Zone 1 to 4 extension fare (with 2-3 travelcard & Gold Card)

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    Just got off a long, long call with TfL

    Was charged £4.60 for London Bridge Mainline to Richmond Mainline via Waterloo / East at 5pm weekday peak. This is the full fare as per Single Fare Finder. TfL agent verified, after much calculation and checking with supervisor, that this is correct

    However, I have an annual Z2-3 travelcard, so I was expecting a lower fare – i.e. a maximum of £2.50 (Z1-2 peak extension) plus £1.60 (Z3-4 peak extension) = £4.10. No dice apparently – “because you didn’t enter or exit in Z2 or Z3, your ticket is not included in the calculation”… So, I could have saved 50p by literally getting off at, e.g. Putney, and tapping out and in again. This is bonkers! (the agent agreed)

    In fact, according to National Rail, a paper ticket for the same journey, but without any Travelcard credit, with Gold Card discount is only £3.95, so I would have saved 65p by buying a piece of paper instead of using my Oyster… I thought Oyster was always guaranteed to be cheaper than paper!

    On a separate note, does that mean no Gold Card discounts at 5pm, even if the journey is “off peak” by National Rail criteria, and despite the TfL website saying “anytime after 9:30am Mon-Fri”?


    Hi Kt,

    Quick answer is that you were charged correctly, but not for the reasons given.

    Where a travelcard plugs a hole between two extension fares you are charged the cheaper of the whole fare without the travelcard or the two extension fares. In this case the fares are National Rail rather than Underground so zone 1 peak is £3.10 which covers London Bridge to Vauxhall. Then the zone 4 extension is £2.60 which comes out at £5.70. As this is more than the £4.60 whole fare you are charged the whole fare.

    The gold card discount applies to off-peak fares and the off-peak cap, but you didn’t reach the discounted off peak cap of £7.25. This is one of the drawbacks of travel in the afternoon peak which is included in the page When Not To Use Oyster.

    I hope this helps you to understand what happened.


    Ah thanks for that – ok, I had assumed that NR and Underground fares were the same if they covered the same zones, but they’re clearly not! I guess my calculation would have been right if I had used purely Underground from London Bridge to Richmond, as the extension fares are cheaper and below the cost of the through ticket (£4.30)

    Out of interest, is there a published list of extension ticket prices, as it all seems to be a black box of mystery, and not available on the TfL website?

    And next time I’ll remember to do paper tickets for the evening peak on NR, as that’s cheaper with Gold Card in this case – should’ve read your article first!

    Thanks again Mike

    Mike (admin)

    Hi Kt,

    Generally the extension fares are the same as the single fares for the zones required at the scale applying to the journey. The Fares Guide page attempts to explain what fares apply for each sort of journey. In your case you needed the zone 1 and zone 4 fares because zones 2 and 3 were paid for. Extension fares work from the boundary between zones so you don’t pay for a zone twice. On National Rail routes the extension fare might be 5p or 10p more for reasons best known to them.

    Yes, if you’d used Jubilee or Northern and District to get to Richmond you would have been charged the sum of the two extensions.

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