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Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets (old)

This is an old page. The current version can be found here.

If the Olympics has taught me one thing it is that there is a lot of confusion about how to use both Oyster and a paper ticket on a journey from outside London.

When you want to use a PAYG Oyster card

With PAYG there are no ifs and no buts, you have to get out at the station where you switch from paper to Oyster or vice versa.  This doesn’t necessarily make it useless, but it’s certainly a disadvantage where services are infrequent and/or there are no validators on the platform.  It can be useful when using some major stations as a gateway to the world beyond Oyster, like Watford Junction, East Croydon, Orpington, Surbiton, Amersham, Upminster and Romford.  Other potentially useful stations are just one stop outside the Oyster area (eg Dartford, Epsom and Potters Bar).

When you want to use a Travelcard on Oyster

A travelcard on Oyster is exactly the same as a travelcard on paper.  There is no penalty for not touching in or out providing the whole journey (on the Oyster card) is within the zones covered by the travelcard.  While this means that you don’t have to get off the train, you do need to be aware whether the train has to call at the station where you switch from one ticket to another.  This is defined by condition 19 in the National Rail Conditions of Carriage as follows:

19. Using a combination of tickets
You may use two or more tickets for one journey as long as together they cover the entire journey and one of the following applies:

(a) they are both Zonal Tickets unless special conditions prohibit their use in this way. The Ticket Seller will, if you ask, advise you whether you can use a Zonal Ticket in combination with another ticket.
(b) the train you are in calls at a station where you change from one ticket to another;
(c) one of the tickets is a Season Ticket (which for this purpose does not include Season Tickets or travel passes issued on behalf of a passenger transport executive or local authority) or a leisure travel pass, and the other ticket(s) is/ are not.

You must comply with any restriction shown on the tickets relating to travel in the trains of a particular Train Company or Train Companies (see Condition 10).
If you do not comply with this Condition, you will be treated as having joined the train without a ticket and Condition 2 or 4 will apply, either to the entire journey, or from the last station where the train stopped at which at least one of the tickets was valid.
For the purposes of this Condition, a “leisure travel pass” means any multi-journey ticket (excluding Season Tickets) valid for:
(i) at least 7 consecutive days; or
(ii) at least 3 days in a period of at least 7 consecutive days
and includes rover tickets, travel passes, flexipass tickets and BritRail passes.

A travelcard on an Oyster card is both a season ticket and a zonal ticket.  Travelcards are not considered to be issued on behalf of a PTE or LA.  Therefore, as long as you are not using any other season tickets, part (c) applies and the train does not need to call.  If the ticket adjoining the travelcard is to a boundary zone or includes some zones itself, part (a) applies and again the train does not need to call where you changeover.  There are no gaps between London zones so a travelcard for zones 1-3 and a ticket including zones 4-6 will cover the whole journey in the zones.

However, a season ticket to a named station along with a travelcard on Oyster will require the train to stop at the changeover station as per part (b).

1,133 Responses

  1. Hi Mike,

    I’ve got an annual season ticket from Milton Keynes to Travelcard Zones 1-6 and I’ve been trying to find out online whether I can add the travelcard portion of this ticket to my Oyster card so that I can touch in/out through the barriers instead of having to get my paper ticket out of its holder each time. Information on the Oyster/National Rail website is terrible on this, can you tell me if this can be done, and how I go about it?

  2. Hi Sarah,

    Unfortunately you can’t put an out boundary travelcard onto an Oyster card. If you are prepared to spend a bit more then you can split the ticket into two. A paper MKC-zones4-6 is £104.80/week and a zones1-3 is £35.50/week making £140.30 compared to £137.50 for the MKC-zones1-6. That way you can still use fast trains and not have to take your ticket out in London.

  3. Hi Mike,
    I’m a student who travels from Eastbourne to London Bridge during the week. Normally I buy a standard monthly paper ticket for this journey. However, I now have a student Oyster card. I’d prefer to buy as cheap a paper ticket as possible to cover me from Eastbourne to East Croydon, and also use my Oyster card prepaid from East Croydon to London Bridge. I wouldn’t be touching in anywhere as I would only get one train for this journey.

    Is this a valid method? Or do I have to get out at East Croydon and tap in somewhere?


  4. Hi Gavin,

    As long as the train stops at East Croydon then it’s perfectly valid, assuming you mean you’ll buy a discounted zone 1-5 travelcard on Oyster for the last bit. Prepaid is one of the words used to describe pay as you go, which is not what you want.

  5. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the response. I would be buying a travel card (1-5) on the Oyster. The train ticket from Eastbourne would be to somewhere that stops at East Croydon, though I myself would be going direct from Eastbourne to London Bridge. I’m just not sure if the Oyster would let me out at London Bridge, considering I hadn’t tapped in anywhere on route.

  6. Hi Gavin,

    As long as you are only using the Oyster card within the zones covered by the travelcard (which you will be doing here) there is no need to worry about not touching in at one end of the journey. Thousands of people do it every day. The main thing to be sure is that you have a valid ticket for every part of the journey, which you will have as long as the train stops where the two seasons change over.

  7. Hi Mike,

    I have a pretty similar query but just wanted to make sure a Hatfield-Finsbury Park FCC season ticket + Zones 1-2 Travelcard on Oyster 18+ combination is valid for the following scenario:

    1. Use Season ticket at Hatfield station, touch out with Oyster at Finsbury Park NR station [what happens if I use my season ticket here instead, is there any difference?]
    2. Touch in at Finsbury Park tube station, touch out at Bond Street

    For the return journey:
    3. Touch in at Bond Street, touch out at King’s Cross – St Pancras tube station
    4. Touch in at King’s Cross NR station
    5. Use season ticket in Hatfield


  8. Hi Alex,

    That’s all fine. Technically you should use the season ticket to leave Finsbury Park NR as that is what you’ve been travelling on, but it really doesn’t matter either way.

  9. Hi Mike. Travelling in from Huntingdon on FCC, is the travelcard supplement better value than an Oyster cap for a lot of short trips during a day? Many thanks

  10. Yes, it usually is cheaper than the Oyster cap.

  11. Hi Mike,

    I’m travelling from Hounslow Overground station to Huntingdon so I’ve purchased a National Rail single Journey ticket
    Route :
    Hounslow [HOU] to Vauxhall [VXH]
    Vauxhall [VXH] to London Kings Cross [KGX]
    London Kings Cross [KGX] to Huntingdon [HUN]

    Hounslow [HOU] – ZONE 5 , London Kings Cross [KGX] – ZONE 1

    Can you please tell me if this national rail ticket can be used on the Tube ?
    Route :
    Hounslow East to Kings Cross St Pancras Underground Station (ZONE 4 – 1)


  12. Hi Paya,

    The ticket is valid on the tube between Vauxhall and Finsbury Park for cross London interchange. It would not be valid out to Hounslow East.

  13. Hi Mike,
    I need to get to Milton Keynes from Central London. I haev a zone 1-5 rail (oyster) annual railcard (which includes a Gold Annula discount card) – do you know how far I can get on my 1-5 railcard and what additional charge there will be for the rest of the journey? Thanks, Alex.

  14. Hi Alex,

    Zone 1-5 gets you to Harrow and Wealdstone or Headstone Lane. You will need to buy a Boundary Zone 5 to Milton Keynes ticket which is £11.50 off-peak day return. You can use that and your travelcard on any service between Euston and Milton Keynes, even non-stop ones.

  15. Hi Mike, thank you for the excellent and interesting site.

    I recently got clobbered for a £20 penalty fare arriving at Hertford North on a Zone 1-3 Travelcard + PAYG – oops, idiot. I was travelling on my usual line to get home via Bowes Park and had forgotten to make special provision for the excursion to Hertford, right up until I was confronted by the (absolutely charming) ticket inspector at Hertford. I was playing in a big band concert in the theatre there so it made it an expensive hobby that day!

    OK, so I’m an idiot, fair enough. BUT to avoid this happening to me again what are my options? I see these:

    1. Use my Oyster to go to Crews Hill, got off the train there to touch out, miss it (grrrr), get on next train, use paper ticket CWH-HFN.
    2. Buy a paper ticket Bowes Park-HFN (which will it seems cost me £2.20 more than [1]) and stay on the same train. PAYG is not invoked; I have travelled to BOP on my Travelcard so don’t have to touch in or out, then the paper ticket takes over. More £ but same train.

    Matters arising (sorry this is so long!):
    A. Am I right in 1 and 2 above? Rightish? Totally deluded??
    B. In 2, do I *really* need an “Edge of Zone 3 – HFN” paper ticket (or something) to avoid complications if that particular train does not stop at BOP?? (I am very very confused about this bit.)
    C. If your superb site did not exist, is all the information I need actually sitting there on the TfL site and I have just failed to find it? I thought perhaps not – it seems unclear to me, but maybe I have not looked hard enough.

    Thanks and best wishes, Neville

  16. Hi Neville,

    Yes, you are right. Option 1 will cost £2.50/£1.90 PAYG depending on peak/off-peak so is probably not worth the hassle if you are going to miss the same train. If the train doesn’t call at Bowes Park then you really do need a Boundary zone 3 ticket. It does cost more unfortunately, and FCC are quite strict if you are found with a gap in your tickets.

    The information is all out there, though not necessarily on the TfL site. The rules for combining tickets is contained in the NRCoC as that is a National Rail thing rather than anything to do with TfL/Oyster.

    Hope that helps,


  17. Hi Mike

    That’s very helpful thanks. It’s great to know – but I wish they would get it all a bit more integrated: the current situation is a valiant attempt but seems a bit clunky. And if I want to use FCC to Hertford North in a “metro-style” manner then I will have to buy a BZ3-HFN ticket so I can just jump on *any* train that’s going there without worrying about whether it actually stops at BOP or not. If I want to save money by buying BOP-HFN then I have to make sure the train actually stops there.

    I know it has its own internal logic but from the point of view of the innocent (or in my case clueless) passenger it does seem to have a bit more complexity than is good. I hope the rumours about extending Oyster further out there are true!

    Thanks again – this was a very very useful thing to be able to read about.


  18. Hi Mike.

    Excellent site. Loads of info. Great work!
    Unfortunately I’ve not been able to find the answer to my specific question so I hope you don’t mind me adding to the many queries you have already responded to.

    My daily commute is between Basildon, Essex and Kings Cross. I use the C2C line to Fenchurch Street and then the Metropolitan Line from Aldgate to Kings Cross. I am currently buying monthly All Zones Travelcards and intend to buy an annual Gold Travelcard next month.

    Can I add this Travelcard to an Oyster Card to reduce the number of times I have to use the paper ticket? The only station that doesn’t have a contactless reader is at Basildon so I’m hoping to be able to go through Fenchurch Street, Aldgate and Kings Cross using my Travelcard via an Oyster.

    Unfortunately I’ve not had much luck by phoning either C2C or TFL customer services.

    Thanks in advance for your help


  19. Hi Jason,

    Sorry for the delay replying. You cannot load an out-boundary travelcard onto an Oyster unless it is still within the extended Oyster area. You will need to split your season into two tickets such that the London end is a travelcard. Unfortunately this means paying a little more. The cheapest way of doing it is to buy a season from Basildon to Upminster for £35.30/week and a zone 1-6 travelcard for £55.60/week, total £90.90/week compared with £90.80/week for the combined ticket. Annually that 10p/week turns into £4. There is a big but though. Your train from Basildon MUST CALL AT UPMINSTER.

    Alternatively you can buy a season from Basildon to Zones 4-6 for £58.20/week and a zones 1-3 travelcard for £35.60/week totalling £93.80. Annually the £3 difference becomes £120. Because both tickets are zonal there is no requirement for the train to stop where they changeover. London zones do not have gaps so you don’t have to cover a zone twice. The drawback is that if you go anywhere else within London by train you will have to know what zone you are in to ensure that you use the right ticket to open gates. Using the Oyster outside zones 1-3 will incur a PAYG extension charge.

    Hope that helps.

  20. Hi Mike
    Thanks for such a thorough (and really helpful reply!). Food for thought before I renew my ticket I think.
    Thanks again and Happy Easter!!
    All the best

  21. Hi Mike,

    Trying to work out best ticket to buy when I renew my season ticket. I normally buy a season ticket from Basingstoke to London any route with zone 1 to 6 travelcard. I am now only really travelling Basingstoke to Waterloo and zones 1 and some times 2 during the week. I am looking to reduce cost but trying to work out if it would be a cost saving to have paper ticket for part of journey and then having oyster for train in london.

    look forward to you advice.



  22. Hi Katy,

    Sortry for the delay. Unfortunately the add-on for zones 1-6 from places like Basingstoke is less than the value of ten zone 1 tube journeys, so it is unlikely that you would save much. If you can tell me exactly where you need to get to in London then I might be able to suggest a saving.

  23. Hi Mike,

    I am travelling to Warren street and somethimes Bond street.

  24. Hi Katy,

    I don’t think there’s much that you can do then, unfortunately. There are two travelcard options from Basingstoke: one which must involve travel via Woking and the other which is any permitted and also allows travel via Reading. If you don’t need to arrive at Paddington then go for the Woking option which saves £3.40 on a weekly or £24 on an annual.

  25. Hi Mike,
    I wonder if you could help me try and get the best fare when I move next month. I have an 18+ student Oyster card. From May I will be travelling from Epsom to London during the week and sometimes at weekends. I see that a 1-6 monthly pass on my Oyster would be £149.40. With Epsom falling one stop outside the fare zone and a Monthly season ticket with SWT costing in excess of £240, I wonder if you might advise on the best way for me to do this?
    Would I be able to get a travelcard to cover the portion of the journey from Epsom to Zone 6 and add this to my Oyster? At Epsom I guess I would have to use a paper ticket to enter the station. Then at Waterloo I would touch out with my Oyster?
    Thanks in advance for your help,

  26. Hi Lindsay,

    You can’t load an outboundary travelcard on Oyster unless it is from one of the stations already accepting Oyster (like Watford, Shenfield). You basically have two options. Either purchase a season from Epsom to Ewell West and use that with your zone 1-6 season. Your train would need to stop at Ewell West with this option. Or, purchase returns from Epsom to Ewell West which would cost a bit more but the train doesn’t need to call where the tickets changeover. With the daily returns option you could also choose to go via Ewell East one day, though you would need to return the same way.

    You are correct that you would use the paper tickets at Epsom and the Oyster at Waterloo.

  27. Hi Mike

    I will be travelling every weekday from Staines to Waterloo. Is it possible to buy a season ticket from Staines to Feltham and then use annual student oyster the rest of the way as i will not be tapping in at feltham as i would stay on the same train?


  28. Hi Atif,

    Yes, that’s fine as long as the train calls at Feltham.

  29. Hi*

    I’m a newby to using Oyster. I think it’s a great idea.

    OK, the story…

    I live in Kent and wanted to travel to Sheffield the other week. I used to get a day travelcard that would allow travel from Kent to London Bridge then to St. Pancras. My train arrives on platform 7 London Bridge and I just wait for the Thameslink departing from the same platform. Simple.

    Armed with my new Oyster, I thought I’d just buy a cheap day return to London, touch in at London Bridge, hop on the Thameslink and touch out at St. Pancras.

    I was sure that I had seen Oyster card readers at London Bridge on the platforms.. Could I find a card reader on the platforms at London Bridge? No.

    I ended up missing the Thameslink and had to resort to exiting NR with my paper ticket and touching in on LU and make my journey by underground.

    When returning from Sheffield, I again used the Underground instead of Thameslink.

    Having read through the forums on here, the only way seems to be to:-
    quickly go down the London Bridge concourse (no running)
    exit NR using the paper ticket
    touch back in with Oyster
    quickly go back up the concourse (no running)
    then use Thameslink.

    Did I not look hard enough for the readers on the platform at London Bridge or is this something that many people fall foul of?

    Many thanks


  30. Hi Paul,

    The readers on platforms 5/6 at London Bridge were disabled and subsequently removed after Southern and Southeastern joined the Oyster scheme in 2010. There is no platform 7 at present, although it will exist in the rebuilt station in a few years time.

  31. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the reply. Yes, you’re right – platform 7 doesn’t exist. I meant to say platform 6 🙂

    It’s a shame that SouthEastern forgot that a lot of Oyster customers start their journeys outside of the Oyster area and therefore need to touch in without leaving the platforms if they need to take a local overground service to Greenwich etc.


  32. Hi Paul,

    Unfortunately it is a trade-off between convenience for honest customers and opportunity for fare evaders.

  33. Matthew Dickinson

    ITSO on Prestige has now been launched between Merstham and Purley on Southern, so if you have a Southern “The Key” ITSO smartcard you can load weekly and monthly seasons which will work on the Oyster readers at Coulsdon South and Purley.

  34. There is a working standalone Oyster reader near the bottom of the ramp to platforms 1 and 2 at London Bridge. Saves a little faff with the gates.

  35. Hi there, can anyone help as even greater anglia seem a little confused by my request. I am starting work in London, and they (work) are providing (read paying for) an all zones season oyster card.
    I live near Kelvedon in Essex. Now, zone 6 on the oyster covers me all the way out to Shenfield. In my mind, I should be able to purchase a season ticket from Kelvedon to Shenfield, and call it job done? The ticket office say zone 6 only goes as far as Harold Wood (which is different to their website). Do I have to get out at Shenfield to register the end of the Oyster journey, as that’s going to be a PITA if I do? Thanks in advance, Mike

  36. Hi,

    I’m afraid you are a little confused. Although the Oyster area now extends out to Shenfield, zone 6 is still only as far as Harold Wood. You will need to buy a season ticket from Kelvedon to Harold Wood (or Romford) and the train must call at whichever station you change from the paper season to the Oyster at. You don’t need to get off to validate the Oyster card, however.

  37. Hi there – many thanks for the speedy reply.
    So, to get this straight, do pay as you go oyster cards have different validity to season ticket oyster cards? – greater anglias website here – http://www.greateranglia.co.uk./tickets-fares/daily-tickets/oyster – shows Shenfield as being within zone 6 – as does the wording on the tfl website – http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14869.aspx ?

  38. Hi,

    The Greater Anglia map shows the extent of the Oyster PAYG area. It does not claim that it is all in zones 1-6. The TfL site also lists Shenfield as being outside the zonal area. The joint TfL and ATOC map shows the zones clearly and also shows the stations which are outside the zones but still accept Oyster.

  39. Ok – thanks, looks like I’ll have to stump up for a season ticket between Kelvedon and Liverpool Street in that case 🙁 – strikes me as a bit of a con, seen as the oyster technically covers me way further out than LST. Any cheaper solution you can think of? Season ticket Kelvedon to zones 1-6 inc = £5036 a year, Kelvedon to Liverpool street = £4124. Oyster 1-6 £2224. So, equivalent of the 2 is £6348.

  40. I think the con could be your work only providing a zone 1-6 travelcard on Oyster. Could they provide equivalent funding towards a paper season ticket for your whole journey? Or if they insist on it being loaded on an Oyster card then if they could contribute to a Shenfield to London zones 1-6 travelcard and you purchase a Kelvedon to Shenfield season. It looks like most trains from Kelvedon call at Shenfield, or you might have to change at Chelmsford. Whatever train you are on as you pass through Shenfield will have to stop there, but you don’t need to get off.

  41. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel from CanningTown – Waterloo – West ByFleet. Can I use the travel card I wanna buy from Waterloo-West Byfleet to get canning town (Zone 3)?

    If not, is there any possibility to use my monthly/Weekly National rail card in zone 1-3 if I pay extra?

  42. Hi Vinay,

    An out-boundary travelcard is valid between the out station (West Byfleet) and zone 6 then on all rail/tube/dlr/bus/tram services within zones 1-6. If it is a day ticket then you get one return from the out station to the zones and back. If it’s a season then you can make unlimited trips along that section.

  43. Hi there – some really helpful content here.

    I’m having a nightmate with national rail, first capital connect and tfl. I’m moving jobs to work in Stevenage and need an annual season ticket that goes from finsbury park to stevenage, in conjunction with bus travel from green lanes to finsbury park. I’ll be reverse commuting, and sometimes going from hornsey to stevenage.

    National rail quoted £3584 for FP – STV with a zones 2-6 travelcard, but having spoken to FCC I’m worried that this doesn’t allow for me to go on the faster direct train to Stevenage.

    It would also be a paper ticket which would play havoc with my travel on the bus, underground, and if I were to travel to zone 1 I would have a nightmare reconciling the two.

    Tfl and FCC are citing each other as the problem, and I cannot face the prospect of an annual bus pass (£800) or a travelcard (£1500) on top of the FP – STV £3300, especially when I am reverse commuting and I’d previously been quoted £3584.

    Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated.

  44. Hi Stewball,

    Firstly, your Stevenage to zones 2-6 ticket will not allow you to travel via Kings Cross. Secondly, you cannot get a ticket beyond the Oyster area issued on Oyster, so yes, it would be paper. Is walking from Green Lanes to Harringay out of the question? If you can then you could just buy the Finsbury Park to Stevenage season, or if you didn’t mind slow trains only you could save a little with a Harringay to Stevenage season. Also, at current rates each bus is £1.40 single, or £14 for 10 weekly journeys or about £700 for 50 weeks. As long as you only get one bus each way you may consider only using PAYG rather than a season ticket. Bus seasons are aimed at people who use 3-4 buses a day.

    As to the problem, there used to be a reduced season on FCC which didn’t allow travel towards London in the morning peak, but FCC scrapped it either this or last January. I think they are more of the problem than TfL on that basis.

    Hope this might help in some way.

  45. Thanks Mike, that’s really helpful. National rail have come back to me and said I could you use the FP-stevenage +zones1-6 on the fast train from Finsbury Park, but guess you’re just saying that I couldn’t get that from kingsX?

    Still some more dialogue to be had with FCC and TFL unfortunately!


  46. Hi stewball,

    Yes, I misunderstood. As long as the train doesn’t go into zone 1 then you can use a season including zones 2-6. The season is all one ticket (Stevenage to London zones 2-6) so there are no split ticketing implications.

    There is one way to make a slight reduction without losing the travelcard flexibility in zones 2-3 which would also allow travel into zone 1 on Oyster without having to also pay for zone 2. It does severely restrict the number of services you can use for your main commute though. You need a paper season from Stevenage to Bowes Park and a travelcard season for zones 2-3. The severe restriction is that any train you use between Stevenage and south of Bowes Park MUST call at Bowes Park. Also, if you wanted to use the Oyster all the way from North of Bowes Park to Kings Cross then you would need to get off to touch the Oyster in. It’s not a problem if you only use the Oyster in zones 2 and 3, but if you want to go beyond those zones either way you have to touch in at the start and out at the end of the journey.

  47. hi. i need to get from manor house to walton-on-thames. i could use my oyster payg for the tube and then buy a train ticket from vauxhall / waterloo to walton (£14). instead, i was planning to buy, in advance, a return from surbiton to walton (£4), and use my oyster payg between manor house and surbiton (at minimal extra charge for outer london zones). but what happens at surbiton – should i get off the train and exit the station and then re-enter using my paper ticket, or am i ok to sit tight on the train and simply switch over to my paper ticket? i suppose there would be an incomplete journey on my oyster payg on the way out (i could sort this out when i got back to vauxhall) and also would the barriers open at waterloo / vauxhall on the way back, if i haven’t opened a journey at surbiton?

  48. Hi Raj,

    I refer you to the very top of this page under the heading “When you want to use a PAYG Oyster card”. Fortunately Surbiton is one of the useful boundary stations where there are frequent trains so with the right timing you won’t have too long to wait. Your problems could be much more serious than an incomplete journey if you were to be stopped by an inspector with an unvalidated Oyster card.

  49. hi mike. re the section at the top, i was confused as to whether an oyster route validator would have the same effect as actually exiting and re-entering the station. if it does have the same effect do you know if the validator at surbiton is placed to allow me to get off the train, touch my oyster and get on board the same train? re any potential problems with inspectors and unvalidated oysters, wouldn’t my oyster still be validated from the journey out, it would just show an anomoly in that i entered at waterloo or vauxhall, and then exited at the same point several hours later, which i would have to sort out at a kiosk?

  50. Hi Raj,

    Most stations do not have route validators, and they will not have the same effect as touching out in any case. At Surbiton you have to use the gates from the bridge so it is unlikely that you could get the same train.

    As to the inspectors, the card ceases to be valid after a time and would be unlikely to still be valid unless return from Walton was very quick. I wouldn’t like to comment on how easy it would be to get an adjustment, but you’d have to call the helpline and explain what happened. They usually refund overcharges where mistakes have happened, but may not do so if it is clear that someone is trying to get both the benefit of Oyster’s lower fares without the requirement to touch in/out at each end.

  51. thanks for your help mike. i’m thinking that the savings probably aren’t worth the hassle this will involve, especially having to hang around for the next train at walton. appreciate your advice though. raj

    p.s. just thought of something. how about if i bought a zones 1-6 travelcard for the day, or a return from manor house to surbiton? would that mean that i wouldn’t have to get off the train at walton on either the way out or the way back? i’m not just thinking of this strategy for this journey, but for similar future journeys, so the savings would add up, they just have to be relatively painless savings, which don’t require hanging around on rain and windswept platforms for the next train! 🙂

  52. Hi Raj,

    Yes, if you have two tickets and the train calls at the station where you switch from one to the other, you don’t have to get off. The problem with Oyster in this scenario is that a PAYG journey has to be validated at each end.

  53. Hello. I have a question. I have a 1-4 annual travel card and a WinchmoreHill to Hertford annual gold card. This covers my commute. However, my national rail gold card never scans. It has error 124. Code on gold card is std disad season-12m00d. Any views on the problem? Thanks!

  54. Hi Susan,

    Yes, code 124 means passenger type. The station will set the gates to reject some tickets so that discount entitlement can be manually checked.

    Also, did you know you could reduce your travelcard down to zones 1-3 by changing your split point to Bowes Park. It’s the same price from Hertford but sits in both zones 3 and 4. The downside is that you then can’t use trains which don’t call at Bowes Park, although a lot of those only go to Gordon Hill anyway.

  55. Hi there,

    I bought an annual zone 1 to 3 railcard at the end of last year at Wimbledon Railway Station, and received an oystercard with the annual season ticket on it, plus a gold record card. I’ve just changed jobs and asked for it to be swapped to a zone 2 to 5 railcard, which has been done. However, Wimbledon told me that they had to issue me with a paper annual season ticket, which has the remaining months specified on it – 7 months, as they’re unable to issue part year season tickets on oystercard.

    So now, it’s a pain because I have to take out the paper ticket each time I go through barriers. Is it possible to get the season ticket put on the oystercard (which they handed back to me) at a tube station perhaps?

  56. Hi James,

    I can see that that would be a big pain. I don’t know whether a tube station could put it back on the Oyster. They might be able to, but I’d try a bigger station in Central London. If they can, please let us know.

  57. May I just say this website puts TFL to shame! I’ve got a fairly complex issue that I’m struggling to get any answers to so wondered if anyone on here may be able to help.

    I live in Croydon and have just started working in Oxted (frustratingly just outside zone 6). I’ve been trying to work out the best way to organise my travel to and from work each day. A monthly East Croydon to Oxted is £106.40, the only issue is I need a bus to get to and from East croydon station, which would not be included on this ticket, so that’s an extra £2.80 a day which adds up over a month!

    The alternative is to get a zone 5-6 to Oxted, which I’ve been quoted £161.70 a month for, now this would included the buses to and from the station which appeals to me. If my maths is correct it would actually work out cheaper for me to get zone 5-6 to Oxted, plus if I use Z5-6 travel at home at the weekend which I often do, that’ll effectively be free!

    The only issue I have is that I have PAYG on my oyster card and I’ll occasionaly be using that on trains to get from East Croydon (Z5), potentially, all the way to Z1. Is there any way I can get the Z5-6 portion of the oxted ticket, transferred to my oyster card? Thus allowing me to touch in at East Croydon and it using the Z5 portion of the travelcard and then the PAYG for the rest? I really don’t want to have to queue for a paper extension before I travel, it would be so much easier to use oyster, plus occasionaly I don’t know where I’ll be getting off to PAYG on oyster gives me added flexibility.

    I really hope that makes sense, any advice would be greatly appreciated!


  58. Hi Steve,

    It all makes perfect sense, but sadly the answer is anything but perfect.

    You cannot load any travelcard which includes travel outside the Oyster area onto an Oyster card. In almost all cases it is not possible to buy extension tickets from inner boundaries towards zone 1, so you’d always be needing to duplicate one zone. I really wish zone boundaries crossed stations in almost all cases so that you get a station in both zones on every boundary. It would be a major change though, so I can’t see it happening.

  59. It’s worse than that Mike. I’ve discovered that if I go to zone 1 now, I either have to pay a cash fare – £4.50, or tap in at Wimbledon using my PAYG oystercard and tap out in Zone 1 which will charge me a Zone 1 to 3 fare rather than a Zone 1 only fare, which would have happened if my zone 2 to 5 season ticket was on an oystercard rather than a paper ticket. The problem now is that I have a National Rail paper season ticket. I will try to see if a tube station will add that to my oystercard but knowing how National Rail and the Tube hate each other, I don’t hold out much hope. I rang up oystercard and they told me that National Rail should have advised me to swap my zone 1 to 3 season ticket on the oystercard to a zone 2 to 5 season ticket on the oystercard at a tube station. Tube stations have the software which would allow that and can do it for an admin fee of just £5. National Rail don’t have the software, so have to issue a paper ticket. Oystercard told me to complain to South West Trains about them giving me poor advice, but the end result is it’s going to cost me a lot of extra money whenever I go to zone 1. The only good news is that I at least got the goldcard entitlement added to my Oystercard, so get 34% reduction for off peak travel, which means that it will be less than the standard zone 1 to 3 fare, but still more than standard zone 1 fare minus 34%.

    This system still really sucks, in my opinion. I thought National Rail, the Tube and Oystercard had resolved all their spats by now, but nope they still hate each other and it’s the customer that suffers.

  60. Hi again James,

    In your case you do have a cheaper solution. Vauxhall is dual zoned (1/2) so if you exit with your paper ticket and enter with your Oyster you will only be charged a zone 1 fare. If you use Vauxhall as your gateway to the Underground then you can combine switching tickets with switching modes. You also won’t get stung for the premium of mixing NR and TfL in zone 1. I agree it’s not ideal, but should save you money. Even if you only want to travel to Waterloo NR, getting off, touching in and getting on the next train should only add around 5 minutes to your journey as the trains are so frequent.

    As for spats between NR and TfL, it’s not quite as simple as just hating each other. Neither side is prepared to pay for the other sides costs/losses to make the system uniform across all modes. It would be extremely difficult to do in a revenue neutral way because many TfL fares would have to rise significantly to meet reducing NR fares half way. You can imagine how popular that would be among the many commuters who would be hit.

  61. Hi Mike,
    I commute to central london from rayleigh each day and currently purchase a monthly season ticket for £419.

    I have recently found that the Oyster Card now stretches as far as Shenfield.

    A monthly season ticket from Rayleigh to Shenfield is £126.00 and a monthly Oyster Travel card is £213.60. A total of £339.60 therefore a saving of £79.40 per month.

    Is this correct? And are there any pitfalls I should be aware of?

  62. Sorry Mark,

    £213.60 is the price of a zone 1-6 monthly travelcard which extends to Harold Wood. The Shenfield version is £360.20.

  63. Hey there,
    I usually get my monthly on my oyster. Now I bought one yday from the ticket office instead of renewing my oyster on the machine. I tap in and then tap out at th end of my journey and realised that I got charged although I had my monthly on it. I check on the machine and I was charged the whole journey and I had no monthly on my oyster. I search for my reciept which I found and realised the guy gave me a paper ticket instead of putting it on my oyster. All the other to let office told me I have to go back to the ticket office I put it from and try and change it. Is it possible to get a refund and then I would be able to put the monthly myself from the machine on my oyster. I tap In from zone 6 and get monthly for 1-2 because of work. Zones 3-6 I always do payg. But now with the paper ticket I cAnt even top of up for the other zones. It is really annoying and I’m wondering why the guy didn’t tell me.

  64. Hi Shannel,

    It’s a bit difficult to advise without knowing any detail about where this happened. The original ticket office would be the best bet to get it fixed. If the can’t then you might need to get out at a zone 2 station and touch out to minimise your costs. If there is a station on the boundary of zones 2 and 3 then that is best as it won’t cost you any more.

    For the future, consider ordering your travelcard online. It can be ordered in advance and picked up at any zone 1 or 2 station. It will start to work on the start date. Your Oyster card will need to be registered.

  65. Hi, hope you can help as I am a little confused!
    I have a monthly travelcard from Westenhanger (kent) that is to Zones 2-6 and includes HS1.

    I would like to use the slow train to Charing Cross (zone 1) but am unsure what ticket to buy as an extension from my zone 2-6 travelcard into zone 1.

    I still have a visitor oyster card, so could I some sort of extension onto that?

  66. Hi Markus,

    You’ll need to buy a paper ticket from New Cross to London to go with your season ticket. There is no requirement for the train to stop at New Cross. If you wanted to do other travel within zone 1 then make it a zones 1-2 travelcard instead. You can’t load travelcards onto visitor Oyster cards, and in any case you probably don’t want to slow down enough to get off at New Cross and touch in, so paper tickets will be best.

  67. Hi Mike,

    Great website! Must admit!

    Next Wednesday, I’m staying in Twickenham for the night. I am getting the Megabus from Cardiff (where I live) to Victoria, and I am planning on buying a Travelcard as I want to do several things in and around London so I’ll be hopping on and off tubes all day. However, Twickenham is on the National Rail network, and I’m not sure if Travelcards are valid on trains. If this is the case, will I need to buy a Waterloo to Twickenham return ON TOP of the Travelcard?

    Thanks in advance,


  68. Hi Dan,

    Yes, travelcards cover NR, LU and DLR within the zones allowed apart from HS1 and the NR trains at Heathrow.

  69. Excellent, thanks Mike!

  70. Jody Sweers

    Hi Mike,

    My young persons railcard runs out at the end of July. I shall be traveling from Luton Airport Parkway and using the Tube to get to bank station . Can you confirm the cheapest option I have using a paper ticket and oyster card and also what do you recommend?

    Thanks in Advance,


  71. Hi Jody,

    You’ve got too many variables there. Is it one way or return? Will you still have the railcard? or be getting another? What day(s) will you be travelling and at what time?

  72. Hi Mike
    Amazing site – has convinced me to make my husband get an oyster card. He travels from Brentwood to Canary Wharf usually via Stratford then DLR but sometimes Stratford then Jubilee line. Occassionally he travels into Zone 1 for business. So he has a travelcard Brentwood to Zone 2 and cash PAYG for the odd Zone 1 trip. When should he touch in/out or validate as his osyster has been charged for Zone 1 when it was just normal travel? Taken ages to convince him now not so sure. Thanks for your help Rose

  73. Hi Rose,

    Assuming the Brentwood to zones 2-6 ticket is on the Oyster card then it shouldn’t charge zone 1 unless it believes zone 1 has been used. Can you be more specific about what the journey was when he had the problem? Where did he touch in and out? What route did he take? Did he touch any pink readers?

  74. Thanks Mike
    I think he touch in at Brentwood then again at Stratford before DLR and then again at Canary Wharf. On one occassion DLR was too busy so he touched in at Brentwood again at Stratford Jubilee entrance and again at Canada Square. No pink readers to my knowledge. On way home the reverse. I will check with him again tonight but thats what I would do too.

  75. Argh! Those confusing signs at Stratford strike again!

    You don’t need to touch in on the validators on the way to or from the DLR at platform 4 if you are already touched in. If you can check journey history and paste an example it would be good, as you still shouldn’t have got a zone 1 charge. It does leave you open to an interesting conversation if your card is checked after the touch at Stratford.

  76. Great site – I think I nearly understand!

    I am getting frustrated by the fact that my expensive (£4500) season ticket from West Malling to London (travelcard zones 1 -6) as I commute to Green Park but travel around the network too so need more than just zone 1, doesn’t last longer than 10 days at a time before failing at the barriers, entailing another trip to the ticket office for a replacement and, no, I do not keep it anywhere close to my phone.

    I am fed up with trouble at the barrier (normally when I am running late e to catch the train!) so am prepared to pay a little extra for the convenience of an Oyster. From what I can work out the train nearly always stops at Bromley South so could I change the gold card to run to Bromley South (St Mary’s Cray is on the boundary but the train doesn’t always stop there) and then have a travelcard season ticket on an Oyster? Any idea on a comparative price? Thanks.

  77. Hi Cathie,

    Yes you can do that, but due to a quirk in the pricing you don’t want to. West Malling to Bromley South actually costs more than West Malling to zones 5-6 and the latter gives you the whole of zone 5 too. That means that you only need to put a zones 1-4 travelcard on the Oyster. There is absolutely no gap between adjacent zones, so don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise. It also means that you can still go anywhere within zones 1-6 and the train doesn’t need to call anywhere because both tickets are zonal.

    West Malling to zones 5-6 is £3056/year and zones 1-4 is £1744/year making a total of £4800. The question is, is £300/year too much for the convenience of an Oyster card? The only minor drawback is that you’ll need to know which zone you are in when using the tickets so you use the right one to exit the station. The paper travelcard won’t work in zones 1-4, which won’t be a disaster as you do have the valid travelcard on the Oyster; but the Oyster will work in zones 5-6 where it will try to deduct an extra fare from your PAYG balance.

    Hope that helps.

  78. Sorry, but the Train Travel system is terribly (and unnecessarily) complicated in UK! OY!
    I have an Oyster card, and in September, coming back from Scotland, need to get from London to Lenham in Kent. Single fare is £23 (more than I will have paid on a train from Scotland!!) HOW can I use my Oyster card up to zone 9 and then pay for the 2nd half? Buy paper ticket for the 2nd half and get off at last station in Zone 9, tap my Oyster, then wait for next train? THANKS fr any advice.

  79. Hi Darin,

    Zone 9 only exists to the North and West of London. St Mary Cray is the last station in zone 6 on the line you need to use, but I don’t think it will save you much, if anything. It would certainly cost a lot in time because not many trains stop at St Mary Cray, and those that do are all-stoppers.

  80. Hi Mike

    I have an oyster annual zones 2-5 season ticket but have just found out that I will be required to travel to Woking once a week from Clapham. Am I able to buy a boundary zone 5 to Woking ticket and then touch in at Clapham with my Oyster, take the fast train to Woking and exit with a paper ticket or do I need to buy a Clapham to Woking paper ticket?

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  81. Hi Jenny,

    The boundary zone ticket will be fine.

  82. Hi Mike,

    Great website,
    I have been living in Surbiton and purchased an annual six zone travelcard which covers me to Surbiton. I have now moved to Weybridge and have bought a monthly paper season ticket to cover the portion between Weybridge and Surbiton. I travel from Weybridge into Waterloo everyday. Do I need to get off the train at Surbiton and touch in with my Oyster Card?

  83. Hi Penny,

    No, you don’t need to touch in if using a travelcard, but the train MUST call at Surbiton to satisfy NR ticketing rules on using two season tickets together.

  84. Hi Mike,

    Great website. I think I’ve got it worked out but want to check.

    I’m going to be traveling from Stratford in London Zone 3 to Sevenoaks, which will involve getting the tube to London Bridge and then getting a train to Sevenoaks.

    Most LBG-SEV trains stop at Orpington on the way, which is in zone 6. Could I therefore buy a Zone 1-6 annual travelcard on my Oyster and a separate Orpington-Sevenoaks annual paper season ticket? Not only would this save me £100 a year, I could use my Oyster when travelling on evenings/weekends in London without messing around with a paper ticket.

    Would it be a problem to touch in at London Bridge with an Oyster for the train and then to use a paper ticket to exit at Sevenoaks? And then do the opposite on the way back?

    Another option I considered is buying a London Zones 1-4 travelcard on my Oyster and then a Sevenoaks to Zones 5-6 paperticket, although I don’t know if this would work as Orpington is in zone 6 and therefore there isn’t a point my train stops at the interchange of the two tickets.


  85. Hi Mike,

    I’ve just started working in London and am trying to get my head around commuting. I have a question about using my oyster card. I start outside London and use train tickets to commute from Arlesey to Finsbury Park station. I arrive on platform 6 and the catch another FCC train to Old Street from platform 5. I then use my oyster card to check out at Old Street. This is then charging me more than it should i think as I do not touch in at finsbury park as I do not pass through any barriers. How would I touch my oyster card in to register a journey from finsbury park to old street ? A lot of others do the same journey and I never see them do anything different either so im slightly confused. Thank you for your help.

  86. Hi Jon,

    Both would work. The Orpington to Sevenoaks season would require the train to stop at Orpington while the two travelcards do not because they are both zonal tickets. My experience of trains to Sevenoaks says that there are quite a few which don’t stop at Orpington, especially in the peak hours.

    Have you considered getting the DLR to Lewisham and Southeastern to Sevenoaks (possibly changing at Orpington) from there? I know they’d be slower trains, but by losing zone 1 you would save considerably on the price.

  87. Hi Chris,

    They may well have a season ticket on the Oyster as well. If you are using PAYG then you must touch in where you switch from paper to Oyster. Fortunately the gatelines on platforms 1/2 and 5/6 are on the platform level so you can use your ticket to exit and your Oyster to come back in. You’ll just need to be near the barriers if time is short.

  88. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for your speedy reply. I think the via Lewisham option wouldn’t really work for me due to time but thanks though.

    Since it’s possible I’ll go for option two then, and get a Z1-4 on my Oyster and a Z5-6 to Sevenoaks paper ticket. It would mean more options in the morning for my commute as I wouldn’t have to go via Orpington.

    Have you ever encountered rail staff having a problem with this kind of thing? I’ve spoken to other people about similar situations and how staff wouldn’t issue tickets; for example in my case they would say I needed a Z1-5 and a Z5-6 to Sevenoaks, since travel between Z4 and Z5 wasn’t covered by my option.

    thanks again!

  89. Hi Jon,

    I am aware of occasional issues of the sort that you describe, but there is no gap between any London fare zone and it’s adjacent neighbour. Any extra amount you may be charged will definitely be refunded. Indeed you could ask how much it costs to get from one end of Lewisham to the other given that it is in both zones 2 and 3.

  90. Hi Mike,

    I hope you can help!

    I travel to work from Woking to Waterloo and get the W&C line to Bank and exit from there.

    I usually purchase the monthly Woking to Waterloo Zones 1-6 season card (approx £346).

    I hardly ever change my route to and from work, except on the infrequent occasion when I get another tube line to see friends etc.

    I’m trying to work out what is the cheapest method for me to travel and wondered if just obtaining a monthly from Woking to London terminals and using an Oyster PAYG or the Travelcard, would work out any cheaper?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

  91. Hi Shane,

    The difference between Woking to London and Woking to zones 1-6 is less than the price of daily zone 1 singles, so that won’t save you any money I’m afraid. There is a potential alternative though. Your London terminals ticket is valid to Cannon Street via Waterloo East and London Bridge, and Cannon Street is a very short walk from Bank.

  92. Thank you for the prompt reply. So a ticket to London terminals, allows me to travel between any overground London stations?

  93. Between any appropriate London terminals by National Rail services, yes. From the south all of Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Vauxhall, Victoria, Waterloo and Waterloo East are valid.

  94. Hi mike
    Please help! Am looking for the best ticket to purchase (monthly) from Barnes to Eastbourne. Not sure whether oyster is visible or if paper ticket is better which one?

  95. Hi Rebecca,

    Oyster is only available in the London area and the smart card in the south is not compatible (yet) with the Oyster readers in London. Assuming you’ll travel via Clapham Junction I think an Eastbourne to London zones 2-6 paper travelcard season is best.

  96. Hi there, I’ve moved offices and will now be traveling to Peckham rye a lot, therefore if I was to by a paper monthly season ticket for Sevenoaks to st Mary Cray and then a zones 1-6 travel card on my oyster I would only need to tap out at Peckham? The train stops at st Mary Cray every morning which is z6 so am I right in assuming both tickets cross over?

  97. Hi Mike, quick question and I apologize if this has already been asked/answered.

    For my new job I need to travel a lot and as such my employer reimburses my travel costs outside zone 4. This week I’m travelling to Enfield Lock in zone 6 probably using a combination of bus and rail/tube. I plan on using my PAYG Oyster to get me most of the way, but I need to get a paper ticket for zones 5 and 6 so I can claim it back.

    What would the process be in this instance? Should I get a day travel card for the two zones and if so when (if at all) would I need to tap out/in?

    *today will likely be bus from inside zone 3, otherwise I will be travelling predominantly by rail.

  98. Hi James,

    Yes, that’s fine. My only question is do you need zone 1? You’ll probably find that a Sevenoaks to zones 2-6 paper travelcard is cheaper than Sevenoaks to St Mary Cray and zones 2-6 separately.

  99. Hi Adam,

    You can’t get day travelcards which don’t include zone 1. Will your employer not accept a journey history statement to prove what you’ve done? If they won’t it’s going to cost them much more.

  100. Hi Mike,

    Just a quick one, and I’m pretty sure you’ve already answered this, but it seems a bit of an awkward way of doing things so I just wanted to confirm. I’m also new to commuting.

    I travel daily from Chelmsford to Liverpool St on a season ticket (fine), but once or twice a week I will need to travel to Custom House on the DLR. Do I therefore need to get off at Stratford, leave the station on my season ticket, come straight back in on my Oyster, and continue my journey – touching out when I reach my destination (Via Canning Town on Jubilee line)? Or is there somewhere in Stratford station I can touch in without actually exiting?

    This site is awesome by the way. And apologies if you’ve answered this countless times.

  101. Hi Ben,

    You don’t need to exit at Stratford because there is a validator in the concourse in front of the Jubilee line platforms.

  102. Hi Mike,

    I am currently commuting on a gold card from Kent but am moving house to zone 3 at the end of the month. I have handed my gold card into work for a refund for the remaining months (season ticket loan) and have asked them to buy me an annual zones 1-3 travelcard instead. If I take this travelcard (which I assume will be paper) to a Tfl ticket office, will they add it to my Oyster card for me and destroy the paper ticket? Or am I stuck with a paper one?


  103. Hi Lottie,

    It would be better if your work bought the travelcard already loaded onto an Oyster, or issued you with a company cheque to buy it yourself.

  104. Apologies if this is already covered on your indispensable site, and I’ve failed to find it. To travel from Shepherds Bush to Brighton I used Oyster PAYG toClapham Junction and then paper ticket. As far as I could see, I had to touch out at the barrier at the end of the tunnel, and then use my paper ticket to get back into the tunnel. I couldn’t see any Oyster readers on platform 1. But I happened to notice that platform 17 (I think – the one used by Southern trains MK to wherever) is crawling with Oyster readers. Is there a method in this apparent madness?

  105. Hi Nicholas,

    It is mad, isn’t it? I have heard that SWT asked for most platform validators to be removed because they are too easy to use for dough-nutting. Platform 17 is only used by the through MK-SC trains so was probably seen as not much of a problem given that the exit is next door. I think the platform 1 and 2 validators were removed to make way for pink route validators to show that zone 1 is being avoided. They are supposed to be arriving soon.

  106. Hi Mike
    Many thanks for your reply. Glad to know I wasn’t just being thick! Can you throw any light on why Clapham Junct isn’t like Wimbledon? There too (I guess) ‘dough-nutting’ is possible, eg paper ticket Guildford to London Road, and Oyster Wimbledon to Shepherds Bush (or wherever). Do I suppose correctly that SWT (and others?) would prefer that you always have to enter and leave by a gateline if you are using a paper ticket? But if so, why the exceptions at Wimbledon, Clapham Junct platform 17 (and elsewhere?)
    When pink readers come to Clapham Junct platform 1, how many people arriving on, for example, a Southern advance paper ticket from Brighton are going to climb the stairs to platform 1, spot the pink readers, know they can’t use them to touch in their PAYG Oyster card, and go back down the stairs to the gateline? Presumably, only those wise enough to consult your site!

  107. Wimbledon is a completely unique scenario with the tram stop inside the station and the tube station being like a station within a station. The fact that there are no validators on the SWT platforms speaks volumes. I can only speculate and form opinions based on what I see and read in other places though. I don’t know the official reasons.

  108. Hi Mike,

    I’m about to start a new job working in Epsom. I currently live in Stockwell, so will need to get the tube to Waterloo then the train out to Epsom. As Epsom doesn’t seem to be in a zone, I think I have to buy a monthly rail card – but can’t work out if this includes the cost of the tube/bus in London as well. What is the cheapest way for me to get the rail pass from Waterloo to Epsom, plus getting zones 1-2 tube pass in London? Thanks!

  109. Hi Megan,

    Epsom is frustrating. The extra cost of a zones 1-6 travelcard on top of a rail-only season from Epsom to London is less than a zone 1-2 travelcard and means that it is the cheapest way to cover what you want. However, if you can travel via Vauxhall instead of Waterloo you can reduce your ticket to Epsom to zones 2-6. Unfortunately it will have to be a paper ticket which means it isn’t so easy to make occasional trips into zone 1, though as both Vauxhall and Elephant and Castle are dual zoned stations you do at least have the option to use an Oyster just in zone 1.

  110. Hi Mike,

    You may have an answer to my question. I want to get an annual season railcard next week, between Bromley and all London terminals. Since there is a chance to move in a couple of months, I was wondering if I can change my rail card for an Annual Travelcard (Zone 1-2) with the same expiration date (September 2014).

    Great site btw!


  111. Hi George,

    That would be a season ticket changeover and is fine. They work out the pro-rata difference which is either refunded or you pay depending on which way it is.

  112. Hi Mike,
    Hoping you can offer some advice. I commute between South Acton and Apsley for work and use a paper ticket (my route is via Willesden Junction and Harrow and Wealdstone). Once a week after work, I need to travel from Apsley to Barbican. I am wondering how I will make the journey from Apsley to Barbican using my paper ticket and oyster PAYG? Its seems from earlier posts that I will need to get off the train at either Watford Junction or Harrow and Wealdstone so that I could ‘touch in’ using my oyster card (and then touch out at Barbican)?
    Thank you for your help and time.
    Best, Anna

  113. Hi Anna,

    So, South Acton to Apsley is a paper season ticket? How do you get back from Barbican, and to where? I’ll assume yes, train and South Acton.

    The cheapest method will be to get a train all the way to Willesden Junction and then touch in there and get the Bakerloo and Metropolitan to Barbican. You can then get back to South Acton using the trains whichever way you want. I appreciate that getting to Willesden is going to take quite a bit of time.

    The fastest method is to buy a zone 1-2 off-peak travelcard and use that on a train direct to Euston along with your season ticket. This is a valid combination as long as one ticket is a season and the other is not. Although the fast trains don’t actually go through Willesden Junction, the station is shown on the routeing maps between Watford and Euston. For the return you would need to go back to Willesden Junction as that is conveniently on the boundary of zones 2 and 3. You can then use the rest of your season to get to South Acton.

  114. Hi Mike

    Fairly new Oyster card user and normally just use underground or buses but I’m travelling to Brighton soon and understand I can use my Oyster card up to East Croydon and then use a travel card for Southern or First Connect for the rest of the journey. Will I have to disembark at East Croydon to tap out? Is there a tap put point on the platform I can use or do I need to actually leave the station and then re-enter?

    Alternatively i can buy my ticket to go from Farringdon straight through to Brighton but same question applies about tapping out.



  115. Hi Gina,

    There are no platform validators at East Croydon. You will need to go up the exit ramp at the country end of the station to go through the gateline and back again. Farringdon has validators on the southbound platform, but I’m not sure about the northbound as that isn’t adjacent to the Underground.

  116. Hi Mike, I bought a paper return ticket from Royden to Liverpool Street this morning but absent mindedly used my Oyster by mistake at Liverpool Street to get through the barriers instead of my paper ticket. By the time I realised what I’d done it was too late. How will this show up on my statement and what should I do about it? I imagine this happens a lot when people are used to using their Oyster card but occasionally find themselves outside the Oyster zone and have to buy a paper ticket.

  117. Hi Steve,

    It will be an incomplete journey ending at Liverpool Street. If you call the helpline and explain what happened they should arrange a refund.

  118. Hi Mike,

    I am studying in Egham and am having to commute from Westcombe Park every day. My journey is Wetcombe park to Waterloo east, then Waterloo to Egham.
    Is the best way to get a zones 1-6 travelcard (I can get it cheaper with my 18+ Oyster card), then a season pass from Staines-Egham? Or should the season pass be from Feltham (the zone 6 station) to Egham?
    Also from reading above I understand that I wouldn’t have to get off and tap out my oyster anywhere?
    Many thanks for your help! Will

  119. Hi Will,

    Yes, buy the season ticket from Feltham to Egham. You don’t need to get off, but the train must call at Feltham for it to be valid.

  120. Hi Mike,

    Could you kindly advise me the cheapest route from woodside park to Fulham broadway? I travel only 5 days a week (peak times) and was wondering if I could get a zone 2-4 travel card as fuham broadway is in zone 2, instead of the zone 1-4 travel card.

    Many thanks,

  121. Hi Beatrice,

    Yes you can, but only if you avoid zone 1 in your journey. That means changing at either Camden Town/Road or Kentish Town/West, Wilesden Junction (possibly) and West Brompton. You must touch the pink reader at West Brompton to show you’ve avoided zone 1.

  122. Hi Mike,

    I asked a question earlier on here and you were very helpful. Currently I have a zones 1-4 on my oyster and zones 5&6-sevenoaks on a paper ticket which is working great and saving money.

    I’m planning on making a trip from Sevenoaks down to Littlehampton, but since I already have Zones 1-6 covered by my travelcards, do you know if it is possible for me to buy a ticket from East Croydon to Littlehampton and then use my travelcards for the Sevenoaks to East Croydon (via London Bridge) journey?

    Many thanks again.

  123. Hi Jom,

    Yes it is.

  124. Hi Mike

    Thanks, really helpful website. Sorry if you’ve already covered this but I was just checking whether you can confirm.

    If I purchase an zone1-9 travelcard on my oyster and a ticket from Amersham to Wendover then will this cover me for a journey from Marylebone to Wendover and mean I will not need to get off the train to touch in Oyster at Amersham?


  125. Hi Tom,

    It does, but the travelcard will have to be a weekly one. You can’t put daily travelcards on Oyster, the daily cap ensures that you don’t pay more, but you do have to touch in and out.

  126. Hi Mike,

    On 14th August you wrote:

    “Between any appropriate London terminals by National Rail services, yes. From the south all of Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Vauxhall, Victoria, Waterloo and Waterloo East are valid”

    I travel from Woking to Picadilly Circus everyday. Does your comment suggest I could get a London Terminals ticket and alght at Charring Cross?

  127. Hi Andy,

    Yes. Your ticket is valid between Waterloo East and Charing Cross.

  128. Hi Mike,

    I am thinking of buying an annual season from Ewell West to Vauxhall (Z2-6). If I should occasionally decide to travel one more stop for example into Epsom on the return journey, how would I go about paying for the additional fare?

    Would I need to buy a single from Ewell West to Epsom for example before boarding at London?

  129. Hi Ian,

    Yes, that will be fine.

  130. Hi Mike,
    Apologies if you have covered this already, but I travel from mile end to gatwick station and back most weekdays. (I normally go through blackfriars, and have to date avoided southern services to save money on an fcc only ticket, but would love more flexibility if its possible for not much more cost). I also have an easit card that gives me 20% discount from zone 5 to gatwick, which doesnt work on the 1-6 plus gatwick. i cant figure out if splitting my ticket is possible or gives me any cost advantage at all? Do you have any advice on the most cost effective ticket for this route?

  131. Hi Kim,

    The Easit card will cover you from East Croydon to Gatwick so you could definitely split there as everything calls at East Croydon from Blackfriars. To save more consider travelling via Whitechapel and New Cross Gate to avoid zone 1 completely.

  132. Hi Mike,
    Sorry if this has already been covered too. I’m new to this site.
    I need to travel later on from Charing Cross to Greenhithe (for Bluewater) and currently have a weekly Zone 1-3 Oyster Travel card. As far as I’m aware, Greenhithe doesn’t have an Oyster reader so I would just like some advice on what ticket to buy. In the past, when I had a travelcard, I used to buy a paper ticket from the boundary, Zone 3 to Greenhithe. However, as I need to touch in with my Oyster Card at Charing Cross, I’m unsure about what should happen when I arrive at Greenhithe. Sorry I probably haven’t explained myself very well. Hope this makes sense.

  133. Hi Susie,

    It makes perfect sense. Oyster is an alternative medium to paper, you still have a zones 1-3 travelcard. As such there is no penalty for not touching in or out within the zones covered by your travelcard. Just buy a BZ3-Greenhithe ticket and use it to exit at Greenhithe.

  134. Thank you very much for your prompt response Mike 🙂

  135. Hi Mike, it’d be great if you were able to solve this conundrum for me!

    I have a Brighton – to London Zones 1-6 season ticket, but tonight I’m going to Amersham (Zone 9) and tomorrow I’ll be returning from Amersham.

    From what I understand, I need to get off the tube at Moor Park (Zone 6-7 boundary), touch my Oyster card, and get back on the next train 10-20 minutes later to complete my journey. I’m hoping this isn’t the case, and that there’s some way of doing it without leaving a perfectly good train and getting on the next one.


  136. Hi Cliff,

    I don’t know the layout of Moor Park, but you may be right. If there are any validators on the platforms then you may be able to jump off, touch in, and jump back on the same train. Otherwise it will be the next train.

  137. Thanks, and good luck with the amazingly helpful site!

  138. Hi Mike,

    I’m hoping you can help me with this please?

    I travel from Raynes Park to Oxted via Clapham Junction.

    Raynes Park to Clapham Junction (South West Trains)
    then change at Clapham Junction
    then Clapham Junction to Oxted (Southern Trains) which passes through and usually stops at East Croydon

    Could I buy a season ticket for the bit on Southern Trains that goes from East Croydon to Oxted and then use Oyster for the Raynes Park to Clapham and Clapham Junction to East Croydon bits?

    I don’t always travel to work by train 5 days a week so im hoping it could save me some money this way.

    many thanks

  139. Hi Joby,

    Yes it will work, but if you are using PAYG on the Oyster then you will have to get off at East Croydon to touch out or in. The validators are on the gateline at the top of the ramp at the country end of the station.

  140. Additionally I intend to travel from Hayes to Gatwick Airport tomorrow.

    The TfL single fare finder suggests that using Oyster from Hayes & Harlington Station to East Croydon Rail Station off-peak would cost £4.30 if I use the default journey via Victoria. (I’m willing to absorb the £2.10 additional cost to travel via Zone 1 if it means I don’t have to drag my carry-on across from the train to the Central line at Ealing Broadway, then from the Central line to the Overground at Shepherd’s Bush, and finally across platforms at Clapham Junction.)

    Getting a paper ticket for the same route seems to be £7.70 off-peak (which makes very little sense to me, but I’ve long learned that it doesn’t have to make sense).

    A paper ticket from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport is £4.90, anytime.

    However, a paper ticket for the whole route (Hayes & Harlington to Gatwick Airport) is an eye-watering £20.60 (or £30 for an off-peak return).

    I figure my best option might be to purchase a paper ticket for ECR-GTW, then use PAYG from Hayes (bus, then H&H to Paddington, then Circle line from Paddington to Victoria Underground, then Victoria NR to East Croydon), but rather than getting off the train at East Croydon to go validate my Oyster card for touch-out, up the ramp and at the gates, just continue on the same train, leaving the journey incomplete. East Croydon is at the Zone 6 boundary anyway so I imagine I wouldn’t get anything credited back on. I’m planning on flying out anyway so daily fare caps wouldn’t matter.

    Do you see anything particularly wrong regarding this plan?

  141. Hi again,

    East Croydon, like Hayes & Harlington, is in zone 5, so you would get something back by touching out. However, if you are prepared to take the hit then you won’t get into any trouble doing that. You might find it slightly less hassle to change to the Hammersmith and City or Circle at Paddington to go to Farringdon and then take FCC from there.

    Whatever happens, when you come back you must touch in at East Croydon if doing the reverse because your Oyster card won’t be valid if you haven’t.

  142. Yeah, I’d intended on getting off at ECR and doing the up-and-down-the-ramp dance on the way back when the pressure to catch a flight was off.

    I can’t believe I didn’t notice ECR wasn’t Zone 6! I might just exit and rejoin the next service, as it seems train services from East Croydon to Gatwick are fairly frequent.

    You’re right, traveling via Farringdon may be better as it appears to have some form of step-free access (as I’ll be carrying luggage) where Victoria does not.

  143. Hi Mike,

    I have an annual paper National Rail season ticket from London bridge to Elmstead woods. Sometimes I have to travel to and from Petts Wood to London bridge instead for which I buy a paper ticket to cover the difference at the cost of £4.80 per time Is it possible for me to get my season ticket on an Oyster card if it doesn’t include London Underground? I do have an oster card with auto top up which I use whenever I do need to use the tube or London buses but it seems silly to keep both a paper ticket and an Oyster card!

  144. Hi Hayley,

    Unfortunately Oyster can only hold travelcard season tickets.

  145. Hi Mike,

    I split my time between Blackheath (zone 3) and Rochester, Kent, throughout the week. I have a London Zone 1-3 weekly travelcard (on my oyster card) and I purchase a single from Rochester to boundary zone 4 when i go into London from Kent. I have been doing this for the past few weeks, until this morning. I was told at Rochester that this is not allowed as they have no way of proving whether or not i have a travelcard on the oyster. I therefore was expected to pay for the entire cost of the journey into London (£16.80) even though i am already covered for 3 zones. My train in the morning is direct from Rochester to London Bridge. Please could you let me know what the actual rules are. I am constantly having issues with South Eastern and i cant deal with it anymore! If this is the case, what are my options? Thanks

  146. Hi Shannon,

    Firstly, you need boundary zone 3 to Rochester because the boundary is the outer one furthest from Charing Cross. However …

    If staff at Rochester can’t read the Oyster card then that is their problem, not yours. It is 100% valid. If it happens again when you have the ‘right’ combination of tickets then I suggest you write and complain to Southeastern.

  147. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for your response. So i have every right to be sold the ticket i need? despite the fact that my train does not stop anywhere? Because if she wont let me buy the ticket, i cant get to work. I wish I could quote something official from South Eastern’s terms and conditions when arguing with this awful woman at the ticket office…


  148. The extract above is from the National Rail Conditions of Carriage which all train companies have to adhere to. A travelcard is a travelcard whether it is issued on paper or stored on an Oyster card. You could ask an Underground station to print out a statement of your Oyster card which will show your card number and the fact that you have a travelcard. It shouldn’t be necessary, but might avoid hassle. I would definitely write to Southeastern and complain. If you don’t get a satisfactory response then take it further to Passenger Focus.

  149. Hi , I am moving to London and will be living in London but commuting to greenhithe a couple of days a week… I understand that my train will be from London bridge but I will be commuting from stockwell. I wonder what the best method of ticket is oyster/travel card etc? I also have a 16-25 rail card. Does this mean I will get any discount?


  150. Brilliant, thank you so much!

  151. Hi Faye,

    I need a few more details before I can give an authoritative answer. Firstly, which two days a week, and if Mon-Fri what times will you be travelling? And when you say Greenhithe, do you actually mean Bluewater? If yes, how much more important is cost over time? Would you be prepared to use a bus from Crayford to Bluewater?

  152. Hi Mike,

    I am travelling into Stratford on Greater Anglia with a paper ticket but then want to switch to Oyster PAYG for the Central Line. Do I need to exit the station at Stratford with my paper ticket and come back in on Oyster or is there somewhere between platforms to swipe in?

  153. Hi Clive,

    There might be validators on the platforms between the GA lines and the Central Line, but I’m not sure. There are validators on the walkway to the DLR (via Pudding Mill Lane) and in the Jubiliee line concourse.

  154. Hi Mike
    I started reading all the comments above but there are a load so, sorry if you’ve already covered this scenario. I’m looking into the cheapest way of commuting into London from Sevenoaks (Kent). All journeys will need to allow for peak times. Sevenoaks is not a London Zone, the nearest station in zone 6 on the same line is Knockholt or Chelsfield. Could I, on that basis purchase a weekly / monthly season ticket from Sevenoaks to either Knockholt and Chelsfield and then use a weekly / monthly Oyster 1-6 for the remainder of the journey? It’s much cheaper than a straight out Sevenoaks season ticket (I also have the extra part of Charing Cross to St James Park I have to add on to my fare). So if I were to buy a straight out NR season ticket from Sevenoaks, I would have to include a travel card (albeit in zone 1). Help please!!

  155. Hi Sarah,

    Unfortunately, if you want to combine two seasons on a fast train (which you will from Sevenoaks) then it either has to call at the changeover (which it won’t) or both seasons have to be zonal. Fortunately the prices actually favour splitting zones rather than getting a Sevenoaks to zones 1-6, which is unusual. You must have at least 2 zones on any travelcard season, which gives you four options:

    Sevenoaks to zones 1-6: £93.40/week
    Sevenoaks to zones 3-6: £60.70; Zones 1-2: £30.40; Total: £91.10/week.
    Sevenoaks to zones 4-6: £52.50; Zones 1-3: £35.60; Total: £88.10/week.
    Sevenoaks to zones 5-6: £46.40; Zones 1-4: £43.60; Total: £90.00/week.

    Note: There is absolutely no gap between adjacent London zones so you do not need to cover a zone twice.

    There is one other option which might appeal depending on where your final destination is. If you can walk from Victoria station then you only need a Sevenoaks to London terminals ticket at £77.80/week. You either catch a Blackfriars train to Bromley South and change there for a fast to Victoria, or catch any train to Orpington and change there for a stopper to Victoria (or you could sometimes change again at Bromley South).

  156. Hi Mike

    I use Zone 1 – 6 weekly travel card costing £55.60 on my commute between Harold Wood and the City.

    Ideally I want to use the quick Shenfield trains from Liverpool Street of an evening and then double-back to Harold Wood

    Is there a more cost effective way other than paying an additional £4 each way on pay as you go (by tapping out and then in again at Shenfield)


  157. Hi Matt,

    Do you have to touch out and back in again to get between platforms at Shenfield?

  158. Hello,

    I have a season ticket from Hatfield (HERTS) to London (zone 1 to 6).

    I work in Hammersmith and follow this journey

    FIRST CAPITAL CONNECT -Hatfield to Kings cross

    Kings Cross to Green Park
    Green Park to Hammersmith

    Only passing through zones 1 and 2.

    This is the season ticket they advised me to get at the train station, however it is costing a fortune and I only ever travel through zones 1 and 2 and could use an oyster if I ever had to go outside these zones.

    Can you advise of another season ticket I can get, or is this the only one?

    Many thanks,


  159. Hi Emma,

    The price of a zone 1-6 travelcard on top of the season to London Terminals is less than the extra required to make your journey, so for that route it is the best value.

    What you could explore doing is avoiding zone 1. If you catch a Moorgate service and change at Highbury & Islington onto the overground to Shepherds Bush and then to Hammersmith from there; you could reduce your ticket to just include zones 2-6.

  160. Hello Mike,

    Some great advice here, but I’m still looking for a definitive answer to an idea I’ve had.

    I’m going to be commuting to London daily soon, so looking to get a season ticket from Warwick Parkway to Marylebone. I will be using direct services (there are no stopper services that get me into/out of London during peak hours).

    Can I buy a season ticket from Warwick to West Ruislip (Chiltern Railways outer boundary), then use an Oystercard for the remainder of the journey into London, even though none of the services I will use will actually stop at West Ruislip? Potentially this would save me £900 a year on a season ticket for the whole journey!

    Any advice greatly appreciated! Many thanks,


  161. Hi Neil,

    The last sentence in the article above covers what you seem to be trying to do:

    However, a season ticket to a named station along with a travelcard on Oyster will require the train to stop at the changeover station as per part (b).

    Unfortunately there are no seasons to the outer zones (5-6, 4-6) which might help, so you will have to buy the through ticket.

  162. Hi Mike on 4/12 you asked me:

    Do you have to touch out and back in again to get between platforms at Shenfield?

    The answer would be no – the card reader is by the station exit – not seen them on platforms. Regards Matt

  163. Hi Matt,

    Then in that case you shouldn’t have to pay extra. The Oyster rules state that you must touch in at the start of the journey and out at the end and complete it within the maximum journey time. For peace of mind I would have sufficient PAYG balance to enable you to touch out at Shenfield should that be required.

  164. Thanks Mike – I am not concerned about leaving zone 6 for Shenfield on the fast train from Liverpool St as I always have spare PAYG funds on my Oyster. But my concern is falling foul of a ticket inspector when heading back from Shenfield into zone 6 on the metro service if I haven’t tapped out/in at Shenfield. Of course if I tap out/in a Shenfield before getting metro train back it will cost me £8 per day PAYG on top of my 1 – 6 travelcard and that was what I was trying to mitigate.

  165. Hi Matt,

    I’d sort of realised that. What I’m trying to say is that according to the conditions of use of Oyster on NR services there is nothing to prohibit you going too far and coming back as long as you remain within the Oyster area and reach your eventual destination within the maximum journey time from your origin.

  166. Chris Pearson

    So much great information on here. Thanks Mike

    I currently have an annual paper ticket for tube 1-6 which end this month, the great thing about this is it does not really matter if I tap in or our correctly, I can just go as i please and never worry. If i go to an oyster card (annual zones 1-6) and forget to tap out, will I be charged a fare or does they system know I have unlimited travel so there is no need to charge.

    Thanks in advance

  167. Hi Chris,

    As long as you only travel within the zones covered by your travelcard then there is no penalty for failing to touch in or out.

  168. Chris Pearson

    Thanks Mike, I had hoped that would be the case. That would make my life so much easier.

  169. Hi Mike,

    Great, informative website!

    To save money, I split my annual season ticket as follows: The first ticket covers Brighton to Croydon while the second ticket is an annual travel card covering Zones 1-5. On paper tickets, this has always worked fine as every journey I make stops at the intersecting station (East Croydon).

    However, I am now looking into loading my Zone 1-5 paper ticket onto an Oyster card. The snag is that I would not be tapping in at East Croydon but would need to use my Oyster Card to tap out at London Bridge. The person I spoke to on the Oyster helpline says this would make me liable for a penalty fare as I need to “prove” to the Oyster system that my journey began within the zones on the ticket (rather than say, in zone 6, or at some random National Rail station).

    This seems to contradict some of the responses above as well as imposing an unfair burden on Oyster card users (as using an identical paper ticket in the same way incurs no such penalty).

    Any advice would be much appreciated.

  170. Hi Alex,

    There is no problem with your proposal. The Oyster system will be quite happy to let you out in London. If you meet an RPI then you simply show whichever ticket is appropriate. If they know you didn’t join the train at East Croydon then you can show both tickets.

  171. Hi Mike,

    I’ve always had a paper annual gold card for my journey from Streatham (zone 3) to London Paddington (rail into Victoria and then either tube or bus to Paddington), but have been considering switching to an Oyster card. Is there any advantage in me doing so ?

    Great site by the way.


  172. Hi Chet,

    Yes there is. The major one being if you want to go outside zones 1-3 but still within the Oyster area you don’t need to worry about extra tickets as long as you have PAYG balance to cover the fares. You will only be charged from the start of zone 4.

  173. Hi Mike
    Can you advise best way to do Staines – Waterloo on a monthly basis. Could I get an oyster from Feltham?

  174. Hi Elaine,

    If you only use the train to Waterloo and no buses or tubes then a point-to-point season will be best value. If you also require other travel then a Staines to London zones 1-6 travelcard is just cheaper than splitting, either at Feltham or one of the other zone boundaries. If cost really is a problem then you can get a zones 1-6 travelcard and use the TfL bus between Staines and Feltham.

  175. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the advise. So I should buy a season ticket as normal and transfer it onto an Oyster card ? Sorry but clueless about Oyster so not sure on process.


  176. Hi Chet,

    You need to get the travelcard season at an Underground or London Overground station or one of the few National Rail stations which handle Oyster transactions at the ticket office. You’ll get a gold record card as proof of your discount entitlement when buying off-peak tickets for travel outside London. Make sure that the clerk adds the railcard discount to your Oyster for when you travel outside zones 1-3 using PAYG.

  177. Hi

    Getting more confused by the minute. I’m relocating to St. Albans and work in zone 1.

    I want the quickest and cheapest plan. I’m informed my annual ticket is apx 3k, but does this inc my oyster in nominated zones?


  178. Hi Jonny,

    No, I don’t think so. St Albans to London Thameslink is £3112 per year. To include a travelcard all the way to zone 1 is £3908 per year. Neither ticket can be put on an Oyster card as St Albans is outside the Oyster area.

  179. Hi Mike,

    Still a bit confused about Oyster Cards. I travel into London from Woking for a meeting once a fortnight – paying £16.80 for an off-peak Travelcard. I understand that I can’t use an Oyster card for the Woking to Waterloo section of the journey. What would be the benefits/drawbacks of paying for a simple return ticket for Woking to Waterloo, and then using an Oyster Card by Tube journeys?

  180. Hi Ben,

    You’ll probably end up paying more by splitting. The price increase for a travelcard over a rail-only return is slightly less than 2 zone 1 tube journeys.

  181. Hello again, Mike, and HNY to you.

    I’ve just found out (the hard way) that point-to-point annual tickets on NR cannot be loaded on to my Oyster card for some reason. This has come as a bit of a shock.

    I wanted a season from Crayford and Farrindgon but FCC would only give me a cardboard ticket, which is inconvenient because:

    1 Cardboard tickets last about three months.

    2 Even more annoyingly, what if I were to enter Farringdon using my paper ticket and find that FCC has cancelled my London Bridge train? I naturally take the Tube instead but find when I get to the barriers at LB Tube station that I should have touched in with my Oyster card, so I’m stuck.

    There seems to be no technological reason why point-to-point season tickets can’t be loaded on to an Oyster. Do you happen to know why, because I’m getting no joy from TfL and FCC on this query?



  182. Hi Neil,

    Basically it’s to do with routes versus zones. Oyster travelcard seasons are valid for a number of zones. This is fairly simple since each station is in one (or possibly two) zones so checking validity is straightforward. There are only a finite number of zones available which is one reason why expansion is taking so long. I believe it’s 15 or 16: zones 1-9, Watford Junction, Broxbourne, Brentwood, Shenfield and Grays area are already taken and there must be some things reserved for when Crossrail extends Oyster to Maidenhead.

    Your Crayford to Farringdon ticket would need to be valid at all stations between Crayford and London Bridge (via any of the 3 lines) plus Blackfriars, City Thameslink and Farringdon. It would not be valid at other stations though. The complexity that this would involve would mean touch times would be extended significantly with the impact on queues that that would cause.

    In your scenario there is a solution. Between the FCC and Met platforms there are a number of validators which can be used to start or end an Oyster journey. If you find yourself needing to switch once you are in the station then you just need to touch one of these validators while changing platforms.

  183. Hi Mike

    I am travelling from High Barnet to Egham return during peak travelling times 4 days a week(mon-thu). What would you suggest as the cheapest way to ticket this journey

  184. Hi Patsy,

    It depends how you want to go. If it’s via Waterloo then you’ll want an Egham to zones 1-6 travelcard. To save some money you can get Egham to zones 2-6 and change at Richmond or Clapham Junction, Kentish Town West and walk to Kentish Town for the Northern line.

  185. Ah, many thanks, Mike.

    As ever, you’re about a gazillion times more helpful than TfL/whichever TOC I’m dealing with…

    So basically I’m stuck with the cardboard ticket for the foreseeable future, then! (Oddly enough, the barriers at intermediate stations don’t seem to want to let me through on it – eg, when I’m changing from Waterloo E to Blackfriars, I always need assistance at the Blackfriars gateline to get in.)

    On a related note, I quite often go out in Kentish Town of an evening (The Pineapple is a lovely pub – highly recommended if you’re ever in the area). Anyway, this is the first occasion I’ve had an annual season ticket, so the next time I’m heading back to Crayford from KT, I’d touch in using my Oyster PAYG at Kentish Town, naturally. I’ll always try to get a Thameslink rather than the Northern line to London Bridge, but do I need to jump off the train when it stops at Farringdon, find a platform validator, touch out and jump back on again? Or can I wait until I get to London Bridge, where I’ve seen Oyster validators on the platforms there? (I’ve heard that these have been deactivated for some unknown reason, but I really hope they aren’t.)



  186. Hi Neil,

    If you get the Thaneslink train then I’d probably jump out at Farringdon because the platform validators at London Bridge are no longer active (possibly no longer there even). If you get the Northern line then just touch out at London Bridge and use your season ticket to get back in to the NR station.

    As for operating gates at intermediate stations, it depends how the gates are programmed. Whether or not they let you through has no bearing on validity though.

  187. Hi Mike,
    Another St Albans journey question please!
    Like Jonny on 30 Dec, I also need St Albans to Zone 1 (Liverpool Street) travel which means changing platform at Farringdon to switch from FCC train to the tube.

    St Albans to Zones 1-6 is now £4028, but I was told by ticket office staff that it’s fine to get St Albans to Z5-6 (£2068) plus a separate Z1-4 (£1744 currently), so saving over £200.

    My questions are:
    1. The actual tickets I have been sold are St A to 5&6, and Hendon with Z1-4. Is this still OK for trains that don’t stop at Hendon as I still have all zones covered?

    2. Buying the separate Z1-4 gives the option to have it on Oyster. If I do this and touch in at Liverpool Street but then don’t touch out at Farringdon when changing platforms to the FCC train, would I be charged a PAYG max fare for an incomplete journey, or would the system assume I’m honest and only travelling within my zones? Touching out between platforms can take a while and mean missing a train, making a paper ticket more attractive!

    Many thanks in advance and for all the great information you’ve already provided here!


  188. Thanks once again, Mike. As ever, you provide an invaluable info service, which puts that offered by TfL and the TOCs to shame.

  189. Hi Mike

    I have a gold card that covers Romford to Liverpool Street and expires 19th June 2014. I am moving offices in March and will no longer be using the card. Is there a way that I could transfer the remainder to an Oyster card or transferring it to my partner?


  190. Hi Mark,

    Yes, as both tickets are zonal there is no need for the train to stop anywhere. If you touch in or out within your zones you will not be charged an incomplete journey charge, even if you don’t/didn’t touch at the other end.

  191. Hi Lauren,

    Will you be using trains at all? If yes then ask for a changeover to a new season which will be calculated pro-rata at last years rates with a refund (or charge) for the difference. If no you will have to apply for a refund of the unused portion. This is calculated by deducting the cost of monthly tickets from what you paid. The nearer to the end of the ticket you get the less you’ll get back. You certainly can’t transfer the ticket to your partner.

  192. Sorry, Mike – Neil here again!

    I’ve just had a bit of a row with a ticket-barrier jockey at Cannon Street this morning. As the Thameslink I usually take from London Bridge to Farringdon was running nearly 30 mins late, I decided to go to Cannon Street instead and hoof it into work.

    My ticket was rejected at the barrier and she said: “Code 116 means it’s not valid at this station.” I contended that my annual season from Crayford to Farringdon was actually sort of an enhanced “London terminals” ticket, taking into account the fact that Farringdon is run by TfL but she wasn’t having it. She let me through unwillingly in the end, but I suspect she might not be so accommodating next time I’m forced to use Cannon Street.

    The strange thing is, I was allowed in to Charing X on my way home last night after my ticket was rejected, without so much as a murmur of discontent…

    I’d be interested to hear your views on this.

    All the best,


  193. Hi Neil,

    At this moment in time it is probably true that the ticket isn’t valid at Cannon Street, but with FCC about to leave London Bridge for a few years while the rebuilding goes on, there will have to be some easements. TfL have added (or are about to add) a new OSI between Southwark and Blackfriars. This means that people will be able to make one journey by alighting at Waterloo East, walking through Southwark and up to Blackfriars, and then continuing north from there.

    It might be prudent to write to Southeastern and FCC and ask what they consider permitted routes to be both now and when FCC leave London Bridge.

  194. Hi,
    Very good website…
    I wonder if you can help. I am trying to assist my brother with the cheapest season ticket combination for his commute. He is currently staying with us in Godstone, he has to go daily (Mon-Fri) to Warren Street. As we live in Godstone he has the option of leaving from / returning to, Caterham / Oxted (We have ruled out Godstone as its even further from our house). Last week he paid £77 for a weekly 1-6 travelcard from Oxted which meant he could travel back to either Caterham / Oxted depending on which train comes first. He could do with this flexibility as the trains are not that frequent and quicker to Oxted, but is there a cheaper way of doing it? His job means he cannot get a set train each day. He also has a 16- 25 railcard but I am not sure if this is any use for his ticket combinations. He can buy weekly / monthly cards but not annual as its a 6 month contract. Would he be better getting just a zone 1-6 travelcard from Caterham? And paying for a boundary extension on the days he returns to Oxted? Although that would be awkward because he would have to buy an addiitonal ticket at Victoria? Thanks very much

  195. Hi. So I want to order a a travelcard on my OYSTER and pick it up at the station (by touching in). Are there oyster facilities at potters bar station and can I pick up the travelcard from there by touching in and going into London?

  196. Hi Jo,

    As you’ve already hinted, best is a very subjective word. All I can really do is highlight the facts. The 16-25 railcard won’t help with season tickets, but it can reduce the price of the extension ticket in the afternoon. I’d guess that this is the time he’s most likely to use it, unless he usually goes to Oxted in the morning. Fortunately he can buy the extension ticket from machines at Victoria because Southern is one of the few train companies whose machines let you buy tickets from other places. As he would be combining a season ticket with another non-season he could also buy a ticket from Upper Warlingham to Oxted without having to worry about the train stopping. Both that and the boundary zone 6 to Oxted tickets cost the same £2.25 per single. The morning price for Oxted to Upper Warlingham is £3.40 because of the railcard minimum fare before 10am.

    So, the main options are: Zones 1-6 Travelcard – £57.20/week (from next week), Oxted to zones 1-6 Travelcard – £73.30/week. With the difference he could by 5 evening singles and one morning single before he’d be better off with the more expensive season. Only you or he can weigh up the pros and cons of each option.

    There are two other things to bear in mind. You can buy monthly seasons for any period between a month and a year. The price is adjusted on a daily basis where a monthly costs 3.84 x the weekly price and each extra day adds 1/30th of the monthly rate. Therefore he could buy a ticket for 5 months and 12 days (or whatever time is left on his contract). This potentially becomes more worthwhile if buying the zones 1-6 travelcard because the price rise doesn’t happen until this Sunday on that. The current weekly rate is £55.60.

  197. Hi Lucy,

    Sadly not. Hadley Wood is the furthest out Oyster goes on that line.

  198. Hi Mike
    Thanks for the reply.
    So what would be the best option for me then if I was going to be making regular journeys into London from Potters Bar and wanted some kind of annual card. If I already have an annual oyster travelcard for all zones, is it possible to purchase some kind of extension to cover that one stop to Potters Bar, or do I have to purchase an astronomically expensive National Rail travelcard for zones 1-9?

  199. Hi Lucy,

    The cheapest annual card for that journey is the Potters Bar to zones 1-6 travelcard. You don’t need zones 7-9 on that line. If you already have a zones 1-6 travelcard then you have two options. Either buy a Patters Bar to Hadley Wood season and make sure that you always take a train which stops at Hadley Wood; or buy a return ticket each day which means you can use any train. Both are going to be more expensive.

    You haven’t said where you commute to in London. Do you actually need a travelcard or would a ticket to London terminals be sufficient? You can use either Kings Cross or Moorgate, including the Underground between the two, but not intermediate stations on the Underground.

  200. Hi Mike, quick question and I apologize if this has already been asked/answered but I’m new to this site and to London apart of the tourist mode. I will be working soon there and by seeing previous posts the issue is complex even for Londoners.

    Getting to the point. I’ll will be travelling every weekday from Maidenhead to Herne Hill (peak times). From what I saw and conclude so far the best choice and faster one would be catching the train from Maidenhead to Paddington (a season ticket from First Great Western), then the circle tube line to London Victoria and then the train (Southeastern) to Herne Hill. And my principal doubts are on those two last journeys. Is better to have an Oyster card to the tube and a season ticket from Southeastern railway or just a Oyster PAYG to both of them. Or if there is some other more pratical and cheapest way.

  201. Hi Gonçalo,

    Your best bet will be a Maidenhead to zones 1-6 travelcard season. At the moment this will be on paper, but when the Crossrail link opens you will be able to put it on Oyster.

  202. And this will cover me all the route?

  203. Yes it will.

  204. thanks for the quick reply….you just save me a lot of pounds and It will turn my life a lot easier comparing to what I was thinking to do.

    somebody raise this man… 😀

  205. Hi Mike,

    I was hoping you could be of assistance with a travel conundrum I am currently experiencing. I’m an expat who recently relocated to Kent from London. While in London I travelled around using a 7 day travelcard. Now that I’m in Kent, I will have to use the National Rail/TFL to get to North London (Hendon Central) approx 4 days per week. In an attempt to keep my daily journey time down I’ve decided that the quickest route would be from Dartford to Woolwich Arsenal- Woolwich DLR to Bank-Bank to Hendon Central. Where the problem lies is with TFL fares…should I go the PAYG route to travel within the tube/DLR? or can you suggest a cheaper method? How much will the NR paper ticket + TFL fares cost me per week?

    Thank you,


  206. Hi LM,

    Woolwich Arsenal to Hendon Central via Bank is cheaper using PAYG than a travelcard. Each single journey is £3.80. Dartford to Woolwich Arsenal is £27.20/week, so 4 days will cost £57.60.

    The only cheaper alternative will take much longer because you have to avoid zone 1 by travelling via Stratford and Camden Road/Town. However, depending on where you are in Dartford, you could consider taking the bus to Crayford and getting a zone 1-6 travelcard at £57.20/week. You could also go straight to London Bridge and change onto the Northern line there, or carry on to Cannon Street and walk to Bank. I reckon either of those could be quicker than the DLR from Woolwich to Bank.

  207. Thanks for the prompt reply Mike. Wow, I thought my weekly commute would cost no more than £20-£30/week. Since I’ll be travelling during off-peak hrs and I have an Oyster do you reckon the prices you quoted would drop substantially?

  208. Ah, it’s all off-peak travel. In that case you are looking at the cap of £8.50/day* if you start with a bus (96, 428, 492) to Crayford. The off-peak day return from Dartford to Woolwich Arsenal is £4.80 and off-peak single fares from Woolwich to Hendon are £2.70 via Bank or £1.50 via Stratford.

    * Assuming you start after 0930.

  209. Hello Mike,

    I need to commute from Kintbury to Hatfield (Herts) and a point to point season ticket does not seem to be an option online. I’ve assumed a Kintbury to Zones 1-6 season ticket plus a daily Boundary Zone 6 – Hatfield Anytime return is the best option. I’d be commuting 4 days a week.

    Would you agree?

  210. Hi Stewart,

    That’s quite a long commute! It’s obviously not Oyster related, but I agree that that looks like a good plan.

  211. Can I change a zone 1-6 yearly ticket from paper to oyster?

  212. Hi Siobhan,

    I don’t think it’s generally possible. It would have to be somewhere which issues both and there aren’t very many of those. You could try Marylebone, Euston (LM office) or St Pancras (FCC office). I wouldn’t hold out much hope though.

  213. Dear Mike.
    There are oyster points at Walton on Thames, which I understand are different from the LU touching in/out points. If I have a freedom pass, should I start and finish my journey with normal PAYG oyster – as Walton is not in a London Zone?

  214. Hi Billie,

    The “oyster” points at Walton are for SWT’s own smartcard system. They do not accept Oyster at all. You will need a paper ticket as far as Surbiton where your freedom pass starts.

  215. Hi Mike,

    My Question,

    Cheepest way to buy a yearly pass from Guildford to Canary Wharf, idealy with Zones 1&2 included.

    From Guildford Central to Canary Wharf, was thinking of getting a Guildford to Wimbledon year season ticket and a year Z 1-3 Oyster card.

    The train is direct from Guildford, to Waterloo Via Woking, but won’t stop at Wimbledon. Then tube to CW.

    Is that allowed and is it the cheapest way to do it?



  216. Hi Dave,

    As per the main page above, mixing two season tickets in that way would require the train to stop at Wimbledon. The only potential way to cut that cost is to avoid zone 1. This would require chaning at Clapham Junction onto the Overground to Canada Water and then Jubilee from there. Guildford to zones 2-6 is £3640/year whereas Guildford to zones 1-6 is £4104/year.

  217. Hi Mike,
    Please can you help me? I have been given a payg oyster card. I am travelling from Hersham to Elm Park every other saturday afternoon/evening and going back the same Monday, late evening.

    What is the cheapest way to do this?

    Many thanks

  218. Hi Mike

    I travel most days from Sittingbourne to London Victoria and was wondering whether I can use my Oyster card for all or part of this journey.



  219. Hi Dylan,

    Oyster is only valid between Victoria and St Mary Cray so it probably won’t help that much.

  220. Thanks Mike.

  221. Hi Kayleigh,

    Unfortunately the Oyster card is not accepted at Hersham. You would need to have a paper ticket between there and Surbiton. This costs £2.80 single. You can then use Oyster to get to Elm Park via Clapham Junction and Canada Water, Shadwell or Whitechapel for just £2.50 off-peak single because you avoid zone 1. If you do want to go via Waterloo it only costs £5.10 off-peak single. The drawback of course is that you need to get out at Surbiton to touch in and then get on the next train. If you don’t want to do that then you appear to be limited to the anytime single through fare of £12.00.

    You can’t buy returns because they only sell day returns for short-medium journeys. Hope this helps.

  222. Hi there!
    I need to travel from Dorking to Hammersmith (changing from train to tube at Wimbledon).
    So can I buy a train ticket from Dorking to Ewell West (which is the first station within the oyster zones) and then cover the rest of the journey on a 2-6 Oyster card? (Even though I won’t be able to touch in until Wimbledon?).

    This system is very confusing – great site BTW

  223. Hi Andy,

    Providing the Oyster card has a travelcard loaded on it then you don’t need to touch in when within the zones. If you are using PAYG then you will need to touch in. If your ticket from Dorking to Ewell West is a season then the train must call at Ewell West.

  224. Hi, and thanks for the useful website. I commute daily Clapham junction to Horsham and I have an annual gold card Horsham to zones 2-6. Whenever I had to go to zone 1, I was able to get a paper travelcard Clapham junction to zone 1-2 at 5.90 with a gold card discount. It looks like this option has been removed and I now have to either exit and re-enter with oyster payg at Clapham junction, or spend 9 pounds (50% more) for the same travelcard as they don’t apply the gold card discount any longer. Am I being thick or there isn’t an easy way out of this?

  225. Hi Piemme,

    You can still get the discounted off-peak travelcard. What they have removed are the smaller undiscounted travelcards for zones 1-2 and 1-4.

  226. Thanks for the reply. I specifically asked if I could get an off peak but they said they didn’t have that option, is that because I tried to buy at 6pm? Also it looks like the off peak is 8.90 rather than 9…not really an amazing discount!


  227. Hi there!
    I need to travel from Battersea park station to Hitchin (changing from train to tube at Kings Cross).
    I’m not sure if I need a travelcard and 1-2 zone oyster card or as the travelcard starts at zone 2 I could use the travelcard within zone 2, Kings cross and Battersea Park are in zone 2. This system is very confusing – great site BTW


  228. Hi piemme,

    I don’t know where you were asking, but an off-peak travelcard is available anytime after 0930. The undiscounted version costs £8.90, with the discount it is £5.90. You can’t get discounted travelcards from ticket stops, but rail and tube stations should be ok.

  229. Hi Reyes,

    Kings Cross is in zone 1 so you will need the Hitchin to zones 1-6 travelcard. The price of this ticket per week is less than the weekly from Hitchin to Kings Cross plus a zone 1-2 travelcard. Hope that helps.

  230. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your reply.

    I dont think I have explain myself properly.

    I need to commute from Battersea Park to Hitchin in a monthly/annual basis. I would like to know if I need to pay a season ticket from Kings Cross to Hitchin + 1-2 zones oyster card from Kings Cross to Battersea Park. Unless the zone 1-2 oyster card is included in the season ticket.

    Please be free to help with any alternative or cheap way to do it.

    Many thanks,

  231. Hi Mike, great info thanks.
    I travel in on FCC from St Albans to Blackfriars, then tube to Embankment, currently on a season ticket +1-6 Zones but it’s gone up from this month to £4,090.
    I don’t need to renew until June but thought I’d ask if I can just get the same for a 6 month period and if I should opt out of the 1-6 and use my oyster card.

  232. Hi Reyes,

    Season tickets are reversible, but for technical reasons a travelcard from outside the area must be described with the outside station first. Thus, the ticket you need is a Hitchin to zones 1-6 travelcard. You must include zone 6 on any travelcard from outside the zones, but the extra price over a season to London is less than a standalone zones 1-2 travelcard.

  233. Hi Jay,

    You can buy season tickets for any period between one month and one year. A monthly costs 3.84 * a weekly and every extra month/day(s) is added at the same rate (ie odd days are 1/30 the monthly cost). After 10 and a bit months the price is frozen at 40 * weekly rate and given the extra benefits of an annual gold-card season.

    St Albans to zones 1-6 annual is now £4028. The rail only price to Blackfriars is £3208 and 200 days of zone 1 returns is £880, so more than the combined ticket. However, there is a pricing anomaly which means you can get a bit of a discount. St Albans to zone 5-6 is £2068 and a zones 1-4 travelcard is £1800. There is no gap between zones, so this covers your whole journey.

  234. Hi Mike!

    I’m Portuguese (sorry for possible errors with English ahah) and I’m going to London in April and I have some questions about transports.
    One of the days I’m going to Windsor and I was thinking about buying the Travelcard one day and then buy a Boundary Zone 6 to Windsor ticket. It is possible to do this with the Travelcard on Oyster, or only on paper? And can I buy it in a tube station? I don’t know if the 1 day travelcards purchased in tube are in paper or Oyster.

    Another question is, the £7.70 Off-peak price cap of Oyster (Z1-4) includes London buses? Or if I travel by bus, I have to pay more? The Travelcard I think that buses are included.


  235. Hi Paulo,

    Day travelcards can only be issued on paper. You should be able to get one at a tube station, or else ticket stops (shops eg newsagents) or National Rail stations definitely sell them. And yes, buses are included in whichever rail cap you reach, there is nothing extra to pay.

  236. Louise Clifford


    I travel from Shenfield to Canary Wharf, I notice the Peak fare for Oyster PAYG Shenfield to Zones 2-6 is £7.50, capped at £27.30.

    Does this mean if I travel directly to and from Shenfield/Canary Wharf it would cost me £15 per day, but if I travelled around within the zones (getting out at other stations) it would cost a maximum of £27.30 per day?


  237. Hi Louise,

    That’s correct. However, if you only make your morning commute before 0930 the remainder of your travel will be capped at £18.50. This saves you a minimum of £1.30. Also, because of the way travelcards are priced from outside the zones, you might be better off using two cards. Put your commute (both ways) on one, then if you only travel around zones 1-2 you will be capped at £7.00 off-peak on the other card. Even if you went out to zone 6 it would only be £8.50 making a total of £23.50 on both cards.

    Hope that helps.

  238. Hi Mike

    That is great thanks. I usually travel to London 4 days per week, so once I take out my holidays it seems to work out a lot cheaper to actually use PAYG Oyster rather than the annual travelcard.

    Thanks again

  239. Hi
    Is it possible to travel from Kings Cross to Hatfield with a zone 6 boundary extension, after travelling to Kings Cross with just a PAYG oyster?

  240. Hi Matthew,

    Sorry, no it is not. As the page above says, if you are using PAYG then you have to touch in and out with the Oyster.

  241. Hi Mike,
    I currently have an annual ticket for zones 1 – 4. I just got a new job in Staines, and am wondering if it’s possible to pay only for zone 5 to Staines (I realise Staines is outside the zones). How do I go about this, and what would this cost?

    I live at Arnos grove at the moment.
    Also, can I use my oyster on buses in Staines?

    Thank you!

  242. Hi Mike,

    Great site! This is complicated stuff!

    I’m going to be travelling from Vauxhall – Epsom for work and your answers above refer to buying a London 2-6 travel card £1568 and a ticket from Ewell West – Epsom £460 = £2028.

    Is it possible to purchase 2 annual tickets: London 2-4 travel card £1040 and from Worcester park – Epsom £764 =£1804?

    Would this work since the train stops at WP station (zone 4), and i have a ticket from this station and for the rest of the journey? Also would i have to get off the train and touch out there.

  243. Hi Ify,

    Yes, you can buy a Staines to zone 5-6 travelcard at £1392/year. You can use your Oyster on TfL buses in Staines but not others. One of the TfL buses runs from Feltham station to Staines so you could get an additional zone 5-6 travelcard for £944/year and use the bus from Feltham. TfL buses are free with any travelcard.

  244. Hi Tom,

    Yes that would work as long as the train does call at Worcester Park. You don’t have to get off to touch there.

  245. Thanks Mike,

    One more question – i read above that there are no gaps between zones. Does that mean i get a London 2-4 travel card and then a ticket from Stoneleigh (zone 5) – Epsom?

  246. Thank you very much for the response Mike. Much appreciated. Great work you’re doing here!

  247. Hi Tom,

    No, unfortunately not. Unless the station sits on the boundary of two zones (like Vauxhall in zones 1 and 2) then you will need a ticket from the last station in the zones covered by the travelcard. In your case you would not have a ticket between the boundary of zone 4 and Stoneleigh Park.

  248. Ahh! Brilliant – thanks Mike.

  249. Hi Mike,

    Could you please point me to the website where I can see the costs of a ticket for Staines to Zone5-6 . I checked on national rail website but can’t seem to find it. I want to compare the daily / weekly / monthly costs as I do not want to buy the annual ticket.
    Thank you.

  250. Hi Ify,

    You need the season ticket calculator on the National Rail site. Put in Staines and any station in zones 5 or 6 (eg Felthan) and it will show you the prices of a standard season, a travelcard including zones 5-6 and a travelcard including zones 1-6.

  251. Thanks a lot!

  252. Hi Mike, my girlfriend is due to start work at Lewisham soon, we live in dartford which I believe is outside the oyster zone. I can drop her to Barnehurst in the morning which is within the zone, I presume for her journey home she will need to buy a ticket to cover from Barnehurst to Dartford, does this mean she will have to get off at Barnehurst to register her oyster journey finishing and quickly get back on the train ??? I don’t understand ??

  253. Hi Tim,

    How will she be paying for zones 3-6? If it’s a travelcard then she doesn’t need to get out, but if it’s PAYG then she does. Also, have you considered using any of the TfL buses between Dartford and Crayford? They are free with a travelcard or £1.45 per journey using PAYG.

  254. Mike, she is going to be part time Mon, Tues and Weds having to be in for 7am. So I presumed it would be cheaper to have an oyster to use from Barnehurst to Lewisham and back to Barnehurst and pay the extra fare to dartford from Barnehurst ??

  255. Hi Mike,
    One of my friend travelling from stevenage to finsbury park and works in zone 2-3 london underground area,
    Can he buys monthly tickets from stevenage to crews hill and then monthly oyster zone 2-6 which will cover all zone finsbury park too as it might help him to cover all zones –can he travel on fast train? Does he need to touch in and out as it monthly oyster and the last question
    If he travelling the train which is stopping only finsbury park is it ok?
    Cause his ticket ( stevenage+crewshill+ zone2-6) covers finsbury park

    Wat is the best cheap options
    Warm regards, waiting for reply thnks

  256. Hi Tim,

    Yes, PAYG will be cheaper then, especially if she can touch in at Barnehurst by 0630 as she’ll then be charged off-peak. On the way home she will have to get off at Barnehurst (or Crayford) to touch out. If she can position herself at the right point of the train it should be possible to touch out and get back on the same train, assuming she has the paper ticket to Dartford already.

  257. Hi Jay,

    As the page above states, if you are using two season tickets the train must stop at the station where they changeover. Therefore to use the combination you suggest the train must call at Crews Hill, which also means it has to use that route rather than via Potters Bar.

    As it happens, a weekly Stevenage to zones 2-6 travelcard season (£92.30) is actually less than the Stevenage to Crews Hill (£55.10) plus zone 2-6 travelcard (£39.20) so he’ll be better off all round buying the one ticket.

  258. Hi Mike,

    Can I just say what a brilliant site you have, I just found it today and I think you’ve already saved me money in the future.

    I live and work in London and have an annual zone 1 – 3 travelcard on my Oyster and the corrsponding Gold railcard.

    Sometimes I travel back to my home town at the weekend and at the moment I have been having to queue up at Liverpool street to buy a boundary zone 3 to Bishop’s Stortford super off peak return (£8.20) as my starting station (Royal Victoria) doesn’t have a ticket office just a machine.

    But am I correct in saying I could just buy a Tottenham Hale to Bishop’s Stortford ticket (£7.40)? I always thought I would have to get off the train at TH and touch out with my Oyster.

    I’ve been looking all over National Rail, Tfl and Greater Anglia websites for a solution and at no point did I see anywhere that you don’t have to touch out if you have a season ticket travelcard!

  259. Hi, Louise,

    You can buy a ticket from Tottenham Hale and there’s no need to touch out. The only point to note is that the train must go through Tottenham Hale. You can’t decide to go via Seven Sisters instead.

  260. Hi Mike,
    Is a season ticket from “London Terminals” to “Staines” also valid on the Underground, since it covers all zones from zone 1 (which is where most london major stations fit) until Staines.

    I also wanted to ask – if I get a Tfl Zone 1 – 6 travelcard, which station could I use to calculate the “Zone 7″ to Staines cost? (if possible).


  261. Hi Ify,

    London Terminals to Staines is only valid on National Rail services on permitted routes between London and Staines. The last station on that line within the travelcard zones is Feltham, so you would need a ticket from Feltham to Staines. Zone 7 does not apply in that part of London, zone 6 is the end of the zones.

  262. Hello,
    My husband and son want to travel to Merstham on Saturday. my son has an oyster card and my husband has a freedom pass and I believe they can use these as far as Coulsdon south. Will they then have to get off the train from London Bridge to touch out and have to wait another 30 mins for the next train to continue their journey, even if they have purchased paper tickets from Coulsdon to Merstham?

  263. Hi Rae,

    Your husband is fine because the freedom pass is treated like a season ticket. Assuming your son is using PAYG then he will have to get off. The gatelines are on each platform so it might be possible to get off, touch, and jump back on, especially if they are near the gateline when the train arrives.

  264. Hi

    I have to travel from East Croydon to Staines on a daily basis. I was wondering what was the weekly cost? Also, my workplace will cover boundary zone 5 to Staines so what is the best option to buy a weekly ticket? Is it just one East Croydon to Staines weekly ticket or do I need 2 separate tickets i.e. zone 2 to 5 on Oyster and boundary zone 5 to Staines on paper?

  265. Hi Khizar,

    There is no direct season ticket from East Croydon to Staines so you would need a Staines to Zones 2-6 season at £57.40 to make the journey in one go. You can’t buy a season ticket from the boundary of zone 5 either, so you also have a problem in that the train needs to call at the station where you change from one ticket to the other. In your case that would either be Hounslow or Whitton depending on which route the train took from Clapham Junction. That would cost £29.70/week but would restrict you to trains calling at your nominated station. Zones 2-5 is £31.20/week. Therefore you’d have a more expensive commute with less flexibility. Could work be persuaded to pay the difference between a Staines to zones 2-6 and the zones 2-5 travelcard of £26.20/week?

  266. Hello Mike,

    Greetings from Venezuela,

    From april to september I will be studying English in Kaplan International Colleges in Leicester Square and I will be residing in Oxted furthermore my daily journey will be using the Southern service Oxted-Leicester Square-Oxted.

    May I use a student 18+ Oyster card to Cover this journey? If not, what would be the cheapest way for this journey.

    Thanks in advanced

  267. Hi Mike,

    Glad I’ve stumbled across this site, good work! I’m starting work in potter’s bar, travelling from Gidea Park. For my current job I use a zobe 1-6 monthly oyster, whats confusing me is potter’s bar shows ad zone 6 yet I cant use my Oyster, is this correct? What’s my best option?


  268. Hi Mike

    Many thanks for your detailed response.

    Yes I think they will fine paying the difference of £26.20 rather than £29.70, which also restricts flexibility and risk me being late occasionally due to various reasons!

    The only other option is that I buy returns on a daily basis for boundary of zone 5 to Staines – if they really want to keep both products separate. I don’t think they are that bothered about this. How much does such a day return cost?


  269. Hi Alfeo,

    Unfortunately Oxted is outside the Oyster area. The cheapest way to make the journey would be to buy a ticket from Oxted to London Terminals and change at London Bridge onto a train to Charing Cross, then walk to Leicester Square. If you want the flexibility to travel via Victoria and use the Underground then you’ll need one from Oxted to Zones 1-6.

  270. Hi Ben,

    Potters Bar is just outside zone 6. There is a TfL bus which runs from Cockfosters and would allow you to use a travelcard, or you can buy a Potters Bar to zones 1-6 season ticket and be able to take the train all the way.

  271. It’s £7.40 for an anytime day return, or if you can be sure not to pass the boundary before 0930 you can use an off-peak day return at £5.00.

  272. Hi Mike,

    I live in Hurst Green and am applying for a job that would require me to travel to Shepherd’s Bush (I don’t know yet how many times a week). The journey, depending on what time I am traveling, would either be National Rail from Hurst Green to Clapham Junction, Overground to Shepherd’s Bush, or NR from Hurst Green to East Croydon, NR to Clapham Junction, Overground to Shepherd’s Bush.

    Since Hurst Green is outside the Oyster zone I’d therefore either buy a return ticket from Hurst Green to East Croydon or from Hurst Green to Clapham Junction, then do the rest of the journey on a PAYG Oyster card, which I already own.

    My question is: am I right in thinking that on the outward journey I would need to exit the station (either EC or CJ) via my ticket and then re-enter by touching in, then touch out at Shepherd’s Bush, and on the return journey I’d need to touch in at Shepherd’s Bush, touch out at EC or CJ and then re-enter with my ticket? I’m assuming this is the only way to do this as there are no Oyster touch-in pads at either station that aren’t on the barriers (at least I don’t think there are). Am I correct?

    Thanks in advance 🙂

  273. Mike, this may have already been answered but is there a way that either Monthly or Annually I can successfully mix 1-3 or 1-5zone oyster & season from Tunbridge Wells to that border. Simply want to not have to use paper ticket when in town?

  274. Hi Amy,

    Sorry for the delay responding. I have to say I’m astounded at the difference in price between buying paper tickets all the way and mixing paper and Oyster. Having said that, splitting at Clapham Junction doesn’t really save much because it is in the same zone as Shepherd’s Bush.

    If you split at East Croydon then you would have to get off the train, walk up the ramp to exit and come back in, then get the next train. Fortunately there are plentiful trains between East Croydon and Clapham Junction, including a few which go straight to Shepherd’s Bush – they call at all stations but as it’s one train it may well cancel out the potential wait at Clapham Junction.

    The prices look something like this:

    Hurst Green to East Croydon: £9.00 anytime return, £28.50 weekly season.
    Hurst Green to Clapham Junc: £16.00 anytime return, £48.20 weekly season.
    East Croydon to Shepherd’s Bush: £3.30 peak single (£2.30 off-peak single), £23.40 weekly season (paper).
    Clapham Junc to Shepherd’s Bush: £1.60 peak single (£1.50 off-peak single), no season available or worth it.
    Hurst Green to Shepherd’s Bush: £19.50 anytime return, £57.30 weekly season inc zones 2-6 (no plain season available).

    Using that lot, a daily ticket costs £19.50 all-in, £19.20 split at CJ, £15.60 split at EC. Weekly tickets seem to make sense for 4 days or more and cost £57.30 all-in, £51.90 split at EC.

  275. Hi Iain,

    You can either buy a season to a station (eg Orpington) and then a travelcard on Oyster, but the train MUST call at Orpington. Or you could buy a season from Tunbridge Wells to zones 5-6 and a travelcard for zones 1-4. That would cost a bit more but the train doesn’t have to stop where the tickets change. You may find slight differences between the splits depending on whether you mix 1-2 and 3-6 or 1-3 and 4-6 or 1-4 and 5-6.

  276. Dear Mike.

    Please can u advise. I currently hold an annual season ticket from Hitchin to London terminals. I then walk 20mins from Moorgate to get to work to avoid paying for underground. However, my job has moved to canary wharf. Can you advise what my cheapest option is to get there? Would it be paying for a zone 1 & 2 travelcard or could i walk to zone 2 & travel underground thereafter maybe using my Oyster?

    Thank you for your advice in advance.


  277. Hi Vicki,

    I’d recommend doing a season ticket changeover to a Hitchin to zones 2-6 travelcard. This can be done at Hitchin and would involve you paying a little more for the remainder of your ticket, but at the same price as you would have paid last year if it is that old. You may need to fill a form in one day and come back a day or so later once they’ve calculated the amount.

    Once that is done you can change at Highbury and Islington and Stratford to finish up on the Jubilee Line to Canary Wharf. Do NOT be tempted to take the Overground train from Highbury to Canada Water because Shoreditch High Street is in zone 1.

  278. Mike,

    Thank you so much for a such a quick reply, it is greatly appreciated.

    Vicki 🙂

  279. Hi Mike

    Can I please check the price of the both Weekly and Monthly Zones 2-6 to Egham Station?
    Can I also please check the price of the monthly Zones 2-6 to Staines Station?
    How can we find out these prices without a trip to the station? The rail company websites only give station to station season costs.

  280. Hi Khizar,

    If you go to http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/search and type Egham in the From box and a random zone 2 station (eg Clapham Junction) in the To box you will get several tickets listed. The Egham to zones 2-6 is the second block. Unlike station to station tickets, the travelcards only work if you put the out-boundary station in first, or if both stations are in London.

  281. Thanks Mike.

    I always tried the other way round and never came up with the travel card option! Now I know what to do.

    Thanks very much

  282. In addition, how to find the cost of boundary of zone X to Station outside London ticket? for example boundary zone 5 to Staines.

  283. The best site for those fares is brfares.com

  284. Hi Mike

    This is a very interesting thread and it looks like my questions have already been answered.

    I want to go from Homerton (London Overground) to Hatfield NR (off peak return). I have a PAYG Oyster card. The options for using my Oyster are as follows:
    1) Homerton to Hadley Wood (Z6) via Highbury & Islington/Finsbury Park. Get off the train, touch out/in, wait for next train, continue to Hatfield with £5.20 paper ticket (return). Total = £10.20
    2) Buy a season ticket for Oyster. However my train from Highbury & Islington or Finsbury Park to Hatfield MUST stop at the station from which my paper ticket starts to Hatfield. E.g. if I have a Z2-6 travelcard, I must take a train that stops at Hadley Wood if my ticket is Hadley Wood-Hatfield. Also, on return from Hatfield I must take a train stopping at Hadley Wood. The benefit of this option is I don’t need to get off the train at Hadley Wood.
    3) PAYG Homerton to Highbury & Islington/Finsbury Park, then return to Hatfield. Total = £1.60 x 2 + £11.20 = £14.40
    4) Just buy a return from Homerton to Hatfield! Total = £11.60.

    Clearly Option 4 is the wisest option. But my goodness it’s complicated! I’m sure that pre-oyster the following was possible:
    a) If you had a paper London Zonal travelcard, you just needed to buy an extension ticket. E.g. if you had a Z1-3 travelcard, you’d buy a ticket from “Boundary Zone 3” to your NR destination.
    b) In the case of the old extension tickets, there was *not* a requirement for your train to stop in your outermost Zone of your travelcard. For example, I used to have a Z1-6 travelcard, and I’m sure I bought “Boundary Zone 6” tickets for non-Zone 6-stopping services.

    Are “Boundary” NR tickets not available at all now? What if someone has a day paper ticket?

  285. Hi Doug,

    Yes, boundary zone tickets are still available and can be used with travelcard seasons loaded onto Oyster without the train stopping. You can also mix a travelcard season with individual return tickets between Hadley Wood and Hatfield. You can’t buy boundary zone season tickets and if you use two season tickets the train has to stop unless they both contain travelcard zones. If you use PAYG and a paper return then you need to get off to end/start the PAYG journey.

  286. Ah, OK. Thanks for clarifying. So in my scenario 2) above (combining season on Oyster and paper ticket), I wouldn’t need to travel on a service stopping at my outermost zone.

    So I presume I could go to the ticket office at Homerton Overground and ask for a return ticket from Boundary Zone 3 to Hatfield? (if I had a Zone 2-3 season ticket on my Oyster).

  287. As long as the paper ticket isn’t a season itself (so you have two seasons) then the train doesn’t need to call. And yes, Homerton ought to be able to issue that ticket which would be valid.

  288. Hi Mike

    Hoping you can offer some wisdom.

    I have a Borxbourne to Zone 1 season ticket. When buying this I was told there was no difference between a paper ticket and loading it on my oyster card, so loaded it on to the card for convenience. I now need to do a season ticket changeover as I am moving house and my new commute station isn’t inside the oyster zones. TFL have told me that they can’t do this as they can’t issue paper tickets, and the National rail operator can’t remove the oyster season ticket and i’m stuck in limbo. TFL did mention I could surrender the season ticket and get a refund of almost zero as i’m 10 months into the ticket.

    Any ideas on a way to get this to work without me having to just buy a new season ticket from scratch?



  289. Hi Simon,

    Have you tried at Liverpool Street National Rail ticket office? If they can’t do it then other places which might be able to help are the FCC ticket office at St Pancras, Chiltern at Marylebone or C2C at Fenchurch Street.

    If all else fails, your ticket is still valid for zones 1-8 so you might be better off getting returns from your new station to the zone boundary until the old season runs out. You could get a season, but the train would then have to call where the two tickets switch over which may not be so convenient. It all depends on where you are moving to.

  290. Hi,

    I was wondering if you could help me. I live in zone 3 currently, and will be travelling to Staines train station from London waterloo for work.
    I also travel around London a lot, so I was wondering if I could buy a zone 1-6 weekly travelcard, to get me as far Feltham, and buy a paper ticket daily from Feltham to Staines.
    As I would be tapping in at London Waterloo and staying on the train until I reached Staines, I would not be able to tap out on my oyster.
    Is it possible to do this?
    Any help appreciated, Thanks

  291. Hi Claire,

    Yes, that’s fine. You can even get a season between Feltham and Staines if it’s cheaper, as long as the train calls at Feltham, which I’m pretty sure they all do.

  292. Hi Mike,
    It’s me again 🙁
    I went to the national rail station at Waterloo to confirm the cost of a ticket to Staines (I currently have a Zone 1-4 oyster tfl travelcard). I was told an extension ticket will cost £150 per month and £1568 annual. Unfortunately she said I can’t get the figures for extension tickets online, which I find strange.

    I contacted national rail by email just to verify this & this was their response – “In order to view travelcard fares between Staines and London Zones 5 and 6, you need to enter any National Rail station from Zone 5. You can therefore, plan a journey on our website from Staines to Twickenham and view the travelcard fares.”

    Now who do I believe as these costs differ?

  293. Hi Ify,

    That is terrible advice from the person at Waterloo. £150.60/month is the price of a season from Staines to Richmond. That would cover you, but only if the train ran via and called at Richmond. You could not get any train which ran via Hounslow. National Rail have suggested a Staines to zones 5-6 ticket which is fine because there is no gap between any adjacent London zones. As both that and your zone 1-4 travelcard are zonal there is no need for the train to stop, or indeed take any particular route through the zones.

    The problem with seeing prices online is that out boundary seasons which include some zones are only described one way (outside to inside) even though they are completely valid both ways.

  294. Thanks Mike. I’m going to be commuting from Flitwick. Will try at the offices you suggest. I’m guessing I need a Boundary Zone 6 extension? I can’t find anything on the national rail or tfl website that would say that I can travel any further than St Pancras on my season ticket (the next stop on the trains I would be getting is St Albans).


  295. Hi Simon,

    You’ll have to do the maths obviously, but it may be worthwhile getting daily returns from Flitwick to Elstree and Borehamwood until your travelcard has run out. As the travelcard is a season and a daily return isn’t the train doesn’t have to call at Elstree. Failing that, if you can’t get a refund and want to use a season from Flitwick to Elstree then you will have to get a stopping service while the season is split. I guess it’s a toss up between cost and time.

  296. Hi Mike,

    Just trying to work out the cost to commute from Potters Bar to Wandsworth Town. I will be getting the train to Finsbury Park and then the tube to Vauxhall and a train to Wandsworth Town. I think that is the fastest option.

    Working out the monthly and annual cost for this,

    Thank you for your help!


  297. Hi Lauren,

    Yes, that’s the fastest option, with the added benefit of avoiding the large London terminals at both ends. To make that journey you will need a Potters Bar to zones 1-6 travelcard which is £275/month or £2874/year. If cost is an obstacle and a little more time can be found then you can make the journey avoiding zone 1 altogether. That works out at £208.20/month or £2168/year. The route is change to a Moorgate train at Finsbury Park and alight at Highbury & Islington, then take the Overground to Clapham Junction via Willesden Junction and then SWT to Wandsworth Town.

  298. Hi mike.

    Just trying to figure out if I can get a oyster travelcard from grays to fenchurch street, I currently pay £2116 for an annual ticket which I dont use weekends just want some info on cheapest option. Thanks 🙂

  299. Hi Ross,

    You won’t get it cheaper than that. An all zones (1-6) travelcard is more expensive, and doesn’t cover beyond Upminster.

  300. Hi Mike

    I’ve just graduated to the 60+ Oyster, having previously used a paper annual ticket. This weekend I need to travel from Surbiton to Brighton, for which I plan to buy a ticket from East Croydon to Brighton, booked via the net and collected from the TVM at Surbiton. What are the consequences of not touching out at East Croydon on the outward journey,when I change from Oyster to paper ticket, and not touching in at East Croydon on the return, when I start using the Oyster again?

  301. Hi Alan,

    The 60+ Oyster and Freedom Passes are treated as travelcards so there is no penalty for missing a touch within the zones.

  302. Hi Mike.
    I moving home and will be travelling into Central London from either St Neot’s or Bedford (both equal distance from the house). I already have a Annual Oyster card covering Zones 1-6. Can I get a fare to cover St Neot’s to Finsbury Park and then use the Oyster? I am new to touching in/out, would I have to do this at FP each way? Many thanks.

  303. Hi Russell,

    You wouldn’t need to touch in/out at Finsbury Park. If you buy a season ticket then it would need to be to the first calling point within the zones, which looks like Finsbury Park in most cases. If you buy daily return tickets then it can be to the first station in zone 6 (Hadley Wood) or boundary zone 6. As your other ticket is a season ticket the train wouldn’t need to call at the changeover point.

  304. I’ve recently started travelling to Ealing Broadway from out of town for work, and picked up an Oyster card in order to be able to travel into central London in the evenings if I wanted. This is fine on the way in as I’d be coming in from outside the station anyway, however on the way back I guess I’d need to get off the train at Ealing, end my oyster journey, get back on and get the train (maybe feasible if there are validation points on the platform but otherwise I’d be in trouble).

  305. Hi David,

    Yes, you would have to get off to touch out your Oyster card. Luckily there are validators on some of the platforms, though it may be the Underground ones.

  306. Hi Mike,

    I’m soon to be starting work in London, commuting from Harpenden to Blackfriars, and think the best way to do this is to get the annual season ticket. However, I’d like to be able to travel in Zones 1-2 annually as well, preferably on an Oyster card.

    Getting these two tickets as separates adds on hundreds of pounds, £4760 for the two versus £4228 for the combined ticket without the oyster.

    Is there any way to do it cheaper, where I can still get an oyster? What would I have to do in terms of touching in/out?

  307. Hi Alex,

    The only way to do it cheaper would require you to get stopping trains between St Albans and St Pancras. Then you could buy a season from Harpenden to Hendon and a zone 1-3 travelcard. The train would have to call at Hendon every time you go through it. With a travelcard on your Oyster you don’t have to worry about touching in or out at Hendon.

  308. Hi Mike

    I currently buy a Weekly Zone 1 – 6 Travelcard on my Oyster to commute in from Harold Wood to Paddington (£57.20). However, I might have to do 5-6 weeks work at Maidenhead.

    Given I will already have Zones 1 – 6 covered on my Oyster, I understood I would simply need to buy weekly return tickets from Zone 6 boundary station (maybe West Drayton) to Maidenhead to cover that part of my journey

    However, Great Western say I need to buy a separate weekly Paddington to Maidenhead return ticket costing £71 a week as Oyster does not work to Maidenhead.

    I have explained that I would tap in at Paddington on my Travelcard and then have a separate paper ticket for West Drayton to Maidenhead.

    They say this would not be acceptable. Given a considerable part of my journey is already covered under the Travelcard do I not have a valid case?

  309. Hi Matt,

    The problem is that to combine two season tickets the train has to stop where you change from one to the other, unless both are zonal. If you don’t mind getting a train that stops at West Drayton then you are fine, otherwise you would need a season from Paddington (or the last station it stops at in the zones if there is one).

  310. Hi Mike,

    I am going to be travelling from Laindon, (national rail), to Whitechapel, (underground).

    I would like to be able to change at Barking which is in zone 4. Would it be possible to complete this journey if I buy a Laindon and London zone 5 & 6 season ticket and a 2-4 oyster travel card?

    Thank you.

  311. Hi Keir,

    Yes, that’s fine. Both seasons are zonal so there’s no need to call at the changeover point. However, you will be paying more than the cost of a Laindon to London zones 2-6 season. Putting one half on Oyster will make it easier to venture into zone 1 as long as you touch in within the zones on your Oyster card. This may outweigh the price difference.

  312. Hi Mike,
    I wrote earlier about having a tfl zone 1-4 annual ticket, and needing to commute to Staines. Although National rail confirmed by email that I could buy a ticket from Twickenham to Staines (along with my zone 1-4) card, I was surprised when I got to Vauxhall station to purchase my ticket and was told I could only buy a ticket from Richmond to Staines £150 a month. I was told this by 2 separate people both in Waterloo and Vauxhall. This conflicts with National Rail confirmation. quite frustrating.

    I also asked about Carnet tickets but was told they do not have any information on that.

    Thank you

  313. Hi Ify,

    There seems to be a lot of confusion here. To find out the price of the season you need you have to enter Staines to Twickenham into the season ticket calculator. One of the options it gives you is Staines to Zones 5-6 which is the ticket you actually need. Twickenham is in zone 5 so you cannot combine a season to there with a zone 1-4 ticket as there is a gap between the boundary of zone 4 and Twickenham. However, there is no gap between actual zones, so a Staines to zones 5-6 season can be combined with a zones 1-4 season. If you ask for a Staines to zones 5-6 season ticket at Waterloo then I hope you won’t have any problems.

    Do come back to me if you still have difficulties.

  314. Laura Murphy

    Hi Mike
    I hope you can help me??
    I need to get to walton on thames (Monday-Friday) for 8.30am and wanted to know the quickest and cheapest route. Tomorrow will be my first day and the route I plan to travel is from west brompton to clapham junction and then onto walton on thames. firstly can I use my Oyster card to get me to clapham junction?? next is there a cheaper way than buying a daily return from clapham junction to walton on thames using southwest trains at £14.50 a day??
    many thanks for your advice in advance

  315. Hi Laura,

    Yes, you can use Oyster between Clapham Junction and West Brompton. The fare is £1.60 peak or £1.50 off-peak singles. A weekly season between Clapham Junction and Walton on Thames is £50.50 (£10.10/day) or monthly is £194.00 (£9.70/day if you work 20 days in the month).

    Alternatively you could consider putting a zone 2-6 travelcard on your Oyster at £39.20/week and buying a Surbiton to Walton on Thames season at £26.40/week. That would work out slightly cheaper weekly (£65.60 versus £66.50) with bigger savings if you purchase monthly. The train must stop at Surbiton, but I don’t think that’s a problem when going to Walton on Thames. You’d also have unlimited extra travel in zones 2-6 and on all buses/trams, with only a maximum of £2.30 per single fare if you take a train into zone 1.

  316. Hi Mike,

    I am going to be commuting peak time Mon-Fri from Surbiton to Limehouse (dlr) (Via waterloo and bank) Am I better off putting a zone 2-6 travelcard on my oyster and using payg for the extra zone 1 travel…or should I just get the zone 1-6 travelcard on my oyster. I’m new to all this and very confused! I will also be occasionally be travelling to Islington of a weekend, rarely into centre of London.

  317. Hi Trisha,

    If you commute through zone 1 then it will be better to have zones 1-6. If you were to change at Clapham Junction and take the Overground to Shadwell then the DLR then a zone 2-6 would be fine. With that you could always go through zone 1 and pay the extra £2.30/£2.20 single fare from PAYG occasionally.

  318. Thank you very much Mike for the clarification, I didn’t realise the other options were displayed on the lower section of the results page. I’ll be sure to print this along and take to the station.

    One other question though, is it possible to also combine a tfl zone 1-4 and buy a Daily Staines to Zones 5-6 ticket (rather that a weekly or monthly). I didn’t see this option either in the season ticket or journey planner pages. I am considering this as I’ve agreed flexible working options and would be going to Staines only 3 times a week.

    Thanks again.

  319. Hi Ify,

    Sadly you can’t get daily travelcards for anything excluding zone 1. However, you can get tickets from the boundary of zone 4 which will work the same way.

  320. Hi Mike,

    I think TfL should redirect people to your site since they really suck at providing the right info.

    Anyways, I want to get a zone 2-4 weekly travel card but I want to travel from crouch hill to West Kensington. Although both stations are within the zones covered by the travel card, I have to go through zone 1 for a part of the journey.
    Would I be fined if I do that?

    I’d really appreciate your input.

  321. Hi Dorian,

    Fined? No (as long as you have a PAYG balance to cover it). Charged a zone 1 journey from your PAYG balance? Yes. See my FAQ page.

  322. Hi Mike
    I buy a weekly 2-4 travel card foir travel between woolwich and Wimbledon (woolwich > canning town>canadawater>clapham Junction>wimbledon). This route avoids zone 1.

    How much will I be charged on PAYG if accosionaly I travel through zone 1 like so, woowich>waterloo east>waterloo>wimbledon, and also if I return the same way in the same day.

    Is there a daily limit for PAYG if I already hold 2-4 travelcard?

    Many Thanks


  323. Hi Khem,

    In your case you will be charged the zone 1 NR fare relevant to the time of touch in at your starting station. That’s either £1.80 (off-peak) or £2.30 (peak). The daily cap in your case is the zone 1-2 cap (there isn’t a zone 1 only cap) which is £8.40 including travel before 0930 or £7.00 if it’s all after 0930.

  324. Hi Mike

    A quick query on behalf of my boss. He travels to London about once every other week, sometimes during peak time, sometimes off peak. He catches the train in from Stevenage or Hitchin and then gets the underground once in London. He currently buys a travelcard from Stevenage or Hitchin station which covers his whole journey and travel anywhere around London zones 1-6. He is wondering if he should get an Oyster card? Then he’d presumably just book a Stevenage/Hitchin – Kings Cross return ticket each time he travels in to London and the rest of his journey would be covered by his Oyster card? Is this a cheaper option than what he currently does? Thanks for any tips you can give us!

  325. Hi Jacqui,

    It might be cheaper. It really depends how much use is made in London. If it is just two zone 1 singles on the Underground then he’s better off with the Oyster. If he’s likely to cap at the zone 1-6 rate then the combined travelcard is better.

  326. Hi Mike,

    I currently have a ‘Maze Hill to Zones 1-3’ Annual Travelcard. I bought it from Maze Hill so that I could get a Gold Card to use for a 1/3 off when I travel out of London for leisure.

    I will be starting work at Heathrow Airport in June, but my Gold Card doesn’t expire until October.

    To get to Heathrow I will be getting the Tube from North Greenwich (Zone 2) to Hatton Cross (Zone 5) so I assume I will only need a Zones 2-5 travel card.

    Will I be able to switch my Gold Card over to a ‘Maze Hill to Zones 2-5’ ticket and get a refund on the difference (around £176)? Or will I have to get a pro-rata refund on my Gold Card and then buy a standard Zones 2-5 Travelcard on my Oyster, with no Gold Card discount?

    If I have to go for the latter option, can I still also use my Oyster as PAYG, for the odd time I travel into Zone 1? Or will I need a separate Oyster? So I could tap into Zone 2 (included in Travelcard) and then tap out in Zone 1 (not included in Travelcard), and only be charged the standard for a single journey?

    Many thanks,

  327. Hi Lottie,

    Whoa! hold on a minute, there are several misconceptions in your post.

    Firstly, if your journey from North Greenwich to Hatton Cross passes through zone 1 you will need a zone 1-5 travelcard. You can make the journey avoiding zone 1 but it is a bit tortuous; you need to go via Stratford, Gunnersbury and Turnham Green.

    Secondly, an annual travelcard season issued on Oyster comes with a gold record card which can be used to get discounts on rail services out of London. You can also get your paper gold card registered on your Oyster card to give you discounts on off-peak Oyster fares and caps.

    Unfortunately Southeastern have ceased offering Oyster products from any of their stations (even Greenwich and Lewisham). However, you can apply to changeover the remaining time on your existing season to a different season, either paying the difference or receiving a refund depending on which applies. If you opt for a refund it will not be made pro-rata and will be subject to an admin fee.

    Finally, if you do opt for a zones 2-5 travelcard on Oyster (either now or in October) then travel in zone 1 is automatically taken from your PAYG balance if you touch in and out at both ends of the whole journey and it includes zone 1 travel. The rate varies depending on the mode but will never be more than the zone 1 National Rail peak fare (currently £2.30).

  328. Hi Mike,
    I travel 3 days a week to Canary Wharf from Wickford, Essex. I buy a return paper ticket each day which costs me £22.70. I am sure there is a cheaper way of doing this which includes an oyster to Shenfield, but I think it involves me getting off the train every night at Shenfield to touch in/out and then catching another train to Wickford. Is this correct? Many thanks …Emma

  329. Hi Emma,

    Yes, you can save money doing that, but you do have to get off at Shenfield both ways. The anytime day return from Wickford to Shenfield is £6.70 then the Oyster peak single fare is £7.50, total £21.70 for the day. If you can touch in at Shenfield before 0630 then that fare comes down to £5.40 as it’s classed as off-peak. Similarly on the return if you touch in at Canary Wharf before 1600 or after 1900.

  330. Hi Mike, I plan to go from Canons Park in London to Walton on Thames in off peak time in saturday, returning the same day. I would need to buy a travel card from the tube station? I pay with the Oyster? How it works? Can you advise me, please? Thank you very much! Nathan

  331. Hi Nathan,

    Walton on Thames is beyond the Oyster area. You can get a paper travelcard at the tube station and then buy a ticket from Surbiton to Walton on Thames when you change at Waterloo.

  332. Denis Ryan

    Hi Mike,

    I currently have a monthly season paper ticket for Norwood Junction to Three Bridges for work. In the evenings after work I sometimes need to travel to Streatham Common, about 3-4 times a week. When I do that, I have to change at East Croydon, and then use my Oyster card pay-as-you-go to make that particular journey (6:47pm outward, return after 9pm). I’m wondering if there is some way of extending the cover of my paper ticket into zone 3 to make the process a bit cheaper? I know you can get zone 1-4 cover on that ticket by paying an extra 120 pounds, but that’s outside my budget. Thanks, Denis.

  333. Hi Denis,

    You can extend your season ticket to either Tulse Hill or Balham and that will cover you to both Streatham Common and Norwood Junction. Extra cost is about £23/month.

  334. hi, i’m traveling from London Euston to Hatfield, Could I Use an oyster card?

  335. Hi Craig,

    Do you mean Kings Cross? Anyway, Hatfield is beyond the Oyster area so you will need a paper ticket from at least Hadley Wood.

  336. Hugh Gunson

    Hi Mike,

    I am looking at getting a season pass from Euston to Milton Keynes (now working in MK). I live in Clapham so will also be needing to get zones 1-2 added in however possible. Could you please let me know the best way in which to do this and how much the differing costs may be?

    I am not eligible for any rail cards.


  337. Hi Hugh,

    There are a number of options depending on how much flexibility you need and where in Clapham you live. The cheapest option is a Milton Keynes to East Croydon season at £109.80/week. You have to travel via or pass through Kensington Olympia, then from Clapham Junction you can use pretty much any National Rail route that can end up at East or West Croydon. It will certainly include Clapham High Street. Next up is Milton Keynes to zones 2-6 at £118.70/week. That gives you all rail services outside zone 1, so you could pick up the Northern line at Balham for example. You’d still have to use the Southern or Overground services via Kensington though. Finally, for £141.80 you can get Milton Keynes to zones 1-6 which means you can come in via Euston.

  338. Hi Mike. What a helpful site!

    Hope you can help me with some advice. I travel Mon-Fri from Letchworth to Westminster during peak times and for some years have paid a fortune for to FCC for an All Zones Gold Card paper season ticket (the cost this year would be £5044).

    I would be grateful for your thoughts on what seems to be a cheaper alternative. I could buy a Letchworth – London only paper season ticket for £3868. This would get me to Kings X. I can then use an Oyster PAYG for the daily return Kings X-Westminster-Kings X. This would cost 2x £2.20 = £4.40 per day. Working on the basis of 220 working days per year, the annual PAYG cost would be £968. So adding this to the cost of the London only season this would work out at £3868+£968=£4836, a saving of £208 on the All Zones season ticket. Not a huge saving but good enough to cover any other travel I might want to do while in London.

    There is the inconvenience of having two separate tickets, one Oyster and one paper – is there any way around this? And is it possible to get a discount on the Oyster PAYG journeys using my FCC Gold card? I don’t think so but just wanted to check.

    Does this seem a sensible and feasible alternative? I have never had an Oyster card so would need to get one (and pay the £5 deposit). Can you think of a better alternative or any pitfalls to this option of two tickets? Sorry for lengthy message but very grateful for any advice. Thank you.

  339. Hi Lynda,

    OK, yes it is a feasible alternative. The obvious pitfall is forgetting to use your paper ticket to get into or out of Kings Cross NR and getting an incomplete journey on the Oyster instead. As long as you don’t make too much of a habit, the Oyster helpdesk are quite good at refunding mistakes. There is no way round the two tickets unfortunately. You can’t get a discount on peak single fares (0630-0930 and 1600-1900) but if you travel outside those times you will get 1/3 off with the Gold card.

    There is one slightly cheaper alternative, but it is quite restricted so it’s probably only if time isn’t an issue and money is an insurmountable issue. You can buy a season ticket from Letchworth to Bowes Park at £3132/year and a zones 1-3 travelcard at £1472/year for a total outlay of £4604. The restrictions are twofold: 1) you MUST travel via Hertford North, and 2) the train you are on at Bowes Park MUST stop there. Only you know whether that is worth a further £232 saving (£440 in total).

  340. John Roberts

    Hi Mike,

    Hoping you can advise. I will be commuting from Hersham to London waterloo everyday then use the buses to get to work. Which ticket(s) would you recommend I purchase?

    The cheapest option ive worked out but I am not sure its feasible is to get a season ticket from hersham to Clapham Junction and then an oyster travelcard zones 1-2. This would also cover the buses. Is this a valid ticket considering not every single train would not call at Clapham Junction?


  341. Hi John,

    As this page tries to explain, if you are using two season tickets then the train must stop at the station where you switch over.

  342. Thanks Mike. It’s really helpful to have you sanity check my thoughts on this. Rail travel is so expensive that we need to get the best options available whenever we can. I think the Hertford option might just be a step too far but I’m very grateful for you taking the time out to give me your thoughts and I shall certainly take your advice. Thanks again, Lynda.

  343. Thank you Mike!

    I was under the impression that if I didn’t have to go through any barriers in Zone 1 it didn’t matter, and it was only where you enter and exit that did. After all how would my ticket know which route I had taken after tapping in at North Greenwich and tapping out at Hatton Cross?

    I’m sure you’re correct I just don’t really understand how it would know I changed onto the Piccadilly Line at Green Park and didn’t take an arduous route route the outskirts!

    What a shame, was thinking I’d be saving £100 a month!

  344. Hi Lottie,

    It’s a commonly held misconception which is why it is listed as the first item on the FAQs page. The clue is your description of the alternative being arduous. The worse it is the less likely people are to do it.

  345. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for this site which explains why the following happened:

    A few back, I used my national rail (paper) season ticket valid from Surbiton to Waterloo to get off at Clapham Junction and take the overground to Imperial Wharf. I had to exit thru the barriers at Clapham Junc. with paper ticket so I could top up PAYG Oyster. Went back thru barriers with Oyster and onto Overground. Exit at Imperial Wharf, no problem.

    But, on the return journey I got back to Clapham and figured that as I was just interchanging onto national rail back to Surbiton (on my paper season ticket) I would just need to touch in on the pink reader at Clapham so my Oyster would know I had got to Clapham an was changing onto national rail (without exiting station).

    I now understand that I should actually have gone up and exited the station on Oyster only to re-enter immediately with my paper season ticket to get back to Surbiton on national rail. Got nailed for full price of an incomplete journey instead of the few quid it should have cost for the return hop to Imperial Wharf.

    The pink readers in that respect are confusing as they appear to deal with the interchange conundrum but even where used as evidence that I was at Clapham Junction and changing, TfL still have to charge as if I traveled to zone six on Oyster because they can’t see me complete the journey. Grrr!

  346. Hi Richard,

    If it was within the last 8 weeks then call the helpline and they will probably refund the overcharge. As you’ve found out, pink readers are only for describing a route option in the middle of an Oyster journey.

  347. Hi Mike,
    Very useful site to clear the confusion of so many people like me. I travel everyday from Ilford to London Liverpool Street. So far I am using a Zone 1-4 pass on my oyester card which cost me GBP 172.8 mothly. I recently came across an option for season ticket on national rail site. When I use season ticket calculator it shows me a season ticket for GBP 116.8 per month. I want to understand the diffrence between season ticket and zone 1-4 pass in my case. Why there is a diffrence in cost for both. I read on national rail site that season tickets are also valid on tubes and london buses. is that true?

  348. Hi Rajnish,

    The National Rail season ticket is only valid on trains while the travelcard season is also valid on tubes, buses and dlr.

  349. Hi Mike,
    Thank you very much for quick response. Is National rail season monthly ticket valid on London bus service?

  350. Hi Rajnish,

    Sorry, no. Only National Rail services.

  351. Hi Mike.

    I travel from feltham to windsor riverside everyday and buy a Weekley pass. However I still have to pay for bus fare from my house to feltham station. Is there any way to avoid this. Or any cheaper way you can suggest.

    Many thanks

  352. Hi Ankur,

    Assuming that the bus is operated on behalf of TfL then you can change your season into a Windsor & Eton Riverside to Zones 5-6 ticket. The extra is £14.10/week where 10 bus journeys costs £14.50. Obviously if you can use it at weekends it may be even more worthwhile. Also, if you want to go to London then you only need to buy a zones 1-4 day travelcard as your season covers you on rail in zones 5-6.

  353. Hi,

    Next month I will travelling from Staines upon Thames to London Victoria 5 times a week foe 3 months. The job im undertaking wont be paying much so I was wondering what is the cheapest option to commute? I know staines station doesnt accept oyster cards so would it be cheaper to use a combination of a paper ticket to Feltham and from the onwards the oyster card? (In this case would I have to exit the station and re enter?) or would a season ticket be best? Any recommendations are welcome. Thank you.

  354. Hi John,

    If you literally only want to go from Staines to Clapham Junction and then to Victoria you’ll be better off with a Staines to London Terminals season ticket.

  355. Hi Mike.

    I’ve worked out the following and wonder if you could tell me if I’m right, as I’ve never used the Oyster system before.

    On Saturday I’m travelling between Horley (Surrey) and Custom House (Excel). Am I right in thinking I can:

    Buy a NR return Horley to East Croydon = £5.90
    Use Oyster East Croydon to Custom House = £2.70
    Oyster Custom House to East Croydon = £2.70
    Total £11.20 instead of £16.50 with a Travelcard

    Is that correct? Or does the East Croydon to Custom House part count as more than one journey?

    Thanks for any help.

  356. Hi Wayne,

    Yes that will work fine. East Croydon to Custom House is one journey, but to get a cheap price you’ll need to avoid zone 1. The good news is that it is actually only £2.30 each way. Suggested route is via New Cross Gate, Canada Water and Canning Town.

  357. hi,

    I have a annual paper travel card and i have a oyster, i just want to use oyster through out, is it possible?

  358. Hi Sudhi,

    If the travelcard is wholly within the Oyster area then it can be put on an Oyster card. If it includes travel from outside the Oyster area then it can’t. You may have to ask at one of the London terminals which handle Oyster transactions, eg Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras or Liverpool Street.

  359. Morning

    I need to go to Eastbourne on Thursday I have a oyster all zones where do I need to start paying from on the journey?
    Thank you

  360. Hi Claire,

    You can either get a boundary zone 6 to Eastbourne or East Croydon to Eastbourne. The actual last station is Coulsdon South, but I don’t think there is much if any difference in price.

  361. Emma Lougher

    I am travelling 3 times a week in london to (bank) from byfleet I normally buy a travelcard each time but been told it would be cheaper if I got a oyster card, what I am not sure about is would I buy a byfleet to london waterloo then use my oyster card on the tube to bank? Which is going to be the cheapest option?

  362. Hi
    I have a monthly Oyster Zones 1-3 travelcard and on occasion travel to Apsley or Hemel Hempstead. Can I buy a boundary Zone 3 to Apsley/Hemel Hempstead train ticket and travel on any train out of Euston to these stations without having to get off and touch out? and how much does a single ticket cost from boundary Zone 3 to Apsley? and boundary Zone 3 to Hemel?
    Thank you

  363. Hi Emma,

    An Anytime West Byfleet to Zones 1-6 costs £26.00. An Anytime West Byfleet to London Terminals costs £18.70. Two Oyster zone 1 singles cost £4.40. If you have a spare 15 minutes your ticket to London Terminals is also valid to Cannon Street via Waterloo East and London Bridge (at least until the station rebuilding works closes half of London Bridge).

  364. Hi Ann,

    Yes, you can use your travelcard and a boundary zone 3 ticket on any train without needing to touch out (or even call in zone 3). BZ3 to Apsley is £9.70 single and £14.60 return, while Hemel is £10.10 and £15.20. All prices quoted are anytime tickets, there are cheaper versions if you can travel off-peak.

  365. Hi,

    I just wanted to get confirmation that I am using the right approach towards a situation. I need to get from Richmond to Staines regularly, however I will also want to use the buses in London too. I was thinking that I could purchase a zone 4 – 6 travelcard on oyster (in order to get the unlimited bus journeys) and then from feltham (which is the last zone en route) I could get a feltham to staines paper travelcard. I have looked and all of my journeys will always pass through felthem, but I wanted to be sure that as I wont be changing trains or getting of at any point to tap out on oyster, that I can touch in using oyster and not have to touch out and use paper ticket to enter at staines. Similarly that I can just touch out at richmond and not touch in when I return?

    Any help is much appreciated.


  366. Hi Chloe,

    Yes, you’ve got the right idea, but I don’t think it will save you any money. You can buy a Staines to zones 4-6 travelcard season which will cover everything you want for £42.40/week. Staines to Feltham is £22.70/week and zones 4-6 on their own is £26.00/week. If you are eligible for a student discounted zone 4-6 at £18.20 then splitting will save a little, and in that scenario you are fine to only touch in at Richmond and use the paper ticket only at Staines, as long as the train calls at Feltham. I’m pretty sure that they all do, so that’s not a problem. You don’t need to get off.

  367. Hi Mike

    I have a zones 2-4 monthly. I want to make a journey from Zone 1 to Aylesbury but would like to use Oyster to get me the cheapest fare. I’d leave zone 1 circa 6.30pm.

    How would I do that?

    If I touched in at Zone 1 sat on a train bound for Aylesbury, do I have to nip out at Amersham and tap my Oyster on the readers and get back on the train again before it leaves (where I run the risk of missing the train as it pulls away without me) having bought an Amersham-Aylesbury ticket?

    The first stop the Aylesbury train makes is Harrow in Zone 5.

    Many thanks.


  368. Hi Jahangir,

    Yes, in that scenario you would have to touch out at Amersham.

  369. Hi Mike,

    I am moving to East India in a couple of months.

    This sits on the boundary of Zones 2 & 3.

    Would a Zone 1-2 travelcard cover me or would I need to pay the extra to get a Zone 1-3 travelcard instead?

    Please advise,

  370. Hi Gavin,

    If you are travelling between East India and zone 1 then you only need zones 1-2.

  371. Hi, I’ve just started commuting from brighton to London. I need to be flexible from going into st pancras, and out of either victoria, st pancras or London bridge on any network provider.
    What would you recommend.
    I only need to travel in zones 1&2. I have an Oyster card.


  372. Hi Gordy,

    I think your best bet is a Brighton to zones 1-6 season. It is under £20/week more than the season from Brighton to London and that isn’t actually valid to Farringdon or beyond.

  373. Hi Mike,

    I am considering renting a property in Potters Bar and would be commuting every weekday from there to Canary Wharf. I’m wondering what the cheapest way to do this would be – please can you advise?

    Thanks for your help

  374. Hi Dominic,

    Potters Bar to Zones 2-6 travelcard season would be cheapest. Travel via Highbury & Islington and Stratford.

  375. I have a Zone 5-2 travelcard season ticket on my Oyster card and wish to travel from Enfield Town to Chelmsford and return via Liverpool Street (minimum changes hence not through Hackney and Stratford). Can you tell me how this can be achieved through the cheapest combination of tickets. Many thanks.

  376. Hi Peter,

    The tickets you’ll need are either Bethnal Green to Stratford return and Boundary zone 5 to Chelmsford return; or London to Chelmsford return and use Oyster to get into Liverpool Street (zone 1 single each way). Assuming you want to travel off-peak then the latter will work out cheaper. If you confirm the actual dates and times I can double check the specific fares.

  377. Many thanks Mike,

    The trip will be on a Saturday around 8.00 AM and return that evening. Also, I would like to make the fewest number of changes and don’t really want to get off the train mid-journey to validate the Oyster Card.

  378. Hi Peter,

    I’d forgotten that with a season ticket you can buy a ticket from a named station rather than a boundary zone without the train needing to call, so the ticket you need is the £9.70 Super off-peak return from Chadwell Heath to Chelmsford. Add in the £7.10 return from Bethnal Green to Stratford and you’ve got £16.80. That does make it somewhat cheaper than the zone 1 Oyster singles and a super off-peak return from London to Chelmsford.

    However, notwithstanding your desire to limit changes, I must point out that Gordon Hill to Chelmsford changing at Finsbury Park, Highbury & Islington and Stratford actually takes around the same time as Enfield Town to Chelmsford via Liverpool Street, as long as engineering works don’t affect either journey. As that option doesn’t involve zone 1 you would only need the Chadwell Heath to Chelmsford ticket.

  379. Thanks Mike, you’ve been a great help and your advice about the Zone 1 avoiding option is much appreciated.

  380. Hi, am so glad I found your website. I was hoping you could help me. I would be starting a new job at egham and wondering what would be the best way to get there from seven kings. Do I have to get a zone 1-4 monthly card as well as a card from Waterloo to egham or is there a way I can combine both? Thanks

  381. Hi Dinah,

    The cheapest way to pay for this commute is to buy one season ticket from Egham to Zones 1-6. A quirk of the system says that to include an out-boundary station with a travelcard you must use the out-boundary station (Egham) as the origin. Season tickets provide unlimited travel along their route so you can use it the ‘wrong’ way round.

    If cost is more important than time then there are two ways to avoid zone 1. Either change at Stratford and Clapham Junction or Stratford, Canada Water and Clapham Junction. Then you would only need an Egham to zones 2-6 season ticket.

  382. Hello. Thanks for the very informative website. I’ve just relocated to St Albans from London. Next week I need to commute into London every day and I’ll need to make several journeys around zones 1-6 for work. I currently still have a zones 1-2 travelcard on oyster with over a month until it expires. I asked at the ticket office and I was told that I should buy a St Albans to Zones 2-6 weekly ticket to cover me for next week’s travel. Is that right? That seems like I’m paying for zone 2 twice because my oyster-card already covers zone 2. I’d just like to know why my ticket needs to go to zones 2-6.


  383. Hi Tim,

    You don’t need zone 2 twice! Buy a St Albans to zone 3-6 travelcard and the combination covers you completely.

    Furthermore, St Albans is one of the wonderful places where you can use a split ticket to reduce the price of a travelcard to zones 1-6. The full ticket costs £100.70/week while St Albans to zone 5-6 costs £51.70/week and zones 1-4 costs £45.00/week. So that’s £4/week saving or £160 on an annual. You also keep the convenience of Oyster for travel around the centre of town.

  384. Hi Mike. Thanks for that – it’s good news. What happens if they insist on selling me the zones 2-6 ticket? Is there a document or regulations I can refer them to about only zones 3-6 and zones 1-2 being sufficient to cover my journey?

    And thanks for the tip about the split ticket. I had no idea!
    Much appreciated, Tim

  385. Hi Tim,

    I’d be inclined just to ask for St Albans to zones 3-6 at the ticket office. Don’t actually mention that you’ll be carrying on to London with another travelcard. If you are stopped by an RPI on the train you may have a slightly more interesting conversation. Most RPIs know that there is no gap between adjacent London zones, indeed several stations are on the boundaries so you only pay for the zone you’ve come from if ending a journey there.

    The best written statement I can come up with is on the National Rail fares page on the TfL website where it explains that people with a travelcard starting in zone 2 and going outwards will only pay a zone 1 fare if they use Oyster to go into zone 1.

  386. Hi Mike

    I currently live in London (Finsbury Park) and have just taken a job which will require me to travel to Luton Airport Parkway everyday. Initially the plan was to buy a season ticket from St Pancras to Luton AP and then deal with the Finsbury Park to St Pancras bit via Oyster card. That would require a zone 1-2 oyster which in addition to a monthly pass from St Pancras to Luton AP would be expensive. Is there any way of from Finsbury Park to Luton AP more cheaply?


  387. Hi Ben

    Firstly, the Luton Airport Parkway to Zones 1-6 travelcard season only costs £26.80/week more than the Luton Airport Parkway to London Thameslink season. This makes it better value than paying seperately for the travel to Finsbury Park. That ticket is £119.50/week. There are several cheaper options. You can avoid zone 1 by changing at West Hampstead and Highbury & Islington, The travelcard option is £103.40/week or you can get a rail only season for £87.60/week. Finally there’s an option to use a bus between Hatfield and St Albans at £102.00/week.

  388. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel up to Nottingham from Brighton. I have a ticket from Kings Cross to Nottingham, and a monthly season ticket for Brighton to zones 2-6. Do I need to get out at a zone 2 station such as Clapham Junction or Vauxhall and continue my journey to Kings Cross using an Oyster card? If so, do I need to exit the station and re-enter with the Oyster?



  389. Hi Joe,

    Yes you do need to get off and touch in. For this reason I’d do it at Vauxhall as it is dual zoned (1/2) and you can change to the Victoria line there for Kings Cross meaning you’ll only pay for zone 1 on the Oyster.

  390. Hi Mike,

    Soon I’ll be working in Leatherhead and need some assistance on the most efficient way on how to reach there from Dagenham Heathway (tfl zone 5) please.

    I understand that there are two main options: 1) zone 1 – 6 travelcard then a separate travel card from Ewell West to Leatherhead or 2) a travelcard going from London 1 – 6 to Leatherhead. I see that the costs vary with these options but what route do you think would be most efficient in terms of changing between paper and oyster card? – especially when I’m travelling within London zones.

    Thank you!

  391. Hi Angie,

    The combined Leatherhead to zones 1-6 card will give you the most flexibility. With that you can either travel via Ewell West or Ewell East which may sometimes be helpful. If money is tight you can avoid zone 1 by changing at West Ham and Canada Water. From there you either go to West Croydon and onwards or Clapham Junction and pick up the Leatherhead train there. It will take a little longer, but cost a lot less.

    On that route I wouldn’t recommend splitting season tickets because the train would have to stop at the spilt point.

  392. Please can you confirm the off peak cost from Stratford to shenfield please? i cannot seem to locate these details.
    Many thanks

  393. Hi Mike,
    I’ll be travelling to London Bridge from Laindon and I am looking for an annual season ticket. What is the cheapest possible ticket that I can opt for? Can I use Oyster card?

  394. The single fare finder says £4.80.

  395. Hi Gopal,

    Oyster is not accepted from Laindon unfortunately. There are two seasons you can buy. Laindon to London Terminals (usually Fenchurch Street) is £2620/year. Laindon to Zones 1-6 is £3748/year. With the first one you could walk across London Bridge from Fenchurch Street, or catch a bus using Oyster. If you want to use the Underground then the second option will alomst certainly work out cheaper.

  396. Hi Mike,
    I’m travelling from Welwyn Garden City to Canary Wharf and trying to find the cheapest way to do this.
    I currently have a WGC to zones 2 – 6 travelcard and travel via Highbury and Islington and Stratford.
    I would like to know whether it is valid to buy a season ticket from WGC to Potters Bar and then a separate Oyster travel card zones 2-6 which covers me from Hadley Wood to Canary Wharf.
    Are there any alternatives if not.
    Thanks, Nick

  397. Hi Mike,

    I have an annual travel card for zone 1-2 and today I tried to buy an open return from boundary zone 2 to Bishop’s Stortford but the woman at the ticket office told me this ticket doesn’t exist (!?) so I had to pay for London terminals to Bishop’s Stortford. I have had a single before, and a day return to Ware both from boundary zone 2 – so why not an open return? Are they shafting me or is there some sort of restriction?

    Thanks in advance!

  398. Hi Nick,

    Using that combination would leave a gap between Potters Bar and Hadley Wood. You would need a season from WGC to Hadley Wood. Also, you must ensure you always use the slow trains that stop at Hadley Wood.

  399. Hi Louise,

    They’re not shafting you. BZ2 to Bishops Stortford is only available for day tickets. If you want an open return you would need to buy two singles, but the return from London may be cheaper.

  400. Hi Nick,
    I’m currently a Gold Card all zones travel card user. I go from Redhill to Whitechapel every day. However I am moving office and next time will only need a London Terminals card. But I will probably get an Oyster card for the occasional underground trips.

    My question is:

    How does oyster work when you don’t touch out? Eg if I now go from Whitechapel to New Cross Gate on the overground there is nowhere to touch out before I go on Southern for the rest of the journey. UNLESS I actually leave the station – not much fun if the train is coming in!

    As you can see I’ve never used Oyster.


  401. Hi Paul,

    If you don’t touch out you will be left with an incomplete journey charge which would not count towards any cap.

  402. Hi Mike,

    I have recently moved to Crofton Park and I work near London Bridge.

    In the Mornings I would like to Travel from Honor Oak Park to London Bridge and would like to get this Season Ticket (Honor Oak to Lodon Terminals) costing £89 per month.

    However my Gym is closer to Blackfriars station which runs a service to Crofton park rather than Honor Oak park. Both are in close walking distance to me but it was wondering if I would be able to do that with the Honor Oak to London Terminals (i.e get off at Crofton Park rather than Honor) or would i need to fork out the extra £60 for Zones 1-3?



  403. Hi Steve,

    I can’t see a common route which would allow both your journeys without paying for something much further out, so I think the travelcard might be your best bet. The Honor Oak Park to London Terminals ticket is valid into Blackfriars via London Bridge, but not to Crofton Park. Obviously things are going to get a bit difficult when FCC stops serving London Bridge for a couple of years.

  404. Hi Mike
    I’m almost certain you’ve answered this similar question a trillion times before, but I still don’t get it – DOH!
    I’m travelling to Reading from Ealing B’way. I’ve got a PAYG Oyster card and wondered if can I use this for the section of the journey to West Drayton. Would I have to get off the train at WD before continuing the journey on the paper ticket? I’m not sure if it’s even cheaper to do this. Other coming on here and asking you where can you find this information?

  405. Hi Alex,

    You can use it to West Drayton, but as the page above states, you would have to get out to touch out there. It probably isn’t cheaper anyway for a single trip.

  406. Hi Mike.

    I want to travel from Huntingdon to London Kings Cross. Then from Kings Cross to Putney Bridge. What would be the best suggestion?

  407. Hi Rory,

    It really depends on when you want to travel and how frequently. Please give as much detail as possible.

  408. Hi Mike

    I would be traveling Monday to Friday.

    I just wanted to know whether Huntington to London Terminals zones 1-6 would cover it?


  409. Hi Rory,

    Yes, a Huntingdon to London zones 1-6 season would cover the whole journey. If it’s a commute then that’s likely to be the best option. Don’t include the word terminals when you ask for it because that then isn’t valid on the Underground etc.

  410. Ok brilliant. Thanks mike.

  411. Mike – I travel daily from Oxted to London Bridge on Southern, and then onto Canary Wharf on the Underground. I am frustrated with the paper monthly season ticket I have for London 1-6 as it regularly stops working. I have a new Southern Key card which I plan to load an annual season to London Terminals on, and then use an Oyster Card for the tube – would you recommend that approach and what is the best option for the Oyster Card for daily travel LBG/Canary Wharf – pay as you go or some type of travelcard?

    The advice I have is that it is not possible to load a Oxted to London 1-6 season onto the Key card which would of course be the easiest option (they claim it will be possibly to load an additional rail card from Summer 14)?

    Appreciate your assistance, thanks.

  412. Hi Andrew,

    The implimentation of the various smart card schemes is a bit of a mess really. If you split tickets you are going to end up paying more, or losing flexibility. The prices are as follows:

    Oxted to zones 1-6: £281.50/month
    Oxted to London Term: £201.30/month
    Zones 1-2 Travelcard: £120.60/month
    Oxted to Norwood Jun: £154.00/month
    Zones 2-4 Travelcard: £99.90/month

    The last pair of prices would require changing at East Croydon and Norwood Junction, then using London Overground to Canada Water and Jubilee line to Canary Wharf. You might find that the reduction in gates means that the paper Oxted to Zones 2-6 ticket at £220/month lasts a bit longer.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  413. Hi Mike,

    I currently live in Gidea Park and have an annual zone 1-6 travel card (on my oyster) as I work in Bond Street.

    I’m moving to Billericay in two weeks, I enquired at the station to how I would extend my ticket, as there are no oyster readers at Billericay. The cashier said the easier way would be to purchase a paper ticket from billericay to Harold wood, however from reading an earlier reply from yourself, is the train required to stop at Harold wood in order for this to work ok?

  414. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Basildon to Westminster 3 days a week and wanted to know what the most cost effective way would be. I normally buy an annual season ticket but was wondering if it would be cheaper to travel this way – Basildon to Upminster on season ticket and then use an Oyster to get to Westminster?

    Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

  415. Thanks Mike, I have the Oxted to London Term ticket at 201.30 p/m … if I travel from London Bridge to Canary Wharf and back again daily, on Oyster PAYG, do you know what that would cost monthly (assuming 22 days a month for travel during the work week)?

  416. Hi Billy,

    If the paper ticket is a season ticket then yes, it would need to stop at Harold Wood. If the paper ticket was a day return then it wouldn’t.

  417. Hi Robin,

    To be honest, a season ticket is overkill for 3 days a week. However, it would definitely be cheaper to split at Upminster and use Oyster PAYG between there and Westminster. If you make good use of the Gold Card benefits then an annual season between Basildon and Upminster might be worthwhile, otherwise I’d just buy daily return tickets.

  418. Hi Andrew,

    That’s £2.80 single, £5.60/day, £123.20 for 22 days.

  419. Thanks Mike, that is helpful Can you please let me know what the monthly cost (around 15 days a month) would be if I travel to and fro from Basildon to Westminster using an Oyster PAYG from Upminster? I was finding it difficult to understand the PAYG cost. Also, I will be travelling at peak times. Would I need to get down at Upminster to swipe the card or catch a train which calls at Upminster? Any help will be appreciated.

  420. Hi Robin,

    As the page above says, you will need to get off to touch in the Oyster at Upminster if using PAYG. Upminster to Westminster is £5 peak single so £10/day or £150/month by your figures. Basildon to Upminster is £8.70 anytime return, so £130.50/month.

  421. Hello Mike,
    I’m interested to know if I have worked out the following correctly. If I buy a zone 2-4 monthly oyster, I will be able to travel from Westferry to Goodmayes, changing at Stratford? Many Thanks.

  422. Hi Joanne,

    Yes, that is fine.

  423. Hi Mike – incredible service here. Thank you!

    I’ve just moved to St Albans. I’m looking for a paper annual season ticket to get me through the barriers at St Albans and a zone 1-2, 1-4 or 1-6 annual oyster card for the tube.

    Is this allowed and if so, what the most cost effective option?

    Thank you!

  424. Hi Mike,

    St Albans is one of the places where this works rather well. The price for St Albans to zones 5-6 and a zones 1-4 inboundary travelcard is actually less than the combined St Albans to zones 1-6. Because the tickets are both zonal the train does not need to call where you change from one to the other. There is no gap between adjacent London zones so you are covered for the whole journey.

  425. Hi Mike,

    I have a zone 1 – 6 monthly travelcard on my oyster card.
    Twice a week I commute to and from London Liverpool Street (zone 1 ) to Wickford (Greater anaglia) in essex.
    I understand that Harold Wood is the last stop in zone 6. Am I right in saying that my travel card will cover me from london liverpool street to harold wood and then i would need a single from harold wood to wickford and vice versa. Are you able to help? how do I go about doing this?

  426. Hi Lucy,

    Just buy a single (or return) from Harold Wood to Wickford. The train doesn’t need to call at Harold Wood because one ticket is a season (your travelcard) and the other is not. You can buy them at Liverpool Street, or online to pick up from Liverpool Street.

  427. Hi Mike, Thanks for the help.

  428. Hi Mike,

    I have just got a job in London and will be commuting from Milton Keynes Central every day. I have been looking at season tickets as they seem to be the best option for me price wise.

    I have worked out that if I was to buy the MKC to London Terminals ticket, and just use my oyster for the tubes then it would work out a lot more expensive than if I was to buy the ticket that says MKC to London Zones 1-6. (As the tube is £4.40 per day, and that’s just Euston to Angel return and no where else!).

    However the bit I am confused about is the MKC to London zones 1-6 ticket. With that ticket, can I make more than one journey on the tube in a day? For example, I am based near Angel tube station, so will be going from Euston to Angel on the tube every day. However if I needed to go somewhere else during the day on the tube, can I still use my season ticket for that? Basically what I mean to say is can I use the tube whenever I like with that ticket?

    Does that ticket also include weekends too? So can I go into London on the weekends using my season ticket? If so, it basically means I can go into London and around on the tube 24/7 during the period my ticket is valid for (e.g. one month?).

    One last thing – I read on above comments about having to get your ticket out every time… is that still the cheapest option rather than using oyster for the tubes? The machines won’t swallow it up will they!  And would you just have to put the season ticket in the tube machines?

    I hope that isn’t too confusing!

    Many thanks,


  429. Hi Alice,

    Yes, a Milton Keynes to London zones 1-6 travelcard gives you unlimited travel between Milton Keynes and zone 6 as well as unlimited travel within zones 1-6 on all rail services (except St Pancras International to Stratford International and Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow), plus all TfL operated bus services and trams in Croydon too.

    The ticket machines won’t swallow the ticket but you will need to use it to open gates wherever you go in London.

  430. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your help I really appreciate it.

    Many thanks,


  431. Karthi kumar.K

    Hello, I will be travelling from Tolworth (Surbition) to Bond street through Surbiton station (overground) and Waterloo (Underground). What type of Travel card i need? Is it between Zone 1, 2 & 3?
    Please help…..

    Thanks, Karthi

  432. Hi Karthi,

    Assuming you mean using SWT between Surbiton and Waterloo then you’ll need zones 1-6.

  433. Hi Mike

    I travel from Rayleigh to waterloo or tower hill. Sometimes during rush hour and sometimes not. Usually I buy a return to Stratford and then use oyster. Do I have any other options?

  434. Hi Chris,

    Yes, you could buy a Rayleigh to zones 1-6 travelcard but this does seem to be more expensive unless you are commuting 5 days a week at peak times. Your split will also be cheaper in 2016 when Stratford moves to the boundary of zone 2 and 3.

  435. Hi Mike

    That’s what I thought. Thanks for your time

  436. Hi Mike,

    I am looking at purchasing a southern “Key” season ticket from Burgess Hill to London zones 1-6. Will this ticket on my “Southern Key” card work by touching my Southern Key on the london underground oyster readers? Or am I better off getting a paper ticket instead?

  437. Hi Adam,

    According to the last but one question on this page the answer is yes.

  438. Hi Mike

    I have been quoted almost £400 for a monthly ticket between London and London Road Guildford. However, would a split ticket to include monthly Oyster for zones 1-6 and then a monthly from zone 6 to London Road Guildford be possible and cheaper?

    Many thanks


  439. Hi Pru,

    Yes it’s possible but it won’t be cheaper. Where is your journey to in London? There might be other ways to reduce the cost.

  440. Hi Mike,
    I travel between Billericay and central London. Different times and days each week, sometimes off peak so a season ticket isn’t worth it, and I usually buy a day travelcard – I also have a 16-25 railcard. But it looks like I might save some money by getting a return ticket to Stratford and then using Oyster.
    My question is – can I get off at Stratford, touch in with my oyster using one of the platform machines, and get back on a NR train to Liverpool street (either the same one if I’m fast enough or the next one), then change at Liverpool street for underground? This would be substantially quicker than taking the underground from Stratford.
    Also when I touch out at Liverpool street NR, and in again at Liverpool street underground, will that only count as one journey to my final destination of Euston square, or will I be charged for two oyster journeys?
    Also, seems like I could use Oyster from Shenfield, but looks like that may be more expensive, I can’t find the fare cap for London to Shenfield anywhere.
    Your help much appreciated, Lorna

  441. Hi Lorna,

    I’m not sure whether there are any platform validators at Stratford now, but if there are, yes you can do that. As long as you touch in at the Underground within 20 minutes of touching out at the NR station it will be combined as one journey. Full details are under Interchanging trains.

    Fares for Oyster at Shenfield are on this page. One big saving would be if you need to touch in at Shenfield before 0630 as the Oyster fare would then be off-peak and discounted.

  442. Hello Mike

    Just by reading through your feed it is clear you know your stuff!

    I start a new job and will be travelling from BKG to BSO on a daily basis. I currently possess a staff nominee pass which enables me to travel free on London Underground and adjacent routes (I.e BKG to UPM will be free for me as it runs adjacent to the District line).

    As I am under 25, will I be able to combine my staff nominee entitlement with a 16-25 railcard as I will have to pay for my journey from UPM to BSO? (I am yet to purchase one and will purchase dependent on your answer)

    Many Thanks


  443. Hi James,

    Yes you can combine your staff nominee entitlement with a valid ticket from Upminster to Basildon. The railcard will only discount single and return tickets (not seasons) and there is a minimum fare of £12 before 10am M-F excluding July and August. So depending on when you travel it might not make a difference.

  444. Hi Mike. Yes that answers my question about what type of ticket I need, but I am still unclear as to whether my southern keycard will work on the underground stations that are not run by southern, e.g. my final destination which is fulham broadway.

  445. Well it says it will work on Underground, DLR and buses, none of which are operated by Southern.

  446. Hi Mike.

    I commute from Hampton Court to Waterloo and then on the Waterloo and City line to Bank four mornings a week.

    At the moment I get a monthly zones 1-6 travelcard (£219) but I’m wondering if it would be cheaper to go PAYG.

    Is it possible for the journey to be treated as one continuous run? I.e would it cost me a single fare? Or would I be charged for the train journey and tube journey separately?


  447. Hi Tom,

    As long as you touch out and in again at Waterloo within the allowed time then it will be classed as one journey. However, because you are mixing NR and LU in a journey involving zone 1 it will cost more than just the NR fare, but less than the NR fare plus a zone 1 TfL fare.

    You say you commute four mornings a week. If your return journey is also in the afternoon peak then a monthly travelcard is probably still worthwhile, especially if you ever make any other journeys when not at work. However, if your return journey is off-peak then PAYG should be cheaper unless you make lots of other journeys.

  448. Thanks.

    Hampton Court is Zone 6 on travelcard. When you say cost “more than NR fare but less that NR fare plus a zone 1 fare”, what do you mean?

    Will I not just pay the single peak zone 1-6 oyster fare of £5?

    Also, apologies but I’m not sure I understand the “allowed time” table. Does this mean I should tocuh out when I leave the southwest train and then touch in when I board W&C? How long do I have between out and in?

  449. Hi Tom,

    There are three fare scales. If your journey was solely on TfL rail then you would pay £5. If it was just to Waterloo then it would be the NR fare of £5.90. Because it’s using both NR and TfL including zone 1 the overall fare is £7.50. The zone 1 TfL fare is £2.20 meaning that two separate journeys would be £8.10.

    Yes, you’ll need to touch out on leaving the SWT platforms and you need to touch in either on the Underground gateline or the validator on the way to the Waterloo and City Line. How long is what the table tells you – NR to LU is 20 minutes while LU to NR is 40 minutes because you might wait on the concourse for your train to be advertised.

  450. Hi Mike
    Thanks for your prompt reply. Sorry for my tardy reply but I had forgotten where I left my message. The whole journey would be from either Langdon Park DLR or Canary Wharf Jubilee to London Road Guildford and a short bus ride from there. Bit of a shlep I know and may have to get a room there if it gets too much but meanwhile need to get train.
    Many thanks

  451. Hi Pru,

    That is quite a journey. You can get the price down a bit by buying a London Road Guildford to zones 2-6 travelcard at £330/month. Your journey would then be Langdon Park > Canary Wharf > Canada Water > Clapham Junction > London Road Guildford. It will probably take a little longer so only you will know if the cost saving is worth it.

  452. Mike,

    By accident today I used my oyster to go through barriers at charing cross, but actually have a return ticket for this journey which I bought a few days back. Is there any chance I can get a refund for this if I have proof?


  453. Hi Lily,

    Almost certainly, yes. Call the helpdesk and see what they say.

  454. Hi Mike,
    I need to travel from Staines, just outside Oyster Zones, to Waterloo then by tube to Collindale and back during the week. I cant seem to figure out the best/cheapest way to do this. Can I use my oyster from Feltham – would I need to get off the train and touch in – and just buy a return train ticket from Staines to Feltham? I was looking at annual tickets but they are running into thousands and want to do it cheap as possible. Any ideas?
    Thanks! Helen.

  455. Hi Helen,

    An annual season ticket for that sort of distance is going to cost thousands, but it will still be cheaper than daily returns. If you have a season ticket on your Oyster (zones 1-6) and another season for Staines to Feltham then you don’t need to get off to touch at Feltham. The train must stop at Feltham, but I don’t think that’s a problem.

    Another cost saving you could consider is using the TfL bus from Staines to Feltham. You can use your travelcard on the bus so you’d only need to buy the zone 1-6 season. It would take longer of course, but it’s something to consider if money is tight.

  456. Hi Mike

    I am new to London and all these websites are making no sense to me. I start a new job in September and I have to travel from Liverpool Street Station to Ponders End – what kind of monthly Oyster Card do I need to purchase. I am confused with the zones/National Rail thing…

    Thanks in advance!


  457. Hi Meg,

    If your journey is just between Liverpool Street and Ponders End at peak times then you actually want to buy a paper season ticket from National Rail. If you also need to use either buses or the Underground/DLR then you’ll need a zone 1-5 travelcard which can be loaded onto an Oyster card. Finally, if your commute can be made at off-peak times at least half of the time then you may be better off using PAYG on Oyster. If you can touch in at the start of your journey before 0630 or before 1600 then that journey is charged at off-peak rates, even if it ends after the peak has started.

  458. Hi Mike, I’ve recently accepted a job with Ford Motor Co.
    And as part of this it means travelling to their Dunton centre 4 days a week, I live in Luton and I need the cheapest way possible to get there by train. After searching I found that i would need to make it to London Fenchurch Street from Blackfriars to get the connecting train to Laindon Station. However I cannot seem to find a season ticket or any reliable prices for this journey. Thank you for any help you maybe able to give me in advance

  459. Hi Mike

    I am about to become a rail commuter for the first time since the introduction of oyster. I live outside the London zones, local station is Swanscombe in Kent and i will be travelling to South Quay, i have worked out the that the cheapest option is to buy a paper annual season ticket to cover me between Swanscombe and Slade Green, then get an annual travel card covering zones 2-6. Minor disadvantages if i need to get home via a different over ground route, but i have done the maths and happier to make the saving.

    My question is, with the above ticket combination, are there any issues with service delay refunds? I mean if a train is delayed or cancelled from Swanscombe to Greenwich which means i am delayed by more than 30 mins i would claim a part refund from Southeastern for the paper ticket, but they would only refund me till Slade Green, for the Slade Green to Greenwich part i would have to claim from oyster, could they (would they) decline on the basis there were other trains going through Slade Green reducing the time of delay below 30 mins?


  460. Hi Callum,

    You’re right, there doesn’t seem to be a season ticket for that flow. I believe that you could buy a constructed travelcard by taking the prices for Luton to zones 1-6 plus Laindon to zones 1-6 then deducting the inboundary zones 1-6, but that works out at just less than 5 days travel at the anytime return rate. As you are only doing 4 days you will probably be better off using daily returns.

  461. Hi Ambrish,

    Yes, there may be issues with delay compensation. Southeastern will pay for delays on travelcards where it is their service that is at fault, but they won’t pay if the DLR has issues. In the case of a delay from Swanscombe you should be covered because your journey is all the way to Greenwich. You’ll need proof of your travelcard on the Oyster (ie receipt or statement). However, I wouldn’t underestimate the issues with your chosen split. As long as the train calls at either Crayford or Barnehurst then they are both on permitted routes to Slade Green, but if the train you caught was fast from Abbey Wood to Dartford then your combination wouldn’t be valid. You might then be liable to a penalty fare or prosecution if checked onboard.

  462. Hi Mike,

    I have a very simply question for you – am I able to purchase a monthly zones 2 – 6 Travel Card in order to travel from Clapham Junction to Feltham and back (during peak times on a daily basis) with the 18+ Student Oyster photocard (which I am eligible for as a full-time student)? I am not sure if the 30% discount on all travel cards is valid for peak times with the 18+ Student Oyster photocard or if it is only off-peak which is valid with this photocard.

    Thank you very much for you help in advance.


  463. Hi Mike,

    I have recently purchased a Zone 2-4 Season on Oyster, so using PAYG when in Zone 1 (have loaded Gold Card discount). Will be doing the odd journey on weekends from East Finchley to Waterloo then onwards on SWT to outside Zone 6 buying tickets from Boundary Zone 4. Can I do this from Waterloo or will I get charged an oyster maximum fare?

  464. Hi Tom,

    The 30% discount is applied to travelcard seasons which by their nature are valid at all times.

  465. Hi Eric,

    You’ll be charged a maximum fare. Just take the first train to Clapham Junction and touch out and in again before getting your train from there. For a little more you can buy a ticket to Vauxhall and combine that with your travelcard and BZ ticket without worrying where the train stops.

  466. Hi Mike

    I currently have zone 3-6 travel card. Will I be able to travel from Leytonstone (zone 3) to Surbiton station (zone 6). I need to change at waterloo underground which is in zone 1. I am not sure if I need to touch out before I board the train to Surbiton station.

  467. Hi Farhan,

    Assuming that the travelcard is on your Oyster card then you will need enough PAYG balance for a mixed mode NR+TfL zone 1-2 single. You will need to touch out and in again at Waterloo, but even if you didn’t, the system would still charge the extra.

  468. Hi Mike
    My normal journey is Reading-Hayes & Harlington, then a bus connection. I have a Reading-z5-6 season ticket. Occasionally I go to Central London instead and buy a one day all zone travelcard. I’m unclear whether I need to get a train that stops in z5/6 to do this, or whether I can use a non stop train from Reading to Paddington? The terms don’t seem clear on this!

  469. Hi Andrew,

    Both tickets are zonal at the point of overlap so there is no need for the train to stop.

  470. Hi Mike,

    I have an Oyster card as I am a London resident but frequently commute to Stansted Mountfitchet. The Stansted Express doesn’t stop at Broxbourne, but it would be cheaper to use Oyster up to the Broxbourne boundary limit for an Oyster and then a ticket from Broxbourne to Stansted Mountfitchet – is this allowed even if the Stansted Express doesn’t stop in Broxbourne?


  471. Hi Billy,

    As the page above states, if you want to mix paper and Oyster PAYG then the train not only needs to call where you switch, you also have to touch out/in to end/start the Oyster part of the journey.

  472. Hi Mike

    I live in North London and have an oyster season ticket covering zones 2-6 only. I want to make occasional monthly journeys to Guildford, boarding a fast train at London Waterloo which doesn’t stop anywhere within zones 1-6.

    Do you have any suggestions for combining the zone 2-6 element of my oyster card with paper ticket extensions that would be a cheaper alternative to buying a national rail ticket all the way from Waterloo to Guildford?

    When I had a zone 1-6 travelcard it was simply a case of getting an extension from boundary zone 6 but the fact my current travelcard excludes zone 1 has me wondering what the best option is.

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions you can offer, and what a great site you run!


  473. Hi Chris,

    You’ll need a ticket from Waterloo to Vauxhall and another from Surbiton to Guildford. The train doesn’t need to call at either station because your travelcard is a season ticket. Unfortunately the saving isn’t that much over a ticket for the whole journey, but that’s the downside to needing two separate tickets.

  474. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel from Brent Cross to Leatherhead daily. I have worked out that the cheapest option would be a travel card Z1-3 oyster and a Wimbledon-Leatherhead SW trains paper travelcard. Oyster would take me from Brent Cross to Waterloo on the tube and then, when on SW trains from Waterloo, I could change to my ticket as the train passes through Wimbledon. However, will it matter that I don’t check out the Oyster at Wimbledon? Worried about problems as I will check in at Waterloo in the morning with Oyster and will only use Oyster again when I check back in to Waterloo to get on the tube in the afternoon! Is this ok?

    I hope that makes sense….

    Many thanks for all your advice.

  475. Hi Paul,

    No it is not ok, but not for the reason you think. You would be using two season tickets and only one of them is zonal, so the train has to stop where they changeover. If the train does stop at Wimbledon then you are fine because there is no penalty for not touching in or out when travelling exclusively within the zones of a travelcard.

  476. Hi Mike

    I wounded of you can give me the easiest and best combo. It raven from Stevenage to penge east and back every day. I go in via frndsbury park and home via kings cross this is due to train times. Many thanks

  477. Hi Jules,

    Best is very subjective, however, I don’t think you’ve got any serious option other than a Stevenage to zones 1-6 travelcard. You could possibly avoid zone 1, but it would add a lot to your journey time.

  478. Hi Mike ,

    I am going to begin commuting from rayleigh station to kings cross and back again at the end of this month , its been a while since i’ve been on the trains and was wondering what was the cheapest way to go about it , either by getting a season ticket direct or by getting a season ticket to shenfield and then using the oyster cap ive just read about from shenfield to kings cross.

    Many Thanks for any advice.

  479. Hi Mike,

    I have recently moved and now live in Guildford. Each day I travel in to Waterloo and then travel on to Bank via the Waterloo and City Line. Is there a season ticket I can buy that will allow me to just add the Waterloo to Bank portion of the journey onto a standard Guildford to Waterloo season ticket without having to add all of the zones 1-6.
    If so what is the cost? If not what is my best option?

    Thanks in advance.


  480. Hi Tony,

    Splitting at Shenfield can be beneficial, especially if you can touch in there before 0630 as you’ll then pay off-peak fares. If you won’t be that early then you’re probably better off with a travelcard from Rayleigh as you then won’t need to get off the train to touch your Oyster in or out.

  481. Hi Adam,

    The difference between a Guildford to London season and one which includes all 6 zones is less than the cost of 10 zone 1 singles per week, so basically you’re best off with the Guildford to zones 1-6 travelcard.

  482. Hi Mike,

    I will be commuting everyday from Wickford to Hammersmith (zone 2). I have a 16-25 Young Person’s Railcard. I’ve read about a ‘Season Direct’ offer by Abellio Greater Anglia that offers cheaper monthly tickets via direct debit (excludes travelcard).
    My plan is to change at Stratford in the morning to take the underground, but board at Liverpool Street on the return journey. I am thinking to get a monthly travelcard zone 1-3 on my oyster too.

    What would be my best/cheapest option for my commute without having to use a paper ticket when I arrive in London? Should I use the ‘Season Direct’ to get a Wickford to Stratford Monthly ticket? Can I use my railcard for any discounts? Will there be any issues at the barriers? and will my paper ticket need to cover zones 4-6?

    I would be very grateful if you could help!
    Many thanks,

  483. Hi Mike,
    I was just wondering if I can use my Oyster Card to get from Waterloo to get to Staines to get to Thorpe Park. Or would I have to buy train tickets?

  484. Hi Maria,

    I’m not familiar with the Season Direct offer, but if that saves you money it should be fine. Your railcard won’t help with season ticket costs. As long as your train calls at Stratford there is no need to have zones 4-6 on the other ticket. There won’t be any issues at the barriers as long as you use the right ticket each time. Hope that helps.

  485. Hi Tina,

    Sadly Staines is outside the area covered by Oyster so you’ll need a paper ticket. If you are using Oyster to get to Waterloo then you may find it cheaper to split at Feltham, just getting the paper ticket from there. You’d need to get off the train to touch out or in but the readers are on the platform at Feltham, so you might get the same train.

  486. Hi,

    Quick question for you Mike. If I travel from Amersham to Brighton is it possible to use oyster pay as you go to Farringdon and then use a paper ticket from Farringdon to Brighton on FCC?

    Can you touch out at Farringdon and where are the readers?

    Many thanks for your help.

  487. Hi Claire,

    Yes, that is fine. There are readers between the westbound tube platform and the southbound FCC platform. You might save some money if you use Oyster all the way to East Croydon. There the gates are at the top of the ramp at the country end of the platforms. You may have to get the next train though, so it’s up to you what your priorities are.

  488. Thanks very much.


  489. Hi Mike
    I am working full time in London at Green Park and travel from Watford on the met line change at finchley road and get jubliee line to green park . I have been topping up my oyster card but someone told me it would be cheaper to get a monthly travel card as I would be saving is this correct and can I load it onto my oyster card

  490. Hi Anna,

    You can load a travelcard onto your Oyster card and a monthly one might save you money. The peak single fare is £5.50, so £11/day. The monthly travelcard is £238.90 which means that you save money if you use it 22 days in any month. If all you use your Oyster for is commuting then I probably wouldn’t bother as months have between 20 and 23 working days. But if you regularly use buses or trains in the evening or at weekends then it will make sense. Hope this helps.

  491. is it cheaper to use my oyster to travel from Byfleet (not west byfleet) to london waterloo monday to friday peak times?. how much will it cost on the oyster, is it the same as paper ticket. i prefer to use oyster as i can jump on a bus from waterloo. will that be at capped rate

  492. Hi Mimi,

    Byfleet (either station) is well outside the Oyster area which ends at Surbiton. It isn’t cheaper to split either. If you only use one bus each way then you are better off using your Oyster for that separately.

  493. Hi all,

    I will be commencing a job in Central London starting on the 6th of October and will probably be living in Bedford for the first six months due to it only being an hour or so commute, as well as living commitments.

    I was wondering, when asking about a Bedford to Monument (the closest tube station to my work), is it possible to get a season ticket that covers this journey.

    The available options are “BEDFORD to LONDON ZONES 1 – 6” and “BEDFORD to LONDON THAMESLINK”. Regarding the former, would this also incorporate the tube travel as well as the National Rail travel to Blackfriars which would be my stop on the Thameslink National Rail rain before needing to get a tube between Blackfriars and Monument?

    Would this season ticket off the National Rail website cover this?

    Kind regards,

  494. Hi Kevin,

    Yes, the Bedford to zones 1-6 travelcard will cover the whole journey. The one to London Thameslink only works on the National Rail route. If money is tight you could consider walking from Blackfriars or City Thameslink. It’s not too far.

  495. Hi Mike,

    Thank you very much. Unfortunately the National Rail Enquiries website does not confirm this. Money is not too tight thank you but I understand that the Thameslink to Monument area is only a 20 minute walk so I shall probably go for this latter option!

    Thanks for your help.
    Kind regards,

  496. Hi,

    I will commuting from Stanmore to Woking via Waterloo. I have purchased a weekly travel card on oyster from stanmore to Waterloo and national rail weekly from Waterloo to Woking, which costs me £125 approx. Is there any way to reduce this.

  497. Hi mike,

    I need to commute 2 days a week (at peak time) from romford to homerton.

    Can you explain why the journey costs £3.90 when a zone 6-2 journey costs £2.70?

  498. Hi Kevin,

    I’m not sure exactly what the NRE website doesn’t confirm, but I notice you’ve also asked the question on RailUK and there are many more rail experts there.

  499. Hi Lalitha,

    Yes! You are paying for nearly half the journey from Waterloo to Woking (Berrylands to be precise) twice. All you need is a Woking to London zones 1-6 travelcard season for £92.60/week. You need to buy it with Woking as the origin, but you get unlimited use so you can travel the other way round.

    There is a cheaper method still, but it will take significantly longer. For £81.90/week you can get a Woking to London zones 2-6 travelcard. From Stanmore take the Jubilee line to West Hampstead. Change to the Overground station for a train to Clapham Junction (you might have to change at Willesden Junction as well), then take a SWT service to Woking from there. Only you will know whether the £10.70/week saving is worth it.

  500. Hi Sam,

    Romford to Stratford is set by NR rather than TfL, so their fare scale applies at the moment. It should change when TfL take over the Liverpool Street to Shenfield service from GA in preparation for Crossrail.

  501. I’ve just gotten a changeover on my annual travelcard from an out of zone to just zones, but they’ve given another paper ticket. Is there any way I can get it put on my oyster card? Who would offer that, NR or TFL?

  502. Hi K,

    I think you’ll be very lucky to get that done now. The best place I can suggest is Marylebone NR ticket office, but you’d have been better off asking there originally, before getting the changeover.

  503. Ah, bummer. I was told I could only do changeover at the station it was originally purchased at, but CLJ has different windows for tickets and oyster. Thank you!

  504. That shouldn’t be the case, but using a different TOC can make things difficult.

  505. I was going to ask if you knew of any platform Oyster machines at Stratford or whether a change from Oyster to paper is a ‘through the gateline and back’ escapade.

    Recent posts indicate you’re not sure anymore, however, so I’ll tell my wife just to be sure to end her journey at an Oyster machine somewhere in the station before jumping on her train into deepest, darkest Essex!

    (I’m going to Hampton Court with our son to try a contactless trip for the first time)

  506. It’s a through the gateline and back escapade as far as I know. If you come in via the DLR from the Pudding Mill Lane direction then you’ll pass some validators on the way to the main station, or if you arrive on the Jubilee line there is one validator in the concourse area. The Central line is a bit of a pain, though the Jubilee line validator might be easier than the gateline. Do let me know if the situation is different.

  507. Hi Mike,
    Im 16 and just started college in Stratford but I come from East Grinstead. I was thinking about buying a season ticket from EGR to Upper Warlingham which is the closest station that uses oyster cards. What would I need to buy to cover the travel from there to London Bridge instead of jumping off and tapping in?
    Thank you.

  508. Well, it was an eastbound Central Line arrival but I’m told there was an ‘Oyster machine’ on the platform ‘in front of the steps to the bridge (presumably subway) to the National Rail platforms’.

    I wasn’t there to see it myself so can’t personally confirm or deny but it was apparently so straightforward that my wife even asked a member of staff to make sure she wasn’t making a terribly mistaken assumption!

  509. Hi Louisa,

    For some weird reason the season ticket to East Croydon is the same price as the season ticket to Upper Warlingham from East Grinstead, therefore I would get that instead. Don’t mention Upper Warlingham when you buy it because there is a pointless more expensive season to Upper Warlingham via East Croydon. After that you’ll need a travelcard for zones 1 to 5. As long as the train calls at East Croydon you will be fine with that combination (and pretty much everything does). The travelcard covers you all the way to Stratford.

    You can save a bit more by buying a zone 2-5 travelcard. You’ll have to avoid London Bridge so change at Norwood Junction or New Cross Gate onto an Overground train to Canada Water and pick up the Jubilee line there.

  510. Hi Feathers,

    Good news. I must look out for them next time I go to Stratford.

  511. Hi Mike,
    Seeing as my half rate oyster card only applies from upper warlingham and onwards, does that mean i have to get an adults season ticket from EGR to East Croydon?

  512. Hi Louisa,

    Yes, that’s right. Then get the half rate for zones 1-5.

  513. Hi,
    Just a query about my commuting and possibilities of other options. I live near to Battersea Park Station (BAK) and Queenstown Road (QRB) (both zone 2), I work in Epsom. I currently have a BAK – EPS rail season ticket monthly, costing ~£155.
    I know that Ewell West is the station before Epsom and is in zone 6. I have seen that with my 18+ Student Oyster, it is ~£105 for a zones 2 – 6 monthly travelcard, and for a rail season ticket between Ewell West and Epsom it is ~£40 a month. There for it would cost me £10 less a month, and I get the bonus of using zones 2 – 6 around London where I would usually have to PAYG., and a choice of using either BAK or QRB. Is my thinking correct in this?
    Also in terms of practicality of commuting, I would assume I touch in at Battersea Park with the oyster and I know I would use the rail ticket to exit Epsom, and vice versa for the return. Would I need to get off the train at Ewell West to touch out every journey, and likewise touching in on the way back home?
    I do know there is a card reader a few steps away from the train doors on the platform, with enough time to hop back on, but would prefer to stay on the train to avoid missing it/ forgetting to touch in and out.
    What are your thoughts on this?
    Thanks in advance,

  514. I want to meet up at Bluewater after work (City area). The single train fare to Greenhithe is £9.10.
    After a bit of searching I found I could use Oyster to Lewisham for £2.50 and then single to Greenhithe for £5.60. Saving £1.
    Is this the cheapest option other than bus?

  515. Hi Bradley,

    Yes you can do this. You don’t need to touch in or out at Ewell West, but the train MUST stop there. You also couldn’t use Ewell East instead.

  516. Hi Jim,

    I don’t know. Lewisham is good because it is dual zoned so you only pay for zones 1-2 on Oyster and for zones 3-6 in the paper ticket. Therefore it’s likely that that is the cheapest rail option. My personal suggestion would be train to Crayford then either 96 or 428 bus. Cannon Street to Crayford is £5.40 peak and the bus is £1.45.

  517. Hi

    I currently have a season ticket from witham to London zones 2-6. My journey is witham to stratford then dlr to Canary Wharf. I currently pay greater anglia over £4,000.

    It seems for my journey I can do a zone 1-7 oyster annual season ticket taking me to shenfield then a Shenfield to witham greater anglia season ticket. Saving is around 900 if my calculations are correct. But does this mean I need to get on a train which stops at Shenfield on the way? Thank you

  518. Hi Stuart,

    The one flaw in your plan is that Shenfield is not in zone 7, it’s in a zone all to itself. The two seasons together would cost £400 more than your current Witham to zones 2-6.

  519. Hi Mike

    I currently live and work in zone 2 in London so have a zone 1-2 annual travelcard (on Oyster).

    I’m considering taking a job that will require daily travel to Potters Bar, can you advise the best way of arranging my ticket/travelcard?

    Ideally i’d prefer to still be able to use Oyster when in London, but I’m not sure if that’s possible.



  520. Hi Paul,

    It’s possible, but you’d need to pay more. You can buy Potters Bar to zones 4-6 on paper and zones 1-3 on Oyster and they will be valid on non-stop trains. You can either split at 4-5, 3-4 or 2-3 because the travelcard element must have 2 zones. There are some places where pricing anomalies actually make that cheaper at the moment, but Potters Bar isn’t one of them. Obviously if you live north of London and can avoid zone 1 then you actually only need to pay to zone 2. The cheapest way is a Potters Bar to zones 1-6 (or 2-6) paper ticket.

  521. Hi Mike,

    I live in Addleston and work in London. I have a weekly oyster covering zones 1 & 2 paid for by work. What would be the cheapest way to get into town. I normally travel to Weybridge then to Waterloo/vauxhall/clapham junction.

    Many thanks,

  522. Hello Mike,

    What is the best option for 18+ student: Petts Wood rail station to the Angel tube zone 1-5 annual travel.

    Thank you,


  523. Hi Will,

    A season from Addlestone to Clapham Junction would appear to be the best option, with the clarification that you must be on a train which calls at Clapham Junction if you pass through it. If that is not always possible or desirable then a season from Addlestone to Zones 3-6 is £5.30/week more and gives you complete freedom.

  524. Hi Tanya,

    Yes, get zone 1-5 travelcard seasons. You can’t get one beyond the validity of the 18+ Oyster so you probably can’t get an annual, but monthly or quarterly will still get you the 30% discount.

  525. Hi,

    I’ll be travelling between Wanstead & Egham for 4-5 days a week with an 18+ oyster (I usually go via Waterloo). Would I be able to get a zones 1-6 travelcard (to use up till feltham) along with a paper ticket to use between Feltham and Egham? I think that’s the cheapest option that I was able to work out, but am not sure if there’d be an issue with not “tapping out” my oyster at Feltham, and whether this is actually the cheapest/fastest option. Thanks so much!

  526. Hi Amera,

    There’s no penalty for not touching in or out where a travelcard covers the journey. It is almost certainly the cheapest option.

  527. Hi Mike,

    I have a zone 2-5 monthly travelcard with National Rail and my home station is Chislehurst. I have to travel from London St. Pancras to Chislehurst on Friday and I have figured out the best route is to take the tube from King’s Cross to London Bridge then train from London Bridge to Chislehurst. But my paper ticket won’t let me in at the barrier at London Bridge and I was told I cannot get an extension as it’s not on Oyster. The ticket office said I have to pay for the single tube journey from King’s Cross to London Bridge (contactless or PAYG) then buy a single ticket from London Bridge to Chislehurst. These all add up and it’s a shame that I get no discount for the travel card I’ve paid for already from zone 2 onwards.

    Is there a better way?


  528. hi.
    I need to get from Norbiton station to hatfield return tonight i have used my oyster on 2 buses already today what is the best way for me to do this? And cheapest way also please.

  529. Hi Lisa,

    Obviously use Oyster to get to Kings Cross. Then it depends how much you want to save versus how long you want to take. Cheapest will mean getting out at Hadley Wood to touch out and possibly having to wait for the next slow train to finish the journey with a Hadley Wood to Hatfield return ticket. You could split at Finsbury Park where you can still get a fast train to Hatfield, but you won’t save much over the return from London to Hatfield. The choice is yours.

  530. Hi Jo,

    Yes. Buy a single from St Pancras to New Cross and start with Thameslink to London Bridge. Your train to Chislehurst doesn’t have to call at New Cross.

  531. Hi Mike,

    I am a student and am placed in different locations in London Zone 1 mainly (London bridge, Waterloo and Paddington most of the time)

    I have purchased a yearly travelcard from slough – all london zones.

    Is there any way of my putting the travel card part onto oyster? Instead of getting out my paper ticket in london?

    If not would it be better to then get a refund of my yearly pass and by just a yearly ticket from Slough to Paddington and then get a buy a yearly travel card on the student oyster?

    I hope that makes sense.

  532. Dear Mike

    I will be travelling from Waterloo to Heathrow Terminal 4 byTube tomorrow.

    I have a Visitor (No Photograph) Green Adult 7 days Travelcard for Zones 1 – 5 (with Code AB) and an Oyster card with a balance of pound 7.30 on it.

    I know that the travel card is valid till Hatton Cross only as Zone 5 ends here.

    Will I be able to use my Oyster card to get out of at the Heathrow Terminal 4 station. (I will not be touching the Oyster card at the Waterloo station as I will use my TravelCard to get in.

    Or should I get out at Hatton Cross using my Travel card and then get in again by touching the Oyster card for onward journey to Heathrow.

  533. Hi Preet,

    If you buy from Slough to Paddington and a travelcard on top (even at discounted rates) you’ll be paying a lot more. Realistically you have three options. All involve buying a travelcard on your student Oyster. The cheapest one is to get zones 1-5 and use the TfL 81 bus between Hounslow West and Slough. That will take an age though, so the others mean you get a zone 1-6 travelcard and then other tickets between Slough and West Drayton. A season ticket would be cheaper, but you would be limited to slow trains that call at West Drayton. Daily returns would cost a little more but allow you to use fast trains to Paddington.

  534. Hi Vineet,

    You’ll need to get out at Hatton Cross to touch your Oyster card.

  535. Hi Mike,

    I need help in choosing the cheapest travel until I first get paid in my new job. I need to cover 6th October until 30th October (Mon to Friday only and I get paid on the 31st so it’s not an issue after that) and I also have the Jobcentre Plus rail discount card which won’t expire during this period.

    I need to travel between Chatham and Liverpool Street in London, so can get services into Victoria, Cannon St and Charing Cross I believe.

    I’m thinking of the London zones 1-6 travelcard for a month on my oyster, and get daily return tickets to a station in Zone 6 every day until the 30th, possibly St Mary Cray. Preferably with the shortest journeys and less changes too. Do I need to get a train the stops at the specified station on the daily return ticket? or will the zones 1-6 travelcard cover that aspect if the train passes through the station but doesn’t stop there?

    Thanks in advance

  536. Hi Rob,

    That’s fine. The travelcard is a season ticket and daily returns are not so the train doesn’t have to stop at St Mary Cray. If you buy a return to boundary zone 6 instead (it’s the same price) you are free to travel via Gravesend or St Mary Cray.

    Also, from next month you might want to consider a High Speed ticket to London Terminals. This you can use on the Javelin trains to Stratford International, then walk through Westfield to the Regional station and get either a Greater Anglia or Central line train to Liverpool Street. Some of the extra cost of the high speed will be offset by not needing a travelcard.

  537. Hi Mike,
    I have a monthly travelcard paper ticket from Wickford to London zones 1-6. Am I able to load the Zones 1-6 travelcard part of my ticket onto my registered oyster card? (This would save a great deal on hassle of paper tickets!)

    Will this work if I eventually got an annual season Wickford to London travelcard too?

    Thanks in advance!

  538. Hi Lucy,

    Unfortunately no.

  539. Hi mike,

    I have a zone 1-4 paper travel card, twice a week I have to travel from London Liverpool Street to Shenfield, essex. Am I ok to use this ticket between London and the zone 4 boundry (goodmays) , then purchase a single paper ticket for the goodmays to Shenfield part of the journey? Would the train need to call at goodmays for this to be within the rules?


  540. Hi Will,

    Yes you can do that, but yes, the train should call at Goodmayes. However, if you buy a boundary zone 4 to Shenfield ticket you can use a non-stop train. Of course if the travelcard was on an Oyster card you could use that all the way and it would work out the correct fare.

  541. Thank you

  542. thank you so much mike!

  543. Hi,

    I am soon to be moving to Charlton and work in Chelmsford. Am struggling to find the best travel ticket option? I will need to get a bus to North Greenwich, jubilee line to Stratford and then out to chelmsford. Can I combine a Stratford to Chelmsford season ticket with zones 1-2?

    Thanks for your help.

  544. Hi Mike

    I work in Crystal Palace and live in Brighton. I generally buy a 7 day season ticket and a travel card if I venture into London after work which allows me to travel home via East Croydon. I’ve just got an Oyster card and wondered what would be the best ticket solution for the following journey? Crystal Palace to Canary Wharf – Canary Wharf to Hammersmith – Hammersmith to London Vic – London Vic to Brighton.

    Thanks in advance

  545. Hi Holli,

    Quick answer is no, but not for the reason you might think. Stratford is in zone 3 (at the moment). However, you don’t need zone 1 to get from Charlton to Stratford using your route, so buy a zone 2-3 travelcard instead.

  546. Hi Andy,

    The easiest and hassle free option would be a travelcard letting your season take the strain at East Croydon. A cheaper option would be to use Oyster PAYG, but you’d need to get off at East Croydon to touch out (and use your season to get back in). You can time it so you get a not to Brighton fast train from Victoria, or take a Thameslink train after touching out, so it shouldn’t add too much. Assuming I’ve got your actual journeys right then Crystal Palace to Hammersmith is £3.20 (evening peak) and Hammersmith to East Croydon is £4.50 (off-peak), so £7.70 compared to £8.90 for the travelcard. You can actually do Crystal Palace to Hammersmith cheaper by travelling via Clapham Junction, West Brompton (touch the pink reader) and Earls Court. That’s £2.20 evening peak saving a further quid.

  547. Hi,

    I have a query if anyone can assist. My son travels from East Croydon to Weybridge four days a week via Clapham Jcn. He also needs bus journey to E. Croydon. He has an 18+ Student railcard and 18+ tfl card to get maximum discounts. We’re just not sure how to go about getting the best deal and if he will need to get off a train to tap in and out anywhere. Can anyone help.

  548. Hi Nicola,

    The 18+ Student Oyster (tfl card) will allow him to purchase a discounted zone 2-6 travelcard which will cover the bus and trains to Surbiton. As it’s a travelcard there is no need to touch in or out at Surbiton. To advise on the best tickets for Surbiton to Weybridge I really need to know times of travel. The 16-25 Railcard (18+ student railcard) may not provide any benefit for that journey unless it is being made after 10am.

  549. Rabia Harfouche

    Hi Mike

    Have a quick question. We will be moving to harold wood soon and I am a little confused in regards to the cost of journey from zone one. Will a day return cost £6 as that’s what it shows on the oyster payg chart but when checking on national rail if shows as 9.50 on oyster. Can you please shed some light on this. If we travel from Holborn to harold wood what would be the cost on payg oyster. Thank you

  550. Hi Rabia,

    The single fare finder says £7.50 peak single and £5.10 off-peak single. Oyster only deals with singles. If you only travel on NR between Liverpool Street and Harold Wood then the fares are £5.90 and £3.60. I would guess that the times you were looking at meant that one way would be peak and the other off-peak because the sum of the two fares is £9.50.

  551. Hi,
    I want to go from kingston to upminster bridge on a saturday..what is the cheapest way.Thanks

  552. Hi Dale,

    Kingston to Clapham Junction to Whitechapel to Upminster Bridge. This avoids zone 1 so is a zone 2-6 NR through journey.

  553. Hello,

    Question 1:

    What is the cheapest way to get from Wimbledon to Egham on a weekday basis? I often travel into Zone2 on my Oyster.

    I worked out that a weekly travelcard was a rip off as it was £70 and that did not include z2 (I go there 3 times/week).

    Currently I worked it out the following:

    WIM-EGH daily: 10.90
    WIM-EGH weekly: 70

    Weekly oyster Z2-4: 26
    Daily Z4 boundary-EGH: 8.60
    (Total for the week £69, I can swipe in/out of the gates with my oyster and can use my oyster in z2-4 as needed. However I have to buy the boundary extension at the ticket office which is time consuming)

    I think I bought a monthly once and it was really cost inefficient as I don’t travel to Egham 7 days/week.

    Q2: ALSO when my boundary extension states “Route: Any Permitted” does this mean I can travel WIM-EGH via Weybridge or is it Clapham Junction only?

  554. Hi,

    I am looking into travelling from Kings Cross to Cambridge. I have an annual zones 1-3 travelcard.

    Can I buy a return ticket Bowes Park to Cambridge and board a fast train at Kings Cross? Also, if the ticket says ‘not via London’, is this still ok given the first segment was using my travelcard? Many thanks.

  555. Hi Kristy,

    I’m not sure where you’ve got your prices from but I’m not seeing the same figures. Full details can be found on brfares.com. You’ll notice that season and daily tickets are available either via Clapham Junction or Weybridge. The Clapham fares are more expensive so they are also valid via Weybridge. If the ticket is Any Permitted then it is also valid via either route. Travelcards from Egham to zones 3-6 are valid via Weybridge only. Seasons usually give you a discount on daily peak travel for 4 days and almost always for 5 days.

    I hope this helps.

  556. Hi Andrew,

    Yes, that’s fine as long as the train goes via Bowes Park. You might find a boundary zone 3 to Cambridge return is more suitable as that will be valid via either route (and also from Liverpool Street).

  557. Hello – sorry if you have answered this question already, I am trying to get my head around oyster and ever member of staff I’ve asked at my station seems to give me a different answer. I have a paper annual gold card to take me from Brighton to St Pancras. However my office has just moved, and I now need to alight at Charing Cross. I’ve had a payg oyster for years – can I use it to cover the New London Bridge – Charing cross leg of my journey (and if so how), or am I better off buying a second season ticket? Thanks ever so much…

  558. Hi Cate,

    If you no longer need to go to stations north of City Thameslink then I suggest exchanging your season ticket to a Brighton to London Terminals one. I’m pretty sure that the price is the same and will allow you to use any south London terminal. This may be especially useful after Christmas when rebuilding work at London Bridge will mean trains to Charing Cross will not call there for 18 months.

  559. Hi, I have an Epsom related question.

    I’m currently commuting to Epsom station from different stations with Zones 3 and 4 e.g Streatham Common, Streatham and Norwood Junction. Can I get a monthly season ticket from say Zone 3 to Epsom? I also looked at getting a Zone 3-6 travel card then paper tickets from Ewell East to Epsom but doesn’t work out much cheaper.

  560. Hi Richard,

    The ticket you need is Epsom to zones 3-6. These type of season tickets are only available with the origin outside the zones, but you can use them either way round.

  561. wow you are so helpful, thank you!!

    I wonder what is the cheapest (and fastest) way to travel from Kenley (surrey) to Slough?

    thank you so much for all your help to me and everyone else

  562. Hi Jo,

    Unfortunately cheapest and fastest in this case are mutually exclusive. Cheapest would be train to Victoria, tube to Hounslow West, then take the TfL bus to Slough. Fastest is train to Victoria, tube to Paddington, then fast train to Slough.

  563. thank you Mike,
    I had a feeling this was the case but I thought I’d double check with an expert like you.

  564. If I commute from Shenfield to Canary Wharf, leaving Shenfield prior to 6.30 am I am told I would save money on my commute, how is this?

  565. Hi Mark,

    Because touching in prior to 0630 means the journey is charged at off-peak rates.

  566. Hello Mike,do you know any other option to travel from Arlesey to finsbury park,cheaper than £366,thanks a lot

  567. Hi Mike,

    Thanks in advance. I am travelling to Leyton station from elephant and castle. I have a 2-5 oyster railcard I noticed I was charged for the journey when touching out. I assume this is for travelling via zone 1.
    My question is if I bought a 2-3 paper travelcard would it be valid for that journey? Also would it i be able to use that on all London buses?

  568. Hi Ellenora,

    Unfortunately, I don’t.

  569. Hi Chloe,

    No, a zone 2-3 travelcard is not valid to cross zone 1. It is valid on all TfL buses.

  570. Hi Mike.

    Excellent site. Keep up the good work!

    My daughter commutes from Cambridge to London LS, 3 evenings a week, on AGA (£10.55 Super Off-peak day return with 16-25 Rail Card) then onto Covent Garden on LU with an Oyster card. Sometimes, if she’s in a hurry she may use GN to London KC (£15.65).

    This journey, over the period of a month, is costing upwards of £180.00, depending on which TO she uses.

    Is there any way she could save on this journey?


  571. Hi David,

    The £10.55 ticket is absolutely superb value so you aren’t going to beat that. It actually costs more to travel to Tottenham Hale because you’re a captive market for that journey, whereas for Liverpool Street they want to entice you off the Cambridge Flyers. However, there may be some little savings. If she travels 12 times a month then £10.55 + £2.20 + £2.20 is £179.40 which I’m guessing is what you mean by upwards of £180/month. What time are her Oyster journeys? If her railcard is linked to her Oyster card then she can get a discount on off-peak fares and caps. The zone 1 single will cost £1.45 before 1600 and after 1900. If the journey in would mean touching in between 1600-1900 then she can reduce the £2.20 to £1.80 by changing at Tottenham Hale/Seven Sisters and taking the Victoria line to Finsbury Park then Piccadilly line from there (same platform interchange both ways). This is because TfL charge off-peak fares when evening peak journeys start outside zone 1 and end in zone 1. Break of journey is allowed on the £10.55 ticket so she can get off early even though the fare to the early stop is more. On the return journey there is no escaping the peak single fare between 1600-1900 so she’s better off staying in zone 1 and getting the train from Liverpool Street.

    So, assuming peak travel to Covent Garden and off-peak returning it would be £10.55 + £1.80 + £1.45 * 12 = £165.60/month.

    The only way to reduce the Kings Cross version is to get off at Finsbury Park (so can’t get the flyer) so that the Oyster fare is £1.45. The return to Kings Cross would be as for Liverpool Street so £2.20 1600-1900 and £1.45 after that.

    Hope this helps.

  572. Mike,

    Many thanks for that very detailed reply.
    She finally managed to link her railcard and Oyster at Kings X yesterday evening (the queue at the LU ticket counter was quite small for a change) so hopefully we should see a saving there.


  573. Hi Mike

    I am looking to travel from Baldock or Letchworth to Richmond five days a week for work and wondered how I find the cheapest and/or fastest way, the season ticket fares etc have completely confused me!

    Many thanks

  574. Hi Victoria,

    Unfortunately cheap and fast don’t always go together. The fastest way will probably be to Finsbury Park (or Kings Cross) then Victoria line Underground to Vauxhall then SWT to Richmond from there. You’ll need a Baldock to zones 1-6 travelcard for that. To reduce the cost you can buy Baldock to zones 2-6 but you must then avoid zone 1. To do that change at Finsbury Park and Highbury & Islington for the Overground to Richmond.

  575. Hi Mike,
    Thank you so much for this site. I have to get to leatherhead from battersea/clapham junction. Can i do this via oyster zones ? I have to take the bus to clapham junction station. what is the cheapest way
    Thank you

  576. Hi Nicky,

    You can’t use Oyster from Leatherhead, but you can buy a Leatherhead to Zones 2-6 season ticket which will also include travel on all TfL operated buses. Although you travel the other way, out-boundary travelcards have to be specified with the named station as the origin. You can travel whenever you want and as much as you want when you have the ticket.

  577. Pls kindly assist me I want to go to southeastern precisely Chatham, kindly help me out with how much I will load on my student Oyster card because it’s not between zone 1-6. And how to get ther

  578. Hi Mike

    Thank you very much for your reply, it’s so helpful. So if I buy a Baldock to Zones 1- 6 ticket which I believe is £5k approx that covers underground transport as well?

    Many thanks


  579. Hi Toks,

    Sorry, Oyster is not accepted at Chatham.

  580. Hi Victoria,

    Yes, trains, underground, docklands, buses and trams.

  581. Hi Mike,
    I have a new job starting on Mon, in Elephant & castle/London, and I live in Weybridge.
    Could you please tell me what the cheapest way to do this commute would be?

  582. Hi Edward,

    The cheapest season is one between the two stations with a route of Not via London. You change at Wimbledon onto a Thameslink service.

  583. Mike, Today I was pleased to receive my 60 plus Oyster card. I know I still have to touch in and out and I wondered who pays for the journeys? Does the Mayor have a fund? What would happen if I had an incomplete journey, would the charge be the maximum day charge?



  584. Hi Mike
    Thank you so much for your reply. If I buy a monthly ticket leatherhead zones 2-6, will i be able to use it from my destination of clapham junction and on the buses. sorry for being so thick, just clarifying

  585. Hi Nicky,

    Yes. A season ticket is reversible. Because it is a travelcard you can use it on any TfL operated bus. Just show it to the driver when boarding.

  586. Hi Stephen,

    The 60+ Oyster card is treated like a travelcard season so there is no penalty for forgetting to touch in or out. I think the facility is paid for by the Greater London Authority, so effectively London council tax payers.

  587. Thanks for your reply Mike.

    As it is treated like a season ticket does the GLA pay the full yearly cost of a season ticket? If I do very few journeys in a year will the cost still be that of a yearly ticket? Another question please. I know I am not supposed to travel before 9.30 but the train I want to catch to Charing Cross to go to the Rembrandt exhibition at the National Gallery leaves at 9.28. I have to touch out at Charing Cross, but I don’t have to touch in to get onto the platform at Ladywell. Would that be in order? I have an alternative means of getting there by using the DLR from Lewisham and then the underground and will probably use that to be on the safe side. Thanks again. Stephen.

  588. I don’t know the exact ins and outs of the 60+ scheme, but there will be a charge from the GLA to each participating train operator. This is likely to be fixed rather than based on precise usage. A season ticket is how the Oyster system treats the cards rather than what is actually on them.

    As to Ladywell, it is possible that the validators won’t accept the 60+ Oyster before 0930. Technically you should not board a train until after 0930, but if it is running late then there shouldn’t be a problem. If you did board before 0930 and were seen by a revenue officer then you could be treated as travelling without a valid ticket.

  589. Also the train may be cancelled. DLR/tube is the way to go.

    Thank you Mike.

  590. Hello there,

    I need to get from Mottingham to South Quay in the morning then from Canary Wharf to High Brooms in the evenings. My plans to use oyster alone on the morning trip were thwarted when I had to tap out then in again at Lewisham to change to the DLR. The quoted £2-something became much more expensive. I was grumpily told this was because they were 2 different companies, which didn’t really make sense but, hey.

    So now I am looking at a paper zones1-6 travel card which an extension from the zone 6 boundary on the way home from Knocholt to High Brooms at c. £8 per day. Is this legit?

    Many thanks

  591. Hi Sally,

    You should only be charged £2.60 for Mottingham to South Quay in the peak. The fact that it is two companies is completely irrelevant. Lewisham is an out of station interchange so the journeys should be joined together as one. If you have your journey history I can see if I can work out what went wrong.

    For your evening journey the combination you suggest is fine. If the travelcard is a season ticket it can even be placed on Oyster because there is no penalty for not touching in or out at stations within the zones covered. You could even get a zones 2-6 travelcard season if you travel home via Lewisham and Orpington.

  592. Hi There,

    I will be travelling from Isleworth to Epsom starting Monday. I already have a zone 2 to 5 oyster travelcard, so I should be fine if I just take a monthly ticket from Stoneleigh(Zone 5) to Epsom. Also do I need to get down at Stoneleigh to touch the oyster etc./ Thanks in advance.

  593. Hi Varun,

    Yes that is fine as long as the train stops at Stoneleigh. You don’t have to touch the Oyster, but the NRCoC says that the train must stop.

  594. I have a similar question. I am traveling to Gatwick airport. I have my student Oyster card, but that only reaches East Croydon, so I want to use my oyster from campus to East Croydon and purchase a paper ticket from East Croydon to Gatwick.

    My question is do I have to get off and check out with my oyster and in with my paper ticket? I know I’ll be charged the max fare if I don’t check out with my oyster, but the trip is almost the max fare anyways so I don’t care about that fee. What I really want to know is can I check out of the station with my paper ticket if I didn’t check it in.

  595. Hello,

    I have an annual Z1-6 travelcard that has about six months remaining. I am moving, and will be commuting from Haywards Heath. It looks like it will be cheaper for me to keep my Oyster travel card, and to just add a Haywards Heath to Croydon stations travel card than to get a Haywards Heath to Z1-6 travel card. All the HH trains stop at East Croydon. It also means I can keep using an Oyster card. My travel cards will unfortunately be out of sync by six months though.

    Am I correct in my reasoning about the costs, and would I be able to turn my remaining six months on the Oyster into a new annual travel card without any financial penalty?

    Thank you!

  596. Hi Kaylyn,

    You can do that in the out of London direction. The other way round it isn’t ok because you have to validate the Oyster card before using it.

  597. Hi Chensaw,

    Yes, you can use two seasons as long as the train calls where you change tickets. You can’t extend your existing travelcard without effectively refunding the old one. You can reduce the remainder to zones 1-5 which is all you need for East Croydon.

  598. Friederike Stenning

    Hi Mike,

    I am so sorry to bother you with a very similar question, but you seem extremely patient as well as certain about the answers and that’s exactly what I need.

    So far I have been travelling with an annual season ticket in the mornings from High Brooms to Orpington, change train to South Bromley, change train to Denmark Hill. The evenings were spent on the train from Denmark Hil to Sevenoaks and the on another one to High Brooms. That way I managed to avoid London Brigde and the higher cost for the annual gold card. In addition I have got an Oyster card which I top up as pay as you go whenever required.

    But now I am about to change jobs and need to spend the first few weeks near Tooting Broadway tube station. After that I might have to travel to Kingston a few times, might even have to use the car for several undertakings a week.

    I am therefore trying to figure out whether I ought to buy another annual season ticket to the tune of £4800 which includes Zones 1-6 or whether I should get a season ticket for South Eastern trains only to London Charing cross, Waterloo or London Bridge (which the trains won’t stop at for 18 months from January 2015 onwards) and then add an Oyster card for the tube-leg of the journey. What I can’t figure out is how many journeys per week or per year I would have to make in order to make it financially worthwhile, since no site seems to give me the combined single or return fair from High Brooms to Tooting Broadway.
    Help, please?!

    Many thanks in advance

  599. Hi Friederike,

    The anytime day travelcard from High Brooms to zones 1-6 is £39.80. This is the cheapest ticket for your journey. If you are prepared to continue avoiding zone 1 then Orpington – Brixton – Stockwell – Tooting Broadway would do the trick. Kingston might be too many changes unless you can face Denmark Hill – Clapham Junction – Kingston.

  600. Hey Mike,

    I really need some help.

    I live in Putney and now need to travel into dartford for work. would i be better off to purchase a monthly 1&2 on my oyster to waterloo/waterloo East and then a season ticket from Slade green to Dartford?

  601. Hi Amina,

    No, that won’t work. You would be ticketless between Lewisham/Greenwich and Slade Green. You would need a Putney to Dartford paper season.

  602. Many thanks, Mike. Now I can figure out whether I’ll have to carry on by train via the expensive Zone 1 route, take the longer but less expensive route or even make part of the way by car. I guess it all depends on how much travelling I will have to do and when that starts in the new job. But I feel much better prepared for any decisions necessary. Thanks again.

  603. Hi Mike,

    I am moving to London in January and I will need to commute every day from Wandsworth Road Station to Woking. At present I am pretty confused about this stuff. Do you think an Oyster Zone 1-6 together with a travelcard Ticket is a convenient solution? If so, would the travelcard need to be from any station in zone 6 to Woking?

    Thank you so much for your time.

  604. Hi Alice,

    By far the cheapest solution is a simple Wandsworth Road to Woking not via London season ticket. You would need to make a significant number of additional journeys to make a travelcard worthwhile.

  605. Hello Mike

    I’m looking for the best ticket for a regular commute from Clapham North in Zone 2 to Luton Airport Parkway. I’d be getting a tube to St Pancras or London Bridge, and then a train. I would use the tube in zones 1-2 regularly outside this journey too. Could you help me please – what do you think my best option is, and what would it cost monthly (assuming peak time travel)?

    Thanks very much

  606. Hi, ive just purchased a zones 1-6 oyster travelcard but I live in Dartford If Igot a monthly Dartford to Crayford paper ticket would I be restricted to the one train line or is there alternative ticket I could buy so I could use the otger train lines that run from Dartford?
    Thanks in advance x

  607. Hi Julie,

    You’ll need a Luton Airport Parkway to London zones 1-6 travelcard season which is £458.90/month this year.

  608. Hi Susan,

    This is a slightly tricky one. Because both tickets are seasons and only one is zonal the train must call where you switch from one ticket to the other. Slade Green is the same price as Crayford and is on a permitted route from Dartford to both Crayford and Barnehurst. You can therefore use that combination as long as the train calls at one of Barnehurst, Crayford or Slade Green. You can’t use fast trains unfortunately.

    The other option to consider is that your travelcard is valid on bus routes 96, 428 and 492 at no extra cost.

  609. Hi Mike,

    I currently use either a monthly or weekly season travelcard for zones 2-6 with an extension from Egham in order to travel on my daily commute from Egham to Sutton in south London. I wish to travel into central London (Charing Cross in zone 1) as a one-off this evening from Sutton station, and back out again to Egham. What are my best options in order to save as much as possible, considering my already paid for travelcard. Thanks in advance for your advice!

  610. Hi Lauren,

    If you touch in at Sutton and touch out at Charing Cross then you’ll be charged a zone 1 single fare. On the way back you need to touch out somewhere in zones 2-6. Your best bet might be to get an earlier train to Clapham Junction and touch out there before getting your proper train to Egham.

  611. Dear Mike,

    This site is phenomenal! I have been searching to find the price of a monthly travel card between Milton Keynes Central and zones 2-6,and cannot find it anywhere – can you possibly help? Also is there a way of restricting the zones at the other end,for instance MKC and zone 2 only? Just trying to experiment with the most cost effective way to travel between MKC and Vauxhall.

    Thank you,


  612. Hi Rachael,

    All travelcards from outside the zones must include zone 6, so the one you need is indeed zone 2-6. This year the price is £455.90/month. Next year it will be £467.00/month. You must travel avoiding zone 1, so via Kensington Olympia, presumably using the Southern services to Clapham Junction and then SWT to Vauxhall. If you need the ability to travel via Euston then you’ll need zones 1-6.

    The reason you were having trouble finding it is because the fares system assumes that you’ll go via Euston for Vauxhall. This is down to a couple of quirks including the fact that Vauxhall is counted as a London terminal. As long as you always approach Vauxhall from Clapham Junction then you don’t need zone 1.

  613. Hi Mike,

    I use the paper travel card from SW trains, weekly from norbiton to vauxhall, am i able to use buses in zone 1-2?

  614. Hi Kalvin,

    If you mean a season ticket naming both Norbiton and Vauxhall then no you can’t. If it’s a zone 2-6 travelcard then yes you can.

  615. Thank you so much Mike,that’s incredibly helpful. I have one further question – do you know what time peak fares start & end…for example what time would I need to travel from MKC in the morning/evening yo be outside of peak fare times please? Thanks so much again for your help. Rachael.

  616. Hi Rachael,

    I’m struggling with this one. One-day travelcards can only be purchased if they include zone 1 which means that you lose the benefit of the off-peak. I also can’t get it to issue tickets to Vauxhall without the travelcard because it insists that you need to use the Underground. Even using Oyster from Watford Junction to Vauxhall doesn’t seem to save much, if anything, and you’d have to change trains at Watford as well.

  617. Iaroslav Dobrianskiy

    Hello Mike,
    I am coming to London as a business visitor on the next week with a coworker. We will be living and working in Egham near Staines station. What tickets would be best to buy for a week to get to see London after work and on weekend?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

  618. Hi Iaroslav,

    It depends on how many days you want to travel to and around London. If it is 6 or 7 then a 7-day travelcard season will be best. If it is 5 or fewer then the super off-peak day travelcard will work best. The only restriction you need to be aware of is that you cannot leave Waterloo between 1600-1900 Mon-Fri on a train that takes you back to Staines.

  619. Hi Mike,

    I have always bought my Annual Season Ticket zones 3&4 from Richmond station, where it was loaded onto my Oyster card. Buying it from South West Trains allowed me to benefit from their generous ‘Six free weekend tickets a year’ promotion. Simples! I have just tried to renew the card, only to be told by Richmond station staff that they no longer load seasons tickets onto Oyster. They can offer me a paper ticket, but I will have the problems of having to disembark en route out of zone, to go onto PAYG. I could also get the season ticket updated at an underground station, but I will lose the six free tickets, which are well worth having. Do you know how I can get round this, and why Richmond has stopped this service? Thanks.

  620. Hi Lambchop,

    I don’t know why SWT withdrew Oyster facilities at Richmond and Wimbledon, but I don’t think there is a way round it. The only thing I can suggest is contacting their customer relations team.

  621. I moved out of London some years ago up towards Hitchin. As I had an existing 4 zone annual travelcard (I lived in zone 4 on one side of London and worked in zone 4 on the other), I explained this and asked at the railway ticket office whether I could have a monthly season ticket to the edge of zone 4 and was told that I needed one to Oakleigh Park, which I duly purchased. Given that no trains available to me stop at Oakleigh Park and following on from all of the above, it looks as though this was duff information, though it does rather gall me to have to spend more money to get something less convenient.

  622. Hi David,

    As you’ve now discovered you can’t mix two seasons on non-stop trains unless both tickets are zonal. All I can say is that FCC used to accept your combination up until a few years ago when they suddenly started applying condition 19 properly. The other thing to note is that next year there will be a slight anomaly from Stevenage where a SVG to Z4-6 plus a Z1-3 season will be cheaper than a SVG to Z1-6 season. It’s only 40p/week or £16/year, but as Tesco say, every little helps.

  623. Rachael Martin-Smith

    Thank you for your help Mike. I have a couple of extra questions – I hope you don’t mind. Is it possible to purchase an annual season ticket for MKC to Zones 2-6, and how much would this be? Also do you know how much a daily travel card MKC to London with zones 1-6 is? Sorry for all the questions – With your help I am getting ever closer to my optimum money saving route 🙂



  624. Hi Rachael,

    Sorry for the delay. Milton Keynes to zones 2-6 is £4748/year until Jan 1st. There are two anytime day travelcards, £42.50 entitles you to use any train from Milton Keynes while £33.70 restricts you to only the Virgin trains between Milton Keynes and Euston.

  625. Hi Mike
    I’m intending to travel to London Cannon Street from Hildenborough Kent just 2 days a week – is there anyway I can buy a return to Orpington and then use my oyster from Orpington to London Cannon Street.
    Many thanks

  626. Hi Helen,

    Yes you can do that, but you will have to change trains at Orpington so you can touch your Oyster card.

  627. My paper season ticket (zones 1-3) have stopped working six times since October so I was hoping it might be possible to have it transferred onto my Oyster card. Is this possible?


  628. Hi Suzanne,

    Most NR stations can’t load things onto Oyster. It’s possible that one of the main London stations might be able to do it (eg Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras) but I’m not sure. It might depend on which company you bought it from.

  629. Mike, I have read with interest your replies over the years (You should be paid for this service!!!).

    I want to travel from Purfleet to Old Street or Moorgate… I have considered a monthly Purfleet – London terminals ticket but don’t know if if would include Moorgate? I could walk from Liverpool Street at a push (12 mins)… I was then thinking of getting a monthly return to Fenchurch and buying a zone 1 travel card separately… I am so confused… please can you help!

    What do you suggest?

  630. Hi Mike,
    I am a student who lives in Witham in Essex and travels to Hendon Central 3 days a week. I currently buy a monthly travel card from Witham to London zones 1-6, which costs me £485.80 each month. I was wondering if I would be able to get a Oyster to save me money but I’m not sure how that would work, could you help? Thanks

  631. Hi Jason,

    Firstly you will pay more for a zone 1-2 travelcard on top of a London Terminals season than if you bought the travelcard season from Purfleet including all of zones 1-6. However, Purfleet to Liverpool Street is an interesting case. A paper season ticket is only valid on direct trains, or by changing at Barking and either Woodgrange Park/Manor Park or Wanstead Park/Forest Gate. They both involve an additional walk (about 5 mins). But if you use Oyster PAYG you can also use West Ham to Stratford on the Jubilee line, then NR between Stratford and Liverpool Street and you will still be charged the NR only fare. This saves about £2 per journey.

    Hope this helps.

  632. Hi Elise,

    As I’m sure you know, you can’t use Oyster at Witham. You’d therefore have to change trains along the route to touch in your Oyster. You’d need to use PAYG to make sensible savings because from Jan 2nd the daily anytime cap within London is being reduced to about 1/5 of the weekly travelcard price for the zones used. I’m not sure how much of a time penalty this might be. The other complication is that this doesn’t apply to Shenfield or Brentwood, even though they accept Oyster, because they are outside the London zones.

    There is one way you can save money while still using one ticket. If you change at Stratford onto the Overground to Camden Road and then walk to Camden Town to get the Northern line you can buy a Witham to zones 2-6 season instead. It’s about 5 minutes walk down Camden Road.

  633. Hi Mike

    I just bought an annual season ticket Zones 1-2 starting from 01/01/2015. However, I may be moving to Zone 4 from around May 2015. Can I extend the remainder of my annual season ticket from May to December, to cover zones 3-4? As opposed to using the PAYG to cover the zones 3-4? If the extension is possible, how much does this cost?

    Thank you

  634. Hi Michael,

    You have a number of options. You can take the card to a tube station and get the travelcard exchanged. TfL charge a £10 admin fee but the extra cost of the new zones is pro-rata at the same rate as you bought the original travelcard. Alternatively you can buy extra monthly zone 3-4 travelcards and/or use PAYG until it’s time to renew.

  635. Hi Mike

    I have a query, I have bought a annual paper travelcard zone 1-6 from Southwest Trains station (Wimbledon) starting 1st Jan. I was wondering if there is a way to add that to Oyster card to avoid taking this paper ticket in and out of my wallet and ruining to paper ticket over time. Also it is quicker and easier to use oyster then to take ticket out everytime.


  636. Hi Rahul,

    Sadly I don’t think it is. You could try contacting SWT customer services and see if they can suggest how to get round the problem. They used to put travelcards on Oyster until sometime last year. You could try one of the other NR stations who do issue products on Oyster (eg Marylebone, Euston, St Pancras, Liverpool Street) but there is no guarantee. Let me know how you get on.

  637. Hi Mike,

    I need to buy a season ticket from Feltham(zone 6) to London waterloo. A monthly season ticket costs £172.80 but works out cheaper if i split the season ticket at Vauxhall. Split monthly season ticket from Feltham to Vauxhall is £108.3 + £57.30 for season ticket from Vauxhall to Waterloo , hence a monthly saving of £7.20. Its not a massive saving but my question is – Does the train need to call at Vauxhall station according to National rail conditions of carriage or its not required for London zones?

  638. Hi Suneil,

    Yes it does need to stop at Vauxhall, but only the train that goes through there. You can take any train from Feltham to Clapham Junction and then change there to a stopper to Waterloo.

  639. Hi Mike,

    Great site by the way.

    I’d like to know if it’s possible to put an already-issued paper annual season ticket onto an Oyster card. The end destination is in London.

    If this is possible, is it still possible after having done a season ticket changeover? I am potentially moving from Billericay to Walthamstow and want to changeover the ticket as this is much more cost effective than refunding and buying again – but then I want the ticket on an oyster as this is more convenient and both stations are in the London zones.

    Thanks in advance,

  640. Hi Jon,

    The only seasons that can be added to Oyster are inboundary travelcards and outboundary ones where the whole journey is possible with Oyster (eg Grays, Shenfield, Broxbourne, Watford Junction). Your best bet is to do the changeover at Liverpool Street where they may be able to put the new season on the Oyster, as long as it’s a travelcard rather than a point-to-point season.

  641. Hi Mike, amazing site, thanks so much.

    My situation is this – I’ve just moved to Welwyn Garden City and need commute to Westbourne Park via Kings Cross. Also regular bus user Zone 1&2.

    Can I buy a Zone 1&2 Annual pass and an Annual ticket from WGC to Finsbury Park rather than buying the annual pass all the way to Kings Cross?

    As far as I can see from your advice, if my train stops at Finsbury Park, I should be ok to use my Z1&2 Oyster to touch out. But I’m worried it wont let me out because it will know I haven’t started a journey…

    Thanks in advance, Jeff

  642. Hi Jeff,

    Yes, as long as your train stops at Finsbury Park that is fine. There is no penalty for missing touches within the zones covered by your travelcard as long as you stay within those zones while using the travelcard.

  643. Walthamstow is in zone 4 so the whole journey to Liverpool Street is entirely possible on (National Rail) oyster. Or are you saying you can only load zonal Travelcards onto an Oyster?

    Second question, is there any way you can transfer an Oyster card to someone else? I’m sure not as per the T&Cs, but can you not change the registration details (online?) to a different name legitimately?

    Thanks again,


  644. Hi Jon,

    You can only load zonal travelcards onto Oyster. It is possible to transfer a registered Oyster card to someone else, but the process is so long winded it is actually easier to refund the card and get a new one and register it.

  645. Hi Mike

    I am looking at the cheapest option for travel to and from work (Streatham Common to Egham). Currently I get an annual from zone 2 – 6 to Egham, however I am thinking of splitting the ticket and getting a oyster zone 2 – 6 and a paper from feltham to egham (this is better as well as I lose as much money if I lose the paper ticket). Would I need to get off the train at feltham to tap out?


  646. Hi Myrna,

    There is no penalty for not touching in or out when within the zones covered by a travelcard, as long as you stay within the zones. If the other ticket is a season ticket as well then the train must call at Feltham, which they all do I think, but you don’t have to get off. If you wanted to go direct from Egham to Waterloo then you would have to get off somewhere to touch in so that it would only charge you a zone 1 single. It can be anywhere within zones 2-6 though, so Clapham Junction or Vauxhall would be fine.

    Unfortunately the combination of tickets does cost a little more than the one ticket (£184/year).

  647. Hi Mike,

    Do you happen to know at all if a National Rail ‘Leagrave (LEA) to London Zones 2-6’ season ticket would include Underground Tube travel. If so will I be massively hampered by a paper ticket?
    It’s awesome that you respond to all these comments!


  648. Hi Chris,

    Yes, though not in zone 1 obviously. As for being hampered, it depends how many times you have to take it out I guess, but there’s not much you can do from Leagrave unfortunately.

  649. Hi Mike,

    Re my previous post, there is a reason for my wanting to transfer paper to oyster

    I already have a Travelcard on oyster which covers my travel within London; I also have a paper ticket to cover out of zones travel. I want to ‘changeover’ this paper ticket for the route Walthamstow (zone 4) to Liverpool Street and give this to my partner who will be moving with me. This is clearly the most cost effective way (rather than me refunding a part used season ticket and getting not much back, then her buying a new one).

    I know National Rail say a season ticket is non-transferable (unless you know otherwise?) so that’s why I was wondering if this could then be loaded onto an Oyster and legitimately changed into her name for her use on a permanent basis. What would be the process for this and why is it so long-winded?

    Thanks again!

  650. Hi Jon,

    A season ticket is not transferable. If it is on Oyster it is still not transferable which is one reason why the Oyster has to be registered for all except weekly travelcards. I don’t know why it is long winded, but this is what I was told when I wanted to transfer one of my adult PAYG only Oyster cards to my now 19 year old son.

  651. Hi Mike
    I will be travelling from Hayward’s Heath to East Croydon using an annual travel card
    A couple of times a week I will be going into London how will I do this? If I use a PAYG Oyster card I will have to get back off at East Croydon to tap off on my way home?
    The same goes if I am going from home into the city on a day off I would have to get off at East Croydon to tap in?
    What can you suggest

  652. Hi Hayley,

    I’m not sure what you want me to suggest. As the page above says, if the Oyster card is using PAYG then you have to get off the train to touch in or out. If you don’t want to do that then you can’t use Oyster. You’ll have to buy a paper extension ticket instead.

  653. Hi Mike,

    I’m currently travelling from Newark to KX on East Coast services and buying a weekly ticket with Zones 1-6 on top (additional £16). As I work near Moorgate do I need this additional tube supplement or can I use the tube between KX and Moorgate on the basic weekly ticket? I tried looking on the National Rail site, it sort of implies that its possible to travel between London terminals via the tube but just need to make sure as I imagine some questioning by the TfL staff on the barriers at KX.

  654. Hi Nick,

    That’s fine. Tickets to London terminals are valid between King’s Cross St Pancras and Moorgate on the Underground, but not intermediately at Farringdon, Barbican or Angel. They should operate the barriers at valid stations.

  655. Hi Mike,
    i live in Cheshunt Hertfordshire, i have an annual gold card, that is valid at Liverpool st station (also Stratford)) i walk to London bridge station and travel to Waterloo east on the same card it saves me a fortune! is there somewhere i can get a list of terminals this card is valid at ?

    kind regards

  656. Hi Ray,

    According to the National Rail Enquiries season ticket calculator the only London terminal it is valid to is Liverpool Street. Stratford is fine because it is on a permitted route between Cheshunt and Liverpool Street and season tickets are valid for any intermediate journey along any permitted routes. However, only the more expensive travelcard version is valid between London Bridge and Waterloo East.

    Of course your current problem is that no trains run between London Bridge and Waterloo East calling at both stations for the next 19 months. Unfortunately I can’t see a way around this issue. You might even be very lucky that no-one has taken exception to your ticket between LBG and WAE. If they did it would be a penalty fare at least, and possibly prosecution, especially if they think you’ve been making the journey a lot.

  657. My Question – I have a 1 Month Zone 1 – 6 Travelcard added to my oyster. I want to go to Laindon this weekend on the C2C. Can I just get a ticket from Upminster to Laindon? Can I do that at a different C2C station? And Lastly, would I need to tapout at Upminster (I’ve been told that I would not be charged a penalty for not tapping out)?

  658. Here’s the text from an Underground poster which has been produced for the change of London Bridge services:

    Using a ‘London Terminals’
    ticket on the Tube?

    Some ‘London Terminals’ tickets are currently
    being accepted at the additional Tube and
    DLR stations as shown below:

    Tickets issued by Southern, Southeastern and
    Thameslink (south of London) accepted at:
     Blackfriars  Embankment
     Cannon Street  London Bridge
     Charing Cross  Southwark
     Elephant & Castle  Waterloo

    Southeastern tickets will also be accepted on the
    DLR at:
     Greenwich  Lewisham

    Tickets issued by South West Trains accepted at:
     London Bridge  Waterloo

    To ensure your season ticket opens our gates,
    speak to your local National Rail ticket office
    staff, as you may need an updated ticket.

  659. Hi Bruce,

    Yes, just buy from Upminster. You can buy it at any station. No need to touch out as long as your journey started within zones 1-6.

  660. Thanks Rob.

  661. Hi Mike,

    I currently travel from Peterborough to Bromley South, using a day travelcard ticket. In a week I pay 125 pounds, I would like to know how much I have to pay using the 18+ student oyster card.

  662. Hi Gina,

    Sadly you have to be living at a London address in term time to be eligible for the 18+ Student Oyster card.

  663. Hi Mike
    Quick question, if i get a weekly season ticket from walton on thames to surbiton, £27, would buses in zone 6 be included in the season ticket? (I need to get a bus from surbiton to kingston.)

  664. Hi Julia,

    Quick answer: No. To include buses you’d need to buy a travelcard including at least zones 5 and 6.

  665. Hi Mike

    I’ve had a good trawl through to see if this has already been answered, but I can’t see anything…

    I buy a monthly travelcard that covers journeys from Woking to Surbiton. Quite often I go into Central London after work and I’d appreciate your knowledge on the best way to go about it. At present I’ve been buying a return from Surbiton to Waterloo but then getting the fast train back to Woking from Waterloo in the evening, which doesn’t stop at Surbiton. In my mind the whole journey has been covered so is ok – is this the case?

  666. Hi Madeline,

    Assuming you mean a monthly season ticket for Woking to Surbiton then that’s fine. Condition 19c applies.

  667. Hi Mike,
    I currently have a season ticket from Kinston Upon Thames to Vauxhall. I sometimes supplement this with a oyster payasyougo to take a tube from Vauxhall to work i Westminster.
    The other day I tapped in at Waterloo but of course it charged me the daily cap when I didn’t tap out at Kingston. If I were to buy a zone 1 season ticket on my oyster, am I able then to use that to tap in at Waterloo, take the train to Kingston (that passes through Vauxhall) and just use my paper season ticket at the end – without being charged extra please? I’m not sure if this is all that cost-effective anyway! Thanks,

  668. Hi Tristan,

    It won’t be cost effective because you can’t buy single zone travelcards. You’d need a zone 1-2 travelcard so you’d be doubly covered for a chunk of the journey. The only place you could split sensibly is Putney (zone 2/3), but you’d have to go the other way round the Kingston loop.

  669. Hi I have an annual paper zones 2-5 which I bought at a Southeastern station in December. I’m on my 4th copy of the card already – they seem to have some frail stock this year and the magnetic stripe keeps failing so I get stopped at the machines which is a slight irritant. I have a PAYG Oyster sitting about the house which was in use before I got my annual season ticket. Is it possible for Southeastern to add the unexpired portion of my annual season ticket to the Oyster card or am I condemned to getting the paper one replaced every couple of weeks until it expires?

  670. Hi Gordon,

    Unfortunately Southeastern no longer issue Oyster products at any of their stations. You could contact them and see if they can help, but I’m not convinced they will be able to. Next time you can order any length travelcard from the TfL website and pick it up from any station within the zones covered.

  671. I want to make a weekend journey from Upper Warlingham (southern end of Zone 6) to Chesham (Zone 9), returning the same day from Great Missenden (just outside the TfL boundary). I have an Oyster card with a Senior Railcard loaded.

    I could travel out via Oyster (Z1-9) and buy a paper ticket from GMN to Amersham on the way back, hopping off at Amersham to touch in for the rest of the journey (and so probably having to wait for the next train). However, I read a useful trick on your site about buying a Great Missenden plus Zones 1-6 ticket (very good value: £9.40 vs £15.20 for a standard Cheap Day Return to UWL). My question is: would this be valid at Chesham on the way out? If not, can you suggest any other combination of tickets? It’s annoying that (unless things have changed) Southern don’t sell a paper Zones 1-9 Travelcard, otherwise I’d buy that and the one-stop single and stay on the train at Amersham.

  672. Hi Sean,

    Southern can sell a zones 1-9 travelcard, you just have to select a station in zones 7-9 as the origin. Southern TVMs will allow you to buy tickets from other stations, so enter Amersham to Upper Warlingham and it should offer a travelcard with the route “AAA LDN ZONE 7-9”. Then just buy the Great Missenden to Amersham single and you’re good to go. Unfortunately because GM is outside the TfL zones you can only buy travelcards for zones 1-6.

  673. Thanks Mike, a very ingenious solution. I see now that Southern’s website offers the same ‘Zones 1-6, Route 7-9’ ticket, providing (as you say) you put one of the Met line stations as the origin, not the destination. As the ticket says ‘Destination: London Zones 1-6’ I hope the ticket barrier at Chesham will be smart enough to let me through!

    Out of interest I experimented on my local TVM to see what ‘London Und…’ destinations were listed with Amersham as the origin station. Because it included Travelcard Zones 1-6 but not 1-9 I assumed the latter wasn’t available (as did the ticket clerk previously), so congratulations on your discovery. They ought to have degree-level courses in this stuff!

  674. It ought to work barriers throughout zones 1-9, including Chesham.

  675. Hi Mike,
    My office is moving from Zone 1 to Epsom. I live in zone 4. Any idea what I need to get working for everyday travel. As I am worried about not using oyster on way out at Epsom, its outside zone 6. I am more worried about everyday cash fare charge incase I don’t touch on way to out.
    Any help will be good.

  676. Hi Aj,

    You can’t use Oyster to Epsom at the moment. I’d need to know what station in zone 4 you are starting from to be able to advise correctly. There’s a big difference between Norwood Junction and Wembley Central.

  677. Hi mike

    I have an annual season ticket from Andover to Waterloo but will be moving to Central London and so wish to change my ticket for a zone 1-2. I have been told this is possible but will be issued a paper ticket. Can I subsequently put this onto an oyster card and do zone 1-2 paper tickets even exist!?

  678. Hi Brian,

    Yes, paper travelcard seasons still exist when issued by NR stations. Unfortunately SWT withdrew the ability to load travelcards bought through them onto Oyster cards last year. I think you’ll probably have to keep paper for the remainder of this year, but change to Oyster when you next renew.

  679. Hi Mike – quality service, and very very useful! Looked through the responses and can’t find an exact replica of the puzzle I’m having.

    Just moved to St Albans and I’m looking to Farrigdon every day.

    My work offers a discounted 1-6 OYSTER annual travel card for ~£1,300. It is not in the form of a paper ticket.

    Based on the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, am I correct in thinking that, as Elstree is zone 6, buying a season ticket St Albans to Elstree would suffice, as I could then use the oyster travelcard?

    Two questions:
    – Would the train have to stop at Elstree (you can get fast trains St Albans > Kings Cross)
    – Bearing in mind I wouldn’t be “tapping in” anywhere, (nor tapping out on the way back) would this be a legal way of commuting?

    Many Thanks

  680. Hi Martin,

    Answer to both questions is yes. If you want to use fast trains then the ticket from St Albans needs to be an anytime day return.

  681. janice macarty

    I am looking for some help re contactless tapping in/out and the weekly cap. My dd is in hospital and waiting to be transferred to London. My husband will need to travel from Staines to Waterloo and possibly jump on a tube also but not sure. If he taps in at Staines using contactless debit card how can I find out what the weekly cap is likely to be (with contactless is it possible for my husband and I to travel back and forth using the same debit card?

  682. Hi Janice,

    Sorry, it’s a no-no. Staines is outside the TfL area for Oyster/contactless. And no, only one person can use an individual debit card. If there are two debit cards with different long numbers attached to the same bank account then that is fine.

  683. Hi,
    I have bought London zone 2-5. I would like to find out if I can travel with this in the Train from Finsbury Park to Hadley Wood or Potter’s bar. I work at Hatfield. (i would then buy a season card from Hadley Wood or Potters Bar to Hatfield) would this work?

  684. Hi Thomas,

    New Barnet is the furthest north a zone 5 travelcard will take you. Hadley Wood requires zone 6 while Potters Bar is outside the zonal area. You can combine the travelcard with a paper season to Hatfield as long as there is no gap and the train you are on calls at the station you switch from one ticket to the other. If you want to use the fast train then you’ll need to get a Hatfield to zones 2-6 travelcard.

  685. Hi,
    Please i need to know of the cheapest route from slough to Nottingham return. Using oyster card plus travel card. Thank you

  686. I’m sorry, this is way beyond my personal level of expertise. I’d like to suggest you post in the fares and ticketing forum at Rail UK. Please read the sticky thread near the top of the forum first so you can give them all the information they need.

  687. Hi Mike

    From September I will be travelling from Woking to Waterloo, then maybe getting a bus/ walking to London School of Economics (Bus stop Aldywch). I would be travelling 5 days a week for 30 weeks over the period of a year, with travel predicted to be during peak times (but this may vary slightly).

    I have a 16-25 railcard, and am also a eligible for a student oyster card.

    What would be the best ticket for travelling?

  688. Hi Tim,

    Sadly you are not eligible for a Student Oyster card unless you actually live in Greater London during term time. If you are prepared to walk the last bit sometimes then I can only really suggest a Woking to London Terminals season ticket. Have a PAYG Oyster card for when you do use the bus at £1.50/journey. Your 16-25 railcard does not discount season tickets and although it does discount daily returns, a season valid for a term will still be just about cheaper and a lot less hassle.

    Tickets to London Terminals are also valid via Waterloo East to Charing Cross if that is nearer to Aldwych.

  689. Hi Mike,

    I’m just about to move to Hitchin (Hertfordshire) and I work in Zone 1. I wondered if you knew the most cost effective method of buying season tickets (either monthly payment or annual) for this? So, I need to end up in Zone 1 for work – therefore, would you get a 1-6 travelcard and then pay train fares to get from Zone 6 to Hitchin and vaise versa? I’m very confused – any help would be great!


  690. Hi Oliver,

    Sorry for the delay replying. You can buy one ticket from Hitchin to zones 1-6 which would allow you to use trains which don’t stop at the changeover.

  691. Hi Mike, I have an annual paper travelcard zones 2 to 6 with Elstree and Borehamwood as the issuing and usual starting station. The problem is, all too frequently for seemingly no reason the paper ticket is refused at the gates with that annoying ‘Seek Assistance’ message. I have an oyster card which I currently am not using is it possible to transfer my annual paper travelcard onto my Oyster Card without losing any money or usability in the process? If so, which stations would allow me to do this?
    Thanks in advance

  692. Thanks Mike – Great site you have here!

  693. Hi Joe,

    You should be able to swap, but the only problem is that your travelcard doesn’t include zone 1 and the only place that is likely to be able to do it is the Thameslink ticket office at St Pancras.

  694. Hi mike,
    I am travelling from box hill and westhumble to Victoria on a Friday night. Can I buy a single ticket from box hill and west humble to ewell east and from there using my oyster card without leaving the same train to victoria?

    And also can i do vice versa on a Monday night. Use my oyster card to ewell East and from there use a paper ticket to box hill and west humble?

    Hope to hear from you soon. Many thanks.

  695. Hi Ninka,

    If your Oyster card has a zones 1-6 travelcard on it then yes, you can. If you need to use PAYG then no, you have to get out and touch at Ewell East in both directions.

  696. Hi there,

    I’ve recently started working in Redhill, and commute from Clapham Junction.

    Currently I pay £232-£241 for a travel card depending on whether I get the weekly or monthly in a given month. I also pay £30-£40 on my contactless card to on travel around London to see friends, etc.

    My question is, is there a cheaper option?

    I’ve looked at this Commuter Club solution, where I could get zones 2-6 for £154 a month (with the 12th month free), and I could get a season ticket from Coulsdon South to Redhill for £118 a month. So although I would be paying 272, most of my travel in London would be covered, and I would be paying 154 less. The thing is, the train doesn’t stop at coulsdon south, would that mean I would get charged if an inspector came along?

  697. Hi Karl,

    The train would need to stop at Coulsdon South in that scenario. You can get a monthly season from Redhill to Zones 2-6 for £258.50.

  698. Hi Mike!

    Great website. I commute from Surbiton to Stevenage. Currently I use a zone 1-6 oyster travelcard to get me to Kings cross and then paper ticket from Kings Cross to Srevenage. Am I double paying the zones 1-6 on my way out to Stevenage? I.e. can I get a paper ticket from zone 6-stevenage to cover half my train ride if I don’t stop? Thanks.

  699. Hi Max,

    Yes, you are double paying between Kings Cross and Hadley Wood. You can buy a paper ticket as long as it’s a day return. If it’s a season ticket then the train has to stop at Hadley Wood. You can also buy a Stevenage to zones 1-6 travelcard which will cover the whole journey. It doesn’t matter that it’s the ‘wrong’ way round, but the origin of an outboundary travelcard has to be the station outside the zones.

  700. Hi Mike,
    I have a PAYG Oyster card and want to travel from Walthamstow Central station in zone 3 to Gatwick Airport.
    Can I use the Oyster from Walthamstow to East Croydon, then use a pre-purchased train ticket to finish the journey? If so,
    do I need to get off at E Croydon to touch out? And would I be charged twice on the oyster, once from W’Stow to Victoria, then again from Victoria, or does all that count as one single zone 1-5 journey at £4.70?
    Thanks for your help.

  701. Hi Anna,

    The answer to the first part really is quite clear at the top of this page. It even mentions East Croydon in the explanation. On the second part it will be one charge as long as you touch in at Victoria within 40 minutes after touching out of the Underground.

  702. Hi Mike
    I am looking at moving to a Epsom Downs soon and have a couple of queries:

    1. I would get an annual season ticket. Normally I wouls commute to Battersea Park but on occasion I would go to Queenstown Road. If my season ticket was Epsom Downs to battersea Park (ie not Z26) would going to QRB be permitted?

    1b) I presume a point to point travel card would only be a paper ticket even though both stations are in the oyster zones

    2) On occasion, when I am required in the City (zone 1) I would use PAYG. I presume I could load my gold card onto my PAYG oyster? If I am going into Victoria, for example, would I be required to get off the train at somewhere en-route (eg Clapham Jn) exit using paper ticket and touch in using oyster and then get a new train? Are there any workarounds you can think off?

    Many thanks

  703. Hi Akkers,

    1) I’m pretty sure you can’t use both Battersea Park and Queenstown Road on a point-to-point ticket if one of them is the named destination.
    1b) Yes it would be a paper ticket, Oyster only takes travelcards.
    2) Yes you can load the Gold Card onto the Oyster for the discount. Yes you would have to get off to touch in/out when switching from paper to Oyster, as it clearly says in the page above.

  704. Thanks mike – appreciate your response. Just re: point 1, if I look up on national rail enquiries on how to get from EPD to QRB, one route it gives is changing at Clapham Junction and the other option it presents is walking from Battersea Park. I thought all NRE routings were counted as official routings. Do you know where I can clarify, as I don’t fully understand the ATOC Routeing Guide.

    If I have a point-to-point ticket, am I right in thinking that I could also alight at any intermediary station.


  705. Hi Mike,

    Firstly, your website is brilliant! Thank you for taking the time to help so many others!

    Secondly, I understand this point from above;
    ‘However, a season ticket to a named station along with a travelcard on Oyster will require the train to stop at the changeover station as per part (b).’

    What about PAYG on Oyster?

    My commute is from Surbiton to Beaconsfield. I have a student oyster combined with my young persons rail pass and a seasonal from Marylebone. I’m wondering if what turns into a 1-6 travel card on my Oyster by the time I get home will cover me to South Ruislip, making my seasonal cheaper.
    Many thanks!

  706. Hi Jess,

    If you are using your Student Oyster with PAYG to travel between Surbiton and Marylebone then no, it will not be valid to/from South Ruislip unless you get out there to touch in/out. If you have a zone 1-6 travelcard with student discount on your Student Oyster card then it is valid, but only if the train stops at South Ruislip. Just because a PAYG Oyster card reaches a cap does not turn that card into a day travelcard.

  707. Hi Akkers,

    Last point first, yes you can alight at any intermediate point on a season ticket. As to validity including a walk at one end, there is considerable debate about whether this is ok or not. If National Rail gives you the option then I would take a copy of the screen detailing that in case you get asked. You might also want to ask Southern if they agree that it is valid and whether they can provide you with a letter in case of any query.

    I hadn’t realised NRE offered this route, but it does appear to make it valid to use a season to QRB at BAK.

  708. Hi Mike,

    Question – I commute in from Hersham to Waterloo, then take the 521 bus to work. The 521 bus goes to London Bridge (another London Terminal), so my ticket from Hersham to London Terminals gets me on this bus.

    I rarely use the tube for work.

    Am I better off buying a A Z1-6 monthly travelcard then monthly ticket between Hersham and Surbiton, or a monthly Hersham to London Terminals and just use Oyster PAYG?



  709. Hi Evan,

    It really depends on how much use the Oyster PAYG would get. By the sound of it it’s not much, so almost certainly stick to PAYG. If you did get the travelcard option then buy a Hersham to zones 1-6 travelcard as that is cheaper than splitting. A weekly travelcard costs £16.40 more than the London terminals only season, so that gives you an idea of how much use you’d need to make it worthwhile.

  710. Hi there Mike,

    I need to get to Chelmsford next week and I was wondering if I could use my Oyster from Liverpool Street station (as I have travelcard on it) going out by putting a ticket on top of it? Or do I have to but a seperate paper ticket and just not use the oyster completely?

    I remember hearing from a friend that it is cheaper to put the ticket on the oyster as a part of the journey (although a very small part) is covered by the weekly travel card on it .

    Great website by the way 🙂


  711. Hi Pinar,

    You can buy a paper ticket from the boundary of the outer zone of your travelcard to Chelmsford. Use the Oyster to get on the platform at Liverpool Street and the paper ticket to exit at Chelmsford.

  712. Hi Mike
    Could you tell me the best route to Oxford Circus.
    Rayleigh to Stratford, change to Central Line. If I use this route what would be the cost for buying a weekly travelcard or a weekly ticket with an Oyster card which I would use from Stratford. Or alternatively Benfleet to Fenchurch Street walk to Monument and then travel to Oxford Circus. What would be the cost for a weekly ticket with an Oyster card for the Monument to Oxford Circus route.

    Hope this is not too confusing.

    Many thanks

  713. Hi JC,

    Best is a very subjective term. Benfleet to Fenchurch Street is about £5/week cheaper than Rayleigh to Stratford, plus Oyster from Stratford costs more than from Monument as Stratford is in zone 3. For Stratford you would be better off getting the Rayleigh to zones 1-6 travelcard at £117.30/week and benefitting from a simpler interchange to the Underground. For Benfleet you would get the season to London Terminals at £80.10/week and use Oyster PAYG at £2.30/journey (£23.00/week) unless you were also going to make enough other journeys to make the £112.00/week travelcard season worthwhile. You’d obviously need to factor in the time taken to walk and decide whether that out-weighed the reduced cost.

  714. Hi Mike,

    I am soon to arrange a season ticket loan (zones 1-2 travelcard) through my employer, and have been informed that I can either have it on a paper ticket or on an Oyster card.

    I prefer using an Oyster card (for ease and convenience), but have been informed that I can’t use my existing one and will have to purchase a new Oyster card via my employer (chiefly via their third party provider) each and every time I wish to renew to a new annual season ticket.

    If I opt for the paper season ticket (i.e. to avoid the annual £5 Oyster card cost), do you know whether I will be able to latterly transfer it over to my existing Oyster card?

    Many thanks,

  715. Hi C,

    The £5 is a deposit which can be refunded at the end of the season ticket if the card is no longer required. If your employer is insisting on a new card each year then I hope they are getting the deposits back each time, or allow you to claim it. You can only buy paper travelcards at NR stations and I don’t think many (if any) will do a transfer to Oyster. The fact that the season ticket is being bought by your employer is the main sticking point here – I suspect that the Oyster will be registered to your employer so that you can’t run off with the money instead.

  716. Hi mike.
    I’m starting a new job in Nottinghill. I have a choice of beaconsfield railway station or amersham rail/tube station. I need to travel in peak time and am not sure which station to use or what types of card (travel card into london and then use oyster to get to notting hill) which would be more cost affective?? Thank you

  717. Hi Liane,

    I’d choose Amersham if there’s no real benefit to Beaconsfield. The fares are about £10/week cheaper and there are more trains and you can use your Oyster card from Amersham. In fact, if you aren’t planning to get a monthly or longer season ticket then I’d be tempted to use a contactless payment card. You only cap at the weekly rate (Mon-Sun) if you actually travel enough.

  718. Hi
    I sometimes travel Harpenden to Farringdon BR (paper day return) and in station validator for Farringdon to Liverpool street tube (using Oyster PAYG).
    Or the reverse
    Or or both
    Sometimes I get a max journey oyster tarrif on the Livepool to Farringdon with an auto refund (automatically the next time I travel through Farringdon tube station).
    There is not an indication that this is illegal?
    It is a longer walk to exit at TFL Farringdon and enter via NR paper barriers, especially when there is a NR train waiting on a red…
    If the instation validators were pink Id have known not to use them.
    I always have evidence of ticket cover is the cross rail is valid beyond Farringdon or BR or a Oyster ‘entry’ validation…

  719. Hi Noel,

    I’m struggling to understand what you are saying. There are yellow validators dotted about Farringdon for people doing exactly what you seem to be suggesting. If starting or ending an Oyster journey at Farringdon you are expected to use them. If you forget to touch out then the system may automatically refund you as it does try to sort out incomplete journeys where they are regular. If you forget to touch in then you are potentially liable for a penalty fare or prosecution, especially if your Oyster fails to operate the exit gates because it is empty.

  720. Noel Turner

    Hi Mike

    Thanks so using the in station validators for Oyster PAYG to paper BR is legal?
    I always check the in and out display is the correct sense.
    And I have never had a problem exiting at Liverpool Street. About three refunds in 50 trips, each in the same month
    The journey is not regular as
    I sometimes go from Liverpool St to either Watford Tube or Watford Junction on overground using PAYG Oyster all the way..
    Or use a bus (non oyster) to Liverpool St and return later Liverpool street to Farringdon tube.
    And my other Oyster travel is even more random.
    I’ll use the turnstyles in furture, or travel to St Pancres, Im very cautious.
    Thanks for you site.

  721. Hi Noel,

    Yes, the validators inside Farringdon are specifically for that purpose. OK, when I say regular I mean a journey you make more than once or twice. It doesn’t have to be the only journey you make, just one that the system can recognise. Why do you say that the bus is non Oyster? Surely you want bus fares to count towards any cap you might reach?

  722. Noel Turner

    Hi Mike

    I would want the buses to top to a cap but I have a national 60+ non London bus pass that is valid (ie free) on TFL buses after 09:30 weekdays, and all weekends. So I really only use the tube to avoid congestion, it is rare that I reached any off peak cap before the Jan2015 changes, because of zonal pattern and walking long distances.
    I do appreciate your site, e.g. although the free Android App I have tells me there is an OSI Finchley Road and Frognal OG to Finchley Road tube both by ikon and text it omits the interval, so i need both your site on brouser and the app. The app is available on iPhone too and still free.
    So if you spot an oldster with nose buried in smart phone on a tube it may be me.


  723. Hi Noel,

    Ah, that makes sense now. Out of interest, what’s the name of the Android app?

  724. Noel Turner

    App name is
    London tube free
    Visual IT Ltd
    Type zuti into play or App Store search bar is simplest.

  725. Cheers Noel

  726. Hi Mike
    I wonder if you could help. I get the C2C from Laindon to Fenchurch Street then use the underground Bank to Bond Street and return the same way, but sometimes go back to Stanford le Hope. I normally purchase a monthly paper season ticket for the whole journey.
    I was wondering if this is the cheapest way of doing this journey or if you have any other suggestions.

  727. Hi Kala,

    From Laindon the monthly travelcard costs £111.00 more than the season to Fenchurch Street or Liverpool Street only. If you only make 2 single Underground journeys per working day then the most that could be is 46 x £2.30 = £105.80. Some months it will be less. So unless you make use of the ticket at other times it’s cheaper to use PAYG for the Underground. It looks like tickets to Laindon are valid via Pitsea so you are ok to return to Stanford-Le-Hope.

  728. Hi Mike,

    I am currently studying at the University of Surrey, Guildford and frequently travel back home on the weekends to Watford Junction. My normal route that I take is a train from Guildford to Clapham Junction and then on to Watford Junction. I usually purchase a ticket from LondonMidland website and this costs around £13 for a single. I have a Railcard which I have also paired with my Oyster Card.

    My question is would it be cheaper for me to travel from Guildford to Clapham Junction using a paper ticket costing around £7 and then from Clapham Junction to Watford Junction using my Oyster Card? This journey would likely be at an off-peak time.

    Also, if I were to do this, where at Clapham Junction are the Oyster Card readers located so that I do not have to exit the station.


  729. Hi Ajay,

    Yes, much cheaper. Clapham Junction to Watford Junction off-peak with railcard is £1.85 single. There are not very many Oyster readers within Clapham Junction for revenue protection reasons. I believe that there is one on platform 17 where the Southern trains from Watford to Croydon arrive but nothing on platforms 15/16 where they depart towards Watford. There are pink validators on platforms 1 and 2 but these are not intended for start Oyster journeys and WILL NOT END one. However, the two gatelines are at either side of the station so if you cross using the subway you will not have to make too much of a detour to use them.

    Another possibility if cost is more important than time is to change trains at Surbiton as well. You have to go to the gateline to touch in/out so you will need to let a train go, but the Oyster single with railcard from Surbiton to Watford Junction via Clapham Junction is just £1.90 while the paper single from Guildford to Surbiton is £4.75.

  730. Hello Mike,

    I was hoping you could answer a question I have about the best/ cheapest tickets to buy when travelling from Upminster to Shepperton, as all the information online has gotten me a bit confused.

    I’ll be travelling at peak times, 5 days a week, and as far as I can tell from my research the best option I have is to get a zone 1-6 travelcard which (as far as I understand it) will cover my journey from Upminster to Hampton. I think it seems I should also get a SWT season ticket to cover the Hampton to Shepperton part of my journey. Is this the best option I have? If I got both the zone 1-6 travelcard and season ticket would I be okay to stay on the train from Waterloo to Shepperton without having to get off at Hampton? (Some of my return journeys may actually be at off peak times, but the main reason I was considering the travelcard over Oyster PAYG is that I don’t want to have to touch out/ get off the train at Hampton if possible.)

    Also will I be okay to get my zone 1-6 travelcard on Oyster, or am I better off with a paper travelcard. The reason I was wondering was with an Oyster travelcard I’d be touching in to get on the train at Waterloo, but won’t be touching out anywhere. I don’t know if this will be a problem/ make any difference?

    Thanks very much for your time.


  731. Hi Lyn,

    Your cheapest solution is to get a Shepperton to zones 1-6 travelcard season. Outboundary travelcards can only be specified with the outboundary station as the origin, but as it’s a season ticket you can use it any way round.

    What you were suggesting is fine as long as the train calls at Hampton. There’s no problem touching in at Waterloo on Oyster and using a paper ticket to get out at Shepperton. The only problem is that it costs about £5/week more than the combined ticket.

  732. Hi Mike,

    That’s extremely helpful; thanks so much for your detailed reply. I really appreciate your help!

  733. Hello Mike,
    Could you please advise how i would sort out my travel from Becontree to Stratford then to Chelmsford because the last time i did, i lost all my money on my pay as you go oyster and had to buy a return ticket on my way back which i didn’t end up using the return because i didn’t buy a ticket while going but i to when coming back. P.S on arriving at chelmsford i realised i needed a ticket but i spoke to the officer in charge and he let me out. Now i will require going chelmsford from Becontree everyday and not sure how to go about it. Thanks

  734. Hi Ladi,

    As Chelmsford is outside the Oyster area I would suggest forgetting Oyster completely. For your intended route you need a Chelmsford to zones 3-6 travelcard at £94.20/week. Outboundary travelcards have to be specified with the outboundary station as the origin, but as it’s a season ticket you can use it either way round.

  735. Here’s a tale…

    I change from Oyster to paper tickets at Feltham. This usually works well because there are Oyster validators on the down platform at Feltham and it’s usually straightforward to hop off the train, touch out, then hop back on again.

    Tonight I hopped off but found the closest validator had a red light and said “Closed”; the next one was the same. As I was unprepared for this there wasn’t time to go through the gateline and back again so I had no choice but to let the train go and wait half an hour for the next one.

    I asked a member of the SWT staff and he said the validators had been turned off temporarily because of an exercise they were conducting. He said that in any case those validators weren’t really needed except when the ticket office (and therefore the gateline) was closed. This is true but when I explained why I found the standalone validators so useful he said that that usage hadn’t occurred to him and he assured me that the situation was only temporary and the validators would be working again soon.

    Hopefully this was indeed just a blip and all will be well next time. But I’ll have my paper ticket ready just in case…

  736. Hello, i’m still slightly confused as to what to do. I want to transfer at Stratford coming in from Harlow Town and leaving to Waterloo on the Jubilee line. From reading this, I have to use my paper ticket from Abellio to leave the station then come back into the station using my oyster card?

  737. If you’re travelling on the Jubilee line then there is a validator by the wall near the Jubilee line platforms so you can avoid having to exit and enter again.

  738. Hi Mike
    Wonder if you could possibly help me, I am trying to work out the oyster fares for the below:
    Weekly/Monthly from Shenfield to London Liv St
    Weekly/Monthly from Shenfield to London Holborn
    Weekly/Monthly from Chelmsford to London Liv St
    Weekly/Monthly from Chelmsford to London Holborn

    I can’t seem to find anywhere with the info. Are you able to direct me to the right site?

    Thanks so much for your help


  739. Hi James,

    You can’t use Oyster from Chelmsford. You can’t put rail only seasons on Oyster. You can put a travelcard season for Shenfield to zones 1-6 on Oyster, but it’s the same price as the paper equivalent. If you use the season ticket calculator on the National Rail site and put Liverpool Street as the destination it will show you prices firstly for rail only, then including a zones 1-6 travelcard which is what you’d need to go on to Holborn.

  740. Hi Mike,

    I have a monthly travel card from crawley into london zones 1-6. On the weekends, I travel to hatfield so can I use my travelcard up to the last zone 6 stop and then by a single fare for the remainder of the journey?

  741. Hi Tia,

    Yes you can. And the train doesn’t have to stop at Hadley Wood either.

  742. Hi Mike.

    What’s the cheapest annual cost for travel from Barking to St Albans City? At the moment I have a zones 1-4 gold card and a zones 5&6 – St Albans gold card. Would it be cheaper to amalgamate them?


  743. Hi Karen,

    There is actually an anomaly in the fares from St Albans which means it’s cheaper to split at the zone 4/5 boundary rather than get one ticket. So at the moment, no, it wouldn’t be cheaper.

  744. Train companies are aware that most people don’t know that you can buy a ticket to or from a zone boundary, and they know that they benefit from this. The conditions of carriage were in this area were hugely complicated at the time I challenged FGW about the fact that the ticket office staff at Slough overcharged me for a journey to the zone 3 boundary (charging me to Ealing Broadway instead of BZ3 on the basis that Ealing Broadway was the first station stop on the train I wanted to take that was covered by my travelcard, forgetting that as mentioned above, the train does not need to call at the interchange point between paper ticket and travelcard), and I see that the conditions of carriage are even more complicated and restrictive now. The train companies evidently prefer it if travelcard holders coming from outside their zones pay for the whole journey to the London terminal or other interchange point, thereby double-paying for part of the journey, and so they go out of their way to keep people from knowing that boundary zone tickets exist and to make it as difficult as possible to buy them. As far as I know these tickets can still only be got from ticket offices, if you can find one that’s open.

    Thanks for the information. It’s useful for people to know this and to plan ahead in order to avoid being overcharged. I live in SE London and have a z1-6 oyster travelcard but make semi-regular train journeys to Berkshire, and I always buy my tickets in advance from the ticket office at Cannon St or City Thameslink (both near my office), because trying to get a ticket from boundary zone 6 to Maidenhead immediately prior to travel is, generally speaking, a difficult and time-consuming process.

  745. Hi Phil,

    I believe you might be able to get BZ tickets by phoning telesales and then picking up at a TVM. You can also get them from certain TVMs where the start from a different origin has been enabled. Southern’s machines definitely do this and I think Thameslink might do as well. If you have problems at the Paddington ticket office then I suggest you take it up with FGW customer services as that is not right.

  746. Hi Mike,

    I live in East Croydon, and work in Woking, so I get the train from East Croydon to Clapham Junction and then change for a train to Woking. This journey costs ~£25, although occasionally I need to go into Waterloo on the return from Woking. I have an Oyster card, is it best to get off at Clapham Junction, touch in, and pay a single to Waterloo, or can I use my original ticket?


  747. Hi Hannah,

    The £25.80 Anytime Day Return is valid via London and can include Underground travel appropriate to the overall journey as well (i.e. Victoria to Watreloo). If you know that you will not need to venture between Clapham Junction and zone 1 then you really ought to get the £18.80 Anytime Day Return (route NOT via London).

  748. robdekenah@yahoo.co.uk

    Hi Mike

    I am moving to Basingstoke in the next week or two.

    I currently have PAYG oyster, but i am aware this will not likely be a viable option so am looking into travelcard options.
    currently my work pays for travel zone 1-6.
    what i would like to know is what is the best fare option for travel? i have no need to travel via Reading, but am open to this option as the cost does not seem to be any higher.
    what i cannot find is whether the option of a zone 1-6 travel card + extension to basingstoke season ticket is a viable alternative.
    is it the case that a Basingstoke to London Zones 1-6 combined travel card is the best option?
    i have been rather spoilt over the last 8 years not having to consider travel outside oyster areas…

  749. Hi Rob,

    Yes, a Basingstoke to zones 1-6 travelcard is likely to be the best option. Two season tickets would cost more and/or introduce restrictions on the route and calling patterns of the trains you can use.

  750. Hi Mike

    I need to travel to Weybridge daily from Zone 3 (DLR). What’s the best / cheapest way for this commute?

    many thanks

  751. Hello Mike

    Thanks for the great website. My husband needs to travel from Weybridge to Canary Wharf all weekdays as he has recently changed jobs. Is the cheapest option to buy the travelcard from Weybridge to Surbiton and another one covering Zones 1 – 6?

    Thanks for your help.

  752. Hi Anju/Rupesh

    I’m guessing that you are related as the query seems identical. The cheapest option will be to buy a Weybridge to zones 1-6 travelcard rather than two separate seasons. However, there are a couple of other considerations. Firstly there are four different fares depending on whether you want validity at Cobham/Horsley or the ability to travel via Staines. The cheapest is route via Surbiton which only allows travel from Weybridge and via the mainline. The other option is to buy a Weybridge to zones 2-6 travelcard and change at Clapham Junction and Canada Water. This has the same four route options with via Surbiton again being the cheapest, and is about £10/week cheaper than the one which includes zone 1.

  753. Hi
    I have a query. I travel from Sutton to Walton on Thames and have a Monthly Paper season ticket. Occassionally I need to travel into Central London to meet friends in the evening. My season ticket is valid up to Clapham Junction. My question is can I use my PAYG oyster card from CLJ to London? If so how can I do this?


  754. Hi Terry,

    Yes you can. As the page above describes, you need to get out at Clapham Junction and exit with your season ticket, then enter with your Oyster card. Likewise on the return you need to touch out then use the season to re-enter.

  755. Dear Mike, I have a small problem , I have a zone 2-4 travel card and one a fortnight I collect my daughter leaving from west hampstead in zone 2 to leagrave buying a normal return,(£14.40) I then used to be able to get a travel card for my daughter (15) fir £2, now they will only sell me a ticket for her back to West Hampstead, problem is we both need to get home to barking, not sure if there is a cheAper or better way? The train I normally get is a fast train that stops at St. Albans then all stations , same on the return, the train does not stop at West Hampstead, we swop at Farringdon onto district to barking, hope you can help

  756. Hi Painty,

    I’m not sure what the £2 ticket was/is but I can’t get booking sites to sell it. I think it may need to be sold with an adult off-peak travelcard, but your return journey is the wrong way round for that. The cheapest way using point-to-point tickets is to get the route West Hampstead ticket and change there for the Overground to Gospel Oak and then again onto the Barking train. You will need to get trains which stop at West Hampstead for this ticket.

  757. Yes thanks Mike. I will explore the Zone 2 option as it seems much cheaper for the daily travel. And yes the questions were related as both of us asked almost at the same time.

  758. Hi Mike, thanks for willing to answer questions from your visitors, much appreciated.

    If I purchase an annual season ticket from Potters Bar to Finsbury Park, and I want to occasionally travel from Potters Bar to Kings Cross, what should I do?

    I assume that Potters Bar is outside the Oyster Zone, so my annual season ticket cannot be loaded on an Oyster Card, so I can’t just touch-in with my annual pass at Potters Bar and touch-out at Kings Cross with an Oyster Card. Do I have to get off the train at Finsbury Park, touch out with my annual season ticket, touch-in with an Oyster Card, then continue travel to Kings Cross? It seems a waste of time to get off at Finsbury Park when I can stay on the same train to Kings Cross.

  759. Hi Eiji,

    Yes, if you want to use Oyster from Finsbury Park you will have to get off to touch it in. If you want to stay on the same train then you need a paper ticket from Finsbury Park to Kings Cross. This will cost more, but gives you the convenience of staying on the train.

  760. Hi Mike,

    I work in Sutton and want to travel to Oxted tomorrow evening, and then back into London later that night.

    I have a travel card on my Oyster for Zones 3-5. Can I load some money on my Oyster to take me from Zone 5 to Oxted and then back later? And would i be able to do that without having to tap out then in again at a station on the way?

    What would be the easiest and cheapest way of making the journey?

    Many thanks.

  761. Hi Mark,

    Oxted is way outside the Oyster area, so no. I’d suggest buying a ticket from East Croydon to Oxted. You can buy that at Sutton and you won’t have to leave the station to switch tickets.

  762. Hi Mike

    I have a season ticket for zones 1 – 4 but I will soon need to travel to Brighton occasionally at the weekends. What is the best and most economical way to get there.

    Many thanks

  763. Hi Katy,

    Can you give me a little more info. Is it an annual season? Where are you starting your journey from?

  764. Hi Mike
    I need to travel regularly from Hounslow to East Croydon using National rail (changing at Clapham Junction).
    Will it work if I purchase a zone 5 travel card for this?

  765. Hi Tripti,

    You’ll need a zone 2-5 travelcard for that journey.

  766. Hi Mike,

    I have to travel from Oxted to Marble Arch every day.
    In Oxted l can use a paper ticket only, but l would like to use an Oyster card in zone 1 and be flexible in Central London as l am going to use other stations in zone one.
    I am planning to get a season ticket or 2 separate season tickets in order to get an oyster card for London. Please help.

  767. Hi Kristina,

    The cheapest way to get this is to buy an Oxted to zones 1-6 season. This wouldn’t be on Oyster but would be valid throughout zones 1-6. If you must buy two tickets then they need to both be zonal, or switch at a station your train calls at. The next cheapest option is probably to buy a season to Clapham Junction and then a zone 1-2 travelcard season on Oyster. This combination would not be valid via London Bridge though. A season to East Croydon and then a zone 1-5 travelcard will cost a bit more but allow all routes between Croydon and London. Finally, the cheapest combination of two travelcards would be Oxted to zones 3-6 and a zone 1-2 on Oyster. If you do have split travelcards you would need to be careful to use the right one on any unusual journey.

  768. Hi Mike, what a great site. I will be visiting London from darkest Aberdeenshire at the end of the month. Can I use contactless to travel between Clapham Juction and East Croydon and then a paper ticket from EC to Gatwick. Do I need to touch out at EC ? Thanks in advance. K

  769. Hi Ken,

    Yes and yes.

  770. Hi,

    I currently buy a monthly ticket from Slade Green to London Terminals, is there anyway I can get that loaded on my Oyster card to prevent the paper ticket hassle? Also is there a cheaper way of doing this other than the monthly ticket from Slade Green to London. I travel to London for 9.30 and leave London at 6.

    Thank you

  771. Hi Jamie,

    Sadly no. Oyster cards can only load travelcards, not point-to-point season tickets.

    The monthly season ticket is £182.10. A PAYG peak single is £6.00 but the all-day cap will restrict the return cost to £11.70 per day. Thus if you travel on 16 or more days in a month the season ticket will be cheaper. You can further reduce the cost of season tickets by buying odd-period durations. One month and two or three days will generally cover five weeks M-F, you then don’t have a ticket for that weekend and start another one on the following Monday. If you have leave coming up you could extend it to six or seven weeks. Each extra day costs 1/30th of the monthly cost.

  772. Hi there,

    I’m moving house soon and will need to commute from Streatham to Esher which means travelling changing at Wimbledon and catching a train that goes through (and stops at) Surbiton. As Esher is outside zone 6, I’m trying to work out the most cost effective method. I should mention that I currently have a 16-25 Student discount.

    It seems there are three options, but I’m unsure about the validity of the third:

    1) Get a Streatham to Esher Season Ticket for £164.80 /month
    2) Get a Esher to Zone 3-6 Travelcard for £173.60 /month
    3) Get a Zone 3-6 Student travelcard on Oyster for £85.70 + a Surbiton to Esher Season Ticket for £58.80 which totals £144.50 / month.

    Clearly the third option is cheaper (and includes a travelcard) however will this be valid without getting off the train at Surbiton, only tapping in at Streatham on entry in the morning and only tapping in at Streatham on the return exit? Or will this incur an incomplete journey penalty?


  773. Hi Mike,

    My journey is from Purfleet to Greenford. I currently have a NR gold card paper ticket for zones 1-6 & to Purfleet but it is due to expire.

    I have been looking over the prices and found it is cheaper to buy a NR paper ticket from Purfleet to Rainham and then a oyster zones 1-6 both yearly.

    Firstly, is this the cheapest option as I get confused due to Purfleet being a PAYG oyster station?

    Secondly, will I now need to ensure I touch my oyster on a validator (e.g West Ham) or get out at Rainhan to touch the oyster as the journey starts and ends on paper. Can I just touch the oyster once per journey to and from work?

    Thank You

  774. Hi Hayden,

    Purfleet only works with PAYG because of a technical problem with the way the fares are set up. You can split your seasons in this way as long as the train you catch through Rainham actually stops there. You can use your paper ticket at Purfleet and Oyster at Greenford with no problem. However, should you accidentally touch your Oyster at Purfleet then you’ll be charged a Grays group single fare to your PAYG balance.

  775. Hi Sean,

    As long as the train through Surbiton does indeed stop there then that will be fine. I assume you mean that you are eligible for the 18+ Student Oyster as that is the only way to get the discounted travelcard. The 16-25 railcard won’t affect season ticket prices at all. Just touching at Streatham is fine when you have a travelcard.

  776. Hi Mike
    I’m travelling from Tilbury to stratford daily with one day a week at royal Albert docks.
    I’ve always used oyster as I previously went from Rainham, could u advise the cheapest option from Tilbury as it’s confusing and no stations seem to be able to help

  777. Hi Sarah,

    Tilbury to Zones 3-6 at £51.40/week looks to be the cheapest option. You can travel via Romford or West Ham for Stratford and take the DLR from West Ham when going to Royal Albert.

  778. Hi,
    I have a zone 1-7 oyster (gold card) and want to travel from London Paddington to Marlow (peak time), can I get any discount off the regular fare?


  779. Hi Flake,

    Depends what you mean by peak time. Gold card discounts are available after 0930.

  780. Ah – Just assumed around 5pm (the time I would be travelling) would be peak, but from what you say maybe not! So I can use my Gold card but not any extra discount for having a zone 1-7 card?


  781. Hi Flake,

    Sorry, yes. You can buy a boundary zone 6 to Marlow ticket. 5pm is peak but you can get a discount on it with the gold card. You can’t get the discount in the morning. You also can’t get discounts on peak fares on Oyster, but you aren’t using that.

  782. I have a zone 1-6 Annual Oyster Card. The last part of my journey home is from London Cannon Street to Orpington. From this week, on one day a week, I want to stay on this train and get off at Tonbridge, returning later in the evening to Orpington. Can I buy a return ticket the day before I travel to cover the journey between Orpington and Tonbridge and stay on my Cannon Street train until I get to Tonbridge? During the rush hour the these trains do not stop at Orpington, but they do for the return journey later in the evening.

  783. I have an old person’s Freedom Pass, so covered for all zones 1-9 (plus a few extras like Dartford and Watford Junction). I needed to do a same-day return to Wadhurst the other week and knowing that the train’s last in-zone stop was Orpington and not Knockholt, decided to get an extenstion from zone 6 to Wadhurst from Victoria Station a few days before instead of the more convenient online purchase of a return from Knockholt to Wadhurst. I explained this is what I wanted from the guy at the ticket office – and he sold me a day return from Knockholt to Wadhurst anyway! Does this mean that the “train must stop at the boundary station” rule is no longer in force? (As it happened nobody checked the tickets on either the outgoing or return journey, so I “got away” with it – saving £1.30!)

  784. Hi Ann,

    Yes, the combination of a travelcard season and a day return means that the train does not need to stop.

  785. Hi Peter,

    The rule is in force, but a Freedom Pass is treated like a season ticket for the purposes of this condition so the train doesn’t need to stop.

  786. Hi,

    I have a Veterans Oyster card. Can I use this for part of a journey from Harlow Town to Liverpool Street? I understand that Broxbourne is part of the Oyster Card route. Is it possible to buy a ticket for Harlow Town to Broxbourne and then use my Oyster to Liverpool Street? If yes, do I need to I need to leave the train to touch in?

  787. Hi Dave,

    The Veterans Oyster card is like a Freedom Pass so there is no need to touch in/out unless using gates. Whilst Broxbourne is part of the Oyster network I don’t think Veterans passes are valid there. You would need a ticket to Turkey Street or Enfield Lock to use fast trains run by AGA. If you are prepared to change at Cheshunt onto London Overground then you can use the Veterans pass from there, but only on LO services.

  788. Hi

    I was wondering if i can use my Oyster card to get from London to walton on themes?

    as i’m staying there over the weekend and will be going to London every day over the weekend i wondered


  789. Sadly not, David. Oyster stops at Surbiton.

  790. Hi Mike, Great site. Sorry if you have already answered this question. I have a Oyster zone 2-3 travelcard. Now my team is relocated to London Bridge which is in Zone 1. Getting the monthly season paper ticket from New Cross Gate to London bridge would be the cheapest option for me. The scenario is like this

    1. Touch in using oyster from Honor oak park (zone 2-3 travel card)
    2. Leave London bridge using paper ticket (monthly New Cross gate to London bridge)

    and vice versa when returning.

    I wont touch out at New Cross.

    Is this possible please? Sorry if it was a silly question

    Thank you

  791. Hi Arul,

    It is possible as long as the train calls at New Cross Gate (shouldn’t be a problem).

  792. Thanks very much Mike. May God bless you and your family for the help you are doing for so many people like me. Have a nice day

  793. Hi Mike,
    I need to travel from Stevenage to potter’s bar for my work in the morning and come back to Stevenage as a daily routine. However tomorrow I need to meet a friend of mine at London kings cross. So if I purchase a London day travel card will it allow me to access potter’s bar station finish my job catch the train, meet my friend and come back to Stevenage or I need to buy tickets from Stevenage to potter’s bar, potter’s bar to kings cross and again kings cross to Stevenage?

  794. Hi Manasi,

    If your regular travel is covered by a season ticket then you simply need to buy a Potters Bar to London Terminals return and you can use that on a fast train to Stevenage in conjunction with your season ticket. If you usually buy daily tickets then you can still get the Potters Bar to London Terminals ticket, but the return train must stop at Potters Bar. You don’t need a travelcard if you are only going to Kings Cross and back.

  795. Hi Mike! I am living in Harrow zone 4 and I am working in Vauxall zone 2. Am I gone have problems if I will buy a season ticket for oyster from zone 4-2 and pass trough zone 1?

  796. Hi Marius,

    Yes you will. If you travel through zone 1 then you need to pay for it. You can avoid it if you use the Southern service from Harrow and Wealdstone to Clapham Junction and then SWT to Vauxhall. You can also replace the Southern bit with two Overground trains changing at Willesden Junction.

  797. Hi Mike,

    Sorry if someone has already asked this, but I start work in Stevenage in a few weeks and will be travelling from belsize park area. I already have a PAYG oyster which tops itself up. What would the cheapest option be for me to buy a season ticket if I were to get the fast train from kings cross? I will be working some weekends, nights etc as well as during the day, leaving before 9am most days.


  798. Hi Emilia,

    A Stevenage to zone 1-6 travelcard season will be your simplest option. You can make a slight saving by buying a Stevenage to zones 5-6 travelcard season and combining it with a zones 1-4 travelcard season on Oyster. It’s 40p a week (£16/year) cheaper because of a pricing anomaly. If you do go that route and travel to somewhere in zones 5-6 for a leisure journey then remember to use your paper season rather than the Oyster to touch out.

  799. Hi,
    I have an annual zone 1-6 travel card (with gold card) will be travelling to Stevenage soon. Will I have to pay a full fare from kings cross to stevenage or do I just have to pay from a later station? How will this also work on the fast trains?
    Thank you!

  800. Hi Danielle,

    You’ll need to get a boundary zone 6 to Stevenage ticket and you can use that on fast trains. You can also get a ticket from the last stop in zone 6, but you’d need to know which way the train was going (via Potters Bar or via Hertford). The BZ6 ticket is probably safer, but you’ll have to get that at Kings Cross.

  801. Hi Mike, What would be the cheapest fare i would be if I used my 16-25 railcard with my Apprenticeship Oyster card, I travel between Old Street and Welwyn Garden City return 5 days a week. Thank you for all your help.

  802. Hi Anele,

    You can get a discounted travelcard for zones 1-6 on your Apprentice Oyster. You would then need to buy daily returns between Hadley Wood and Welwyn Garden City. These can be discounted with the 16-25 railcard in July and August, but there is no discount before 10am the rest of the year.

  803. Hi Mike

    Great site – very useful!

    I plan to travel East Croydon to Stanstead 17th July 0500. Can i use my PAYG across town and then a paper ticket from Liv St – and will it be cheaper than the paper return fare from EC please?


  804. Hello Mike,
    My friends are visiting London for a weekend in August but are staying at my house in Egham each night and I need some advice as to how best to organise their transport the cheapest and most effective way.

    After arriving into King’s Cross (Zone 1) at 4pm we hoped to explore a few sights within Zone 1 before heading to Egham using a South West Trains service from either London Waterloo (Z1) or Vauxhall (Z1/2) around 7pm. None of my friends have oyster cards and so I wondered, can they each purchase a Zones 1-2 travelcard with an extension to Egham from King’s Cross underground station? Or would it be more cost-effective for them to each purchase an oyster card to use in Zone 1, then a single national rail fare to Egham from Waterloo/Vauxhall?

    For the Saturday it is simpler as I know we can each purchase a day travelcard from Egham plus zones 1-6 for approx £15.

    Any advice would be very helpful! Thank you.

  805. Hi Paul,

    You don’t say when you are coming back, however, using Oyster at 0500 on a Friday will be cheaper than a paper ticket because it is still off-peak.

  806. Hi Lauren,

    After 0930 you can only purchase day travelcards for zones 1-6, 1-9 or 1-9+W. Looking at various combinations I think the £15.00 Super off-peak travelcard is actually best value on the Friday as well. The only proviso is that you cannot leave Waterloo bound for Egham until after 1900 (1905 at Vauxhall, 1910 at Clapham Junction). You can also use one as long as you don’t arrive in London before 1200. They would probably be better off buying theirs at Kings Cross NR station rather than LU. They need to stress that they want the travelcard starting at Egham even though they’ll only use the return part outside the zones.

    Hope that helps.

  807. Thank you very much for that sound advice Mike. I will help my friends to get their tickets at King’s Cross NR ticket office specifying to start the travelcard from Egham. It seems like a reasonable fee for what we want to do, and departing after 7pm from Zone 1 works perfectly. Many thanks!

  808. Hi Mike,

    First of, i wanted to say thank you for all the support you provide on this site. It is really helpful.

    We are imminently moving to West Malling from Bromley. The train line will be the same to Victoria, and I was wondering what travel zone West Malling is in and if there is any recommendation you could give me in terms of using Oyster or Travelcard. At the moment, I pay a monthly travel card that i renew on my oyster, to Bromley its zones 1-5.


  809. Hi Virginia,

    You’ll have to go back to paper tickets from West Malling. Oyster isn’t valid beyond St Mary Cray (though Swanley will soon be added). You may need to sit down before looking at the prices. The rail only ticket is £392.90/month while the travelcard version is £455.90/month.

  810. Hello Mike,

    I have seen similar questions to this, but the ones I read were 2013, so I am hoping there has been some progress.
    I currently travel from Waterloo to Basingstoke, at present I have a Oyster Travelcard 1& 2, together with a Clapham Junction to Basingstoke rail ticket (as set up my the kind man at Waterloo).

    I have noticed several people tapping cards out at Basingstoke, but have been unable to see with what.

    Next week it is my intention to purchase annual versions of these tickets, however I fear wear & tear on the paper ticket. Is there a way I can get this either placed on to my Oyster Card or have some sort of plastic (Oyster like) ticket for both parts of the trip.
    They will just be easier to look after that way.


  811. Hi Steve,

    I don’t think the two products are compatible yet. Basingstoke will be the SWT smartcard, but I don’t think that works beyond Woking yet.

  812. Sue Gallagher

    I am travelling from Beckenham junction to Walton on Thames on Saturday 18th July. Firstly is WAL in the Oyster network? If not what would be the cheapest way to do this journey? I would either travel via Crystal palace and clapham junction or Herne Hill and Wimbledon. Any advice welcome. Thanks Sue

  813. Hi Sue,

    Walton is beyond the Oyster boundary at Surbiton. There are two fares for the whole journey: £13.10 off-peak day return valid via London and £10.70 off-peak day return not valid via London. If you want to split using Oyster then the off-peak day return from Surbiton to Walton is £4.60 and the Oyster off-peak single is £2.40 making a total of £9.40. You will have to change trains at Surbiton so you can touch out (or in on the return). The £2.40 fare assumes travel via zones 3-6, but as long as you don’t touch out at Clapham Junction you are free to go that way.

  814. Sue Gallagher

    Thanks Mike. I will buy the £10.70 ticket, doesn’t seem worth having to chnage at Surbiton. Didn’t realise Walton was so far out.

  815. Hi Mike,
    Similar question may be already answerd but may I ask you advise me if the following scenario woks?

    1. Purchase a season travel card on Oyster applicable for Zone 1-5 and a point-to-point season ticket between South Croydon (located within zone 5) and Redhill.

    2. Touch in by Oyster at Victoria station and touch out at Redhill station by the point-to-point season ticket, and vice versa for the way return back to Victoria.

    What I’m wondering is whether or not I need to get off at South Croydon and re-enter. Also is it possible to touch in by Oyster at Victoria and touch out at Victoria without touch out record at Redhill (similar situation will happen for the point-to-point season ticket as well)?


  816. Hi Ken,

    You are fine with touching in and out using Oyster at one end and paper at the other. Rather than South Croydon you need to specify East Croydon, which is also zone 5. The reason is that the train has to stop where you split from one season to another unless they are both zonal tickets.

  817. Hi Mike,
    I start work in Covent Garden soon but live in Benfleet. I’m contracted to work 48hrs per week for 17 weeks. What would be the cheapest ticket for me to get from Benfleet to Covent garden??

  818. Hi Dan,

    The 48hrs per week doesn’t really help much. If this involves travel on 5 or more days per week, or arriving in London before 1000 M-F, then a travelcard season* will be your best bet. If it involves working 4 days per week and/or arriving in London after 1000 M-F, then off-peak day travelcards might just be cheaper.

    *If you are getting a travelcard season of any length (week, month, 4 months) then a pricing anomaly means it’s cheaper to split the ticket in two. Buy a Benfleet to zones 4-6 travelcard on paper and a zones 1-3 travelcard on Oyster.

  819. Hi Mike

    Thank you for this very useful forum.
    I’ll be starting a new job next week and was hoping you could help as I’ve been given a variety of complicated options.
    I was wondering if you could recommend the cheapest option from Norwood Junction station to Epsom.
    There is a straight train but from my understanding Epsom is not oyster friendly as it is not included in the zoning system.

  820. Hi Mike,

    I’m sorry if this has already been addressed. I’m wondering as a 20 year old which is the cheapest/best ticket to buy travelling from Acton town (zone 3) to Hatfield for 5 days a week, leaving early in the morning.


  821. HI Mike
    I travel in from radlett to City Thameslink, would it be cheaper for me to have a weekly from radlett to elstree and borehamwood and use oyster from E&B to city Thameslink
    If so how does one intiate the journey whilst on the train stopping at elstree

  822. Hi Rachel,

    Epsom is joining the Oyster system this autumn, though it’s not yet clear what fares will be charged. In the meantime, if you don’t need to use TfL buses on your commute, a point-to-point season ticket between Epsom and Norwood Junction is likely to be the cheapest option.

  823. Hi Ethan,

    Best is somewhat subjective, while cheapest almost always isn’t the fastest, so you need to decide what your own priorities are. The fastest route is likely to be Acton Town to Kings Cross or Finsbury Park then Great Northern to Hatfield. This will involve a Hatfield to zones 1-6 travelcard – you have to give the out-of-zones station as origin even if you use it the other way round. A cheaper, but slower, alternative is to start from nearby South Acton and take the Overground to Highbury & Islington, then Great Northern from there. This avoids zone 1 so you only need Hatfield to zones 2-6.

  824. Hi Mark,

    If your commute is just between Radlett and City Thameslink (no TfL buses or tube etc) then a season ticket between Radlett and London Thameslink will be your cheapest option.

  825. Hi Mike,

    I have a season ticket from Hertford stations to Bowes Park, and a zone 1-3 oyster travelcard. From what I’ve read any train I get needs to stop at Bowes Park?

    Also I will be travelling from Broxbourne tomorrow, is my season ticket valid on this service?

    Thanks for your help

  826. Hi Mike,

    I have an Oyster card, but need to travel to and from Liverpool street from Chelmsford (peak times). What is the cheapest way of doing this?

    Tap in and out at Shenfield and get a monthly from Chelmsford to Shenfield?



  827. Hi Deborah,

    As far as I know, a season from Hertford to Bowes Park is only valid on the one line. And yes, because they are both seasons and only one is zonal, the train must call at Bowes Park.

  828. Hi Ian,

    A Chelmsford to London Liverpool Street season will be the cheapest way, unless you can touch in at Shenfield before 0630 or after 0930 and touch in at Liverpool Street before 1600 or after 1900 each day. That way the Oyster fares would be off-peak.

  829. Hi Mike
    I need to purchase a yearly season ticket between Bexley and CharingCross and they are offering me a yearly Bexley > London Terminals ticket. Is it possible to put this ticket on my oyster card because I also travel by underground several days per week, but the underground part of my journeys are reimbursed by my company. I am looking to ideally only use the oyster card as its so fiddly having to use two cards and to push a paper ticket into the barrier when I can use a touch system instead. Thanks!

  830. Hi Shana,

    No, only travelcards can be loaded onto Oyster and zones 1-6 is a lot more expensive than Bexley to London Terminals.

  831. Hi Mike,

    I have a 16+ Oyster card which i got a few years ago. It expires in September this year on the 30th.

    I need to get a season ticket as it is cheaper then topping up and I am now travelling to and from work everyday.

    If i get a yearly one on this card, which would cost half the price of an adult one, after the 30th September when it says it expires what would happen to the season ticket for a year I have put on there?

    Would it just stop working, or continue to let me on the trains? Thanks

  832. Hi Kimberley,

    My understanding is that discounted season tickets cannot exceed the expiry date of the Oyster card.

  833. Hi Mike

    My son will be 16 in November. He commutes via national rail from his home in Purley, Croydon to his school in West Brompton. I am struggling to understand which will be the cheapest way for him to travel. My understanding is that a 16+ oyster photocard will offer up to half an adult rate only on bus or underground but not on national rail. But on NR he will not qualify for discount while he travels before 10:00am? Are you able to advise please?

  834. Hi Clare,

    Holders of 16+ zip Oyster cards get 50% discount on all PAYG fares, daily caps and period travelcards. This includes single fares on NR routes within the Oyster area. I would definitely get a travelcard on his Oyster.

  835. Hi, used an Oyster card to get through the barrier at St Pancras and am going to three bridges. However already have a paper ticket so wondering how I will be charged on my Oyster card as i won’t be able to tap it out again (the paper ticket is the only way out a three bridges)? Thanks

  836. Hi Naomi,

    If the Oyster card has a travelcard covering zone 1 then you won’t be charged. If it’s a PAYG card then you’ll have a maximum fare for an incomplete journey. This will already have been deducted from your balance.

  837. Hi Mike,
    I have an Oyster card but I need to travel from Burnt Oak station to Merstham station every day.Merstham station is is just one stop after London zone 6. What is the cheapest way of doing this? Is it possible to buy season ticket from and to Merstham station to London zones 4-6 ?

  838. Hi Peter,

    Yes, it is possible, but it won’t cover your journey unless you can avoid travelling across zones 1-3. You’ll need Merstham to zones 1-6, at least until Merstham joins the Oyster system.

  839. Hi Mike,
    I wonder if you can help. I’m about to start commuting from Balham to Woking for work. I also need to come in to Waterloo a couple of evenings a week rather than straight home to Balham. Is it possible to get one season ticket or travelcard to cover all of that? I see you can get a “London Terminals” to Woking travelcard with SWT but as Balham isn’t a terminal am not sure if I could use that for my purposes, or whether I will have to get a season ticket from Balham to Woking and then always change at Clapham Junction and use Oyster the rest of the way.

  840. Hi Louise,

    You’ll need a season ticket from Balham to Woking. For Waterloo you can buy a return ticket from Clapham Junction to London terminals at Woking. This will enable you to use fast trains which don’t stop at Clapham Junction, and if you want you can also return from Victoria direct to Balham. If you need to make several tube or bus journeys while in London then you may be better off using PAYG on Oyster, but you would then need to touch in at Clapham Junction and out on the way home.

  841. Hi,

    I’m going to travel from outside London to West Ham, and then get the Jubilee line to West Hampstead. Using my paper ticket from outside London and then using my oyster card from there, do I need to go outside West Ham station using my paper ticket and come back in using my oyster card or can I use an oyster card reader on the Jubilee line platform? I’m confused as to where to scan the oyster card for the start of my journey on the Jubilee line. Thanks

  842. Hi Rhys,

    As far as I know there are yellow validators on the connecting corridor between C2C and the Jubilee/DLR.

  843. Hi Mike
    I am about to start work in Camden and live in Elstree. I understand that I can put a weekly or monthly travelcard on my Oyster for zone 2 – 6, and that I can use this on the Thameslink line to Kentish Town.
    Does this travelcard also include all buses including zone 1? On occasions I need to travel to Gatwick; so will zone 1 on the underground or Thameslink be paid via the Oyster PAYG top-up?
    from which Thameslink station will I need to buy a boundary ticket to take me onto Gatwick? I understand that as I will have a travelcard I do not need to touch out but does the train need to stop at the boundary station and do I need to put the single ticket through the barrier?
    Thanks in advance for your assistance

  844. Hi Pat,

    Yes, 2-6 will cover your commute. Yes it covers all buses because they don’t operate in zones. Yes, zone 1 will come from PAYG but you must touch in and out at each end of the journey, so you’ll need to alight at East Croydon. You don’t have to put the ticket through the barrier, but as you’ll be exiting with Oyster you might as well. Tickets from East Croydon cost the same as boundary zone 6 when travelling south.

  845. Hi Mike,
    I travel weekly from Brentford to Milton Keynes.Currently I am travelling via Gunnersbury-Willesden Jn-Watford-MK which sometimes takes ages and costs me £117 a week.Could you suggest a faster way if you know please?
    Many thanks for your help!
    Sonya x

  846. Hi Sonya,

    Do you start your rail journey at Brentford or Gunnersbury? If it’s Brentford then you may get a faster journey via Clapham Junction using the semi fast Southern train to Milton Keynes from there. If it’s Gunnersbury then you probably won’t get much quicker as although your trains are slow they are taking by far the shortest route.

  847. Hi Mike,

    Forgive me if this question has already been asked – But I live in Ashford Surrey – One train stop away from Feltham where an Oyster card can be used. At the moment, I am purchasing a paper ticket to Feltham, getting off the train to exit with the ticket and tap back in with my oyster! Surely there is an easier way of doing this so as not to go through this every time I travel into London? – I don’t commute everyday to warrant a season ticket.

  848. Hi Emma,

    Unfortunately there isn’t an easier way if you want to take advantage of the Oyster PAYG system. You could buy a travelcard from Ashford to zones 1-6, but that may be more expensive. At least Feltham has a reasonable number of services.

  849. Hi Mike
    My son (aged 16) will be starting college at Redhill from September. He will be travelling by tram to East Croydon then getting a train to Redhill. His 16+ zip oyster card will only cover travel to Coulsdon south. What is his best and cheapest way of travel? He will be at college 3 days a week and the current fare is £9.90 per day. As this is below the £12 minimum fare on the student rail card I don’t believe this will be of any use to him. Any help you can provide would be appreciated

  850. Hi Anne,

    To be brutally honest his cheapest way to travel would be by tram to West Croydon and then 405 bus to Redhill bus station. The 405 accepts Oyster throughout. If this takes too long then he could take the train to Coulsdon South and pick the 405 up there.

  851. Hi,
    I travelled from WGC to Kings cross today and got a return ticket, however when I was leaving Kings cross I tapped in with my oyster card obviously not meaning to. What happens now on my oyster card and what will I get charged?

  852. Hi Lorraine,

    Call the helpdesk and explain what happened. They should refund the maximum journey charge which will have been applied.

  853. Hi,
    I will be working in Staines/Egham by the end of August, and I was wondering what’s the best mix I can have in order to speand a reasonable amount of money in commute. Hard task.
    I will be living in Ealing Broadway/South Ealing/Ealing Common area (zone 3) and I have to go to Richmond (zone 4) in order to take the train to Staines (outside London).
    Is there any mix that allow me to have a monthly travelcard covering zone 3-4 (or 2-4) PLUS the train from richmond to staines?

    Richmond to Staines only will be 154£ monthly… Oyster zon 2-4 is £102.20.. Total 256.2 £ monthly!! Is there any cheaper solution? 🙁

  854. Hi Mirko,

    Yes! There’s no need to buy two tickets. Buy a Staines to Zones 3-6 travelcard at £204.30/month and travel via Turnham Green and Richmond. Outboundary travelcards must have the out of London station (Staines) listed as the origin, but you can use them either way round.

  855. Hi mike,

    I was going to get a monthly ticket from shortlands – all london terminals put onto my oyster card. I may be travelling to zones 5 now and again so was going to just pay the extra amount to cover the extra zone on my oyster. Is this correct?

  856. Hi Sarah,

    You can’t put a Shortlands to London season ticket on Oyster, only a zone 1-4 travelcard. With the travelcard you can then just pay a zone 5 single from your PAYG balance if you want to go further.

  857. Hi Mike,

    I hope you can offer some advice. I will soon be communting from Earlswood (Surrey) into Westminster. I imagine the cheapest option will be the NR season ticket to London Terminals and then to walk to Westminster. Or would it be worth getting the season ticket to Victoria and then use an Oyster to hop the couple of tube stops?

    I know there is a season ticket that covers zones 1-6, but it’s about £100 more a month, so looking for the cheapest/best option here.

    I know I can’t put an out of boundary season ticket onto an Oyster card, but would it be worth getting the Southern Smart card and could I use that in London?

    Any advice is appreciated.

  858. Hi Becky,

    The cheapest option will of course be the plain London terminals ticket. Other options you could consider involve using Waterloo (via Clapham Junction) or Waterloo East (via London Bridge, but currently not recommended due to the Thameslink work). You’d then just need to cross the river to Westminster.

    The zone 1-6 add-on to the London Terminals ticket is less than the cost of 5 daily return zone 1 tube journeys a week, so if you really want to use the tube every day then that is the ticket to get. Southern “The Key” smartcards are accepted on all valid London transport methods if they include a travelcard, so that would be the most convenient way to go in that instance.

  859. Hi Mike,
    I am going to start working in Maindenhead. I live in Sutton (Surrey). I am thinking to buy Zone1-6 yearly oyster+yearly paper ticket from West Drayton to Maidenhead. I will start my journey from Sutton by touching in oyster and touching out at Paddington. When I enter in Paddington by touching my oyster for a direct train to Maidenhead, which goes via West Drayton, Do I need to get off the train at West Drayton to touch oyster out and start my journey on paper ticket to Maidenhead? Or can I continue my journey without break at West Drayton? But in latter case my oyster will remain open as it has not been touched out anywhere. Thanks

  860. Hi Pankaj,

    A cheaper and much more flexible option will be a paper Maidenhead to zones 1-6 season. If you have two seasons then the train must call at West Drayton, although you won’t have to touch out, or in on the way back. The paper combined season will allow usage of fast trains between Maidenhead and Paddington. You may have missed this option if you entered Sutton as your start point because an outboundary travelcard must be quoted with the out station as the origin.

  861. Hi Mike,
    Can I ask you please the cost difference for a yearly ticket?
    1- two separate tickets: one yearly Oyster card zone 1-6 + one yearly ticket from West Drayton to Maidenhead?

    2- A combined yearly paper ticket from Maidenhead to Zone 1-6?

  862. Hi Pankaj,

    £1596 Maidenhead to West Drayton
    £2344 Zones 1-6 Travelcard
    £3940 Total

    £3692 Maidenhead to Zones 1-6

  863. Hi Mike,

    I’m trying to find the cheapest price for my daily journey from Staines to Bromley South. The South West trains website states it is £225 for a season ticket but only allows travel via zones 2-6. I am not sure how to get to Bromley without going via Victoria.

    At staines station I asked the clerk and he made me buy a monthly travel card for staines to zone 1-6 which cost a whopping £302. I nearly cried.

    Would I be able to simply buy a monthly travel card for zones 1-6 for £225 and use that to travel from Staines. I understand staines is zone 6?!?

  864. Hi Chloe,

    Sadly Staines is outside zones 1-6. You can avoid zone 1, though it will take a little longer – it depends which is more important to you, time or money. Change at Clapham Junction onto the London Overground service to either Denmark Hill or Peckham Rye, then take either a Southeastern or Thameslink train to Bromley South. Another alternative is to stay on to Vauxhall, take the Victoria line to Brixton and then Southeastern to Bromley South from there.

    The good news is that you can change your current season as long as you have more than a week left. Ask at Staines station for a changeover to a Staines to zones 2-6 ticket. You will get a pro-rata refund.

  865. Thanks for your help Mike.really appreciate it.

  866. Hi Mike,

    – I have a Annual Zone 1-5 oyster travelcard.
    – I need to get to Sunningdale (using Southwest trains).
    – I plan to travel from South Kensington to Clapham Junction viz Victoria (i.e. tap in at South Ken using my travelcard) and then from Clapham Junction to Sunningdale (Southwest trains line)

    If I buy a paper ticket from Clapham Junction to Sunningdale….is there a oyster machine for me to tap out at Clapham Junction and then a machine to put my paper ticket IN to get on the train to Sunningdale?

    I’m worried I will tap in at South Kensington and there will be no chance for me to tap out at Clapham Junction when I change platforms and trains…..

  867. Hi Dilip,

    There is no penalty for not touching in or out within the zones covered by your travelcard unless you intend to use Oyster to travel further out (eg to Feltham, zone 6). In your case you should buy a boundary zone 5 to Sunningdale ticket which will be cheaper than buying from Clapham Junction. Your travelcard takes you to zone 5 and then the other ticket takes over. The train does not need to stop at or near the boundary of zone 5.

  868. Hi mike in just under 2 weeks I shall start the daily commute from Basildon to south quay and I’m so confused by all the fare option I can’t work out the cheapest way to do it. Can you help?

  869. Hi Hayley,

    I think the cheapest way to do it is to buy a season ticket from Basildon to Upminster then use Oyster PAYG or Contactless from Upminster to South Quay via whichever route you feel happiest with. You would have to get off to touch in at Upminster (and out on the way home) but you can get back on the next fast train to West Ham or Limehouse once you’ve done it.

    Basildon to Upminster weekly £37.20
    Upminster to South Quay x10 £28.00 (or less if any journeys can be made off-peak)

    Basildon to zones 2-6 weekly £72.00

  870. Thanks Mike. The endless options were confusing me no end.

  871. Very new at this – will be travelling Basildon to Canary Wharf return weekdays. What is the best way to do this. I do have an Oyster card

  872. Hi Sue,

    The single ticket you could use is a Basildon to zones 2-6 travelcard at £72.00/week. Alternatively, if you don’t mind getting off at Upminster each way to touch in/out then you can get a season from Basildon to Upminster at £37.20/week and use PAYG for the rest at £2.80 per peak journey or £28.00/week.

  873. Hi Mike,

    What an incredible website!

    Simple Question,

    With a Zone 1-6 travelcard on oyster – when travelling from Stratford to Chelmsford (direct train lets say) can I only buy a ticket form Shenfield to Chelsmford?
    As the Stratford to Shenfield part of the journey should be covered with my travelcard (although I am not getting off at Shenfield to touch out)

  874. Hi Jesin,

    Simple answer – no!

    Longer answer – Shenfield is beyond the zones. You can buy a day ticket from Boundary zone 6 to Chelmsford or from Harold Wood to Chelmsford (I think they’re the same price).

  875. hi,
    what is the cheapest way to travel from Laindon to Stratford please.

  876. Hi Marilena,

    Is this a one-off journey or a regular commute? What times will travel be at?

  877. My son is a 17 year old student who has an Oystercard. He needs to get from Coulsdon South to Weybridge so can use his Oyster to get on the train but the zones run out at Surbiton. Does he need to jump off the train at Surbiton to tap in his Oyster – he would have already bought a paper ticket for the remaining Surbiton to Weybridge part? He says there is no validator on the platform and you have to run through the station to find one and have to get the next train. Thanks.

  878. Hi Bev,

    If he is using PAYG on the Oyster then yes, he does need to get off to touch in/out. If he has a travelcard on the Oyster then no.

  879. Hi Mike,
    Please can you tell me the cheapest way to travel from Holland Park tube to Gatwick airport? I have a 60+ Oyster card and a Senior Railcard.
    Many thanks!

  880. Hi Emsie50,

    Buy a ticket from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport with the senior railcard. Your 60+ Oyster covers you from Holland Park as long as you don’t travel before 0930 from either Victoria, Blackfriars or London Bridge.

  881. Hi Mike,

    I have a seasonal ticket to travel from Hounslow Overground to Horley but the ticket states via not London. If in case I want to travel to London Victoria from Horely/Gatwick Airport can I use that seasonal ticket and then use my oyster card to touch out of London Victoria?

  882. Hi Raghu,

    No you can’t. You’d need to get off at Clapham Junction and touch in there first.

  883. Hi mike,

    I am looking for the cheapest way to get from London zone 2 (dalton kingsland) to Milton Keynes. I would also need bus travel in London itself. incant seem to find any option on the calculators to purchase a season ticket from London zones. It would be ideal if the London travel could be used by the Oyster card. I would be looking at purchasing a monthly season ticket.

    Also, are paper season tickets accepted on London buses?

    Lastly, are the season ticket prices published somewhere or is there just the calculators on the train company websites.

    Many thanks

  884. Hi Jake,

    When requesting prices of outboundary travelcards you need to specify the outboundary station (Milton Keynes) as the origin. Season tickets can be used the ‘wrong’ way round so it doesn’t matter. Yes, paper travelcards are accepted on London buses. You can also find weekly season ticket prices on brfares.com with a calculator to provide prices for monthly or longer periods.

  885. Thanks SO much, Mike. Would I be able to buy that senior railcard ticket (East Croydon to Gatwick) in advance, collect it at Victoria, and stay on the train from Victoria to Gatwick without swiping out on my Oyster at East Croydon? Or do I have to get out at East Croydon, swipe out, and purchase the railcard ticket there? I do appreciate your help!

  886. Hi Emsie,

    Yes you can buy it in advance and collect it at Victoria. No, you don’t have to touch out the 60+ Oyster. The only thing to watch for is that I don’t think 60+/Freedom passes are valid on the non-stop Gatwick Express services, so don’t try and use one of them.

  887. Brilliant. Thank you so much, Mike.

  888. Hi, I’m a student who wants to travel from tilbury town to Sutton, Surrey to see a friend. However I’m going to be getting a oyster soon but i don’t really have a clue how much it would cost for the travel and I would like some kind of estimate, any ideas?
    Thank you.

  889. Hi Mike,
    I study and stay in Uxbridge, I would like to come home for the weekends, which is in Stevenage. What would be the cheapest possible way to come home on the weekends. I have a 16-25 railcard.
    Thanks in advance.

  890. Hi Danielle,

    You can’t use Oyster at Tilbury Town. An off-peak day return costs £14.90 and can be used on trains from Tilbury arriving at Fenchurch Street after 1000 M-F.

  891. Hi Jake,

    You’ll need to purchase tickets between Zone U2356 LONDN and Stevenage. Only day tickets are available, so if you are staying overnight you’ll need two singles. You need to avoid zone 1 by changing at Finchley Road, short walk to Finchley Road and Frognall, overground to Highbury & Islington and the Great Northern to Stevenage, possibly changing at Finsbury Park.

  892. Hi, I am going to be travelling from Ealing Broadway (zone 3) to Gatwick from October. I think my route will be:
    EB > Shep Bush > Clapham >Gatwick so for a monthly season tickets it looks like:
    Zone 2-5 Oyster to get me from EB to East Croydon: £122.50
    East Croydon to Gatwick: £201.60
    Is the cheapest option. I would then also be able to use my Oyster and not worry about getting the paper ticket out at the barriers.

    This might be an obvious question, but would I need to get off at East Croydon and touchout?


  893. Hi Joy,

    No, it’s not the cheapest option. At the moment the cheapest option is to get a Gatwick to zones 1-6 travelcard with a route of Thameslink only. This costs £311.10/month and gives you the freedom of zone 1 as well. The only caveat is that you must use Thameslink trains between East Croydon and Gatwick. These tickets are supposed to be being phased out now that the same company runs both Southern and Thameslink, so it’s possible that the split will be cheaper in the future. In that instance there is no need to touch out at East Croydon because you are covered by a travelcard

  894. Hi Mike,

    I need to make a return journey from Paddington to Maidenhead tomorrow. I have a Z1-3 Oyster season ticket with a Gold Record Card. Can I get a ticket to travel between the Z3 boundary and Maidenhead without having to leave and rejoin the train? What ticket do I need to ask for?

    Many thanks.

  895. Hi Pete,

    Yes, ask for a boundary zone 3 to Maidenhead return with gold card discount. You don’t have to leave the train.

  896. Dear mike,

    Does condition 19 at the top of this article still apply? I’ve recently bought a season ticket from billericay to Harold wood, then an oyster zones 2-6 travel card based on the info in your responses (including Jesin most recently from Chelmsford above – 15/09/15). This method makes a saving of ~£200 per annum, however if condition 19 is still applicable my journey is invalid because billericay trains do not call at Harold wood (during week days). You make no mention of the requirement for the train to stop there in your response to Jesin, and the station staff at billericay also said my combination was a valid journey. Is condition 19 now out of date?

  897. Hi Ian,

    Yes, condition 19 does still apply. The example you quoted was mixing a travelcard season with a day ticket which satisfies condition 19c. If both tickets are seasons then 19b applies, unless they are both zonal when 19a applies.

    However, AGA may decide not to strictly adhere to condition 19. For your own peace of mind I would seek to get written confirmation that your combination is valid. You don’t want to be arguing the toss with a revenue officer.

  898. Ah, missed the “day ticket” bit from that example, thank you for clarifying.

    I will indeed email AGA to obtain confirmation. Thank you for your time and suggestion.


  899. Hi Mike

    I have to travel from Ilford to Witham and if I take straight train ticket then I can n’t board any bus as the ticket issues will be paper ticket. So will it be possible if I will have zone 4-6 monthly pass and from harold wood to witham paperticket. Will it works if I change train from shenfield to Witham. Please reply.

  900. Hi Shilpi,

    TfL buses will accept paper tickets as long as they include a travelcard. A quirk of the enquiry logic means that a travelcard including outboundary travel must be specified with the outboundary station first. In your case this is Witham to zones 4-6. You can still use it the other way round as travel is unlimited on a season ticket. Hope this helps.

  901. I have a TfL dependent’s Oyster card and need to travel from Woking to Earl’s Court.

    A possible route looks like: Woking-Surbiton (SW trains) then Surbiton-Wimbledon + Wimbledon-Earl’s Court (both Oyster).

    If I buy a paper ticket Woking to Surbiton, do I need to tap in/out at the gate at Surbiton to continue my journey on to Earl’s Court using my Oyster card via Wimbledon?

  902. Hi Keith,

    If you were just talking about an ordinary Oyster card then the answer is definitely yes, as per the article above. My hesitation is that I’m not sure whether you can use a TfL dependent’s Oyster on SWT services. Hopefully you’ll know the answer to that.

  903. Hi – I can see this question was asked a while ago but I’m just checking the situation hasn’t changed. I travel from Faversham to Holloway Road, so I have a Southeastern Hispeed travel card including tube. I have to use my paper ticket in the barriers to exit StPancras and then at the tube barriers too, although all of these are touch enabled. I currently don’t use my Oyster card at all.

    Is it possible to somehow link my Southeastern travelcard to my Oyster account so I can touch through the barriers instead of wearing out my paper ticket, which I have to keep renewing every 2-3 weeks simply because it is unreadable?

  904. Hi Ian,

    No, you can’t load an outboundary travelcard onto an Oyster card.

  905. I have a child who is 7 years old and is therefore generally liable to pay fares on NR. However, travel is free up to age 10 on some routes in London, sometimes conditional on a Zip Oyster 5-10 card being held.

    Could a journey from High Wycombe to Marylebone be made with a paper ticket to West Ruislip (the rest being covered by the 5-10 Oyster)? Would the train need to stop at West Ruislip, and would it be necessary also to alight and touch in there?

  906. I understand that you can now use oyster PAYG cards from London to Shenfield. I live in Chelmsford and travel to Canary Wharf – I imagine it would save me lots of money if I used my oyster to cover part of that journey but would I have to jump on and off at Shenfield overground to touch in and out every day?

  907. Hi Paul,

    Yes you can use a paper ticket to West Ruislip. I believe you have to touch in the 5-10 zip card so the train would need to stop there. If it’s of any use, under 11s travel free from Amersham all the way to Marylebone and if they are accompanied by a fare paying adult there is no need for them to have a zip card. Sadly on the main line this only applies between West and South Ruislip.

  908. Hi Emma,

    It depends what you have on the Oyster card. If it is a travelcard from Shenfield to zone 2 then you wouldn’t need to touch in and out. If you were using PAYG then you definitely would. If your ticket from Chelmsford to Shenfield was a season and you had a season on the Oyster then the train would need to call at Shenfield, but you wouldn’t have to get off.

  909. Hi Mike.

    I will shortly be undertaking work near Moorgate. I will be travelling from Stevenage. I was told that it may be cheaper to buy a return ticket to Finsbury Park and then use an Oyster Card for the final leg (Finsbury Park to Moorgate). Is this correct?

  910. Hi Sally,

    No it is not. A Stevenage to London Terminals ticket is valid into both Kings Cross and Moorgate. It is also valid on the Underground between Finsbury Park, Kings Cross, Moorgate, Old Street and Highbury & Islington, but not at any intermediate stations.

  911. Hi Mike,
    Would a season ticket Chelmsford to London Travelcard Zones 2-6 (West Hampstead) allow me to change to the Underground and exit in Zone2, say Swiss Cottage?

    What if I change in Stratford to the Jubilee line and exit in Zone 2 (Swiss Cottage) would that still be valid?


  912. Hi Denis,

    It depends which way you want to go. If you want to use the Jubilee line through zone 1 then no, it’s not valid. If you change at Stratford and take the Overground to West Hampstead then that’s fine.

  913. Thanks Mike,
    What about traveling within Zone 2?

    For example, can I change at West Hampstead (Zone 2 underground) and leave from Swiss Cottage which is still Zone 2 Underground?


  914. Hi Denis,

    Yes, you can go wherever you like within zones 2-6, you are not limited to the line from Chelmsford. You just mustn’t venture into zone 1.

  915. Hi Mike – Brilliant site!

    Do you know if there are any Oyster validators on the LT&S – sorry, c2c – platforms at Upminster?

    Kind regards, Steve.

  916. Sorry Steve, no idea.

  917. Hi Mike

    I live in Billericay and I’m getting a Season Ticket to London for Zones 2-6. I get the Abellio Greater Anglia to Stratford, then either the Jubilee Line or DLR to Canary Whalf. Is it possible to put this Season Ticket on an Oyster card? Even though Billericay is outside the Oyster card area, the Season Ticket will still be valid there.


  918. Hi Nicole,

    Sadly not. Oyster cannot hold seasons from outside it’s area.

  919. I currently have a zone 1-6 annual travelcard as I travel from Orpington into London daily. I may be moving to Rochester in the New Year and wondered the most cost effective way of purchasing tickets for the additional journey.

  920. Hi Julie,

    It may depend on the route you take from Rochester. Can you describe your full journey to work and also say how much of the annual ticket is left. Also, is the zone 1-6 travelcard on paper or Oyster?

  921. Hi Mike,
    I wonder if you could advise? I have a Staff Nominee oyster card (So free TFL travel) but am heading to Bournemouth on Friday about 5:30. Where will i need to buy a ticket from to ensure my journey is covered, Surbiton maybe? I was hoping to catch the 17:35 from Waterloo to Bournemouth direct (Though it doesnt stop at Surbiton, is this a problem?). If I have to stop at Surbiton it significantly increases my journey time? Can you assist please?

  922. Hi Rob,

    I don’t usually advise on the ins and outs of staff travel because I have no access to the rules. I will make an observation in your case which is that no services between Waterloo and Surbiton are operated by TfL.

  923. Hi Mike
    I am swapping jobs and will need to get from Hertford north to blackfriars. Would the best ticket be to get a zone 1-6 travelcard plus an extension ticket from boundary of zone 6 to hertford north? I’ve read somewhere that hertford north station said that wasn’t possible. Any idea how much an annual ticket would cost? thanks

  924. Hi Karen,

    You can get an annual from Hertford Stations to zones 1-6 for £3600. This is valid to either North or East stations in Hertford.

  925. Hi Mike
    Thanks for your reply. That seems very expensive when an annual ticket from Hertford north to moorgate is £2600 roughly. Is there a cheaper option? Maybe an annual ticket from Hertford north to Gordon hill plus an annual travelcard?
    Thanks very much

  926. Hi Karen,

    The annual travelcard covering zones 1-2 is £1284 which is more than the £952 difference between the London Terminals and zones 1-6 travelcard versions from Hertford. Even 440 zone 1 tube singles (44 weeks) is over £1000. I don’t think you’re going to get it any cheaper.

  927. hi Mike, how are you?

    i would like to find more information on my new travel journey from HOUNSLOW TO EPSOM (Surrey), now i have the travel card zone 2-6 which cost £154.00 a month. EPSOM (SURREY) is out of zone i know that, but the station before that EWELL WEST is in zone 6 which is valid on my travel card 2-6, all i need the cost of EWELL WEST TO EPSOM (SURREY) which one stop, can please tell me the cheaper way. thanks

  928. Hi Mehul,

    Ewell West to Epsom is £3.80 anytime return and £11.70 weekly season. If you use the season option then the train MUST call at Ewell West. When you next renew you can get an Epsom to zones 2-6 travelcard for £177.50/month which covers both routes from Epsom to the zones. You can still use it in reverse.

  929. H1i Mike
    Sorry to keep asking questions. I’d misunderstood what ticket the £3600 one was – is that a zones 1-6 travelcard plus an extension to hertford? If yes do I buy that as one ticket or two separate tickets?
    Thanks very much for your help.

  930. Hi Karen,

    Yes, that’s one ticket. Covers unlimited travel in zones 1-6 as well as unlimited travel between either Hertford East or North and the zone 6 boundary.

  931. Hello Mike,

    I’m planning to travel from Shadwell DLR to Southend Airport. My paper ticket will take me from Stratford to Southend Airport, but I need to get from Shadwell to Stratford. Is it okay to go from Shadwell DLR to Stratford DLR on my contactless card and then jump straight onto the train to Southend (assuming I touch out at a stand alone validator) without the need to exit Stratford at the main gates and walk straight back through them with my paper ticket?

  932. Hi Tom,

    Yes, that’s fine.

  933. Thanks Mike, that is so helpful. Final silly question – do I have to buy that ticket from a tube station or can I get it from a normal train station?

  934. Hi Karen,

    You’d be better off getting it at a National Rail station.

  935. Hi Mike. I will soon be commuting daily from Radlett to Blackfriars on Thameslink. I was planning on getting an annual season ticket and also include a 1-6 zone travelcard as I will be using buses and tubes in central London regularly. To avoid a paper ticket for bus and tube travel, am I right in thinking that I can get a season ticket from Radlett to Elstree & Borehamwood then an Oyster for all the rest. And as long as the train stops at E&B I am fine. Also, is what I am saying the cheapest option. Sorry, but new to this commuting business. Thanks

  936. Hi David,

    Yes, you are correct about the train needing to stop to make the combination valid. It’s not the cheapest option though, in fact it’s the most expensive. Taking weekly fares (x40 for annual) the options are:

    Radlett to zones 1-6 all in one paper travelcard: £78.70
    Radlett to Elstree and a zone 1-6 travelcard: £78.80
    Radlett to zones 5-6 and a zones 1-4 travelcard: £78.60

    As you can see, there’s not a lot in it price wise. The middle option restricts you to slow trains whereas the other two allow fasts as well (not that that makes any difference in this case). The third option should cost more but there’s a pricing anomaly at the moment which works in your favour.

  937. Hi Mike,
    I’m moving to Apsley/Hemel Hempstead shortly and I commute daily to Syon Lane/Gunnersbury.
    I had been thinking of a Hemel to Zone 2-6 season to give some flexibility on starting from Hemel or Apsley. However I’m keen to minimise the cost of weekend (and occasionally) weekday trips into zone 1.
    Is the best option some sort of dual paper-season/oyster-travelcard?

  938. Hi Mich,

    Hemel to Syon Lane is frustratingly difficult when avoiding zone 1. Have you considered walking or bussing between Gunnersbury and Kew Gardens? If this is possible (and I’d guess walking may even be quicker than taking the train via Clapham Junction) then you only need zones 3-6.

    If you have zones 3-6 then an extension into zone 1 can be paid from either Putney or Willesden Junction which are both on the boundary between zones 2 and 3.

  939. Thanks Mike – I might not have been very clear originally.
    I’m not too worried about avoiding Zone 2; I’m planning in either a journey from Hemel/Apsley [with a Watford change] to Syon Lane (via Southern to Clapham, then SWT to Syon Lane) or Hemel/Apsley to Gunnersbury (via a whole host of NR/Overground/Bakerloo combinations) depending on whichever is more convenient from a timetable point of view.

    Is my best option in terms of maintaining an Oyster to minimise the cost of trips into Zone 1, to get a Hemel-Boundary Z6 paper season, and then Oyster 2-6 travelcard?

  940. Hi Mich,

    Sadly you can’t buy a season ticket to boundary zone 6. You can buy Hemel to zones 5-6 and combine that with zones 2-4 on Oyster but it costs an extra £8.80/week. You can also buy a Hemel to Hatch End (last station in zone 6) season, but you can only use trains that call at Hatch End if you combine that with a zone 2-6 travelcard.

  941. Zulfiquar Ahmed

    Dear Mike,
    I want to travel from bishops strotford to east croydon and also will use tram and buses in both places (Bishops Strotford and Croydon) regularly.
    What would be the cheapest option for that if I would prefer monthly card. Please advise. Thanks a lot.

  942. Hi Zulfiquar,

    You need a Bishops Stortford to zones 1-6 travelcard and a plus bus season for Bishops Stortford. You could possibly save a little by getting just zones 2-6, but you’d need to travel via Stratford and Canada Water which would add a lot to the journey.

  943. Hi Mike,
    Please advice if I need to buy more than one ticket for a journey b/w Bromley South to Ipswich. Is there any way that I can get the weekly/monthly pass b/w these junction ?

    Any suggested route which can reduce my travelling time and cost of ticket if buy in advance

  944. Hi Ash,

    Bromley South to Ipswich is available on one ticket, including Underground travel between Victoria and Liverpool Street. There are advance tickets available which could reduce the costs depending on when you can book. You would be tied to a specific Liverpool Street to Ipswich train. For season tickets you need to book the other way round as Ipswich to London zones 1-6. You can use season tickets at any time either way round so that isn’t a problem. There is a cheaper version which excludes zone 1. You’d need to change at Stratford onto the Jubilee line to Canada Water then take Overground to Peckham Rye and Southeastern to Bromley South, or Overground to New Cross and Southeastern to Grove Park then Bromley North. It won’t be as quick so it depends which is more important – time or cost.

  945. Thanks Mike that’s most appreciated.
    If anything, I think I’d probably go for Hemel-Watford Junction paper season, and Watford Junction – Z2 Oyster, given that all of the trains stop there… however given my reason for doing that would be to minimise the cost of trips into Z1, I’d have to touch in at Watford, which would be a pain.
    Is there any sensible cheap option travel into Z1, if I have a Hemel-Zone 2 paper season?

  946. Sorry Mich,

    You’d need a ticket from a station in zone 2 to Euston which will cost significantly more than the zone 1 Oyster charge.

  947. Hi Mike,

    I need to travel between Harrow on the Hill to Liverpool street ( Zones 1-5). What is the cheapest possible options available in tube. Currently I am taking monthly pass for zone1-5 which costs 210 Pounds. Do we have the monthly season pass to travel between these stations alone?

  948. Hi Rajan,

    No, there are no point-to-point seasons for the Underground. The best suggestion I can make is to change at Finchley Road and walk to the North London Line at Finchley Road and Frognal. From there take London Overground to Highbury & Islington and change for Hoxton. Depending on how far you still have to go you could get buses towards Liverpool Street. As buses don’t operate in zones you would only need a zone 2-5 travelcard.

  949. Hi,

    I have just purchased an annual season paper ticket from Watford Junction – London Zones 1-6

    I have the travel paper ticket which is the ‘Gold Card’ but I would like to upload the paper ticket to my registered oyster card? I don’t want to continue using a paper ticket through the barriers and over time this can ware and tear. Trainline are unable to do this for me for some reason which is silly, and also underground stations are unable to do anything?

  950. Hi Richard,

    I don’t think the trainline do anything linked to Oyster, so I’m not that surprised that they can’t help. There are issues transferring travelcards between Oyster and paper (either way) and it depends where you bought the original ticket. If it was from the trainline then that’s a NR vendor so LU will be unable to help. Your best bet is to go to Marylebone NR ticket office. If it can be done then they are most likely to do it, but I can’t promise that there isn’t an issue that I’m not aware of.

  951. Hey mike.

    We are planning a holiday to see family in Sevenoaks. We will be landing in Heathrow and most probably heading into London 5 of the 7 days we are there. Was wondering what is the best option in regards to travel cards and Oyster cards? we will also be departing from Gatwick to continue the holiday

  952. Hi Chris,

    Sevenoaks and Gatwick are both outside the Oyster area (although Gatwick will be ok at some stage in 2016) and Heathrow is in the area, but only if you use the Piccadilly line, not the Heathrow Express or Connect to Paddington. A daily off-peak travelcard from Sevenoaks is valid after 0920 M-F and all day at weekends. On the two airport days you can get single tickets if you won’t be making any other journeys, or if a travelcard would work for those days then a boundary zone 6 to Sevenoaks or Gatwick Airport single will combine with a travelcard for the one-way extra bit.

  953. Hi Mike,

    We are planning to move to Basingstoke but I work at Shepherd’s Bush. What would be the cheapest and easyest way to travel to?

  954. Hi Cintia,

    The only sensible route is Basingstoke to Clapham Junction to Shepherd’s Bush.

  955. Hi Mike,

    Great website!

    I unfortunatley use thameslink : ( and travel from Luton to South Kensington daily. I currently buy a Luton – Hendon ticket and have an zones 1-3 oyster. This costs me £4,292 annual as opposed to £4,936 a saving of £644pa! The down side is that I have to board a slow train that stops at Hendon but this doesn’t add much to the journey time.

    I’ve just noticed however that thameslink are introducing there new electronic key card which may inadvetantly cause us cleaver split ticketers problems in the future.

    I need to renew in February so do you have any tips that may help me?


  956. Hi Gavin,

    I don’t think you have to load season tickets onto a key card.

  957. Hi Mike,
    Thank you for being so helpful in here. I have some questions regarding the season ticket. I travel from Finsbury Park to Moorgate on Great Northern train. The cheapest way to travel for me is to get an annual season ticket. I used to hold an annual gold card to travel when I lived in southeast London. The issue with gold card is that it’s not contactless so I couldn’t use it to touch in/out, which really was a PIA!
    I want to know if I were to buy an annual season ticket for the journey between Finsbury Park and Moorgate, what type of ticket would I get? A paper annual gold card or something that can be used to touch in/out? And could I load this season ticket to my Oyster card? As far as I know I won’t be able to load an annual gold card to an Oyster card.

    Thanks in advance!

  958. Hi Harry,

    The only season tickets which can be loaded onto an Oyster card are those that are travelcards, or include a travelcard where Oyster is accepted outside the zones. If you get an annual travelcard on Oyster then you get a gold record card which acts as the gold card when buying discounted tickets for rail travel. If you only require Finsbury Park to Moorgate then the paper season is considerably cheaper than the zone 1-2 travelcard, so you won’t be able to touch in or out.

  959. Hi Mike, thanks for this info.
    I understand Zone 6 is being extended to include Redhill (surrey) from ‘early 2016’. I commute from Reigate to London Bridge and necessarily have to go through Redhill. Does the above mean I can use Oyster from Redhill to LB and separately get a paper season ticket from Reigate to Redhill? Or can the tickets be combined on the Oyster card? I do not need tube travel. And do you have any idea how I would work out how much it would cost? Unfortunately my current season ticket expires end of the year so I can’t wait until it is live on the system. I have tried to look on various websites e.g. TFL but am unclear as to the pricing and whether it requires me to touch in and out or not.

    Many thanks.


  960. Hi Chris,

    Firstly, Oyster is being extended to Gatwick Airport; zone 6 is unlikely to stretch any further south than Coulsdon South. Secondly, this extension is NOT happening in time for the new fares on Jan 2nd. You also cannot load season tickets which are not travelcards onto Oyster, so you are probably better off sticking with a Reigate to London Bridge paper season, or possibly put that on a Key smartcard.

  961. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for the info above on mixing tickets. I have a similar scenario to Chris on the 17/12/15 but slightly different question and a little unsure if i can proceed as below. I will be taking on the commute from Brighton to London (Warren St. tube final destination) starting the 4th Jan. I have looked into ticket options and after investigating i came across split ticketing, i think i can do the following (see option 2) but would like to run this by you for advice before i make any steep purchases and ensure i am in accordance with condition 19.

    Option 1 is to purchase the annual season ticket from BTN to London with travelcard zones 1-6 @ 5,196 (2015 pricing). Option 2 is to split the ticket, part 1 purchase the annual season ticket (on the key smartcard) from BTN to ECR @ 2,728 – part 2 purchase annual travelcard zones 1-5 (on oyster) for remaining journey @ 2,188. Option 2 totals 4,916 – making a savings of 280.

    I have checked ECR is zone 5, as far as i can see when travelling in peak times all trains i would be planning to take stop and call at ECR. Does option 2 meet condition 19? and can i proceed to purchase both parts separately without facing any penalty by not getting off the train at ECR to touch in/out. Instead i would first touch at either VIC, LBG or even STP. Appreciate your assistance to answer this query. I am looking to buy tomorrow.
    Many thanks,

  962. Hi Luke,

    You will be absolutely fine with that combination as far as Oyster is concerned. There is no penalty for not touching in or out within the zones covered by your travelcard. I’m not sure if the same is true with seasons issued on The Key. It may be better to get that ticket on paper unless Southern confirm that not touching at one end is fine.

  963. Hi Mike,

    Appreciate the quick response, i tried to get down to BTN ticket office to confirm with the Train Company and look to purchase. I just missed them unfortunately. I did speak with the attendants at the gate and they confirmed it would be possible to do the split option but best to purchase the paper ticket as you must touch in/out with The Key smartcard.

    However, looking further into ALL train options, i believe i would have to avoid the Gatwick Express service as this skips ECR and goes straight from GAT to VIC – ruling out complying with 19 (b). Can i just clarify with you, if i purchase this split ticket option (BTN to ECR Annual ‘Season Ticket’ + Annual ‘Travelcard’ zones 1-5) i MUST be on a train that would call at ECR to be ok? Or would it be possible to still utilise the Gatwick Express service and skip calling at ECR as i still comply with 19 (c) – one ticket is a Annual ‘Season Ticket’ and the other is not (it is a Annual ‘Travelcard’)

    Appreciate your assistance on this 🙂

    Many thanks,

  964. Hi Luke,

    An Annual Travelcard is also an Annual Season. Sorry.

  965. Hi Mike

    I’ve just purchased a zone 2-4 season ticket from my local station for my journey to Canary Wharf. Stupidly, I forgot that I need to get out at Lewisham rail to change to DLR. bearing in mind my season ticket is in paper format, is there anyway for me to transfer it onto my oyster card, so I can tap out, or would I need to show my rail card to net work staff each time I did the transfer at Lewisham?

  966. Your travelcard season will work the gates at Lewisham NR if necessary so you shouldn’t need assistance from staff. It is technically possible to transfer a season to Oyster, but there are very few places where it can be done. It is also likely to attract a fee.

  967. Hi Mike

    Somewhat similar to the above I am looking to combine paper and oyster for a cheaper fare but wanted your advice

    I will be travelling from Ruislip Manor (zone 6) to Staines (via Acton Town, Turnham Green and Richmond). Given that the zone 6 boundary is at Feltham would I be covered if I were to get a Feltham to Staines paper season ticket and a zone 6 or zone 4-6 monthly oyster? My main concern would be that I do not want to have to jump off the train at Feltham and touch out/paper in/vice versa. Richmond does have an internal reader to touch in via, hence thinking the 4-6 rather than zone 6 only?

  968. Hi Darren,

    You have to pay for every zone you travel through, so you would need zones 3-6 as Turnham Green requires a zone 3 travelcard for travel from the West. Having said that, the combination of zones 3-6 on Oyster and a paper Feltham to Staines season would be valid without getting off at Feltham as there is no penalty for not touching in or out when using a travelcard season. You do have to satisfy condition 19(b) though, so the train must call at Feltham, but I don’t think that’s a serious problem.

  969. Hi Mike,

    I have a 2-6 monthly travel card paper ticket from Rochford. At the weekends, I often travel into zone 1. Is there anyway to add a daily zone 1 travel card onto this?


  970. Hi Oli,

    There is no such thing as a zone 1 travelcard. Coming from Rochford your cheapest solution is to get off at Stratford and touch in with either an Oyster or contactless payment card. As long as you stay within zones 1-2 you will be capped at the daily rate of £6.50. You’d also need to join the return train at Stratford as well, after touching out.

  971. Hi
    Im travalling from epping to london on saturday afternoon using oyster card, then later that evening travelling from lindon to chelsford, can i use oyster card stil or will i need to buy paper ticket??

  972. Hi Nick,

    Assuming you mean Chelmsford then you would need a paper ticket to get beyond the Oyster boundary at Shenfield.

  973. Hi Mike,
    Im trying to find out if using Oyster for part of my daughter’s rail journey to reigate from coulsdon each day will be possible. She has a 16+ oystercard. Could she travel from Woodmansterne to Redhill using that, and then get out and come back in with a paper season ticket between Redhill and Reigate? It would mean a difference of £100 per month to us as she currently has to have a paper season ticket from Coulsdon South to Reigate.

  974. Hi Jan,

    Yes, once the Oyster system is activated to Redhill then that would be fine.

  975. Hi Mike, thanks very much, I rang the Oyster helpdesk, the British Rail journey helpline and the Southern Railway customer service and none of them knew anything about it… Many thanks for your advice,

  976. No problem, Jan

  977. Hi Mike

    I’m wondering about a split season ticket/ oyster journey. I travel from lewes to London bridge, but note it would work out cheaper if I used a season to east croydon and then used oyster card to continue travel to canary wharf on train and tube. My question is – would I need to tap in and out at east croydon ? And if so are there any platform tap in points or would I have to go up to the ticket hall to do this?

  978. Hi Judith,

    If you want to use PAYG on the Oyster then yes, you would need to touch in. And no, there are no validators on the platforms at East Croydon.

  979. Thanks for clarifying.

  980. Hi Mike

    I have a zone 3-6 paper travel card. If travelling from zone 3 to 2, what is the best way to pay for this? I assume the zone 3 part is already paid for but will need a separate ticket to exit at zone 2.

  981. Hi Johann,

    Yes you will. How much depends on what route you take and what modes you use. I can advise further if you can provide the journey.

  982. Hi Mike,
    I will be travelling 5 days a week from leytonstone zone 3 to Euston zone 1 and then getting the train to Hemel Hempstead and then the return journey also. Is there any way possible I can use my oyster on the national rail train even if it is for part of the journey?

  983. Hi Shereen,

    The only way would be to buy two season tickets. As the train must stop at the changeover point this limits you realistically to Watford Junction, Bushey and Hemel Hempstead. In each case you would be paying more than the Hemel Hempstead to zones 1-6 ticket which would cover your entire journey.

  984. HI Mike
    I travelled today using the oyster card from redhill to victoria at 09:40, with two journeys on the tube. When I returned at 16:32 my completed journey total was £19.
    But a off peak day travel card is £16.

    I hope you can help

  985. Hi Dean,

    I can help, but probably not in the way you are hoping. I’ve been trying to highlight on here what a rip-off the Oyster fares on the Gatwick extension are. I’ve added comments to the When not to use Oyster page and summarised some of the issues in this recent post. All I can suggest is that you contact Southern/Thameslink customer services and complain. You could also express your feelings to London Travelwatch and/or the Department for Transport. You might even try to get a letter published in the Evening Standard.

  986. hello mike
    am moving to basildon soon and i am not sure what zone basildon is and also not sure if oyster works in basildon station. i will be leaving from basildon to sutton. which travelcard is best for me.
    thanks for your response in advance

  987. Hi Omo,

    Basildon is outside the zonal area and doesn’t accept Oyster either. You would need a Basildon to zones 1-6 travelcard if you want to travel via Central London. If you are happy to avoid zone 1 by changing at West Ham, Canada Water and Peckham Rye or New Cross Gate then you can opt for the cheaper Basildon to zones 2-6 travelcard.

  988. Graham Fernandez

    Hi Mike,
    Firstly thank you for providing such a great guide here.
    I came across this page whilst searching how to put a travelcard on Oyster. I have a zone 1-5 travelcard issued by Southeastern and due to the numerous problems I have had with my paper ticket not working in the barriers (last year I changed my ticket 25 – 30 times!) I was advised I could put this onto an Oyster. Therefore I obtained an Oyster card and spoke to a member of London Underground staff at the barrier since they have done away with the ticket offices in many places. He was genuinely willing to help and said this could be done and went about linking this on the Oyster machine. However upon trying it I found that only my photocard had been registered to the Oyster and the Travelcard entitlement was not there. I have since been going round in circles trying to get this sorted and have been advised by a number of underground staff and even TFL on their helpline that this is not possible! Others including Southeastern have told me to the contrary and it seems from what you have put here that this is possible. Most grateful if you know what I need to do – this whole episode has been so frustrating!
    Thanks in advance

  989. Hi Graham,

    I’m guessing that you have an annual travelcard which means that the LU staff member carried out the linking process to get the discount entitlement loaded. Transferring the whole season ticket to an Oyster is a different process. It is possible, but not at an Underground station (even if a ticket office was still open). There are no Southeastern stations which can load a season onto an Oyster card. I believe your best bet is to go to one of the National Rail stations on this page, where Marylebone has always been helpful in the past.

  990. Hello Mike,
    I have a slightly different question. I need to travel from Hersham (outside Oyster Zone) to Brondesbury Park (Overground Zone 2) via Clapham Junction and back every week day. As far as I can see, it’s valid to have a season ticket from Hersham to Surbiton (the closest station in Oyster Zone) and a travelcard for Zones 2-6 on Oyster. Also, as per 19(b) of NRCOC, as long as the trains call at Surbiton I won’t need to separately touch in/out at Surbiton and instead can continue travelling on the same train. The problem is that at Brondesbury Park station there are no gates. It has a couple of touch in/out readers which work both for entrance and exit. Now, if I travel to Brondesbury Park then obviously I can’t touch in at Hersham but when I come to Brondesbury Park do I need to touch out? If so, how would TfL know whether I am exiting or entering the station? If it assumes that that was an entrance instead of an exit and after a while when a maximum journey length expires, would TfL just charge me a maximum fare as for incomplete journeys? What would your advice be for my case? Thank you in advance!

  991. Hi Alex,

    My advice would be to get a paper Hersham to zones 2-6 travelcard as it saves around £5/week.

  992. Hi Mike,

    I have got an Annual Gold Travel Card for zones 1-5 (I used to travel from East Croydon to London Bridge) but have recently moved out to Redhill.

    Considering the recent changes I can now use my Oyster card on the whole route, which is great! However….. What would you recommend as the cheapest way on the route from Redhill to East Croydon to complement my annual card?


  993. Hi Hono,

    A paper anytime return at £8.90 is cheaper than two Oyster peak singles (£5.20 each). The off-peak Oyster single is only £3.00 so would undercut the anytime return if one journey was off-peak. There is also a season for Redhill to East Croydon at £41.90/week (£1676/year) which would be worthwhile as long as you travel most days. The weekly version has to be used on 5 days to be worthwhile.

  994. Hi Mike, thanks for the terrific wealth of information that you are providing on the site! Here’s my big question: I have a NR gold card valid from Cheesy and zone 2-6. On weekends,I travel into zone 1. I had my card linked at Waterloo so that at least the discount is showing up. However, will I be able to do a check-out only on my card when reaching London (through Clapham Jct) and only get charged for zone 1-2 on the oyster? Or, will I have to continue finding an open ticket office when leaving top buy another paper ticket from Clapham Jct to WAT? Of I buy an add-on ticket, this obviously is not included in the cap for oyster and thus, cost me another £3.90 each roundtrip… Looking forward to some help!

  995. Hi Lars,

    Depending on where you want to go to in London you can do one of two things. Either (a) get off at Clapham Junction and exit using your season ticket then touch in with your Oyster; or (b) get off at Vauxhall and exit using your season ticket, then re-enter with your Oyster at either the NR or the LU stations. Vauxhall is on the boundary of zones 1 and 2 so you would only get charged for zone 1 on your Oyster, whereas at Clapham Junction you’d be charged zones 1-2. In either case you may be limited by the zone 1-2 cap.

  996. Hi Mike.

    I’ve just found your website and it looks marvellous! Thank you for putting so much useful info in one place. I have a bit of conundrum I’m trying to work out at the moment. I live in Streatham (zone 3) but am quite active so travel across London in evenings and at weekends. I work two days in King’s Cross and three days in welwyn garden city (bit of a trek!) I used to travel to Hatfield and boundary fare from zone 3 was £8.60 return or a standard return from King’s Cross was £14.40. Once moving to welwyn garden city the boundary fare from zone 3 increased to £11.50 despite the standard return also being £14.40. I queried this numerous times and didn’t get a satisfactory answer. I’m now paying over the odds to travel and am trying to find the most cost effective solution. Looking zone 1-4 travel card and boundary zone tickets at the moment but wondering if there’s a better way. Or if you had any other ideas? Sorry, there might not be but it seems like if anyone could help you might be able to! Thank you in advance.

  997. Hi Teri,

    Pricing of boundary zone tickets often does lead to anomalies unfortunately. In your case it looks like the boundary zone 4 price does seem to be competitively priced as long as you can afford the increase in the zones of the travelcard.

  998. Hi Mike,
    I am looking at travelling from South Ken station to Welwyn Garden City on a daily basis. I also have a 60+ Oyster card but I’m not certain how it works on the overground. I’m planning to travel on the Piccadilly line to Finsbury Park and then changing to the overground for the remainder of the journey. Will my journey be free or will I hVe to buy an extension from Finsbury Park? Sam

  999. Hi Sam,

    You’ll need to buy an extension. If travel is required before 0930 then that extension will need to be from Finsbury Park. If all travel from Finsbury Park is after 0930 then you can get a ticket from Boundary Zone 6 instead.

  1000. Hi Mike,

    I have a complicated question which I hope you can help with.

    I need to travel from Amersham to Reading every day for two months and will need to do so via London. To do this, it looks like I would need to get a monthly travelcard from Reading to Zone 1. Would I then be able to get a travelcard to cover zones 7 to 9? My main concern is that I would want to use the Chiltern service to Marylebone as this is much faster but of course does not call at Moor Park. Would this cause any issues or would I need to stick to Metropolitan line trains? Do you have any other suggestions on how I could make this journey?


  1001. Hi Alex,

    It is possible to create custom travelcards with two out of zone extensions. The method is to add the cost of each travelcard to zones 1-6 together and then deduct the cost of a zone 1-6 internal travelcard. The only slight complication is the zones 7-9 in use at Amersham, but I don’t think this will be an issue. What could be an issue is if Amersham hasn’t got a ticket office. If that is the case then you may have to actually get the ticket at Marylebone.

  1002. Ben Jackson

    Dear Mike,
    I have read your very useful notes on ‘Mixing Oyster & Paper Tickets’ and I think I understand the way it works. However, just to be sure….I have just moved to Epsom(outside the Zones) but work in Zone 1. I like to cycle for exercise so for my first week of commuting I will cycle from home to Stoneleigh station(Zone 5) and take the train from there. To this end I have added a 7 day, Zones 1-5 Travelcard to my existing PAYG Oyster. If one day I wanted to start from, or return to, Epsom station itself, I can buy a paper ticket for the Epsom- Stoneleigh part of the journey and this covers me. Have I got that right? Many thanks, Ben

  1003. Hi Ben,

    Yes, that’s fine as long as the paper ticket is a day one. If you bought another season then the train from Epsom would have to stop at Stoneleigh.

  1004. Hi Mike,
    What a great website!! After spending hours yesterday trying to get my head around the London travel fare system, it was so useful to find this.
    Hoping you can help with the following:
    Husband and I just moved to Redhill. We both work in London (zone 1), but whereas my husband works everyday Mon-Fri, I generally work in the office 3-4 days a week.
    With the oyster card extension in January we got confused thinking this meant Redhill was now in zone 6, so on Monday and Tuesday paid by contactless and have both been charged £19.50 each day for peak travel. Have no idea how this is worked out??
    If I travel only 4 days a week this is £78 (cheaper than a weekly Redhill to London Travelcard 1-6 and approx. £5 more than a monthly), so would this be the cheapest option, especially as some weeks I may only go in 3 days?
    For my husband, I presume a weekly or monthly travel card would be best, or are there cheaper options? Is it cheaper to buy a Redhill to London travelcard zone 1-6, or to buy a Redhill to London terminal travelcard and then pay for his tube travel (Vic to Oxford Circus) by oyster/contactless?
    Appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks.

  1005. Hi Lindsay,

    £19.50 should be made up of the zone 1-4 all day cap at £9.30 plus two Redhill to zone 5 peak singles at £5.20 each, but as you can see it’s 20p out. I’m yet to fully understand the capping and extension fares for the Gatwick section. If you can provide the details from your online journey history I’d be extremely grateful. You certainly won’t pay as little as that if you use Oyster, so contactless is definitely the way to go if you travel 3-4 days a week.

    For 5 days a week the Redhill to zones 1-6 travelcard season will be cheapest. This is £86.60/week while the London Terminals season is £67.40/week. On top of that you’d need 10x £2.40 zone 1 singles taking it up to £91.40/week. The difference would be greater for monthly tickets as the price of the zone 1 singles doesn’t reduce.

    Hope that helps.

  1006. Thanks so much Mike.
    According to my online journey history the £19.50 is:

    St James’s Park £12.50
    08:28 – 09:21

    St James’s Park
    Redhill £7.20 Fares capped
    17:10 – 17:59

    The other thing I’m struggling to understand is the below example of ticket savings on the Southern website. Perhaps I’m missing something, but I cannot understand how the the Monthly and Quarterly savings are calculated:
    Season ticket Brighton to London Victoria
    Weekly = £102.70
    Monthly = £394.40 – Save £16.40
    Quarterly = £1,183.10 – Save £152
    Annual (Gold Card) = £4,108 – Save £1,232.40

    Any thoughts?

  1007. Hi Lindsay,

    OK, so £12.50 + £7.20 is £19.70, so it’s the zone 1-4 cap plus two extension singles. Sanity has prevailed, thanks for restoring my faith in the over complicated fares structue on that line.

    Those savings are a little suspect. The monthly one assumes that you would only buy 4 weekly tickets which is not usually enough. The quarterly saving assumes buying 13 weekly tickets and the annual assumes buying 52 weekly tickets. In reality you’d never buy 52 weekly tickets because of holidays.

  1008. Hi Mike,

    Wondering if you could advise on the cost of going from Staines or Ashford in Middlesex to Canary Wharf?

  1009. Hi Natalie,

    Are you asking about day tickets, season tickets or something else?

  1010. Hi Mike,

    Sorry I should have clarified. I was wondering about a monthly season ticket?



  1011. Hi Natalie,

    OK. You’ll need a travelcard from your chosen station. Ashford is cheaper than Staines as it is nearer. If travelling from Staines make sure you don’t get the “Also Available At Shepperton” version unless you want that flexibility. If you intend to go via Waterloo then you’ll need the Staines/Ashford to zones 1-6 travelcard. To save money you can change at Clapham Junction and Canada Water which means you only need zones 2-6. That is over £70/month cheaper.

    Ashford to zones 1-6: £270.40
    Ashford to zones 2-6: £196.30
    Staines to zones 1-6: £305.30
    Staines to zones 2-6: £227.80

  1012. Hi Mike,

    This is amazing thank you so much for your help!!

  1013. Hi Mike, the answer to this may be buried in the excellent previous answers, so sorry if this is a repeat, but here goes.

    I would like to Travel from Tring NR to East Croydon and the cheapest annual ticket is a Zone 2-6 paper travelcard using Southern Rail via Clapham Junction.

    Most times this will be ok, but as the evening trains to Tring from Clapham are an hour apart, I may wish to occasionally travel ECR to Victoria via Clapham on Southern and then across Zone 1 to Euston to take a London Midland service to Tring.

    I would rather avoid buying a 1-6 season and would like to tag my annual gold card discount to my PAYG oyster if that offers any savings?.

    So the questions are; using a paper 2-6 TC, what are my options for using a PAYG Oyster to travel across Z1?
    I don’t want to tap in at ECR as I already have a ticket for most of the journey. The Z1 inbound doesn’t stop at any Z1 stations other than Victoria. Will I be able to exit the barrier with my paper 2-6 ticket and tap into Z1 at Victoria Underground, or if not how and how much would I pay. Then: if I tap out at Euston Uground will I be able to continue with paper at the Euston NR barriers to get on the LM train to Tring? There are no Z1 stops on these services.


  1014. Hi Christian,

    There is no easy answer. A paper single from Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction route “+Any Permitted” with your gold card discount is probably the easiest. This can be used in conjuction with your season ticket on fast trains. You must have authority to enter zone 1 before you do so or you might be liable for a penalty fare or prosecution.

    A free option is to take the London Overground services from Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction then either another LO service or the Bakerloo line to Harrow & Wealdstone and pick up the Tring service there.

  1015. Hi Mike

    Thanks for building a superb site.

    My weekday commute between Basildon and Blackfriars. my season ticket option is to combine z1 to z6 which about 15 expensive /weekly than travelling using payg from T.hill to Blackfriars. Is there another way to club my Nrail and Oyser cheaply rather than using PAYG.
    Is there any option to just add only Z1 to my national rail ticket. Thanks in avance

  1016. Hi Jone,

    Sadly you cannot combine a rail season from outside the zones with a travelcard unless it includes zone 6. Basildon has one of the highest upgrades from London Terminals to zone 1-6 travelcard, so as you’ve discovered it’s cheaper to use PAYG for zone 1 only journeys. I can’t see a cheaper combination myself.

  1017. Hi Mike

    I’m looking at travelling from Brixton to Walton on Thames. How much are we looking at to include zones 1-6 travelcard and also zones 2-6 travelcard. This would be on a monthly basis?
    Many Thanks


  1018. Hi Mark,

    To get travelcard prices including travel outside the zones you need to specify the outboundary station as the origin. So, Walton on Thames to zones 1-6 is £291.50/month and to zones 2-6 is £241.60/month.

  1019. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for maintaining such a superb site.
    May be it is a very basic question, I need to travel from Hounslow (Zone5) to Chessington North (Zone 6). For that I need to change train at Clapham Junction which is in Zone2. So when I purchase a monthly card, should I go for a Zone 2 to 6 or a cheaper zone 5 to 6?

  1020. Hi Dan,

    The quick answer is zone 2-6 with a fuller explanation being the first item on the FAQ page.

    However, in your particular case you can get away with just zone 4-6 with a little creativity. Travel to Twickenham and then take the train via Kingston to Raynes Park. At Raynes Park you will need to touch out and in again, then take the train to Chessington North. The touch out and in again is necessary because the overall journey assumes you’ve travelled via Clapham Junction. If you do travel via Clapham Junction with a zone 4-6 travelcard you will simply be charged a zone 2-3 single from your PAYG balance, so you still have some flexibility.

  1021. Hi, great website. Always much more useful than the TFL/NR websites!

    My commute is Streatham Hill to Staines during the week, and I am considering getting the Staines to Zone 2 season ticket. I understand this is a paper ticket rather than an oyster card.

    I travel into central London most weekends from Brixton. I often go Zones 2 or 3 but not enough to justify getting a Staines to Zone 1 season ticket. I am unsure how my paper ticket would work this in this scenario – would I need to use Oyster instead (ultimately paying to use Zones 2 or 3 again?). Do I not just pay for travelling through Zone 1?

  1022. Hi Dale,

    As the page above tries to explain, there is no easy way to mix Oyster PAYG and paper tickets without getting off the train or paying for zones more than once. You are slightly fortunate that there are two easy to get to zone 1/2 stations on the routes into London from Brixton (LU). One is Vauxhall and the other is Elephant & Castle. You can use your travelcard season ticket to each of these and then touch in with Oyster and only pay for zone 1. The other thing to note is that for LU the off-peak single fare for zones 1-2 is the same as the all day fare for zone 1.

    The only other way to do it is to split your season. A Staines to zones 5-6 season plus a zones 2-4 travelcard costs £3.40/week more than the combined ticket, but with the 2-4 travelcard on your Oyster you would automatically only pay zone 1 fares when you ventured there at weekends. You would need to be careful not to travel directly from Staines to Waterloo without touching in somewhere within zones 2-4 (Clapham Junction would probably be easiest).

  1023. Lots of useful info here – and good to see that it is still all being updated. I have just moved to Ladywell, southeast London, and work in Luton. West Hampstead Thameslink will be the quickest outbound station for the time I have to arrive, St Pancras International will be the quickest coming back after work.

    I thought that the best option initially would have been Luton – London Zones 1-6 at just shy of £5000 annually… this covers me for any entry to London and it gives me the travel inside London. The problem is that this will be a paper ticket; meaning constant use through barriers and potentially getting lost/damaged with no guarantee of replacement.

    So what is the alternative? Should I decide to go to only West Hampstead Thameslink every day, this costs only around £3400 a year. Add on the zones 1-3 annual oyster and it works out about the same, saving a few pennies even. That reduces the flexibility of entry to London, however.

    To “upgrade” that to London Terminals would up the cost to about £3900 annually. That hikes the entire affair up by £500 and a loss of zones 4-6 travel, simply to get an oyster card.

    The gold card benefit, at this point, feels a bit pointless.. the discounts for the single fares and caps only apply to off-peak travel and no matter which I buy first (season ticket or oyster card), the gold card has no use for the other.

    Have I overlooked any other potential factors, or is there something perhaps simpler to do? Many thanks!

  1024. Hello Mike,

    Just stumbled on your informative website and was hoping you could give me your thoughts on the following.

    I have been buying a this particular ticket for a while and was initially advised to do so by the ticket office.

    I stay up in London during the week and have a monthly zone 1-4 (Oyster) travelcard.

    Mondays I travel from Petersfield on SWT and buy a ticket to Boundary Zone 4 on route to London Waterloo.

    I travel back on a Friday evenings from Waterloo from Boundary Zone 4 back to Petersfield (using a Network Railcard).

    When the ticket office has been closed I have had to buy tickets from the on board guard.
    The last time the guard said that I was not allowed to use this particular combination of tickets and travelcard and that the information I was given by the PTR ticket office was incorrect
    This has happened on handful of occasions but after protesting, the guards they have always issue me with a ticket (‘to’ or ‘from’ boundary Zone 4).

    What I have been told by the PTR ticket office makes sense and was something that was accepted when paper travelcards were in use.

    Your advice would be much appreciated.

  1025. Hi Rak,

    Absolutely valid. A travelcard is a travelcard whether it is printed on paper or stored on an Oyster card.

  1026. Hi Oliver,

    You’ve covered just about all the options. The absolute cheapest is a rail only Ladywell to Luton season at £4144/year. While London Bridge is a mess you can travel via Catford Bridge/Catford. That also suffers from the printed on paper issue. You can get Luton to zones 1-6 on a GTR “The Key” smartcard. That will work barriers throughout London, though I have heard of some issues with certain buses.

    If you are prepared to restrict yourself to slow trains and want the travelcard in zones 1-3 then Luton to Hendon is a bit cheaper than Luton to West Hampstead. As it’s dual zoned 3/4 you can switch straight to the travelcard without paying twice. You are limited to stoppers at Hendon, which might rule out the occasional fastish train which calls additionally at West Hampstead.

  1027. Interesting idea about the Hendon stop – sadly the time of morning that you can actually get a train that goes through Hendon makes it very awkward, although Mill Hill Broadway works out the cheapest when bought with a zones 1-4 ticket.

    However, I think the GTR smartcards are the thing I have been searching for – but had no idea existed! Interesting about the bus issue, I will ponder on that, but regardless of that, it solves the paperless problem and means I don’t have to split a ticket! Thanks very much Mike!!

  1028. Hi Oliver,

    You don’t need to buy zones 1-4 with Hendon. It is on the boundary so a ticket to Hendon from Luton can be combined with just a zone 1-3 travelcard. As long as the train calls there you are covered for the whole journey.

  1029. Hi Mike,

    I have an annual Oyster Card from Zones 1-6 and travel via London Waterloo and Hampton Court. Sometimes I need to travel outside Zone 6 to visit my family in Walton-On-Thames. When I do so, I only need to pay extra from Walton-On-Thames to Surbiton (Zone 6) which my ticket office is happy to provide me with. However, this raises the issue of an incomplete journey as far as my oyster card is concerned. I tap in at Waterloo and can’t Tap Out at Walton-On-Thames. Getting off at Surbition to tap out is quite inconvenient. If i pay full fair for the whole journey can I claim the part covered by my Oyster card back?

  1030. Hi Anna,

    Sorry for the delay. There is no problem not touching out at Surbiton. It is within your zones so there is no penalty. You only need a ticket from Surbiton to Walton.

  1031. Hi,

    I travel to work from Romford to Chelmsford 4 times a week, going out at off peak times but coming back during. I spend £3 on my oyster every day and then my train ticket on weekdays is £7.85 with my railcard and £6.40 on the weekend. This month I’m working 7 days in a row one week so I was wondering if you knew the cheapest way to get these tickets and if they do a weekly pass that may be cheaper.


  1032. Hi Kirsty,

    I’m assuming that the £3 on Oyster is a couple of bus journeys to/from Romford. Because you use a railcard you are not going to benefit from a season ticket (weekly pass) even if you do travel all 7 days in one week. If your travel out is after 0930 then you actually only need to buy the off-peak day return for £7.60 because return travel is valid by any train. Other than that I don’t think I can save you anything more, but if you can confirm more precise details about your journey(s) then I’ll have another look.

  1033. Hi Mike,

    I have a national rail annual season ticket from Bromley South to London Terminals, I want know whether I can use London Overground Train to travel between the stations along the route. e.g. Denmark Hill to Peckam Rye?


  1034. Hi Suleman,

    Yes, you can use any trains on any permitted route covered by the season ticket. London Overground is part of National Rail (depite TfL’s best efforts to suggest otherwise).

  1035. Hi Mike,

    I live in Purfleet and will be travelling to Oxford Circus 5 days a week. I have bought an annual zone 1-6 travel card + purfleet which was £3384. I have a paper ticket, as purfleet is within the oyster zone can I not get the travel card onto my oyster?


  1036. Hi Helena,

    Sadly not. The way the Grays area fares were originally set up means that the travelcard prices are wrong. The main reason for Grays area fares was day trips to Lakeside, AIUI, so fixing the travelcard prices has not been seen as a priority.

  1037. Hi Mike, thanks for such a great informative website.

    Just wondering, I commute to East Croydon from Earlsfield. I did have a zone 2-5 travelcard (as i travel through clapham junction) but am considering a national rail season ticket which is cheaper.

    However, I often pop into London after work. On my current travelcard i just get charged a £2 extension fare, what will happen if i enter east croydon on my paper season ticket but touch out in zone 1 on my oyster? Will i be charged a full ‘you didn’t touch in’ fare each time?


  1038. Hi Carol,

    Yes, you will. The National Rail season has to be on paper so the Oyster system doesn’t know about it.

    There is, however, an even cheaper alternative. If you have a zone 2-3 travelcard you can take the train from Earlsfield to Wimbledon and then the tram to Croydon. Then if you want to travel from East Croydon to Victoria you will be charged the lesser of (a) the full PAYG fare, or (b) the combined zone 4-5 single plus zone 1 single fares. In your case it’s (a) off-peak at £3.40 and (b) peak at £4.90. Obviously the afternoon peak is off-peak if you finish in zone 1. You will also continue to only be charged zone 1 if you go into London from home.

  1039. Hi Mike,

    Not sure if this has been asked but recently I heard that you can use your Oyster travel card to get a reduced fare out of london. For example.

    Zone 1-3 Travel card, I go to Waterloo and want to get to Sevenoaks (outside the zones)

    I can supposedly go to the counter and ask for a Waterloo to Sevenoaks return and show my travel card to the ticket window person and they will charge me from Bromley(?) to Sevenoaks instead of the full Waterloo price.

    Is that true? or is it ride to Bromley then get off and buy a ticket for the rest of the journey from there?

    Any info would be great confirming of denying this!

  1040. Hi Ryan,

    It’s sort of true. The ticket you need is a boundary zone 3 to Sevenoaks return. There is no need to touch out when changing from the travelcard to the BZ ticket.

  1041. Hi Mike
    I’ve got a 60+ Oyster and am travelling to Aylesbury from Marylebone (same day return). I’ve bought a return from Amersham to Aylesbury. Do you think I need to swipe out at Amersham for the 60+ Oyster (and presumably miss the train I was on!), even though I’m not actually paying the Oyster fare? Many thanks!

  1042. Hi Steph,

    There’s no need to touch out or in at Amersham. The 60+ Oyster is treated like a travelcard. The train doesn’t even have to call at Amersham, though I think they all do.

  1043. Thanks a lot (and for the quick reply) – that’s a relief, I’m so glad to have free travel in London and didn’t really want to take the p*ss! Best wishes…

  1044. Hi Mike,
    My 16 year old son currently has a 11-15 Zip Oyster card, but no 16+ National Railcard. He wants to travel between Carshalton and Harpenden on Thameslink.

    Am I right in thinking that he would touch in with his Zip Oyster Card from Carshalton get out at Elstree & Borhamwood to touch out – which should be £1.50 off peak…. Then buy an Adult fare paper ticket from E&B to Harpenden… And vice versa on return journey?

    thanks for your helpful info!

  1045. Hi Jo,

    The zip card single will be 75p, with a daily cap of £1.50, but otherwise you are correct.

  1046. Question (sorry if I post it in the wrong place, as I am new to this forum):

    I am a tourist who will come to visit London for two weeks. I’d like to buy the Travelcard for Zone 2-3 as it’s significantly cheaper (12 pounds) than the Travelcard for zone 1-3. If I use the zone-2-3 Travelcard, am I required to touch my card on the pink card reader to show I do not make my journey through zone 1?

    If that’s the case, it might not be that good a deal as travel time might increase. I hope you understand my question and I appreciate your help very much in advance.

  1047. Hi Babybuddha,

    Yes, if you have a zone 2-3 travelcard you will be required to touch any pink readers that confirm you haven’t gone via zone 1. If you do go via zone 1 then you will have a zone 1 single deducted from your PAYG balance. If that takes your balance negative then you won’t be able to use the Oyster card until you top up to clear the negative balance.

  1048. babybuddha

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for confirming my thoughts. I guess I will buy the Zone 1-3 Travelcard for a peace of mind then!


  1049. Hi Mike,
    I’m travelling on combination for c2c and Tube from Chalkwell to Canary Wharf about 4 times a week so I’m buying daily tickets costing 17.50 for return. I want to use the SMARTCARD as it will be easier than buying daily tickets but the only option they offer are £17 to Fenchurch St Ldn termnials or $25.10 for Fenchurch St London Zones 1-6. I don’t believe the London Terminals will work as that barrier at Canary wharf will reject it here. Can you see any other options to making this work other than an annual pass?

  1050. Hi Joe,

    The ticket you use is Chalkwell to Zone U2356 LONDN. This is valid on National Rail as far as zone 2 and then for any single Underground and/or DLR journey within zones 2-6. As it is a return you can also do the same in reverse. This means that it isn’t a travelcard, but is appropriate for what you want to do. Sadly C2C has decided not to include this in their smartcard system, as you’ve discovered. All I can suggest doing is asking them why not.

    In the meantime, if you can delay your journey by about 10 minutes at Upminster you can save money. The anytime return from Chalkwell to Upminster is £11.10 and that can be put on the C2C smartcard. You then switch to Oyster or contactless where a peak single to Canary Wharf is £2.80, daily total £16.70. You can still use the next C2C train to West Ham, so you aren’t stuck on the all stations District line. All you have to do is touch out with one smartcard and touch in with the other. You’ll need a system to ensure you use the right one each way (C2C then Oyster to work, Oyster then C2C back home).

  1051. Hi Mike,

    I will be travelling for work from Battersea park to either Woking or Kingston depending on the day. Both routes via Clapham junction. How can I get the cheapest fare? Zone 2-6 travel card then Surbiton to Woking paper ticket? Will I have to change train at Surbiton for this route?

  1052. Hi James,

    Yes, I think that is probably the best option, unless you always have to go to Woking. As the Woking ticket is a day ticket the train doesn’t even need to call at Surbiton. There is no penalty for not touching with a travelcard as long as you are within your zones. The only caveat is if you wanted to return from Woking to Waterloo then you would need to touch in somewhere in zones 2-6 to be charged a zone 1 single on touch out at Waterloo.

  1053. I am a student about to to start a 12 month work placement in London. I need to travel from Tunbridge Wells to Warren St tube station every day. The National Rail with tube included annual season ticket is nearly £5k. Do you know if there any way I can do a combination of tickets with an Oyster card to reduce the cost?

  1054. Hi Chris,

    I think it is unlikely. The add-on for zones 1-6 over the season for London terminals is a lot less than a zone 1-2 travelcard. It’s also cheaper than making a pair of zone 1 tube journeys each day. The vast majority of the cost is because you are travelling from as far out as Tunbridge Wells.

  1055. Hi Mike,
    Very impressed with your website. I’ll be in London in August as a tourist. 3 of us arrive together at Gatwick, travelling to Streatham Common. I note the Gatwick to Streatham Common oyster fare is£5.80, but we have to change trains at East Croydon. Gatwick to East Croydon is £3, and East Croydon to Streatham Common is £2.20. Is it just as simple as touching off and on again at East Croydon. Another option is to buy a group ticket from Gatwick to East Croydon for £8.85, and only use the Oyster from East Croydon to Streatham Common.

    With going Streatham to Hampton Court, a group ticket is £19.60, whereas by Oyster it’s £20. But as I understand it, we could break a rail ticket at New Malden or elsewhere. Do you know the answer to this?


  1056. Hi Bill,

    Yes, splitting the Oyster/Contactless fare at East Croydon is as simple as touching out and back in again. As you’ll be changing there it won’t cost you time, use the ramp at the back of the train as it heads towards London as the gates are central on that bridge. You could also buy the group tickets for the first leg.

    For Hampton Court I need to check exactly what you mean. If you start at Streatham then the off-peak single is £2.50 as you travel to Wimbledon and change for Hampton Court. If you start at Streatham Common it assumes that you’ll change at Clapham Junction so the off-peak single is £2.70. If you use Streatham and avoid both peak times (0630-0930, 1600-1900) then it’s £5 each or £15 for the three. The group ticket would allow you to break your journey which might make that desirable.

    Hope that helps.

  1057. Thanks Mike,
    I forgot to mention that there are 3 of us arriving at Gatwick, and one at St Pancreas. So there will be 4 going to Hampton Court a few days later. We will go to Hampton Court from Streatham, and the Oyster fare will be £20 for all of us, or £19.80 for a group ticket. The reason I asked, is that I found 1 source that said we could break the trip, and another that said we couldn’t. If we did wish to break the trip at new Maldon, then the group ticket would still be £19.80, but the Oyster fare becomes £27.60. I’ve actually double-checked, and it does seem that a journey break is ok, so we may but a group ticket on that day.

    I have also been wondering about returning from a different station in Zone 6 or Zone 5. Can I use a return to ticket to return from Strawberry Hill rather than Hampton Court?


  1058. Hi Bill,

    Ah, that explains the £20 then. If you want to return from a different station which isn’t on the route from Hampton Court then you would need new tickets (ie singles each way). With Oyster it would just be another single fare. So swings and roundabouts, but I think you understand enough to work out which way to go. All I would say is that if you want ultimate flexibility with the ability to change plans half way through the day then Oyster is the way to go.

  1059. Hi Mike

    I’m so glad to find this website. Basically, I’ll be working in Zone 1 soon, so will be travelling peak time 5 days a week. My situation is I travel from either Borehamwood or Egham depends on days, but mostly from Egham. what’s your suggestion to get the cheapest monthly/weekly/season fair? Should I get a monthly zone 1-6 oyster monthly travelcard +extension travel card? btw, i have a 16-25 yp card

    Many thanks

  1060. Hi Puff,

    You’ll be better off with the Egham to zones 1-6 travelcard as long as you travel to/from Egham 3 days a week.

  1061. Hi Mike,

    After spending a lot of time looking online and getting confused about using a season ticket and Oyster Card, I have just found your site and things seem much clearer!

    if you don’t mind i would just like to ask if you agree with my thinking or not please.

    I am about to start work in Victoria and will be travelling in from Hertford North Monday to Friday.

    Plan to buy an annual season ticket from Hertford north to Bowes Park in Zone 3, then i hope to use my 18 plus Student Oyster Card (and load with annual zone 1-3 travel card). I am hoping that this means as long as the train stops at Bowes Park then I do not need to get off the train and from this point, even though I will not have swiped it in/activated the oyster card, I will be covered for my journey on my oyster travel card and I can then swipe out at Victoria?

    I will change at Highbury and Islington and walk across platform from my train to tube line where I think I can swipe in, would I bother to do this or just swipe out at Victoria?

    Many Thanks

  1062. Hi Peter,

    Yes, that’s all correct. No need to touch in at Bowes Park or Highbury, you can just touch out at Victoria. Your National Rail season provides all the evidence you need for why there is no touch in.

    There are two other options if you are eligible for the 18+ Student card. You can save a bit more if you load zones 1-6 on the Oyster and buy the paper ticket to Crews Hill. The train needs to call at Crews Hill, but those that do are also the ones that call at Bowes Park so you wouldn’t be losing any more flexibility. You also have London-wide access to zones 4-6 rather than just the Hertford line. This does cost more – apologies for the earlier error.

    The other one depends on your location in Hertford. You can actually get an 18+ travelcard all the way to Hertford East for just less than the Bowes Park combination. This gives you zones 1-9 as well as the Hertford to Cheshunt line. You can switch to the Victoria Line at either Seven Sisters or Tottenham Hale.

    The only caution is that your 18+ card will probably expire after the summer if you are no longer a student and you won’t be able to buy travelcards with a longer validity.

  1063. Hello Mike,

    I am going to be travelling to Hammersmith every week day from Byfleet and New Haw via Clapton Junction. Am mistaken in thinking that i can just get a weekly travel card zone 1-2 as both clapton junction and hammersmith are both zone 2? or do i need to get something else. Looking for the cheapest way.
    Thank you for your help.

  1064. Hi William,

    Byfleet & New Haw to Clapham Junction is £99.80/week, travel not allowed via Waterloo. A zone 2-3 travelcard is £24.30/week and would cover you for Clapham Junction to Hammersmith via West Brompton and Earls Court. Total £124.10. However, the cheapest option is a Byfleet and New Haw to zones 2-6 travelcard at £121.10/week.

  1065. Thanks for your excellent response Mike, after days of looking its all now making sense!!

    Really interesting options I had not considered too that I will look at.

    In terms of Crews Hill I have now looked at this as like the access point, when I price it up I have season ticket at 1168 & 1652 for the Oyster travel card loaded 1-6. It seems that Bowes Park is cheaper at 1416 season ticket & 1064 Oyster travel card. Just wanted to check I had not missed anything on this calculation if possible please.

  1066. Hi Peter,

    I was working on weekly prices and somehow managed to make 29+41=60. Huge apologies. Annual seasons are 40x the weekly cost so comparisons are equally valid, as long as the brain doesn’t let you down.

    I must still stress that 18+ Oyster cards cannot be loaded with discounted seasons beyond their expiry which is usually the end of September each year. You can therefore only purchase an annual season at that time.

  1067. thats great thanks Mike. I have just got 18+ card and think it expires end of August next year so that should work, but will be careful when I load it.

    Thanks again, Peter

  1068. Hi Mike,

    I’ll be travelling for an internship 5 days a week for 13 weeks, from Lancaster Gate Tube station to Grays, Essex on the C2C line. I have a 18+ Oyster card and I was wondering what the best travel card (if any)to load on it would be. I think Grays is in the extended oyster zone but I am unsure what travel option would be cheapest for me.
    Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

  1069. Hi Katie,

    You can’t load a travelcard covering Grays onto an Oyster card, sadly. I would get a student discounted zones 1-6 travelcard on the Oyster and add PAYG credit to cover the addtional stops to Grays.

  1070. Hi Mike,
    I have monthly season train pass from Staines to Syon lane.
    Can I use this season pass to travel from Staines to Hounslow west (bus 203) and Hounslow to Syon lane (bus H91) in TFL london bus Or I can’t use season pass in buses ?