Interchangeable stations by walking to avoid zone 1

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    Neil S

    Hello Mike bellow are some questioble stations

    South Hampstead to
    Finchley road or Swiss cottage

    Warrick AVE to royal oak

    St Johns wood to maidavale

    Rusilip to west Ruislip

    Preston road to south Kenton

    Edgware to canons park

    I’ve given a handful examples of a mix of different stations that one can make changes within a reasonable distance of walking.

    I recall sometime back speaking to tfl customer services and had a similar response that some of their stations have not been configured but one can make a suggestion.

    Occasionally I make some of these journeys and if I’m lucky enough to speak to someone in customer services who understands where I’m getting out they will refund me back the difference.

    Can you confirm even if they are not configured on tfls system reasonable for customer services to refund when I can see that I was making a walking in between certain stations to normally avoid zone 1 and consider it as part of the same journey.

    I had a conversation with someone in tfl who said the reason I’m not getting charged correctly is because I need to tap on the yellow reader before leaving the station. Unless I’m wrong in anyway I make enough journeys ie Finchley road & frognal/ west Hampstead from overground/ Thameslink to tube etc .

    I have seen some yellow readers but not frequently

    If I don’t get anywhere with this what’s the best way to get this passed to someone in tlf to get their systems updated?

    of course I’m sure there are many other routes that have not been configured correctly and you’ve probably heard this a million and one times ?

    Thanks Neil

    • This topic was modified 2 years ago by Neil S.

    Hi Neil,

    Before I get into specifics let me say that if you have been getting refunds for walking between nearby stations which are not set up as interchanges then you are very lucky. There is no such concept of reasonable interchange, either a pair of stations is linked or they’re not. You can of course request that they consider setting up new pairs, but I should caution you about their unwritten rules. Firstly almost all interchanges are less than 800m. The ones that are further usually involve National Rail stations or very specific local circumstances. And Secondly there must be significant journey opportunities enabled by the interchange that aren’t catered by other connections. That said, let’s look at the pairs you have suggested.

    South Hampstead to Finchley Road or Swiss Cottage: Finchley Road is too far, but I agree that South Hampstead to Swiss Cottage ought to be an interchange, especially as it’s shown as a dotted line on the tube map and is only 350m. Having said that, its use would be quite limited to short local journeys, so I’m not sure whether it would get added.

    Warwick Avenue to Royal Oak: Frankly no chance because the next stop on both lines is Paddington. The walking distance is also 900m.

    St Johns Wood to Maida Vale: 1.2km apart, so forget it.

    Rusilip to West Ruislip: There is a connection between West Ruislip and Ickenham so you aren’t going to get another. They only allowed that one because of the lack of local buses in the area.

    Preston Road to South Kenton: Again, the shorter distance between Kenton and Northwick Park is an interchange so you won’t get another longer one.

    Edgware to Canons Park: At 1.6km it would be far and away the longest interchange. Need I say more?

    Now, moving onto what you say about yellow readers. The rules say that you must touch in at the start of a journey and touch out at the end. Sometimes there may be opportunities to join journeys at nearby stations, but for that to work properly you must touch out before the walk and touch back in at the end, having completed the walk in under the alloted allowance (usually 20 minutes). If you attempt to walk between two random stations without touching out and in then you will not be charged correctly, and could potentially be accused of fare evasion.

    I don’t quite understand what you are saying about Finchley Road and West Hampstead. There are interchanges between all three stations at West Hampstead and also between Finchley Road and Finchley Road and Frognall.

    If you give me some specific start and end stations for journeys you make then I can try and assist with options. Sometimes it has to be accepted that a bus is probably the best way.

    Neil S

    Mike firstly apologies I’m dyslexic so may I have not explain myself so well.

    I am pretty familiar with most of my journeys touching in and out ie if I was going to go from Preston road met loto Notting hill gate .

    I would touch in at Preston road met lone, touch out at Finchley road met line, touch in at Finchley road and frognal, touch out at Sheppard’s bush over ground, touch in at Shepard’s bush central line and touch out at Notting hill gate Central line .

    ( All works perfectly well with being charged correctly)

    However when I made a journey from warrick ave to queen’s park via bakerloonline I touched in at warrick ave changed for the overground to go to from Queens park to South Hampstead touched out , then I walked to Finchley road met line touched in traveled to Preston road and touched out .
    ( I was then charged for 2 sepperate journeys but from your explanation this would be correct as there is no journey) Anyway I explained this to the lady on tfl customer service who then said I would have needed to make an additional touch on. Yellow reader in the station before making the change ( this I have never heard of ) Yes I explained I was already touching in and out in all the stations I was using.

    So the main point is they make their decisions for what ever they think is nessasary based on being under 800 meters obviously not because in certain situations it’ may be around 10 mins to get to.

    For example I was going to suggest another Hampstead heath to Belize park ( typically 805 meters)

    Is there. Link for the 800 meter rule I can imagine you have your own database built in you head.

    As you say I guess I have just been lucky on occasions to be credited back and sometimes more Hastle to call in to get a refund and just stick to the configured routes.

    Years ago I spoke to customer service at tfl and he explained if it’s a reasonable walk it’s worth suggesting. In addition I spoke to a member of staff who wasn’t aware about the things I was describing and checked with his colleagues who were also a bit puzzled. He mentioned you should put your suggestions on twitter and you would be helping others.

    I can imagine I’m not the first and won’t be the last that would think there should be alternative routes to make interchanges. However the way you explain it I can imagine it’s unlikely any of these things would ever happen as there is a lot of red tape.
    If I ever did want to put some suggestions who would you recommend sending them to?

    Thank you very much for your useful explanation.


    OK, so 800m is about 10 minutes walk according to Google maps. The rules are not written down as such but are what I’ve gleaned from various discussions over potential interchanges. Hampstead Heath to Belsize Park is 800m, but to Hampstead is 700m so is more likely to be accepted. What kind of overall journey would you be making to use that interchange?

    As to your Warwick Avenue to Preston Road journey, the fare finder does have a couple of options for avoiding zone 1. First is via Kenton and Northwick Park, but if Preston Road is your final destination you can always walk from South Kenton instead if you want. The other one is to change at Willesden Junction and either West Hampstead or Brondesbury/Kilburn. You must touch the pink reader at Willesden Junction.

    If you want to make suggestions to TfL then email oysterenquiries @ without the spaces around the @ sign. I would strongly recommend getting someone to proof read and correct your message before sending it because if it isn’t easily readable it will reduce the chances of being understood. In particular make sure station names are spelt correctly (eg Warwick Avenue, not warrick ave) and capitalise each word in a name.

    Martin Phillp

    Whitechapel to Bethnal Green NR is another glaring omission, but I think that’s down to why Shoreditch High Street is in Zone 1 for revenue issues to stop passengers cutting across to North London via SHS or Bethnal Green.

    Michael Tsang

    The notorious Whitechapel / Bethnal Green non-interchange is so annoying considering that it’s now the fastest way to get to Canary Wharf from the West Anglia line, among with other journey combinations from the West Anglia line as well.

    Changing at Liverpool Street will likely result in missing one train compared to walking between the zone 2 stations.


    Hi Michael,

    I wholeheartedly agree with Bethnal Green to Whitechapel being an OSI. Why don’t you email them with the suggestion? The arrival of the Elizabeth line makes this change even more worthwhile and could potentially alleviate congestion at Liverpool Street as well.

    Michael Tsang

    I have emailed them before and got a stock reply.

    I’ll think about how I can effectively FOI them about this issue.


    Was your previous email before or after the EL opening?

    Michael Tsang

    It was after the EL opening as I travelled from Canary Wharf to London Fields in less than 20 minutes.

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