Tooting Broadway to White City fare differences (avoiding zone 1)

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    I’m aware that, usually, taking a NR in the middle of a fare bumps up the overall cost. I planned a journey going from
    Tooting Broadway to White City, going via Balham (to Clapham Junction and on through to Shepherds Bush NR via the overground) to avoid zone 1, and it comes out as £1.80 peak. Amazing!

    However if you opt to get off at Shepherds Bush NR rather than fiddling about changing to the central line at the end, to achieve the same £1.80 you are recommended to do the below:

    “Avoiding Zone 1 via Clapham North/Clapham High Street and Clapham Junction”

    Basically in this instance Balham’s lack of Overground service is going to bump up the cost.

    I am sure it makes sense somewhere but I can’t figure out why Balham NR sometimes adds an extra cost and sometimes does not. It also costs more if I start the journey at Balham and terminate at Shepherds Bush NR, skipping the tube altogether, so I assume it’s something to do with bookending a journey with tube entrances. But then the route going via Clapham High Street (to avoid Balham) ends at Shepherds Bush NR too, and still costs £1.80.

    I guess my real question is that I don’t believe that the first journey will actually come out as £1.80, because shorter journeys within the same route come out as £2.90.

    Has anyone with an Oyster Card tried this route?


    Hi M (007 related?)

    I think the main issue is the difference between types of NR. Most of London Overground is treated as if it were the Underground so any permutation of your journey which doesn’t involve Balham to Clapham Junction will be charged at the cheaper rate.

    Offering cheaper journeys via Balham does appear to be a possible error. I may try it out in the coming weeks.


    The £1.80 for a peak Z23 ‘Tube’ journey seems correct to me: as Mike says, “most of London Overground is treated as if it were the Underground”.

    Balham has both Tube and Rail gates so the fare is different depending on whether you use Balham LU or Balham NR or both.

    From Balham you can get the £1.80 fare if you touch in at Balham Tube (not Rail), get off at Clapham North, walk to Clapham High Street Overground, then continue to Clapham Junction and Shepherds Bush NR, so you’re not using actual NR at all, only Overground.

    From Balham NR, changing at Clapham Junction then onto Shepherds Bush NR, you are using actual NR hence the higher cost.

    From Tooting Broadway, there are only Tube gates, so it’s £1.80 for Tooting Broadway – Clapham North – Clapham High Street Overground – Clapham Junction – Shepherds Bush NR (no actual NR).

    For Tooting Broadway – Balham LU – Balham NR – Clapham Junction – Shepherds Bush NR, it’s £2.90 peak because it involves actual NR.

    Or am I not understanding the situation correctly?


    Hi Andyboy,

    Tooting Broadway to Shepherd’s Bush NR does separate the different routes from Balham. The OP actually added on a further leg to White City which then combines changing at either Clapham North or Balham with the same fare.

    This actually complicates things somewhat. Using contactless you’ll be charged the fare that the single fare finder says. If you use Oyster it will charge the higher fare on exiting at Shepherd’s Bush NR and won’t refund it when you end the journey at White City. However, when the journey is run through the contactless back end later it will then refund the difference.

    That’s a good spot about Shepherd’s Bush.


    Hi Andyboy, that’s 100% correct, my confusion is based on the little “(or Balham)” in this £1.80 route (which is the second route you described, with White City tacked on the end).

    Avoiding Zone 1 via Clapham North/Clapham High Street (or Balham), Clapham Junction and Shepherd’s Bush(zones 2-3)
    Touch in at Tooting Broadway
    Mon-Fri 0630-0930 and 1600-1900 £1.80
    At all other times
    including public holidays £1.60

    As Mike says the contactless seems to refund it from £2.90 down to £1.80 depending on if you alight at Shepherds or White City. I may have misread. I’ll take it today and confirm. Or try to!

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by Mike (admin).

    Hi M,

    If you do make this trip with an Oyster card then I expect it will overcharge. The total should be adjusted by £1.10 overnight by the back-office. You’ll get this back when your total of adjustments exceeds £1.50 or two weeks later, whichever happens first.

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