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Dartford in zone 8 from Sunday

TfL have now confirmed that Dartford will be in zone 8 from Sunday 6th September.  The previously predicted fares have been confirmed apart from the through fare to Underground in zone 1 (the zone 2 fare was wrong but has been corrected).

The PAYG fares offer considerable savings over paper tickets for a single fare and are also a little cheaper when making a return journey.  The daily cap will be the same as for other zone 8 stations, £20.00 anytime and £11.80 off-peak, which are both cheaper than the current one day travelcards from Dartford.  They also allow travel to other zone 7-9 stations within the same cap.

The weekly/monthly zone 1-8 travelcards are slightly more expensive than the current Dartford to zone 1-6 seasons.  They do offer validity in zones 7 and 8, but unless that is a regular requirement they should probably be avoided for now.

There are other major benefits to users of the three lines to Dartford.  Because Oyster will now be accepted at Dartford it will be possible to interchange there between the three lines without paying extra.  This has always been possible with paper tickets so now it’s consistant over all ticketing methods.  If you have a travelcard including zone 6 (valid to Barnehurst, Crayford and Slade Green) on your Oyster card then you can also interchange at Dartford, but, it would be advisable to have some PAYG credit in case your card is checked outside of zone 6.  You must also ensure that you touch in at the start of your journey so the card is validated.

73 Responses

  1. Hiya 🙂 Does this mean that if I was to buy a paper ticket travelcard for one day zones 1-8 from my station outside of the zones (Eynsford) [if this is possible? if not zone 1-9?] I could travel to Dartford with this being included? Or does the zone only apply when using oyster / contactless?

  2. Hi Rebecca,

    I’m not quite sure what you are asking. Eynsford is outside the zones so it wouldn’t be possible to use an inboundary travelcard of any description there. If you buy a zones 1-9 paper one day travelcard then that is valid at Dartford, but to get one of those you need to specify a station in zones 7-9 on the Metropolitan Line or Watford Junction line (e.g. Amersham). This will be printed with route AAA Zones 7-9. However, the daily cap including Dartford is less than the cost of the relevant daily travelcard, so I really would recommend using Oyster or contactless.

  3. Hi Mike, Sorry, I didn’t explain it that well! Usually when going into london I can buy a zone 1-6 paper travelcard that starts from Eynsford, so because eynsford is not in zone 6 its got the additional travel added on in the price. Today I need to get to london but need to go to dartford first, so I was hoping it would be possible to buy a zone 1-8 travelcard starting from eynsford which would allow me to get to dartford via nunhead and then go back into london afterwards. I read somewhere that its not possible to buy a paper ticket travelcard covering the 1-8 zones unless you buy a season ticket, which is why I threw the 1-9 in there in case this was do-able as this would still cover me going to dartford! Thanks 🙂

  4. Hi Rebecca,

    Ah, that makes more sense now. Sadly you can’t get an outboundary travelcard including zones 7-9. Buy your usual ticket and add a boundary zone 6 to Dartford return. That way you won’t be limited to one line into and out of Dartford.

    And for reference you can get a paper day travelcard for zones 1-9, you just have to start it at somewhere like Amersham. You don’t actually have to go there though. It’s a bit of a kludge to cope with TfLs extra zones for the Met, one which they really ought to consider rectifying now that the zones seem to be stretching further round London.

  5. Fab, that was my back-up plan! Thanks so much for your help! 🙂

  6. Thanks for all your Oyster info, Mike – we’re planning a posting on the DRTA website, will reference you as the best Oyster info source 🙂 (as we have already on the FB group)
    Question, though – any news on pre-09:30 offpeak acceptance ? As I understand it, a paper 1-6 off-peak travelcard is valid on any train scheduled to arrive at its London destination after 10:00 – so the 1st (via LBG train) is the 09:18.

  7. Hi Mike,

    I have heard nothing about pre-0930 off-peak. I think that the decision would be down to Southeastern who aren’t the most Oyster friendly TOC. It would only be an early start to the cap though, the fares would still be peak.

  8. Hi, do you have any news on the disparity on fares to Dartford?

    Two websites https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2015/contactless-payments-and-oyster-extended-to-dartfo

    https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/tube-dlr-lo-adult-fares.pdf

    Something is seriously wrong….zone 2-8 is £4.60…..but on Dartford fares… zone 2 – Dartford (zone 8) is £5.80…£1.20 more. (this goes for all of the zones. Surely if Dartford is in zone 8, then they should be charging zone 8 fares, not something else they have ‘concocted’.

  9. Hi Donna,

    The first link is to the press release which includes the correct fares. The second link is to the fares charged on Underground, London Overground and DLR which do not apply to Dartford. This is the page containing fares for National Rail services: https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/national-rail-adult-fares.pdf

  10. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the great work you are doing maintaining this site and providing crucial information to the public. Permit me to ask, why is Dartford placed in Zone 8? Is there a justification for this or simply to rip off commuters? The journey between Slade Green, Crayford in Zone 6 and Dartford is barely 4 or 5 mins. And considering the fact that there’s no station in-between, what informed the jump over Zone 7?

  11. Hi Ola,

    There are quite a few places where a zone is jumped, sometimes more (eg Harold Wood 6 to Brentwood 9). The reason Dartford is in zone 8 is because the prices of zone 1-8 weekly travelcards most closely match the Dartford to zones 1-6 weekly travelcard. Had it been zone 7 there would have been quite a revenue loss to Southeastern.

  12. Hi folks,
    I’ve been watching with interest the gradual extension of Oyster outside of Greater London. A few years ago there was talk of Oyster coming to Aylesbury and possibly High Wycombe on the Chiltern line. Does anyone think it will ever happen. Aylesbury used to be on the Metropolitan line after all 🙂

  13. Hi Adam,

    It’s possible, but it won’t be for a while until Oyster switches to back office processing like contactless.

  14. And now extended to Hertford East seemingly but nothing on the Hertford North line.

    https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/press-releases/2015/contactless-payments-and-oyster-extended-to-hertford-east

  15. Thanks PC.

  16. Hi Mike

    I am thinking of moving to Longfield and two member of my family will need to Commute to London. One to Charring Cross the other Cannon Street. What type of ticket would be the cheapest way.

  17. Hi LH,

    If they are solely using National Rail services then a Dartford to London Terminals season ticket is the way to go. If they also need tube, dlr or buses then a paper Dartford to zones 1-6 travelcard is slightly cheaper than a zone 1-8 travelcard.

  18. Hi Mike,
    This s is such a great site for straightforward information. I have recently started the commute from Dartford to Denmark hill. I work 13 12.5hour shifts a month, a mixture of days, nights and including weekends. Is the oyster the way to go or a season ticket? It’s all so confusing

    Thanks Emily

  19. Hi Emily,

    It looks like you will often be using off-peak fares so a season ticket is unlikely to be the best option. If you need to travel before 0630 M-F then Oyster gives you off-peak fares where paper tickets do not, so I think Oyster is the way too go. If you have a contactless payment card then that is even better as you’ll get the benefit of Monday-Sunday capping such that if your travel one week did end up being more than a weekly you’d be capped.

  20. Hi Mike,

    I’ve been trying to find out but without much luck… What is the cost of the journey using an oyster card from Amersham to Marylebone Station? I will be working (and possibly living) in Amersham during the week and be travelling to Canary Wharf or Euston Station on the weekends. I’d be grateful if you could help. Thanks Jay

  21. Hi Jay,

    Try the single fare finder.

  22. Thanks for the info Mike. It would appear the Dartford zone automatically caps return journeys to/fro Zone 2 though. I have on return journeys to zone 2 and a bus trip but was charged 11.70. Outbound journey to zone 2 was charged at 5.80 and return journey at 3.00, can that be right?
    Opey

  23. Hi Mike.
    I will be making an off-peak return journey from Dartford to zone 1, including quite a number of London underground and buses travels on Wed. Am not sure if these would be capped or how much that would be. I will appreciate any idea of the fare before I set out. Thank you.

  24. Hi Opey,

    The off-peak cap from Dartford is £11.80. In your first post I imagine you were charged £5.80 plus 2 buses at £1.50 each meaning that the return would be capped at £3.00 as that took you up to £11.80.

  25. Thanks for the clarification, Mike.
    I have double-checked the journey history on my first post and you are spot on.
    Thanks

  26. I have just come across this site and I have to say wow Mike I am impressed!! I don’t need to ask anything because you have answered my question via someone else’s question above but I wanted to leave this “Thank you for your service” message…….if only the train/tfl services that we actually paid for could be just as helpful and straightforward lol

    You Sir, are a STAR

  27. Hi,I will be travelling from Gravesend to Denmark Hill during the peak period,probably weekly or 3-4 days a week. Is oyster pay as you go valid on this route and is it cheaper than weekly paper ticket? Thank you.

  28. Hi Hannatu,

    No, Oyster stops at Dartford. You’ll need a paper season for Gravesend to Denmark Hill.

  29. Mike,

    Quick question, is a travelcard actually accepted in Dartford, or is it only day cards?

    Also, do you know what other non Zone 6 stations are now covered by TfL Travelcards?

    Tom

  30. Hi Tomcat,

    Any travelcard covering zone 8 is accepted at Dartford. Other National Rail stations in zones 7-9 are Brentwood, stations up to Cheshunt, stations up to Watford High Street and stations up to Amersham.

  31. Hi Mike
    I am living in Dartford temporarily and my daughters need to commute to Uni and College. We have always used our Oyster cards to travel (we have lived in Crystal Palace until now) but I am so confused with what i have researched with regards to zones and fares. One has to get to Stratford and the other to Highbury and Islington. And from the looks of it you are the man to ask, which would be the best and cheapest way to get there? thanks, Kate

  32. Hi Kate,

    As Oyster is now accepted at Dartford it’s probably the best way to go. For Stratford travel to Woolwich Arsenal and then take the DLR (you might need to change at Canning Town if there isn’t a direct train to Stratford. For Highbury & Islington the cheapest route depends on the time of travel. If it’s off-peak then travel via New Cross and London Overground. In the peak it’s cheaper to travel via Stratford and then London Overground from there after touching on the pink reader.

  33. Hi mike ,
    I travel to west London ( Ravenscourt pk ) from Greenhithe three times a week , usually different days each week . Instead of getting a weekly / monthly / season ticket is there any cheapest route I can take each day , I.e return to dartford then using an oyster from there ? ( not sure how touching and out would work ) or is is simply a no choice but to get a travel card daily ? I see dartford is now zone 8 , was hoping it would have reached Greenhithe by now. Many thanks , Stuart

  34. Hi Stuart,

    Oyster won’t get to Greenhithe for a while. There are also no real benefits to changing at Dartford, especially given the trek to touch out/in is huge. You ought to be able to get a reduction by using Oyster from Lewisham but the fares don’t exist along the South London line until you get to Peckham Rye. So the options appear to be:

    Greenhithe to zones 1-6 anytime day travelcard: £23.40

    Greenhithe to Lewisham anytime return: £11.10
    Lewisham to Clapham Junction peak single x2: £3.80
    Clapham Junction to Ravenscourt Park peak single x2: £3.20
    Total option 2: £18.10

    Greenhithe to Peckham Rye anytime return: £13.20
    Peckham Rye to Ravenscourt Park peak single x2: £3.40
    Total option 3: £16.60

    You have to touch in at Lewisham (option 2) or Peckham Rye (3) and out and in again at Clapham Junction (2). You also need to touch the pink reader at West Brompton (2 and 3). You can also change at Denmark Hill instead of Peckham Rye where the trains use the same platform, but you’d still need to touch in if using option 3.

    Hope that helps.

  35. Dear Mike,
    trying to find the best way to pay for my daily commute Finchley central to Greenhithe. Is it best to get zone 1-6 plus extension to Greenhithe? or 1-8 and extension? weekly/monthly? I worked it out to be approx 328£ monthly- may be wrong.
    Thanks.

  36. Hi Elena,

    Your best way is to get a Greenhithe to zones 1-6 season at £291.10*/month. Travelcards from outside the zones must be specified with the outside station as the origin, but seasons can be used either way round.

    * from 2nd Jan 2016 will be £293.80.

  37. Hi Mike, my granddaughter lives in Deptford (London SE8) . She’s going to work in Dartford M-F 8-5 for several months from 4/1/16. What would be her cheapest way to travel there & back daily.
    Many Thanks

  38. Hi Matthew,

    If she only needs to use Southeastern trains then a season ticket between Deptford and Dartford will be best. If she needs to use buses to get to Deptford then a zone 2-9 travelcard may be cheaper.

  39. Hi Mike
    I travel 3 times a week from Dartford to Earling Broadway, could you let me know if The Oyster Card is more cheaper or the Daily travel card, I wanted to buy a monthly Oyster car in Dartfors But they said they don’t do that

  40. Hi David,

    A monthly season ticket is not going to be cost effective if you only travel 3 days a week. For daily travelcards the Oyster cap is better value at £15.20 compared to £22.00 for Dartford to zones 1-6 or £21.70 for zones 1-9.

  41. Hi Mike,

    Notice there is Oyster Cards Machines installed at Swanley Station.

    Do you know which zone Swanley will likely be in?

    Thanks.

  42. Hi Jack,

    That’s good news. The paper fares are just a little more expensive than from Dartford so I’d guess it will probably be zone 8 as well.

  43. Hi Mike,
    I’m a bit confused as i travelled to Dartford last Aug on a Freedom pass. thinking i needed to pay an additional fee, i was told by the guards that in fact Dartford was now in zone 6 so i was ok. has this changed since Aug? i’ll be moving there soon so now am a bit concerned.
    Thanks

  44. Hi Jason,

    Dartford was never in zone 6, but the Freedom Pass has always been accepted there as a special concession. The only difference now is that the pass operates the gates at Dartford so you don’t have to be let in/out.

  45. Hi Mike,
    I have an oyster card for 1-6 and will be staying in Dartford. What is the best way for me to use my card when traveling into central London

  46. Hi Dave,

    Is this for a regular commute or occasional travel. If it’s occasional then just use PAYG to cover the bit in zones 7-8. If you’ve moved and now really need a bigger travelcard then you can consider changing the zones covered.

  47. Hi Mike,

    This is only for our three days visit. Do you know how much it normally cost to use PAYG to cover zone 7-8. We have 9 people traveling with us and we want to see if it would be better for us to find a place to stay within zone 1-6

  48. Hi Dave,

    I don’t know the extension price, but logic says it won’t be more than the zone 6-8 single which is £2.50 peak or £1.70 off-peak.

  49. Hi Mike,

    I am using monthly oyster card. I am thinking to move in Dartford or Grays (Essex). Which will be the cheaper way to communicate to London Liverpool Street. Thanks in advance.

  50. Hi Syd,

    It’s complicated. Grays to London Terminals is cheaper than Dartford to London Terminals, but Grays to zones 1-6 is more expensive than Dartford to zones 1-6 or indeed Dartford to zones 1-8. Grays trains go to Fenchurch Street normally, but you can travel via Upminster and Romford to connect to trains into Liverpool Street. Dartford trains go to London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo East, Charing Cross etc.

  51. Hi, I recently started working in Dartford but am commuting from Parsons Green station. I’ve been using Oyster, but is that the cheapest way to go? It seems to limit at £15.20 a day

  52. Hi Mick,

    Yes, £15.20 is the anytime daily cap for zones 1-8. If you use trains more than 5 days a week then you should get a weekly travelcard, otherwise that is the cheapest way. If you can afford a monthly season then that will save a bit as long as you use it for 19 or more commutes.

  53. Hi Mike,

    I would like to know whether there is, even in discussion, of bringing the transport prices down for long commuters as zone 6 outwards and out of London. I was informed for a letting agent that there is discussion about Dartford, possibly, become zone 6 rather 8, e.g. I mean, any update about would help. At the moment, I just fill that transport prices are extremely high in comparison to wages and properties value and then, the value for money is not the same when we have struggle situation like this.

    Thank you advance.

  54. Hi Daniel,

    There is nothing concrete. I am aware that it’s possible that TfL may take over the Southeastern Metro routes in 2018. It is possible that they might then decide to re-allocate the zones. They would need to set fares out to Northfleet if they do takeover, so it’s plausible that they may move Dartford so that the other stations can also fit into existing zones. This is all speculation at the moment though.

  55. I have a yearly travel card zone 1- 6. Is it enough to travel from Gravesend to lewisham?

  56. Hi Keshav,

    I’m puzzled. You have zones 1-6. You’ve posted this question on a page about Dartford going into zone 8. You must know that Dartford is between Gravesend and Lewisham?

    Short answer, no.

  57. Hi Mike,

    My 16 year old has an apprenticeship at New Cross, We live in Rochester but he is currently being driven to Dartford by someone who goes that way as it saves £15 a day on train fares. Would a 16+ Oyster card be cheaper than the £11.60 we currently pay?
    Thanks

  58. Hi Yvonne,

    Yes, 16+ prices are half the adult. Dartford to New Cross peak singles are £5.90 adult, £2.95 for 16+. The card itself costs £20 but you’ll make that back in a few weeks. See https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/travel-for-under-18s/zip-oyster-photocards#on-this-page-1 for further details.

  59. Sav family, Spain

    Hi Mike. Can you help with this?
    Our 16-year-old son will be starting at a state boarding school September near Redding, in Surrey, travelling most weekends to grandparents’ house in Lewisham, south London. He may use London transport very occasionally as well, but only other journey he will do regularly (every 2 months) will be Redding to Gatwick.
    Should we get him an Oyster card, or a 16-25 railcard, or do we need both?
    Many thanks!

  60. Hi,

    The 16-25 Railcard is essential. You can’t use Oyster at Reading yet so I don’t think an Oyster card would help. The cheapest way to do Reading to Lewisham will be Reading to Waterloo with SWT and Waterloo East to Lewisham. This avoids any need to use the Underground.

  61. Apologies: I have typed in the station incorrectly. Our son will be travelling between Redhill in Surrey to Lewisham. And Redhill to Gatwick. Both Southern services I believe. Thanks!

  62. Ah, that changes the answer considerably. He really needs both then. When he has them he needs to go to an Underground station and ask one of the staff members in the ticket hall to add the discount to his Oyster card. The Oyster card will need to be registered to him first.

    As most journeys look like being singles (rather than returns on the same day), Oyster will be competitively priced. When travelling between Redhill and Lewisham he may save money if he breaks the journey at East Croydon and touches out and back in again. If he has done that then he’ll save a bit more by walking between New Cross and New Cross Gate rather than travelling via London Bridge. But if he doesn’t split at East Croydon then via London Bridge is cheaper.

  63. Thanks, Mike, for all the info and a very helpful website

  64. Travelling Man

    Hi Mike

    I travel from Greenhithe to Twickenham.
    To avoid Zone 1 charges I get a train from Greenhithe -> Dartford -> Peckham/Denmark Hill -> Clapham Junction -> Twickenham.

    I currently have a Zone 2-5 annual travel card that will be expiring soon.

    When I renew my travel card would it be best if I get Zones 2-8 and then a ticket from Dartford to Greenhithe ?

  65. Sadly the cheapest option is a Greenhithe to zones 2-6 travelcard which will have to be on paper. You can’t get just 2-8 so you’d need 2-9 and the Greenhithe to Dartford ticket costs too much.

  66. Travelling Man

    Thanks Mike

  67. My some has recently started sixth form and will have to travel between swanley to dartford once a week, due to the changes in boundaries will he be able to use an oyster card to do this? The school have said that they can get a kent travel card which at £400 seemed a little steep!

  68. Hi John,

    Sadly the Oyster card is only valid on TfL buses which do not include those that run between Dartford and Swanley.

  69. Hi All,

    If I am not traveling into central london (ie Zone 1 areas) from Dartford, does this mean I can get away with just purchasing a zone 2 – 9 Oyster Travel Card?

    About 6 months ago someone told me that it was not possible and I would have to get Zones 1 – 9 even though I don’t need to go into Zone 1.

    I have just checked the TFL Oyster website and it allows me to choose zones 2 – 9.

    Please advise?

  70. Hi Alex,

    You can buy zone 2-9 travelcard seasons, but you can’t buy a day travelcard which doesn’t include zone 1.

  71. Thanks Mike, that’s good to know!

  72. Hi Mike,
    Sorry to jump this thread. I may be being relocated to London for work and have family in Grays. DO you know how much it would cost to commute from Grays to zone 1 and what would be the cheapest way of doing this? Thanks!

  73. Hi Rebecca,

    Fares for Grays to London are here. You’ll need the travelcard option unless your commute ends at Fenchurch Street. You can also save a bit by splitting at West Ham. Get the rail only season for Grays to West Ham and then use a zone 1-2 travelcard for the rest. The train doesn’t have to stop at West Ham for the combination to be valid, but it must go through there so not valid to Liverpool Street.

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