Gatwick Caps and Zone 1/2 Caps

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  • #3566
    Adam Zee
    Participant

    Hello. Thank you for a great site. I am from Australia and not visiting europe for a while but have become fascinated with reducing train trips from airports around the world and working on this one. Even though we use the Cubic ticketing system here in Brisbane, it’s set up a lot differently so apologies I am still getting my head around Oyster TFL/NR rules 🙂

    As per https://oysterfares.com/topic/outside-fare-zones-capping/ it seems the daily cap if I catch NR from Gatwick to Victoria/St Pancreas is £21.10. If I catch the train using oyster off peak £8.70 and then use lots of transport in zone 1 and 2 would the above cap apply or would the system apply the zone 1-2 cap with an extension fare of zone 14-3? Now writing that I realise both options might be priced the same. (around £21)

    So going further I would split my NR train trip at East Croydon by breaking OSI and then the journey is two tickets of £3.40. Because my journey now originates from Zone 5 to Zone 1, my daily cap would be £12.70 + the £3.40 extension fare. Does this sound right?

    I also gather that because I will be switching from NR to TFL in zone one there is some sort of surcharge? How is this calculated and is it like a pound or two? Can I break this surcharge by breaking OSI in Zone 1 before I catch a TFL service? Or is it better to switch from NR to TFL in zone 2 and that avoids the surcharge?
    I hope that makes sense 🙂

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Adam Zee.
    #3568
    Adam Zee
    Participant

    Now writing that I realise both options might be priced the same. (around £21)

    Correction: The Gatwick cap would be £21.10 and a zone 1-2 cap + extension fare 14-3/1 would be £7.40 + £8.70/less. Which one would apply? And that does not include the NR/TFL surcharge which I do not yet fully understand.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Adam Zee.
    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Adam Zee.
    #3571
    Adam Zee
    Participant

    On some further reading my questions do not have to do with OSI as the break of journey in East Croydon can be achieved simply by touching out and in(?) and most other journeys will cost more as two trips rather than one.

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by Adam Zee.
    #3573
    Mike
    Moderator

    Hi Adam,

    Sorry for the delay in responding. You’ve answered one of the points in that yes, you aren’t dealing with OSIs.

    The best way to explain the surcharge is to give examples. Purley (zone 6) to London Bridge (1) costs £4.30 off-peak. That is a National Rail only journey. If you extend it to be Purley (6) to Oxford Circus (1) then the fare becomes £5.80. The extra £1.50 is the surcharge for mixing National Rail and Underground on a journey involving zone 1. Looking alternatively at Upminster (6) to Fenchurch Street (1) the off-peak fare is £3.30 because even though it is National Rail, that line charges the same fares as the Underground. The fare thus does not increase if you extend it further into zone 1 on the Underground. Note that any fare (with a surcharge or not) is limited by the daily cap for the zones used, so if you make lots of journeys you’ll end up paying the same amount.

    Sadly, Gatwick is a complicated place. The fare between there and East Croydon (5) is historically low and this caused issues when people used contactless to commute for a day. Rather than paying the full Gatwick to zone 1 single fares each way the system split it up as a zone 1-4 cap and two singles Gatwick to zone 5. The train company weren’t happy with this and so the contactless extension fares were fiddled so that the ‘right’ fares were charged. With Oyster it’s even worse because if you start at Gatwick the system will continue charging until the Gatwick cap is reached. The recently added overnight recalculation should queue a refund which would be picked up the next day if all the rest of the travel is in zones 1-2. The net result is that if you start at Gatwick and zap around zones 1-2 without returning beyond zone 2 then you should be charged £8.70 + £7.40 = £16.10. This is always assuming off-peak fares.

    If you break the journey at East Croydon then it should become £3.40 (Gat – EC) plus £2.70 (zone 3-5 extn) plus £7.40 (zone 1-2 cap), totalling £13.50. Contactless should charge that straight away but Oyster will again overcharge and refund the next day. Again off-peak fares are assumed.

    I hope that helps explain things a bit.

    #3575
    Adam Zee
    Participant

    Hey Mike
    Thanks for the reply. I think I understand, and that because I will be hitting the zone 1-2 caps as a tourist, means that the surcharges do not matter so much, but are relevant (as well as other weird price increases) for people who commute/make two journeys a day).

    Hopefully the automated refund process to apply the daily cap/extension fare works out of gatwick on the oyster card, as having a zone 1-2 travelcard attached provides better value than using contactless.(customised weekly cap + 1/3 off Thames Clipper.)

    I was reading on your forum that if the oyster card is not touched on for six months then the refund from the last usage day is not processed and one has to call up manually . This would happen to me since I would be flying out . In that case is there a record of the refund due in the opal app/website or does it only appear once the refund is processed? Prob best to use contactless on the last day of one’s stay in london to avoid this. Cheers 🙂

    #3576
    Mike
    Moderator

    Hi Adam,

    If you have a weekly travelcard on the Oyster card then it will work out properly straight away. The Gatwick to East Croydon and East Croydon to boundary of zone 2 will be deducted from PAYG credit and the rest will be covered by the travelcard. Likewise on the way back to the airport.

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