It’s official, travelling a stop further on than you need to can actually reduce the fare you are charged! Following on from the recent story about the missing route validator at Surrey Quays, this morning I went from Crayford to Honor Oak Park via New Cross and Canada Water. While at Canada Water I touched on the pink route validator, and when I left at Honor Oak Park the gate told me that I had indeed been charged the zone 2-6 single fare. Now I’m sure that the pink readers there are supposed to be for people changing between the ELL and Jubilee lines, but it’s good to see that they also work to record that you’ve avoided London Bridge.
So, until TfL install pink validators at Surrey Quays, if you use pay-as-you-go to travel between New Cross and New Cross Gate you will get overcharged if you change at Surrey Quays (as the train announcements tell you to do), but going one more stop and using the route validator will apply the correct fare. It’s obviously not a problem if your usage that day will cause you to be capped at an all-zones travelcard anyway, but otherwise it’s worth doing. There is a £1 difference between an off-peak zone 1-6 single and a zone 2-6 single.
The downside is that you will miss the train you should have connected onto at Surrey Quays. This is a shame as the northbound service from New Cross connects nicely with a southbound service to West Croydon.
Of course, the other alternative is to revert to the old method and walk between the New Cross stations.