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Archive for the ‘Oyster Diary’ Category

TfL Contactless Pilot

When I signed up for this in November last year I was resigned to being told that my travel wasn’t enough to make a worthwhile contribution.  After all, around half my journeys are by bus which aren’t included in the rail trial and thus wouldn’t count towards daily capping.  Then in December the whole thing was put on hold thanks to the last minute fares revision changes.  So when I received an email last week inviting me to join the trial I was very excited.  My participants card arrived yesterday.

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Blackfriars to Southwark OSI

During the last week I’ve had a chance to test out the new OSI between Blackfriars and Southwark.  This has been described as a temporary one while the work at London Bridge moves forward, although I think a case could be made for keeping it permanently.  The walk took 7-10 minutes depending on how busy the traffic was on Blackfriars Bridge which is quite reasonable.  There is unfortunately a flaw which means caution should be exercised when making journeys across zone 1.

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2 for 1 errors checked

On Saturday I went out with one of my kids to try and check out the maximum journey time bug on Whitechapel to Balham NR.  While trying to avoid both cards getting two incomplete journeys I actually managed to replicate the touch out followed by touch in at an OSI gateline continues the journey problem.  Oh dear!

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Pink Route Validator Change

On Sunday I travelled round the new overground orbital route starting with the newest link from Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction.  I also tried out exceeding the normal one zone journey time but not the extended time allowed near Central London.  Somewhat disappointingly this worked, meaning that the issues some people have had with Whitechapel to Balham might be restricted to certain routes only.

However, while at Willesden Junction I noticed an important change to the signage on the pink route validators.  Rather than just inviting PAYG users to touch them, the notice now instructs those with a travelcard not including zone 1 to do so as well.  I think this probably means an end to the loopholes where you could travel across zone 1 on some journeys with a travelcard ending at zone 2 and not be charged a zone 1 fare.  It’s a shame, though I can’t fault the justification for doing it as long as queues don’t build up at key interchange points.

Gate problems at London Bridge

I’ve just got back from a night out in town and had a major problem at London Bridge on the way home.  All the gates were locked open (nothing unusual in that, I know) but rather than have some Oyster readers working as entry and others as exit, EVERY gate was set to exit only.  This even included the wide gates with a validator attached as that had been set to exit only.

I wonder how many people just touched on the wide gate validator and received an unstarted journey charge?  It certainly caught my brother out, so I’ll have some sorting out to do with the helpdesk later in the week.

I also wonder whether Southeastern get a cut of incomplete journey charges where the unmatched touch is made at one of their stations?  You can bet that many people won’t realise they’ve been over charged.

Successfully added railcard

Along with thousands of others, my eldest has just made the transition from 11-15 zip to 16+ zip.  Prompted by the letter received in late August I applied online for the new card.  As his school is just outside London I had to print a letter for the school to sign and stamp, then take the letter and payment to the post office.  However, the photo and age verification were completed online which no doubt sped up the process.  Less than two weeks later Read the rest of this entry »

Same station re-entry problems

Several visitors have reported problems when touching out and back in again at the same station.  The system tries to combine the two journeys into one, often resulting in a pair of incomplete journeys when you get back to your starting station.  But if your journey included an OSI en-route then you may well end up out of the system altogether and be given a penalty fare!

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Wimbledon Improvements

I visited Wimbledon again briefly yesterday.  While sitting on the tram waiting for it to leave I noticed that they’ve stuck additional signage on the sides of the validators facing the steps.  One says only to be used for National Rail journeys while the other says only to be used for tram journeys.  Credit where it’s due, this is a big improvement, so well done to the station team at Wimbledon!

Afternoon Peak and Zone 6

I’ve recently discovered a potential saving when making return journeys on National Rail in the afternoon peak where the journey starts or finishes in zone 6.  Full details are on the When not to use Oyster page.  It turns out that I’ve been overpaying for my regular trip from Crayford to Sidcup for the kids’ band practices.

Fare errors from Crayford, Bexley

I’m beginning to get a little annoyed about this now.  Someone seems to have forgotten to tell the fares manager that you can take direct trains from Crayford and Bexley to Woolwich Arsenal via Slade Green, and thus take the DLR under the river to Canning Town, West Ham and Stratford.  This means that there is no earthly Read the rest of this entry »

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