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New fare database from 19th May

As far as I know there are no major changes at this intermediate fare change date.  However, the error with zip 11-15 fares from Epsom has been corrected, as has the fares between Epsom and Stoneleigh which is back in zone 5 where it should be.  Fares for Meridian Water (replacing Angel Road) are ready, but not visible yet because the opening (and closing) has been delayed a bit.

The Epsom Story (Part 2)

OK, I’ll come clean, I had forgotten about this.  In part 1 I explained how difficult it must have been to get agreement between the various companies involved.  I’m now going to express my frustration in trying to get information. For both the Epsom and Hertford North extensions TfL pass pretty much every query over to GTR.  This includes infrastructure questions like will gates at a station operate with a particular travelcard loaded on an Oyster card. Now to me the answer is either yes or no, and I’m sure someone at TfL can confirm that.  It’s not breaking any confidentiality because it’s confirming what will actually happen in a technical scenario.  With Epsom it’s even worse because while GTR lead the project, the fares are set by SWR.  So, rant over, on with the story. Read the rest of this entry »

Daily Caps now on Fare Finder

My Easter present to you all is the addition of daily caps to the results returned on my fare finder.  To access that just click on the yellow button at the top of every page of the site.  Or, particularly if you are on a mobile phone, you can see a standalone version at https://oysterfares.com/off.

I have included the caps on every result, even though they are usually the same.  I still live in hope that the 2-6 and 2-9 daily caps may one day return.  If you’re curious, try Finsbury Park to Hackney Central as an example where they are different now.

Journey History page re-write

After way too many years I have finally got round to updating the journey history page. The heading now includes queries as that is TfL’s prefered method of contact when querying a contactless journey. A series of screen shots explains how to get to the form to do this.

Hertford Travelcards

In my earlier post I looked briefly at some of the single fares and caps for the new Oyster extension to Hertford North.  This time I’m going to explore the number of options for travelcard season tickets from the town of Hertford itself. Read the rest of this entry »

Oyster to Hertford North

The latest Oyster and contactess extension started today and brings Cuffley, Bayford and Hertford North into the Oyster system.  Cuffley is in zone 9 while Bayford and Hertford North are in the same pseudo zone as the Broxbourne to Hertford East line.  Fares to London Terminals will be cheaper than currently, and holders of zip 16+ cards will also enjoy half adult rate fares.

The fares have been set by GTR.  An initial analysis has revealed some unfortunate scenarios between Hertford North and Southeastern stations.  The default fare assumes travel via London Bridge and St Pancras and is National Rail only.  Avoiding zone 1 fares have been set up via Stratford and Highbury & Islington but these cost more than the default because they include Undergorund and/or DLR travel.  They also require you to touch the pink readers at both stations, but if you ignore this you’ll be charged the default fare (ie less).  It’s a bit of a mess.

Another anomaly is that zip 5-10 holders travel free from Hertford East, but they are charged child fares from Hertford North.

George Street Resolved

Further to my earlier post I can confirm that TfL customer services have resolved all the issues with the faulty reader at George Street tram stop.  The reader is now working and they have worked to refund anyone charged an incomplete rail fare at Wimbledon as well as anyone who received a revenue check which could have been down to the faulty reader.

They’ve also provided some screenshots demonstrating how to raise an issue with them from the online journey history.  I’ll be adding these to this site shortly.

Faulty Tram Reader – George Street

I’ve received several reports about a faulty reader at George Street tram stop (see the Wimbledon page comments). I’ve been in conversation with TfL about this issue and can confirm that it was one of the readers at George Street and that it has been fixed now.  As I understand it, the reader appeared to work as normal, but nothing was sent back to the central system. However, it has raised some interesting questions about TfL’s systems which I’m also seeking feedback from TfL on. Read the rest of this entry »

Heathrow Express and Young People

Heathrow Express began accepting Oyster and contactless last month. As with the Gatwick Express, convenience is the word rather than value for money. The fares are the same as walk up singles. If you plan ahead then advance fares can be significantly cheaper. Heathrow Express has always operated on a kids go free basis, so there is no charge to holders of zip 5-10 or zip 11-15 photocards. The problem comes with zip 16+ photocards.

Holders of zip 16+ photocards travel at half the adult rate almost everywhere in Oysterland. For this reason you can’t add a 16-25 railcard discount to a 16+ zip photocard because you are already getting 50% off. Unfortunately Heathrow Express decided to charge adult fares to 16+ zip photocard holders on their services. This means that whilst adults and 18+ students get 1/3rd off off-peak if they have a railcard added to their Oyster, railcard holding zip 16+ photocard holders can’t.

It’s undoubtedly an oversight, and quite understandable, but I hope someone somewhere comes up with a solution. In the meantime it’s getting added to the When not to use Oyster page.

PS. The Epsom story (part 2) is still coming, very soon.

The Epsom Story (Part 1)

Before we get into the nitty gritty, a little background which might help to explain why Epsom took so long. Epsom station is managed by Southern, part of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR). Trains are operated by Southern and South Western Railway (SWR), and SWR are designated as the lead operator so they set the majority of the fares from Epsom. One of GTR’s franchise commitments with the DfT was to enable Oyster PAYG at Epsom. To do this they had to provide the infrastructure at the station, liaise with SWR and TfL over what fares to charge and how these could be integrated into the existing Oyster system, and run the whole thing past the DfT for a final sign-off. Anyone with any experience of big companies liaising over projects will realise that this was not an easy task.

With that out of the way, now we come to what’s actually been agreed. Read the rest of this entry »

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