U-turn on Off-Peak Caps

There has been considerable unrest over the abolition of the cheaper adult off-peak cap, particularly in zones 4-6 where the increases are quite significant.  Of course this was part of the package which made commuting 2-3 times a week at peak times a lot cheaper, but it disadvantaged a number of people who work part-time or shifts and travel at off-peak times.

So, from April the off-peak caps of £8.00 (zone 4) and £8.80 (zones 5-6) will be re-introduced for people travelling 2 or more times a week, or 8 or more times in 4 weeks.  Refunds will be back-dated to January and then processed every month.  The process is supposed to be automatic, though what happens where people have changed Oyster card or contactless payment card is not clear.  It’s possible that once the new system is running the adjustments for contactless users will be made as they become due, because the back office processing is already capping by Monday-Sunday week, perhaps with a sweep up to catch anything that slips through the net.

This change should also benefit leisure users as long as they travel at least twice a week and will certainly increase the benefits of Oyster over paper tickets when used regularly.

4 thoughts on “U-turn on Off-Peak Caps”

  1. There has been no U-turn to reinstate the off-peak cap for those who might not travel as frequently as twice a week, but might have used it on their day off or at weekends.

    Not everyone commutes or is able to commute by tube, but they might still use the system. They are having to endure 19%, 28% or 38% hikes for a day cap to travel in Zones 1-4, 1-5 or 1-6 respectively. Does anyone else think this is unfair?

    Added to which, won’t it encourage even more overcrowding at peak times as people who previously stuck to off peak no longer have an incentive to avoid these services, whilst others will find themselves better off driving? I can’t see the logic.

    • Hi Jon,

      It is unfair on occasional travellers from zones 4-6, but not everyone will be hit by the full cap. I still haven’t had to pay the full cap yet, and only once had to pay more than the level now being quoted for the zone 1-6 off-peak cap. As to more crowding in the morning peak, yes it may blur the lines a bit, but I’m sure many will still avoid the busy trains on comfort grounds. Also, if you are not going to cap then it is still worthwhile waiting.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Good news that the capping rate is being reduced but unfortunate that it will not affect my circumstances. I do voluntary work once a week and before Jan 2015 my daily fare was capped at £8.50. This was just about affordable but since then the new cap of £11.70 has become untenable and as a result I will be ceasing my work after Easter. I’m very sad about this. It’s not just commuters that need a break.

    • Hi Jill,

      If you can explain your actual journey to and from work I may be able to offer some hints to reduce it.

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