I am delighted to announce the arrival of a new version of our Oyster Fare Finder. There have been some cosmetic tweaks to make the adult fares stand out more, plus a major new addition.
Alongside each route description is a statement describing the zonal coverage of that route. This may help when deciding what route is used by the default fare. It also clarifies which route is assumed when there are two completely different routes using different zone combinations. It can also help decide whether a travelcard will cover a journey, or which cap may be applied as a result of making the journey.
As an explanation of the above, consider two sample journeys.
Abbey Wood (4) to Mottingham (4). Both stations are in zone 4, but to travel between them you either need to pass through zone 6 or change at Lewisham in zone 3. The fare finder confirms that the journey covers zones 4-6 because that way you can use direct trains. If you had a zone 3-4 travelcard you may want to travel via Lewisham to avoid using your PAYG balance. You can do that, but you’ll need to touch out, touch on a bus and touch back in again at Lewisham to force the journey to be split.
Finsbury Park (2) to Hackney Central (2). This one surprised me when it was pointed out. The obvious route, to me, is via Highbury & Islington and involves zone 2 only. But the default route covers zones 2-3. This takes you via Seven Sisters and the link bridge between Hackney Downs and Central. Therefore, if you have a zone 1-2 travelcard you must touch the pink reader at Highbury & Islington if you go that way to avoid being charged for zone 3.