South East to E&C NR

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    Chris D.

    A long while back, I raised the point that (eg) Woolwich Arsenal to E&C NR was being charged as a 4-2 journey when the most likely route involved changing at Blackfriars.

    This was to my advantage while E&C NR (wrongly) benefited from the afternoon off peak concession, but that has recently been fixed, so a Railcard oyster fare from Woolwich Arsenal to E&C
    via Blackfriars costs £3.20 when it should cost £2.10. Quite annoying to be overcharged £1.10.

    There again off peak it’s £1.70 when it should be £2.10. And AM peak it’s £3.20 when it should be £4.30. (For adult fares the errors are all to the railway’s disadvantage!)

    Given this mess of winners and losers it would be nice to see the zonal coverage for south east routes fixed. Really there should be pink readers at PMR/DMK so that those who wish to avail the Zone 2 route can do so. Or if ex-Z1 routes really are correct in being the default then there is a niche argument for pink readers in zone 1 stations!

    I can’t think of any way to force a zone 1 route on NR without it becoming NR1-T. From WWA the DLR is an option and from other SE stations ending at BFR and walking or cycling. But it feels silly.

    • This topic was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by Chris D..
    Mike (admin)

    Hi Chris,

    Thanks for raising this again. It’ll be useful to get other such issues with Elephant & Castle NR together in one place.

    One thing I am certain is that pink readers will never be sited in zone 1. A pink reader is designed to offer a cheaper fare and thus there is no compulsion to touch one. If you don’t and are overcharged then you won’t get a refund. Whilst I realise that a pink reader at Blackfriars would give you a cheaper fare at times, most people would be charged more. If TfL/SE/DfT decide that different fares are required then the via zone 1 option will become the default.

    I for one will be very pleased if they ever put pink readers at Peckham Rye. I’ve a longstanding irritation that Sidcup and Woolwich line stations to places like Norwood Junction default to via zone 1 but Bexleyheath line stations default to avoiding zone 1 because of the direct Victoria services. Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill have always been mentioned on my route validators page as missing.

    Chris D.

    Incidentally (and I don’t think I’ve encountered a route where this applies yet since the concession at E&C was fixed), what happens when touching on a pink reader to invoke a zone 2 journey (from a zone 1 default) during the afternoon peak?

    E.g. Stratford to E&C NR via Whitechapel and Peckham Rye: without a pink reader this would be charged at £1.60. Is a pink reader touch ignored and the fare kept at £1.60, or would you be charged £2.40?

    And if charged more, does that create an obligation to touch the pink reader..! 🙂

    Another minor moan:

    • E&C NR to Elverson Road via Lewisham NR – charged as Zone 1-2 even with the OSI touch. I could actually accept the argument that E&C to Lewisham NR is marginally more likely via Z1 (I’d say it’s about equal), but that on its own is Z2.

    And ones already mentioned but useful to collate:

    • E&C NR to Imperial Wharf via Clapham Junction – charged as Zone 1-2 even with the pink reader touch at Clapham Junction. Frankly it should be Zone 2 only even without a pink reader touch, there is no other credible route with no intermediate touches. The ‘via Vauxhall’ fare is even stranger.
    • E&C NR to Surrey Quays – charged as Zone 1-2 even though there were no OSIs implicating Zone 1.

    You like finding oddities!

    My understanding is that touching a pink reader is never mandatory. You won’t necessarily get the cheaper fare if you don’t, but you won’t be penalised beyond a higher fare. As with a lot of these E&C anomalies, most people would probably use the LU station rather than NR, on account of the faster journey.

    Elverson Road is a mistake, and not the first one. There should be a zone 2 only route.

    Imperial Wharf is also potentially a mistake. The via Vauxhall fare is possibly a clustering issue but certainly not relevant for this journey.

    Surrey Quays again looks like a mistake.

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