The network of rail services across London often offers a choice of routes when deciding how to get from A to B. Usually the zones covered will be the same in all cases, but there are times when a particular route might avoid, for example, zone 1 altogether. If there are two routes where both can be acomplished without needing to touch out and back in again the system needs a way to tell which one has been used. To this end there are a number of special pink readers at stations where you would change trains when using the route with the cheaper fare. All you need to do is touch your Oystercard on one of the pink readers and the system will register that you’ve taken the cheaper route.
This applies both to PAYG users and those with travelcards which do not include zone 1.
The pink route validators are located at the following stations:
- Blackhorse Road
- Canada Water
- Gospel Oak
- Highbury & Islington
- Kensington (Olympia)
- Rayners Lane
- West Brompton
- Willesden Junction
Note: Some journeys have been defined as requiring travel via Zone 1 and will be charged accordingly, irrespective of the route taken.
Missing Route Validators
Notwithstanding the note above, we believe that there has been a serious oversight in not installing route validators at Surrey Quays station on the newly reopened East London Line and at Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill on the ELLX. Walking between New Cross and New Cross Gate has long been a recognised route between south east and south London. Now that East London Line trains are extended to West Croydon and Crystal Palace it is logical to replace the walk with a train from New Cross to Surrey Quays. The Bexleyheath line offers cheaper fares to many South London destinations because it has direct trains to Peckham Rye and Denmark Hill. This gives users of that line an unfair advantage when making journeys that are more likely to be undertaken via London Bridge. It also penalises users of the other lines serving Lewisham who could choose to avoid zone 1, but aren’t given the option.
The problem is that a footbridge links all platforms at London Bridge so it is not possible to differentiate changing there from changing at Surrey Quays, Peckham Rye or Denmark Hill. If you have time to spare then you can use the pink validator at Canada Water, but it extends pretty much every journey.
This page updated 01 January 2013.