East Croydon To Whitechapel..

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    David Goodman

    Hi, not so much a query as an observation, and hopefully it may help others. For the past few months, several times a week I’ve been travelled on NR to London Bridge and getting a bus to Aldgate where my office is. Fare to London Bridge is £5.70 and I’ve then been getting a bus at £1.65, so a total of £7.35, so for a daily return I hit the fare cap at £13.10.

    Playing around with the fare finder, I found that getting out at London Bridge, London Blackfriars or City Thameslink are all the same fare at £5.70.

    But, if I went to Farringdon on the Thameslink from East Croydon and pickup the the Elizabeth Line and travel to Whitechapel it’s only £4.20. (getting off a stop early at either Liverpool Street or a stop later at Canary Wharf on the EL, is also £5.70).

    So that’s my route now and I’m saving £4.70 a day 🙂


    Cheers David,

    Yes, the system assumes you’ve travelled via New Cross Gate and the East London Line and avoided zone 1. If you want to save even more you can travel from West Croydon direct to Whitechapel and only pay £2.90 peak.

    David Goodman

    Though I do use the validators at Farringdon so they know my route.

    a non

    I think that is because the database of possible fares between East Croydon and Whitechapel does not have a “via Farringdon” option (or is it because the touch on the validator is disregarded, and the outcome would have been different had the passenger done an out-of-station interchange at Farringdon instead?). The default fare is zones 2-5. In order to be charged a zones 1-5 fare on this journey, you would need to do an out-of-station interchange at one of the stations defined on one of the three alternative routes. At present, Farringdon is not included as a possible interchange station in the definition of any of these zones 1-5 routes, hence you are charged zones 2-5 notwithstanding your touching on the validator at Farringdon (which is unnecessary, by the way, unless you were switching between a paper ticket and pay-as-you-go).

    More broadly, there are a lot of journeys for which the default and alternative routes do not take the Elizabeth line into account. For example, Stratford to Abbey Wood has two defined routes, the default being zones 3-4 (I imagine the idea would be to go via Canning Town and Woolwich Arsenal), and the alternative being zones 1-4 (“Via Zone 1 changing between London Underground and National Rail at Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge or Waterloo East (or Victoria or Waterloo”). An obvious route, taking the Elizabeth line to Whitechapel then doing a cross-platform interchange to get another Elizabeth line train to Abbey Wood is not defined (it would have been zones 2-4). Of course, given the lack of any out-of-station interchange, it would be impractical to distinguish between “via Canning Town and Woolwich Arsenal” (and thus zones 3-4) and “via Whitechapel” (and thus zones 2-4), so I suppose it is right and proper to make a presumption in the customer’s favour… unless TfL want to institute pink card readers at Canning Town and/or Woolwich Arsenal and require customers to use them for a “not via zone 2” fare (does such functionality even exist? As far as I am aware, pink card readers are used only to indicate “not via zone 1” fares for journeys where the default route is via zone 1).

    Mike (admin)

    Dear Mr A Non, please contact me using a proper email address at mike @ oysterfares.com.

    Multiple routes using different zone ranges is not new, but the high profile nature of the Elizabeth line does mean that some new cases in East London have become obvious. There has long been a case for a pink reader at Woolwich Arsenal so I doubt that anything will happen now.

    As for pink readers in general, touching them is entirely optional so they could never be used to prove that a higher fare route had been taken. Most of them do prove that zone 1 has been avoided, but there are a few other uses too. In particular the one at Rayners Lane often proves that zones 1, 2 and sometimes 3 have been avoided. Also the one at Highbury and Islington can sometimes say that zone 3 has been avoided. Yes, really!

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