New Fares for 2020

In amongst all the election stuff and other sensational news stories, the Mayor released his decision on fares for next year.  It’s pretty much as expected – bus, tube, dlr, most London Overground, most TfL Rail and National Rail inter-available single fares all frozen for the 4th year.  Other National Rail fares and caps/travelcards all rise in line with DfT advice to the TOCs which is an average of 2.8% this year.

Arrangements for the TfL Rail extension to Reading are confirmed with Freedom Passes, Veterans Oyster cards and under 11s free travel commencing on December 15th, but only on TfL Rail services.  The contactless only fares for stations beyond West Drayton to Reading will start on January 2nd and will be valid on both TfL-Rail and GWR services.  Buried in the small print in the annexes is the news that daily and weekly capping will be supported.  Hopefully that also means that capping will be extended to the contactless only sections of GTR services.

33 thoughts on “New Fares for 2020”

  1. my son is 16 and traveling 2-6 zone 5days a week{student}
    he is using 16 + student oyster card, is there any form of better pass available.

    • Hi Bincy,

      There may be, but I’d need to know what the actual journey is first.

  2. Hi
    I commute from zone 6 to zone 1 from Monday to Friday off pick times what is the cheapest fare please?

  3. I am flying into Heathrow on a Saturday at 8:00 and traveling to and around zones 1 and 2 on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday I must return to Heathrow for a 8:00 flight. What is my best option?

    • Hi Robin,

      Best is a very subjective word, but if you mean cheapest then use a contactless payment card or device and take the Piccadilly line from Heathrow to Central London. On the Monday you’ll save a little if you can touch in at the start of your journey to the Airport by 0630.

  4. Thank you, Mike. Should I just get a regular oyster card and put the cap on it for 3 days? Or should I get a visitor oyster card? Having confusing deciding between oyster, visitor oyster, or travel card.

    • Hi Robin,

      If you can use a contactless payment card it will save you money on the Saturday. If you use Oyster it will cap at £12.80 for zones 1-6 while contactless will cap at £7.00 for zones 1-2 plus a £1.50 extension fare for zones 3-6. On the Sunday and Monday you’ll be charged the same with Oyster or contactless. If you haven’t got a contactless payment card that will work then get a normal Oyster card.

  5. Hi Mike

    I need your advice please with the following:

    1. I travel from Leytonstone station to West Croydon peak and off peak times. What is the quickest route and cheapest way to get to West Croydon during both times?

    2. What about from East Croydon to Walthamstow Central – once again what is the quickest route and cheapest way to get to Wathamstow Central in both peak and off peak times?

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    • Hi Tariq,

      The quickest route is very often not the cheapest, so it may not be possible to answer your questions as they are posed. For (1) they may be the same which is Central line to Mile End, District to Whitechapel then Overground to West Croydon. At times it may be quicker to travel via Bank and London Bridge if there is a fast train to West Croydon available.

      For (2) the quickest route is East Croydon to Victoria then Victoria line to Walthamstow. Cheaper routes exist via Stratford but they will take much longer. My fare finder (yellow button at the top of the page) gives details of fares and alternative routes.

  6. Hello Mike. I’ve been looking at the new contactless fares to and from the Iver-to-Reading stations on the Single Fare Finder. It seems that TfL’s evening peak exists for journeys from outside Zone 1, into London, and out to Reading e.g. Bethnal Green to Iver, as you would expect. But the reverse journey doesn’t have an evening peak price. Is this meant to be?

    • Hi Luke,

      It certainly seems to be how it’s set up. It looks like as far as the Reading extension and GWR are concerned, if you’re travelling out from Paddington then it’s peak, otherwise it’s not, even if part of the journey is peak direction out of London.

  7. Hi,
    I travel from Purley to Canary wharf and tap my visa debit card for payment. I travel to London bridge and then jump on jubilee tube to canary wharf.

    This costs me daily about 12.5 gbp.

    Can i pls know what would be the daily capped cost of travel on below routes? I get confusing answers when i try to find out the daily travel cost for below journeys

    – Merstham to Canary wharf
    – Three bridges to Canary wharf
    – Coulsdon south to canary wharf

    This shall hell me look for potential place for looking for a house.. !


    • Hi Ksingh,

      Purley to Canary Wharf via London Bridge has been capping at £12.80, but will now be £13.20 after the fares revision. You can actually save quite a bit on this journey by changing at Norwood Junction and Canada Water. This avoids zone 1 and the peak single fare will be £4.50, or £9.00 for the day. You must touch the pink reader at Canada Water while changing trains.

      Coulsdon South is the same fare as Purley as they’re both in zone 6. Merstham is outside the zones and thus considerably more expensive. The peak singles are £12.40 (via London Bridge) or £11.50 (avoiding zone 1). The daily cap is £33.00 which you won’t reach. You may find that a return ticket to London zones 2-6 via New Cross Gate is cheaper than the two contactless fares. Three Bridges is beyond the Oyster area. I can’t easily check what the fares will be for the return tickets. If you are commuting 5 days a week then you probably ought to consider buying a season ticket.

  8. Thanks Mike… trainline doesmt show canary wharf but shows me canada water. Can I assume both shall have same fare since they fall in zone 2?

    E.g. i usually travel from Purley to CW via Ldn bridge with daily return fare as 12.80 and thats what trainline shows for Purley to Canada Water fare..

    Would it be right to assume that the fare it shows me for Merstham to Canada Water is whati would have to pay for Merstham to canary wharf (via Ldn Bridge or otherwise)?

    • Hi Ksingh,

      The trainline will not be showing you Oyster/contactless fares. If you travel via London Bridge the two single fares are more than the daily cap so the cap is what you pay. If you avoid zone 1 then the two single fares are less than the cap so you only pay the fares.

  9. hi mike is there no cheaper options for an over ground fare Dartford to London Victoria , can I not use a travelcard zones 1-2 im finding the 240 pound a month crippling and its 15 pound a day using oyster?

    • Hi Hannah,

      Obviously with Dartford in zone 8 you’d still need to pay fares to get to a zone 1-2 travelcard. Do you commute 4 or 5 days a week? If you do then the £252.70 Dartford to London Terminals monthly season ticket is probably the best option. If you travel less frequently then the only way to realistically reduce the cost is to use a red bus between Dartford and Crayford. The bus fare and the train from Crayford would be covered by the zone 1-6 daily cap which is £13.20. Obviously it’ll take a bit longer and you’d need to change at Lewisham for Victoria, or use the tube from London Bridge etc.

  10. Hi Mike. This website is amazing, so helpful!! I want to travel from Watford Junction to Balham (zone 9 to 3) and get the southern national rail train that goes direct. Do i need to get off the train and tap anything to tel the system i’m not going through Zone 1? How much would it cost?

    • Hi Stephanie,

      If you use my fare finder to check the fares you’ll see that the default fare covers zones 2-10 (WJ is not in zone 9), so there’s nothing you need to do. The fares are a bargain at £5.30 peak single and £3.40 off-peak.

  11. Hi Mike. Thanks that’s really helpful. Would the same apply if i went from Tooting Broadway and changed at Balham to get on the Southern train. Is it best to use my oyster, or split the cards on contactless and oyster. Thanks again!

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Did you try the fare finder for Tooting Broadway? It is the same fare, though it’s not the default because the touch out and in again at Balham allows them to know you’ve avoided zone 1. Curiously there is an even cheaper fare if you change at Clapham Junction onto the Overground to Clapham High Street and then take the Northern line from Clapham North. That avoids the Southern only bit between Clapham Junction and Balham which accounts for the slightly higher fare.

  12. Hi Mike, thanks for info above and you were right about 2 single fares (i tried merstham to canary wharf via London Bridge tapping my card).

    You mentioned avoiding Ldn Bridge would be 11.5 using oyster/contactess.

    I find southern pass showing different prices Mham to zone 2 to6 option),monthly,annual/adult?searchPreferences=%2C%2C%2C&showAdditionalRoutes=no

    Can i say probably this is the cheapest option available for a daily commuter on this route?

    And a million $ question — why isnt Merstham in zone 6 ? Or any plans for it to be same fare zone for oyster?


    • Hi Ksingh,

      The £11.50 is the peak single fare avoiding zone 1 using contactless. The £67.30 is a weekly travelcard avoiding zone 1 and yes, I’d say that a travelcard season will be the cheapest option for that route.

      Merstham isn’t in zone 6 because it is quite some way out from the Greater London Boundary. There are no plans to change this that I am aware of.

    • No, that is only valid on National Rail services where London Terminals is any of Victoria, Waterloo, Vauxhall, London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Blackfriars or City Thameslink.

  13. Hi Mike, I am new to the UK so my question might sound a bit off, but please bear with me.
    Does the oyster cover up to Luton? I am looking to travel from Kent to Luton in the short term, but in the long term my route is likely going to be Luton to east Sussex and back, please what is my cheapest option.
    I guess it’s a lot I’m asking for.

  14. I’ll be arriving by ferry in Holyhead from Dublin . I have an Oyster Card thats not been used for maybe 12 months. Can I top it up at Holyhead?

    • Hi Melissa,

      I very much doubt you can top up at Holyhead, but if you’re travelling into London from there then you can top up at Euston.

  15. Thankyou for that Mike. I will top up at Euston when we get there.

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