Heathrow to Shenfield Oyster/Contactless fare difference

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    Stu Sharpe


    My wife and I recently travelled together from Heathrow T2&3 to Shenfield on the Elizabeth line (changing at Paddington for the Shenfield train, same platform). The journey started shortly after 17:30 on a weekday.

    My wife used Oyster and was charged £20.30. I used contactless and was only charged £15.90. The journey details for my contactless journey say “This journey was cheaper or free today because you reached an All Services Daily cap”.

    Neither of us made any other journeys that day (or indeed that week).

    I’m struggling to understand why the contactless fare was so much cheaper. I was surprised that I managed to hit a daily cap with a single fare 🙂

    Can anyone explain?



    Mike (admin)

    Hi Stu,

    I can explain what you’ve been charged.

    Your £15.90 fare is made up of the zone 1-9 off-peak cap (£14.10) plus the £1.80 single fare from Brentwood to Shenfield. There is a £7.30 surcharge placed on peak journeys to/from Heathrow on the Elizabeth line, but the fare is included in caps. Shenfield benefits from the off-peak (after 0930) cap to zone 9 (Brentwood) being relatively cheap and a quite low fare between the last two stations.

    The good news is that your wife’s card will be due a refund next time she uses it because her touches will have been run through the back office system and the charge recalculated. If she uses the card within the week after the refund has been queued then it will be added to her balance immediately. After that it will be added on the second touch.

    Stu Sharpe

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks, that’s really helpful.


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