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Brentwood off-peak fare anomaly

An eagle eyed visitor has noticed that there’s an anomaly with off-peak fares from Brentwood (Z9) to Zone 1. The off-peak single fare for Brentwood to either Liverpool Street NR or LU is £5.50 but to any other Zone 1 LU station it is £5.40. This also includes passing through zone 1 and escaping the other side.

With Oyster you need to note that if you exit at Liverpool Street NR and then go down to the Underground you will be overcharged because the Oyster system won’t refund a fare once charged. To avoid this, consider changing at Stratford onto the Central or Jubilee lines. Contactless will work properly, as will return journeys to Brentwood.

If you want Liverpool Street itself then consider either Aldgate or Moorgate as alternative nearby stations.

5 Responses

  1. Another nearby anomaly:

    If travelling *off-peak* between Shenfield and St Pancras (adjacent to King’s Cross, and a short walk from Euston), it is marginally cheaper (and faster!) to split the journey at Stratford so as to use Southeastern High Speed services between Stratford Int’l (it is a short walk from Stratford Regional to Stratford Int’l, or one stop on the Docklands Light Railway) and St Pancras Int’l (NB: *not* St Pancras Thameslink). Using this split, one would be charged a Shenfield–zone 3 single fare + a Southeastern High Speed single fare (NB: Southeastern High Speed fares do *not* count towards any caps).

  2. One warning, however: since this is a genuine split, and *not* a recognised out-of-station interchange, *both* segments must start (i.e.: both touch-ins) during off-peak hours for this to work.

  3. There seem to be more odd fares involving Brentwood:
    For example, the peak fare into Liverpool Street is £7.90, which rises to £8.20 if you travel further into zone 1 on the Underground, but falls back to £8.00 if you take a National Rail service that doesn’t use the TfL fare scale. For a journey like Brentwood to Richmond, this seems to make it cheaper to use National Rail services out of Waterloo rather than the District line (at least during the peak: off-peak it’s cheaper to use the underground).
    Avoiding zone 1 makes the difference even more pronounced – for the same journey, the fare finder gives £6.70/£4.50 if touching the pink reader at Stratford (and so presumably using the North London Line), but only £5.10/£3.20 via Canada Water or Whitechapel (and so presumably using National Rail from Clapham Junction to Richmond). In this case it is cheaper both peak and off-peak to use National Rail rather than TfL services.
    Do you know what’s going on here (presumably some sort of anomaly in the fare structure – the NR1 fares for this scenario are set below the TfL-Ang fares, which is presumably part of the problem)?
    Many thanks.

  4. Hi Daniel,

    Yes, it does seem as though the NR1/NR1-T scales override the TfL-Ang scale. Annoyingly this means that journeys from Brentwood may be overcharged as an exit at Waterloo LU will apply the £8.20 fare.

    This is all a consequence of the DfT meddling when TfL took over the Anglia routes. The sooner someone bashes heads together and agrees a single zonal fare structure for all rail travel in zones 1-9 the better.

  5. As of 21st May, the Brentwood anomaly seems to have gone, the anomalous fare having risen by 10p.

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