September Fare Changes Reviewed

Not much usually changes in either the May or September fare revisions, at least as far as Oyster and contactless is concerned. This year has been very different. Some of the changes have been mentioned in earlier posts, but I’ll repeat them here along with other details which weren’t publicised in advance.

  • Oyster card fee – has been increased from £5 to £7 and is now non-refundable.  If you purchased a card before 4th September then you will still be eligible to have the fee credited back as PAYG balance if you are still using the card after a year.  Much older cards which had either a £3 or £5 deposit will return the deposit when the card is surrendered or cancelled.
  • Heathrow Airport fares – If your journey to or from the airport terminal stations either starts or ends or passes through zone 1 then the same fare that used to be charged at peak times is now charged all day.  If you have a railcard discount then the discount applies at off-peak times, but it is off the peak fare.  Caps and travelcards still apply as normal.  If your journey is in West London and/or you avoid zone 1 then peak and off-peak fares still apply at the usual times.  Also if your journey involves late adopting NR services (the NR-T fare scale) then off-peak fares still apply, even when going through zone 1.
  • Hatton Cross – has properly joined the Heathrow Airport free travel zone.  Previously you could interchange there when travelling from T23 or T5 to T4, but now you can enter and exit there as well.  This has the potential to alleviate the peak only fares on the Piccadilly line if you are prepared to get off at Hatton Cross and touch out and back in again.
  • Gatwick Express fares – If you travel using the Gatwick Express and then continue to Horley, Salfords, Earlswood or Redhill using Southern or Thameslink services, you will now be charged the full Gatwick Express fare rather than the standard fare from Victoria to your actual destination.  The Gatwick Express fare is determined by touching in or out at platforms 13 or 14 at Victoria.  If a Southern service uses platforms 13 or 14 then you are supposed to be directed to an alternative gateline so you are not charged the premium fare.  This will become more important now given that several trains to Redhill do depart from platform 13.
  • Woolwich – some good news.  Fares from the Elizabeth line station to places in South London via Whitechapel using London Overground now charge the lower TfL fare scale rather than the NR fare scale.  Unfortunately the same is not true from Abbey Wood at the moment, possibly due to limitations in the system.

That’s just about it for this time.  The government have confirmed that the next January fares revision will again be postponed until 1st March, so we’ve got six months of consistency ahead.  It wouldn’t surprise me if next May’s minor revision is also delayed until June as happened this year.

2 thoughts on “September Fare Changes Reviewed”

  1. The article should make clear that the Woolwich fares revision is for London Overground stations in south London. East Dulwich for example is still the NR scale of £2.80 off-peak using the pink reader at Whitechapel (£3.40 default) while Honor Oak Park is £1.80 as default.

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