension ticket. How would I buy an extension ticket if needed.

    • Hi Paul,

      The 60+ Oyster is valid as far as Watford Junction if you use the slower London Overground trains, or Hatch End if you go for the LNWR services, but note that the train does NOT need to call at Hatch End. Buy Watford Junction to Northampton, or Hatch End to Northampton depending on which option you use.

  234. First of all, thank you for putting together this amazing site! Cannot imagine, how much work you put into this.

    Not sure, if my questions really pertain to this topic, but here we go. My wife and I will be visiting London for an 8 days stay (arriving and leaving via Heathrow). After some research I conclude that the option that suits our plans best is to buy 7 day travelcards for zones 1-3. I also understand that in this case we will need extension tickets for our trip from Heathrow into London. We will also make one trip to zone 4 and another one to Watford Junction, for which we will also require extension fares. The return trip to Heathrow is on day 8 after 4:30 am, so the 7 day travelcards will not be valid for that.

    Now my two questions:

    1) I would prefer adding the 7 day travelcards to oyster cards (rather than buying paper travelcards) along with some PAYG credit for the extension tickets. From the (meager) information on the TfL-Website I understand that a UK bank account is required to buy a travelcard online via a contactless and Oyster account. That’s not possible, since we do not have a UK bank account. Is it possible to have a travelcard added to an oyster card at the counter at Heathrow?

    2) (related) Is it at all possible to buy a zone 1-3 travelcard at Heathrow, which itself is in zone 6?

    Thank you so much in advance Mike!

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