Can you help me understand the rationale for evening peak fares to boundary stations that lie in both zones 1 and 2 (Notting Hill Gate, Elephant & Castle, Hoxton, Vauxhall etc.)? If I travel from an outer zone without going into zone 1 before the final station (e.g. West Ruislip to Notting Hill Gate) I get charged a peak fare to zone 2. If I travel via zone 1 (e.g. Epping to Notting Hill Gate) I get charged an off peak fare to zone 1. While in many cases the peak fare to z2 is cheaper, this is not always the case, especially for NR railcard holders. Shouldn’t the system offer whichever is the cheapest?
If the purpose of evening peak fares is to discourage travel out of zone 1, I have never understood why a journey from an outer zone to zone 2 is greater than travelling to zone 1 (e.g. Epping – Bethnal Green is £3.40; Epping – Notting Hill Gate is £2.35 despite travelling on a heavily congested section of the line west of Liverpool Street). The difference is even more marked with a discounted Oyster.