10 thoughts on “Oyster at Swanley”

  1. hi mike now swanley is in the oyster zone can we apply for the over 60’s oyster card and the freedom pass

    • Hi Anne,

      If you live in Swanley itself then sadly, no you can’t. Both schemes are funded by London taxpayers for London residents. The fact that both passes can be used at Swanley is a very long standing arrangement in recognition that for some London residents Swanley is their nearest station. It’s the same with Dartford.

  2. Hi Mike, I wasn’t sure where to message you so I thought I would add a comment to the latest article, hope that’s okay.

    I’m travelling from South Ruislip (zone 5) to Wimbledon (zone 3). I’m trying to figure out the cheapest way to travel. I leave around 8am, need to get to Wimbledon for 9.30am. I finish work at 7pm so my journey home is off-peak. Currently I pay as I go with contactless.

    The easiest route is to get the central line to Notting Hill Gate (zone 1/2) then grab the district line to Wimbledon.

    I thought this meant I could just get a zone 2-5 travel card but I get charged for zone 1 apparently.

    I’ve spoken to multiple people at TFL and I’ve had mixed answers, but I think I might have figured out why that journey is expensive.

    From what I can tell, Notting Hill Gate is a border zone between 1 and 2, but that is only the case on the Central line, apparently Notting Hill Gate on the district line (which I would change to) is not a border zone and is actually just zone 1.

    So is this why I have to pay zone 1 prices to do this journey?

    Currently I am avoiding this by going on the Central line to Shepherds Bush, exiting the tube station and walking over to the overground station then getting the overground to West Brompton where I pick up the District line to Wimbledon. This makes the price only zone 2 and avoids zone 1 completely.

    However this is a bit of a pain, all the changes, and I’d prefer not to have to pay for zone 2 if I’m not staying in zone 2, but I guess that’s how the system is.

    My question is do you know of a way that is cheaper or easier? And am I right in my thinking that the reason changing at Notting Hill Gate is charging zone 1 is because of the border zone not applying on the District line?

    • Hi Sam,

      Yes, Notting Hill Gate is only considered zone 2 if travelling to/from/via Shepherd’s Bush and exiting/entering the Underground at Notting Hill Gate. All other directions and lines are zone 1. As you’ve discovered, the Oyster system insists that you pay for all zones used, so if you travel via Shepherd’s Bush and West Brompton you will need to pay for zone 2.

      As half your journeys are off-peak and all of it is on the Underground I think a travelcard is probably more than you need. The peak fare avoiding zone 1 is £2.80 and off-peak it’s £1.50. That’s £4.30/day or £21.50/week. A zone 2-5 travelcard is £32.20.

      There is an extremely painful way of avoiding zone 2, but you’d definitely need a travelcard and zones 3-5 weekly is still more than your PAYG total. When you see the route I think you’ll discount it as well. South Ruislip – North Acton – Ealing Broadway – Turnham Green – Richmond – Putney (walk) East Putney – Wimbledon. You’d also need to split the journey by exiting and re-entering at somewhere like Richmond, hence why the travelcard would be necessary.

  3. Thanks so much for the help Mike. I’ll continue with the Shepherd’s Bush/West Brompton route and continue with PAYG.

    I’m assuming theres no difference in me doing this with contactless rather than oyster?

    If I wanted to go to the gym before or after work, which is located in Southfields (zone 3), I suppose I would be better off doing that after work as it would be off-peak, or would it not make a difference as it’s in the same zone as my final destination Wimbledon?

    • Wimbledon to Southfields is £1.70 peak, £1.50 off-peak, so not a lot of difference when you do it. Oyster and contactless will charge the same fares, but contactless has a weekly cap (Mon-Sun) so if you make enough extra journeys, including at weekends, it will stop at the price of a weekly travelcard.

      Also, don’t forget to touch the pink reader at West Brompton while you change trains or it might charge you for zone 1.

  4. Mike, I have a question that really intrigues me – what happens if one were to go the South Ruislip – Notting Hill Gate – West Brompton route (thus entering and exiting zone 1), tap the pink reader, and then hop on another District train down to Wimbledon?

    • As you wouldn’t have changed trains (and stations) at Shepherd’s Bush you’ll be charged the full zone 1 fare. You might also be questioned if noticed using the pink validator at West Brompton when not using LO services.

  5. Hello Mike,
    I am about to move to Swanley.
    I have the oyster card zone 1-6, can I use it to get the bus from and to Swanley?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Matteo,

      It depends which bus. If it is run on behalf of TfL and is red then yes. Otherwise no.

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