Southwark and Blackfriars

On Saturday afternoon I went walking around the City in search of book benches with my son.  When we had finished we made our way to the north bank entrance to Blackfriars and only then did we realise that FCC trains weren’t serving London Bridge this weekend.  The advertised diversion via Elephant and Castle seemed a bit of a detour so we decided to walk a bit more by crossing the river through Blackfriars, along to Southwark and through there to Waterloo East.  This gave me a chance to check out a report that walking through Southwark is always free.

My son used his zip Oyster while I was using my contactless payment card and I also touched my adult Oyster either side of Southwark.  The adult Oyster duly reported that no charge had been made and described the journey as “Entered and exited Southwark”.  I took 3 minutes to walk between the gatelines which means that it should have been a minimum single fare, so I wonder if that is set at zero at Southwark.  I’m also not sure what would happen if the walk was completed in under 2 minutes as that would normally be a maximum journey charge.  Further testing required.

The zip Oyster acted exactly as I’d expect by combining the walkthroughs into a Blackfriars to Crayford journey.  Closer examination of the detailed history revealed that the fare was deducted at Blackfriars which tallies with the advertised behaviour for walking through Blackfriars NR; namely that a charge will be made when using PAYG but if you combine it with a journey at either Blackfriars LU or Southwark then it will cost no more than without the walkthrough.

The contactless card behaved a little differently.  Both walkthroughs were listed as zero charge journeys and the actual journey was simply described as Waterloo East to Crayford.  Of course it makes no difference overall, but possibly is easier to understand after the event.

Just 8 more days until CPCs are rolled out for everyone.

2 thoughts on “Southwark and Blackfriars”

  1. I’m wondering if the contactless payment system behaves more “cleverly” than Oyster? I.e. only creating a OSI where there is an actual benefit to doing this rather than Oyster’s system of assuming you want the journeys joined up.

    It would be interesting to try some of the accidental OSIs that result in maximum journey times being exceeded to see if this also happens on contactless.

    • Hi Bruce,

      I’ve already found that contactless will break an OSI to avoid exceeding MJT. The advantage it has over Oyster is being able to see all the travel in one go.

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