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Daily Caps and Travelcards (2019)

This page details all the London wide caps and travelcards which apply to rail travel. These caps apply to all modes: National Rail, Underground, Overground, TfL Rail and DLR. The only rail services within zones 1-9 which are not covered are the Heathrow Express services between Paddington and the Airport; and Southeastern high-speed between St Pancras International and Stratford International; where Oyster and contactless can be used, but fares charged are additional to any caps. Travelcards are only valid to/from Stratford International if marked Plus HS1.

The first table lists all the daily caps. All Railcards refers to those that can be added to Oyster: 16-25, Senior, Forces, Disabled and Annual Gold cards. Most refers to the same list apart from Disabled.

Daily Oyster Caps (+Contactless for Adults)
Student 18+
11-1516+/Jobcentre PlusMost

The second table lists all the paper travelcards. Note that there is no off-peak zone 1-4, use the zone 1-6 instead.

Daily Paper Travelcards
All AdultsChildren 5-15All Railcards

The third table lists the different season ticket prices. There are no single zone travelcard seasons. If the required combination isn’t shown (eg 5-7) then the price is the same for a larger zonal coverage (in this case 4-7). If only zone 2 is required then choose 2-3, for only zone 6 it is 5-6. Adult and Child (5-15) travelcards can be bought on paper. 16+, Jobcentre, Apprentice and Student 18+ travelcards all require the appropriate Oyster photocard to be held.

Travelcard seasons
Adult11-15/16+/Jobcentre*Apprentice/Student 18+
2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6£26.30£101.00£1,052£13.20£50.70£528£18.40£70.70£736
2-4, 3-5, 4-6£29.10£111.80£1,164£14.60£56.10£584£20.30£78.00£812
2-5, 3-6£34.90£134.10£1,396£17.50£67.20£700£24.40£93.70£976
2-9 +wj£62.00£238.10£2,480£31.00£119.10£1,240£43.30£166.30£1,732
4-9 +wj£55.50£213.20£2,220£27.80£106.80£1,112£38.80£149.00£1,552

* Annual seasons are not available on Jobcentre Oyster cards.

+wj Travelcard seasons for zones 2-9 and 4-9 also include Watford Junction.

9 Responses

  1. Hi Mike,
    There is one aspect of Oyster caps that is completely omitted on TfL website, and I hope you’ll find it possible to cover it on your website, perhaps on a separate page.
    As a regular overseas visitor to London, I sometimes have to combine an airport trip with multiple city centre trips on the same day. Calculating the scenario “morning arrival into Heathrow, trip to the centre, then multiple trips in zone 1” is relatively easy – Zones 1-6 cap is normally achieved, and I probably end up with 12,8 pounds spent at that day.
    Now imagine the very same trips, but taken in reverse order: I spend the day in the centre, making 5-6 different trips and thus achieving a 7-pound Zone 1-2 cap, then take the underground for a night flight out of Heathrow. How that last journey would be priced? Would it just cost a regular price of 3,10 offpeak and 5,10 peak? Or would the system take into account all previous travel on that day and trigger Zone 1-6 cap, thus actually putting the price of that single tube ride at 5,80?
    (I personally normally avoid finding it out by just exiting at Hammersmith and using a separate Oyster card for further travel to Heathrow – since it’s anyway cheaper than any of the two scenarios above. But still want to know the solution to this puzzle)))

  2. Hi Yury,

    I am working on a page devoted to capping examples, and the airport conundrum is definitely one that will be covered.

    What I can confirm is that a tube trip to Heathrow after capping at zones 1-2 would be charged at £3.10/£5.10. No attempt would be made to claw back any earlier free journeys. What you do (splitting at Hammersmith) is the equivalent of what contactless does both ways. You’re charged the zone 1-2 cap for your buzzing round the city plus a zone 3-6 extension fare for the airport bit. It’s therefore a lot cheaper when you start at Heathrow and the same as using two cards when you finish at Heathrow without the need to step back a train at Hammersmith.

  3. Matthew Dickinson

    Heathrow Express will accept Oyster and Contactless from the 19th February. No caps will apply. An off peak journey will be £22 and a peak journey will be £25. (This fare will be determined by using the readers on Platforms 6&7 at Paddington.

    Given the £0 entry charge at Heathrow, I wonder what measures will be taken to avoid card abandonment at Paddington after touching out.

  4. Hi Matthew,

    Thanks for this. I don’t think the gates at Paddington will let people out if they haven’t got enough money to pay. Exit thresholds are a relatively new concept to me, but I think they mean that if the balance is below a certain level after the fare has been deducted the gates won’t open.

  5. Matthew Dickinson

    The problem with that will be that the nearest place to top up Oyster at present is either underground station as all the readers at TVMs in the National Rail station have been replaced with ITSO smartcard readers.

  6. Hmmm. I see what you mean. Unpaid fare notices?

  7. Matthew Dickinson

    Enforcement of UFNs might be problematic given the non-UK and accommodation addresses that would be given by many HEX travellers…

  8. Hello, now that TfL Rail has taken over Heathrow Connect, are paper travelcards accepted between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow?

  9. Hi Mihkel,

    Yes they are.

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