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Archive for the ‘Route Validators’ Category

Autumn Fare Changes

This Sunday (3rd September) will see a number of changes to Oyster fares. They affect people travelling via Stratford and Highbury & Islington, from Watford Junction and in the Charing Cross and London Bridge areas. Here are the details: Read the rest of this entry »

Gatwick Simplification

I’ve just discovered that a partial simplification occured back in May with fares on the Merstham to Gatwick section. Originally Govia (backed by the DfT) had mandated that fares avoiding zone 1 should often be more expensive than the equivalent via zone 1 fare. This had the particularly nasty side effect that sometimes touching a pink reader (eg at Surrey Quays) might charge more than if you didn’t bother. That definitely contradicts the message TfL want to make about pink readers.

However, since May these fares have been revised downwards to the same level as the via zone 1 fare. One can only guess which side was the driving force behind this change, and I don’t think it was either Govia or the DfT. Better late than never, and a shame no announcement was made, from either side.

The opportunity to save money on most fares by splitting at East Croydon still exists though.

Pink Readers – Interchange only

I’ve just been informed that TfL has tightened up the use of pink readers from an unspecified date in March such that they will no longer start a journey if the Oyster card is not touched in at the time. Sadly it appears as though the fact that this was an unpublished feature means that they don’t see a need to communicate it to everyone.

Touch pink to say you avoided zone 3

I’ve just become aware of an interesting twist on the pink validators. If you travel between Finsbury Park and Hackney Central there are three fares. The default fares are the same as the via Highbury & Islington fares with a more expensive one via zone 1 as you’d expect.

However, there are a couple of oddities to note here. Hackney Central is effectively the same station as Hackney Downs since the link bridge was opened. And a logical route to Hackney Downs from Finsbury Park is via Seven Sisters, which of course, is in zone 3. Now there is no difference in fare between a zone 2 and a zone 2-3 journey in this case, unless you have a zone 1-2 travelcard. If you don’t touch the pink reader at Highbury & Islington then the system assumes you’ve gone via Seven Sisters and charges you a zone 3 journey.

Updated Wimbledon Diagram

I have updated both the Wimbledon page and the diagram showing the positions of the readers around the station. Platform 10 is now split into 10a and 10b and references to FCC have finally been changed to Thameslink.

Oyster at Gatwick

Today marks the start of the latest Oyster extension to Gatwick Airport. While there are people who will benefit, this is the most complicated extension yet, and great care will need to be taken to ensure that you aren’t overcharged.  I’ve been shown an internal briefing for Southern and Thameslink staff and some of the details of the implimentation are going to cause lots of problems. Read the rest of this entry »

New Route Validators

I have heard from a reliable source that pink route validators will shortly be installed at both Clapham Junction and Surrey Quays.  I’ll add more info (like when) as soon as I hear it.

Update: September 7th

The new fares are included in the normal fares update from tomorrow (8th Sept).  It’s not clear when the actual validators will be installed, but hopefully soon.

New Page – An Oyster Rail Journey

A new page has been added to the site today describing in detail what happens as you make a rail journey using Oyster.  It’s very much a first draft based on my extensive experiences of using the system, but if anyone in the know spots an error or misunderstanding then I’ll happily update it.

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.

New Pink Validator at Woolwich

Earlier today I travelled to the Excell Centre via Woolwich Arsenal and was surprised to see a pink route validator has appeared on platform 2 (Southeastern towards Dartford) where the access to the DLR platforms is.  I touched on it in both directions and it certainly seems to be working.  It was surprising because Read the rest of this entry »

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