Maximum Journey LoopholeJul 03, 2010
I picked up this little gem on another website this week. If you have over run the maximum journey time by just a few minutes and you are at an out of station interchange then there might be a way out of the incomplete journey penalty. Thanks to Phil for allowing me to share his story:
Basically I started the day with £8.00 on my payg oystercard and made two bus journeys in the morning leaving £5.60. In the evening I was meeting a friend to go to the o2. She’d never been to the o2 before and isn’t confident using trains on her own, so I arranged to meet her at Sutton station near her work. I touched in at Wallington and got the train to Sutton, then waited inside the ticket barriers without touching out until she arrived. We then got a train to London Bridge. I was conscious of the time limit to complete the journey but thought I’d be okay. When we got to London Bridge I went to touch out and my card wouldn’t work the barrier and gave the seek assistance message. When I checked with the ticket clerk my balance was -40p. I’d been charged £6.00 as I’d gone over the time limit. Remember, I hadn’t touched out whilst waiting for her at Sutton so the system had read it as a single journey from Wallington to London Bridge. The ticket clerk opened the gate to let me out. Feeling a little annoyed with myself I put another £10 on my card and my balance was shown as £9.60. We then got the underground from London Bridge to North Greenwich and it definitely deducted the fare.
After the concert we went back to North Greenwich and headed back to London Bridge. When I touched out at LB my balance was showing as £10.50! We got a train back to Sutton where I dropped her off then got a bus back to Wallington. No more money was deducted and my balance remained at £10.50.
So, what’s happened here? When Phil touched back in at London Bridge Underground the system recorded it as continuing his journey. By going on to North Greenwich he added another couple of zones to his journey and thus extended the maximum journey time allowed. So when he touched out the system now treated it as a Wallington to North Greenwich journey and adjusted the fare accordingly. The journey home took him over the travelcard cap for the day which is why the balance showed as £10.50 from London Bridge onwards.
Thanks again to Phil for allowing me to share this story.