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Mixing Travelcard and PAYG

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  1. I have a very strange problem which started when I added a season ticket to my oyster card. I recently started to travel from Sutton Common to London Bridge each day. When I touch in or out at Sutton Common (which doesn’t have gates), I get Seek Assistance 94 (Card communications failed). This doesn’t happen anywhere else and never used to happen when I just had PAYG on the card. It even does it when I try to pick up my ticket renewals.

    The help desk said I should get a replacement card. So I went into London this morning and got it changed by a very begrudging ticket clerk (at a station which will remain nameless) who bad mouthed the help desk and said it won’t be the card.

    Well you can probably guess the rest. On the way back I touched in/out on the tube journey to Waterloo, then in at Waterloo NR – all with my shiny new card and with no problems. Touched out at Sutton Common – Seek Assistance 94. Arrrgggghhhhh!!! Told the help desk and they basically shrugged their shoulders. Double Arrrgggghhhhh!!!

    The easy answer would be just not to bother touching in at Sutton Common like most other people, however, my train in the morning goes from Sutton Common (Z4) through Sutton (Z5) then onto London Bridge. Post OEP, I always want to touch in at Sutton Common just in case there is an RPI on the train before reaching the sanctuary of Z4 again at Hackbridge.

    I am completely baffled by this. It sounds like there might be something wrong with the system at Sutton Common but who knows.

  2. Hi Simon,

    It’s a longshot, but do you have any other contactless cards like debit cards or staff entry passes? These sometimes cause problems with Oyster because the reader can’t get a clear signal. I’d expect the problems to be more widespread than just one station, but you never know. Code 94 means card communications failed which is what I’d expect in this instance. It doesn’t tally with you not having problems before loading a travelcard though.

    The other issue which sometimes happens is you touch for too long and get “seek assistance” after validly touching in. I don’t think this is code 94 usually. If you can visit the Underground station at London Bridge and check journey history from one of their ticket machines it might give you a clue.

    If there is no other explanation then I would tend to agree that it might be the equipment at Sutton Common, but this isn’t a problem I’ve heard before.

    Regarding your desire to touch in to avoid problems in zone 5, I can see what you mean and I agree it would be wise to be touched in. You will have to chase it through with the help desk.

  3. I’ve got various chipped credit and debit cards and a contactless passcard for work. However the oyster card is in its own blue folder entirely separate from the others. I keep it in my top pocket when travelling, well away from the other cards and because it is in its own dedicated folder there is nothing else close to the reader when I touch in or out.

    The help desk said that the equipment at Sutton Common is the responsibility of FCC so I have dropped them an email but I’m not holding my breath.

  4. Hi Simon,

    There’s nothing wrong with storing the cards next to each other, it’s just that when you touch, the Oyster must be on it’s own. It sounds like this is the case anyway. Good luck with FCC.

  5. I think I have solved the mystery – it’s my less than optimal touching in/out techinque.

    It appears that the card readers at Sutton Common are somewhat more fussy as to the touching in/out technique employed than those at the other stations I frequent. Relative to what I have become used to as the norm elsewhere, a slow and deliberate placing of the card on the reader is required at Sutton Common.

  6. I made a return journey into marylebone from gerrards cross (for which i paid for and used a chiltern line ticket). I used my payg oyster to travel around london, then used my return rail ticket to travel from marylebone back to gerrards cross. I was careful that entering/exiting gerrards cross and marylebone i did not use my oyster card.

    but my oyster card was charged with a journey to and from marylebone from chalfont and latimer station (my usual route into town). I queried this with oyster, but they just replied that:

    “Our records show that you have been charged correctly for your journeys on the date in question. As this is the case I have taken no further action.”

    What gives?

  7. It seems strange. Did you get off the train at Chalfont and Latimer station in each direction? I must admit that I have walked past gates and validators on many occasions while using paper tickets and I’ve never had a stray charge appear on my card. I’ve certainly never incurred a charge when passing through a station. Do you have your journey history or statement? I’ll send you an email address if you need to attach it to something.

  8. Just a small thing. Under “How Much will it Cost?” you make the point that Oyster works from the inner boundaries of travelcards as well as the outer. I suppose that there are no inner boundaries any more with the annoying abolition of zones 2-x travelcards.

    All the best


  9. You cannot buy day travelcards or get Oyster caps which don’t include zone 1, but period travelcard seasons can be bought for any number of zones from 2 up to all 9. If you live in zone 5 and work in zone 4 then you can have just zones 4 and 5.

  10. Hi, I’m heading down next week and was about to top up my PAYG, but having not used my card since February 2008, am I right in thinking that the card will need reactivating at one of the stations before I can use it, even if I’ve topped it up online? Thanks!

  11. Hi DJ,

    No, your card should work fine. Unless the card has been cancelled because you reported it lost or stolen it remains active. Any PAYG credit will also be fine as it never expires. However, if you topup online then you do need to nominate a station to collect the topup from. You cannot collect online topup on a bus.

  12. Thanks – I had read something in a couple of places about having to re-activate after a 24 month period but couldn’t find any mention on the TFL site.

  13. I have an annual zone 1-5 Oyster card, and because it is an annual card, I have a gold card giving me discounts on national rail. When travelling out of London I usually use the ticket machines and buy a paper ticket, selecting the gold card discount. For example, my ticket would cover me from London terminals to Bournemouth. However I bought a ticket at the ticket office last week, and because I’d shown my gold card (which displays zones 1-5 on it) for my discount, the ticket he gave me was ‘Boundary zone 5’ to Bournemouth. So I used my Oyster to touch in at Waterloo, and my paper ticket for Bournemouth at the other end. This means I never touched out on my Oyster card (although I have PAYG credit on there, which wasn’t charged) – would this ever be a problem? No one checked tickets on the train, but if they had, would they have had an Oyster reader, even as far out as Bournemouth? Purchasing a boundary of zone 5 ticket instead of London terminals made my ticket a lot cheaper – is there any way to select this on the National Rail ticket machines (or on the National Rail website in advance), or do these tickets always have to be purchased from the ticket office?

    Apologies for all the questions – this is new to me. I knew that you could use Oyster on some NR services, but assumed that it was only for journeys made completely within the Oyster zones – if I can always buy boundary of zone 5 tickets, this could save me a fortune! Any advice on when I can use these tickets and how I can purchase them would be much appreciated 🙂

  14. Hi Ali,

    There is no penalty for incomplete journeys within the zones covered on your travelcard. Yes, SWT RPIs would probably have Oyster readers and could check that you had a zone 1-5 travelcard, but if they didn’t have the reader then that is their problem, not yours. Unfortunately you can only buy BZx tickets at a ticket office, or possibly over the phone. You can’t use websites or TVMs except that a phone ordered ticket could be picked up from a TVM. You can always use a BZx ticket with a travelcard, regardless of whether the train stops at the boundary station or not. This is because they are both zonal tickets.

    Hope that helps.

  15. Heres a quick question…
    If I had a zone 3-6 travelcard on my oyster card and wanted to travel from Slade Green to London Bridge on a normal weekday using National Rail
    but I tapped in at 09:25 at Slade Green station and caught a train before 09:30 would the system be intelligent enough to charge an off-peak fare between Greenwich and London Bridge as that part of the journey would definately be Off-Peak!

    Or would you have to alight at Greenwich and tap back in again and catch the next train (which wouldn’t be ideal!)

    Effectively, it if doesnt give you an off-peak fare in theory you could contest the fact with the Oyster helpline as Oyster is meant to charge the cheapest fare….


  16. I agree it would be nice if it did charge you the off-peak fare, but I know it won’t. It’s an example of one of the many anomalies, mainly surrounding journeys made up of more than one part. The key thing to remember is that the overall journey decides which fare scale (TfL, NR or TfL+NR) and whether it is peak or off-peak. The system then deducts the bit of the journey covered by your travelcard and only charges you for the uncovered section(s).

    Whilst your example is a lose, if you repeat the journey starting at 1555 then the passenger wins.

  17. Bit confused by ‘things to watch out for’ paragraph. If I take overground train from Wimbledon to Waterloo and then to piccadilly (but only have a zones 1-2 annual travelcard- then will I just be charged for an ordinary zone 3 journey on the pay as you go credit? I also have my oyster linked to a young persons railcard… so it’s extra confusing!

  18. Hi Hector,

    Sorry to have confused you. In your example you will be charged for a zone 3 journey on the mixed NR&TfL scale. As it happens, this scale is identical to the NR only scale unless you are being charged for zone 1 travel, which you aren’t as you have a travelcard for zones 1 and 2. Your railcard will reduce the fare if it’s off peak.

    Note that peak or off-peak is decided by touch in at the start of the overall journey. If you touch in at Picadilly Circus at 1550 and touch in at Waterloo at 1605 then the charge for zone 3 will be off-peak, even though that leg of the journey started in the peak.

  19. Thomas Ralph

    Here’s another oddity. If you make a mixed TFL and NR journey partially outside and partially inside your zones, but the part outside your zones was entirely TFL, you will still be charged the mixed-mode rate for that.

    For example, I have an annual Z1-3 Travelcard, and if I go on an off-peak journey from Heathrow Terminals 1-2-3 (zone 6) to London Bridge (zone 1) by tube and on to Charlton (zone 3) on Southeastern, I will be charged £1.15. But if I just go from Heathrow into central London it’ll be 95p. So making an additional journey that’s normally free costs me 20p!

    [I know in this case I can break the OSI by waiting around at London Bridge or touching in on a bus, or (as I do) going to Waterloo East instead where I can just omit to touch in, but I’m sure a similar scenario can be concocted.]

  20. Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for the comment. It’s just like my Stratford to Wandsworth Town example really. The difference isn’t usually much unless there is a peak vs off-peak aspect, especially with a railcard involved. The cure for most journeys of course will be for TfL and the TOCs to agree to harmonise all pricing so it won’t matter.

  21. Hi, Any advice appreciated – I am starting a new job which is right next to Waterloo station and will not require further links to the tube. I Live in Kingston which has Oyster card reader. can you advise what would be the chapest option for me as I will be making this return trip on a daily basis?


  22. Hi Vinnie,

    Sorry for the delay replying. Assuming that you make your commuting journeys in the peak hours then you will probably be better off with a point-to-point season ticket from South West Trains rather than a travelcard on Oyster. If you work shifts such that many of your journeys can be made outside the peak then Oyster PAYG may be cheaper. Remember that peak fares are determined by touch in time between 0630-0930 and 1600-1900.

  23. Hi,
    Mike I must say it is extremely informative reading up on your suggestions. I am sure you will be able to help me with your advice. I have always worked and lived within south London, so have always driven around Croydon, but recently I got a job all the way in Chingford (Z5), so driving their from East Croydon (Z5) at peak hours is out of question. Now I am sure my query must have been put to you by many people before, but like I said I am a bit new to this oyster business.
    My Normal commute
    Monday – Wednesday —–East Croydon (Z5) – Feltham (Z6)
    Thursday & Friday ————East Croydon(Z5) – Chingford (Z5)
    All I would like to know that could I avoid buying a 1-5 travel card weekly which is £47.50 at the moment. And could I do with Z2-6 which seems to be cheaper ?
    For Feltham I normally take national rail service from Clapham Junction. But for Chingford can I do the following on a Z2-6 weekly travel card ?
    East Croydon to Clapham Junction
    Clapham junction to Vauxhall
    Victoria line—Vauxhall – Walthamstow central
    Walthamstow central—Chingford

  24. Hi Mamoon,

    Unfortunately using the Victoria Line across Central London would incur a zone 1 charge. You cannot do the journey from East Croydon to Chingford in one go without being charged for zone 1. The best I can find is to go via Willesden Junction which avoids zone 1. You would need to touch out there and then touch back in again so that your journey becomes two separate ones. That would slow your journey down quite a bit. However, rather than go the whole hog and get a zone 1-6 travelcard, you could get the zone 2-6 version and use PAYG balance for the zone 1 bits. Using todays fares that would be 4x£1.90=£7.60 which is a lot cheaper than the £16 difference between the 2-6 and 1-6 weekly travelcards. Obviously you might need to reconsider your options if you started to go to Chingford more than Feltham.

    Hope that helps

  25. Thank you for your reply Mike, it surely is a great help. This £1.90 charge is it for the day to travel through Zone 1 or will this be taken from my PAYG balance every time I touch a barrier in Z1

  26. The £1.90 is for every journey which involves zone 1. You said you only go to the Chingford office twice a week, so you would be spending £7.60 for zone 1 journeys.

  27. Sorry for the dumb questions but will it be £3.80 deducted from my PAYG balance or will it be £1.90 at Victoria and the other £1.90 at Waltamstow when I finish my journey on the Victoria line.

    and if it will be the 1.90 and1.90 then how would it know that I am travelling through Z1 at walthamstow as walthamstow is in Z3

  28. This is how it should work assuming you have a zone 2-6 travelcard season stored on your Oyster card, the journey is peak and you make each interchange within the allowed times.

    Touch in at East Croydon – no deduction because you are within your zones.
    Touch out at Victoria NR – £2.00 deduction because you have travelled within zone 1 on NR
    Touch in at Victoria LU – £2.60 deduction to bring your total deduction up to the entry charge for mixing PAYG and a Travelcard
    Touch out at Walthamstow Central LU – £2.70 credit back because your journey is now a National Rail through one and only the TfL zone 1 charge of £1.90 is required because your travelcard has zone 2 included. See the bottom of this page on the TfL site for further information.
    Touch in at Walthamstow Central NR – no deduction because you are back within your zones.
    Touch out at Chingford – no adjustment because you are still within your zones.

    I hope this helps now.

  29. Oh that explains a lot. Mike what if I am

    touching in at Vauxhall to get on the Victoria line and touching out at Walthamstow central, then how much of my PAYG balance will be used on a return journey with a Z2-6 travel on my oyster

  30. The same amount because the overall journey (East Croydon to Chingford) is still a National Rail through journey. Because Vauxhall is dual zoned (1 and 2) you would only see the £1.90 charge taken on exit at Walthamstow Central.

  31. Sorry Mike & Mamoon.

    The OSI charging logic means that you cannot pay less at the end of a multi leg journey than you paid at the end of the previous leg – i.e. you will pay £2 on the way to Chingford and £1.90 on the way back.

    The outbound will play out like this (provided the maximum journey time is not exceeded):

    Touch in at East Croydon – no deduction because you are within your zones.
    Touch out at Victoria NR – £2.00 deduction because you have travelled within zone 1 on NR
    Touch in at Victoria LU – £2.60 deduction to bring your total deduction up to the entry charge for mixing PAYG and a Travelcard
    Touch out at Walthamstow Central LU – £2.60 credit back
    Touch in at Walthamstow Central NR – £2.60 deducted (assuming touch before 09:30) as the mixed travel journey from East Croydon is reopened again
    Touch out at Chingford – £2.60 credit back

    If Mamoon changes at Vauxhall to the Tube, he will only pay £1.90 both ways.

  32. Thanks for that comment, Jack. However, I do know of one instance where just such a reduction took place. Also, I would wager that a significant proportion of zone 1 extension through journeys on a travelcard including zone 2 are made first on NR only in the peak. If what you are saying is correct then the TfL website has a serious error on it. However, if you have an authoritative source for your statement please do provide it so that I can take the matter up with the helpdesk.

  33. i have a quick question, i want to go from hounslow east (zone 4) to cyprus DLR station (zone 3) approximately 4 days a week. I will pass through zone 1 as it is the fastest route. If i get a zone 3-4 travel card, is the system intelligent enough to deduct a zone 1 fare, because on the journet history only the start and stop stations are listed. i will be changing trains at green park (jubilee line) and canning town (DLR).. but i will only be touching in at zone 4 (hounslow east) and touching out at cyprus (zone 3)

  34. The system is actually intelligent enough to charge a zone 1-2 fare from your PAYG balance in that situation. Basically it knows what is the likely route between any two stations on the system and charges accordingly. It will take account of any travelcard(s) held and deduct the remainder from the balance.

  35. What a great website!

    Anyway, my questions, following on from the above:

    1. Say I’ve got a Z3-5 Travelcard and want to go from Chiswick to East Croydon. The best way is probably to change at Clapham Junction – presumably the system will charge me for a Z2 ticket? (Unless of course I go via Wimbledon but then it will know I’ve entered the tram instead which is a separate journey).

    2. On a completely different note, say I have a Z2-5 Travelcard. Then say I buy a Heathrow Connect ticket from T123 to Hayes+H, but actually want to travel onwards. I can leave at Ealing no problem as I’m in-zone, but what if I want to go to Paddington? To be charged correctly I would need to have touched in somewhere – are there validators on the platform at H&H? Are they placed suitably close to every door set to be able to use them and jump back on the same train?

    TIA for your help. I’m actually moving to London in a couple of weeks and am trying to get up to speed – I’ve only been a (very) irregular visitor so far!

  36. Hi Michael,

    1) Yes, it will charge for a zone 2 national rail journey.
    2) Mixing paper tickets with PAYG Oyster (even if partly covered by a travelcard) is one of the limitations of the system. You will need to touch in at the end of your paper ticket. I don’t know what validators are present at Hayes and Harlington, but you may well have to get the next train.

    Hope that helps.

  37. “If you touch in or out within your zones but not when outside there will be no effect on your PAYG balance, but you can still be charged a penalty fare. This can even happen after you have passed the validators on your way out of the station.”

    Can you clarify what the penalty for this would be please? If I have zone 1-2 travel card, touch in at Liverpool Street, but not out at Maryland (Zone 3) would there be an extra charge applied to my card.

    The same if I don’ t touch in at Maryland but touch out at Liverpool Street?

  38. The extra charge would not be applied to the card, no. If you are stopped by Revenue Protection Inspectors outside the zones covered by your card and without a recent touch in then you would be liable for a penalty fare. This is £20 on most National Rail services and £50 (reduced to £25 for prompt payment) on TfL operated services including Overground. If they are watching the validators and see you fail to touch out they can still issue a penalty fare even though you have left the platforms. The offence is travelling without a valid ticket or validated smartcard.

  39. Hey Mike, great site, it’s been really useful.

    I’ve got a number of questions regarding the cheapest way to travel, using a mix of Travelcards and PAYG or just travelcard.

    I live in Zone 3/4 (Leytonstone) and will have to commute to Farringdon Zone 1 three times a week (9am-5pm).

    Maybe once or twice a week I will be travelling on the weekend or weekdays I have off around Zones 1 2 and 3.

    Now I’ve been doing a lot of spread sheeting but I’m still not quite sure what to go for, barring z2-3 Travelcard.

    I am eligible for a 16-25 railcard so I might link that into my account and get 1/3 off of off peak charges, considering I take a number of train journeys a year to make it worth it.

    So what do you suggest, a Z1, Z1+2 or Z1+2+3 Travelcard, a mix of Travelcard+PAYG or just straight PAYG.

    I wish there was an easier way to tell what would be cheapest.

    Any suggestions?

  40. Hi Sean,

    It’s not really possible to advise with the details available so far. If on days that you don’t go to Farringdon you will be using zones 2 and 3 then a zone 2-3 travelcard is probably worth it. Whether you include zone 1 depends on just how much you will go over the three days a week. It sounds like it could be swings and roundabouts. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  41. Hi mike! I have a 16-26 railcard and travel from clapham junction to guildford daily. Is it worth my while using my oyster card from clapham junction to surbiton and then a weekly ticket to guildford? I dont like buying a season ticket as i may work from home some days. thanks

  42. I don’t think you’d gain anything with your suggestion, unless you were travelling outside of the peak times and could get off-peak discounted fares. You would also have to change trains at Surbiton while you touched out the Oyster and came back in with the paper ticket.

  43. Hi Mike

    If I have a zone 2 travelcard with some PAYG credit and tap in and out at zone 2 stations but travel through zone 1 (without getting off) – will the machines work out that I’ve travelled through zone 1 and deduct PAYG credit accordingly or will I get away with it but run the risk of receiving a penalty charge if someone stops and checks me when the train is going through a zone 1 station?

    Many thanks!!

  44. 1) The system will know you’ve travelled through zone 1.
    2) As long as you have touched in and have at least enough credit for a zone 1 journey you will not get a penalty charge.

  45. HI, just come across your brilliant site…what a wealth of information! I’m hoping you may be able to throw some light on a problem my daughter had a while ago (I’m trying to get hold of the history as you’ve suggested elsewhere and awaiting, I hope an email statement). Meanwhile… My daughter put a 7day bus travelcard on her 18+ Oyster card but when she then went on a tube it negated it. Is this normal? She says a friend has had the same thing happen. Any thoughts?

  46. Hi Sheila,

    There does seem to be an issue with some products and the 18+ student oyster. I can only suggest folowing it up with the helpdesk if the journey statement suggests that you have been overcharged. Sorry I can’t be more help.

  47. Mike, I am travelling from Waddon (Z5) to Canary Wharf (Z2)and home each day. I have a Zone 2-5 travelcard.

    A) I took a journey from Canary Wharf to Canada Water (Jubilee line Z2) and changed to Overground down to West Croydon (Z5) and then Southern on to Waddon (Z5). Therefore I have avoided Zone 1 but when I checked out it charged me £1.90 as if I had travelled through Zone 1.

    This can’t be correct as if I had left the Jubilee line in Zone 1 then I would have passed through a barrier and the system would know. Am I correct? Would TfL refund this if I contact them do you think?

    B) If I had taken the DLR from Canary Wharf to Greenwich and then Southeastern into London Bridge and crossed over the platforms to a Southern train to Waddon would I be charged for entering Zone 1?

  48. Hi Captain,

    A) There is a definite error here. The Single fare finder gives two fares with the cheapest one via Canada Water as you travelled. To indicate that route you should touch on the pink validator if using PAYG. I’d call the helpdesk, or email them, and ask for a refund of the £1.90. This is one of those routes that I think should have a different default when a travelcard is stored on the Oyster. It would be handy to know whether the pink validator would still correct the fare if you do it again. Also, do you need to touch in/out at Waddon? If not then I suggest you don’t as that will make the journey an incomplete one within your zones and thus no charge.

    B) Peversely, it would appear not. The default route from Canary Wharf DLR appears to be to Lewisham, then Peckham Rye, then to Waddon. As long as you don’t touch anywhere else then that is what the system will assume you’ve done.

    Hope that helps, and please let us know how you get on getting a refund.

  49. Hi Simon.

    I need to purchase a new season ticket as I am moving home to outside of the TfL zones. I will be using NR services to get to London, and have been quoted £3200 for the year for the train ticket including TfL Zones 1-6.

    I have worked it out that it would be far cheaper to get a train ticket valid to a station within zone 6, and purchase a zone 1-6 Oyster season ticket.

    Would this be valid, if I was to stay on the train and allow the Oyster card to ‘kick in’ without touching in with the Oyster Card? Or would I have to get off the train, touch in and then get the next train?

    I have looked at the TfL website and according to that you can be issued a penalty fare if you do not touch in with a pay as you go season ticket, but it is fairly ambiguous.


  50. Hi Gary,

    First a query. Are you sure that an annual season to the first station within the zones plus an all zones season is going to be cheaper than a combined ticket? I’ve checked out Longfield which happens to have an annual season to London zones 1-6 at £3200. The annual season to St Mary Cray is £1468 while an annual zones 1-6 travelcard is £2016.

    Anyway, with a zones 1-6 season ticket on your Oyster card you would not be using pay as you go. The combination of paper season and Oyster season is valid as long as the train used calls at the station where you changeover. If you want to take a fast train then you would need to make both tickets zonal. This doesn’t work from everywhere, but if you add zones 4-6 to the outside the zones ticket and put zones 1-3 on the Oyster then you can use fast trains. It is still likely to be more expensive than the single season for the whole journey.

    Hope this helps.

  51. Mike, thanks for your response. Basically it would be from Hatfield into London on a paper ticket, and then I was hoping to use an Oyster season ticket for travelling in London.

    If the train was to stop in Hadley Wood (zone 6), New Barnet (zone 5) or Oakleigh Park (zone 4) am I allowed to use the paper ticket for travelling to / through one of those stations, then without having to get off and touch in, use my Oyster card to touch out at say Finsbury Park or Kings Cross, en route to my final destination within London, and on the TfL network.

    In doing so, I could purchase the FCC annual ticket for £900, £1000 or £1200, then an Oyster card season ticket zones 1-6 for £2018, zones 1-5 for £1880, or 1-4 for £1576. Combined, either of these options are cheaper than the £3200, it is just a case of whether I am allowed to use the Oyster without touching in.

    The TfL website only mentions being penalised if you do not touch in whilst on a pay as you go Oyster Card, and does not say whether or not the same restriction applies to a season ticket.

  52. Yes, you are allowed to do that. There is no penalty for not touching in or out when within the zones covered by your travelcard season. The only exception is when you want to use PAYG to travel beyond the zones but within the Oyster area. In that instance you must touch in and out so that the correct fare can be deducted, and avoid the possibility of a penalty fare if checked outside your zones.

    Do remember though that the reason those fares are so competitive is that you cannot use fast trains that do not call at your changeover station. If you needed to do so on the odd day then you could purchase a day ticket because when only one ticket is a season the train does not need to call at the station.

  53. Hi Mike

    I have a zone 1-4 monthly travel card but in some cases I have been unable to tap in and out at the start or end of my destination (zone 4). I just wanted to check that the information you provided above is correct, that I cannot be charged for this? There have been cases where inspectors have checked my oyster and can see that I have a zone 1-4 and have said no further and I have also checked my oyster history and no charge has been deducted.

  54. Hi CK,

    Within your zones there is no penalty for failing to touch in or out. The only exception is when your journey will take you outside your zones. In that case you must touch in and out at either end so that the system can charge you the correct extension amount.

  55. Thanks Mike, also just wanted to check, although I go no further than Zone 4 the train itself ends in Zone 5?

  56. Where the train goes is irrelevant; it can even end up outside the Oyster area. It is where you go while on the train that is important. Taking my line as an example, if your commute was between New Eltham and Charing Cross then as long as you stayed between those two points you would be fine. However, if you wanted to visit a friend in Crayford after work you would need to touch in at Charing Cross and out at Crayford so it could charge you for zones 5-6. Likewise at the end of your visit you would touch in at Crayford and out again at New Eltham so that the same zones could be charged again.

  57. i m from east ham zone 3…need to go to ealing broadway in zone 3..can you tell me which zone weekly card should i buy..where i can save money…n can use the tube …

  58. You’d need a zone 1-3 travelcard. I don’t see any easy way of saving money with that journey. To avoid zone 1 you would need to change at West Ham, Stratford and Shepherd’s Bush, but that would take considerably longer. You would possibly need to touch on the pink validator at Stratford to convince the system that you hadn’t taken a direct train.

  59. Hi Mike, in reference to my earlier question…
    I requested a complaint online twice without reply. I called the refunds line as they had always been helpful previously. Again they sorted the issue out straight away and I received my refund the following day. I have since received responses from the Online refunds team who said that because I had not used the pink validators I was not entitled to a refund. I have responded to ask them which route I could have taken through Zone 1 without having gone through a ticket barrier as I dont think there is one.

    Also all the TfL literature says the pink validators are for PAYG users and I had a Travelcard. I pointed this out to them. Just have to wait three months now for a response!

    In conclusion I will always call them in future!

  60. Thanks for the update, Captain. I’d be very interested to hear their next response.

  61. Wow mike you are really a wealth of information. Hopefully you will be able to advise me as you have countless others on thsi site.

    I live in tulse hill but need to go to south ken monday to friday for work. Since I already have a 1 month travel card for z2-3 I take the bus to brixton, the victoria line to victoria and district to south ken. Knowing that I pay 1.90 for the zone 1 journey. Going home i stick to the buses cos i can get the bus 2 straight home from victoria. But in the moring its too hectic to do that.

    I have 2 questions do u think i am saving mony but making my journey this way. My travel card expires next week friday and i am wondering should i just buy an annual pass for z2-3 as i live in z3 or should 1 buy z1-2 as i work in zone.
    Which would work out cheaper do you think?

  62. Hi Tony,

    I would go for the zone 1-2. You only use trains in those zones and buses are free with any travelcard season. The difference between the weekly tickets is £6.80 yet you are spending £9.50 on zone 1 singles each week. The difference will be proportionally similar for longer period tickets. The only change is that the PAYG deductions are made at the time while the season is obviously paid up front. But if you buy the annual before Jan 2nd then you’ll get the old price and the zone 1 single goes up to £2 next year.

    Hope that helps.

  63. I cannot find anywhere information on what to do in the situation whereby you have a National Rail season pass, in my case Kingston to Vauxhall but have the occasional day where I meet friends centrally and so want to get the train all the way to Waterloo.

    Am I expected to get off the train at Vauxhall, exit and swipe back in again using my Oyster?

    I see a lot of information regarding travelcards on oysters but it is more expensive for me to get a 2-6 travelcard than a season pass between these two stations only.

    Any help much appreciated I am really struggling with this!


  64. Hi Mike,
    I am wondering whether you could help me, I am travelling on business in a group of 3 and I am not sure whether I should get a Oyster PAYG or a Travelcard+Oyster PAYG or a Travelcard on a Oyster over a 2 week period. I would be grateful if you can suggest some cost-worthy option for me.

    (1) Travelling from East Croydon station (z5) to Victoria station (z1), Paddington station (z1), South Kensington (z1) [multiple trips within z1] and back to East Croydon(z5) of up to 3 times per week.

    (2) I understand that East Croydon station is operated by national rail but does it have the station capability to accept the tapping of the oyster card or is it mandatory I have to use a paper travel card?

    (3) I will need to use the trams as well, in this instance, a travelcard would be invalid and an oyster would be more suitable?

    Would be grateful if you could help in my many enquiries, many thanks.


  65. Hi Calista,

    Sorry for the delay replying.

    (1) 3 times per week is unlikely to make a weekly ticket worthwhile, you’d be better off using PAYG, especially if you can start after 9.30.
    (2) You can use Oyster at East Croydon, and all NR stations within the zonal area except Stratford International and the NR stations at Heathrow.
    (3) Travelcards are valid on trams as long as they include any of zones 3-6.

    I hope that helps.

  66. Hi Kyle,

    Sorry for the delay replying. If you want to mix Oyster PAYG and a paper season then you do need to get off at the interchange station. At least with Vauxhall there are plenty of trains and it is a dual zoned station so you won’t be paying for a zone twice.

  67. Hi Mike

    Would be grateful if you could help me with a query, as I am a bit confused with tfl website and helpline. I will be starting a new job in Jan and would need to travel by bus, tram and tube from Wallington to High St Ken. (Will travel to Earls Court and walk to avoid zone 1) Had originally thought I would need to add a 2-5 zone season ticket to my payg oyster card, but now I am not so sure. Details of journey are:

    1. Bus – Hilliers Lane to Wandle Park/Therapia Lane
    2. Tram – Wandle Park/Theraia Lane to Wimbledon
    3. Tube – Wimbledon to Earls Court

    Believe I should now buy 2-4 zones, do you agree?

    Many thanks

  68. Hi Sharon,

    Good news. That itinerary only needs a zone 2-3 travelcard. Buses are free with any travelcard and trams are free with a travelcard containing any of zones 3-6. Your tube journey is only in zones 2 and 3. You can also get a bus from Earls Court to High Street Kensington if you want.

  69. HI been travelling to work recently from Tulse Hill to Gidea Park but going avoiding zone 1 but the oyster card is charging me as though I am going through zone 1 have spoken to tfl but they seem to think this is the default route and have been charged correctly but have gone to Stratford, then Canada Water and then to Crystal Palace and Tulse Hill so have avoided zone 1 is there any way to get tfl to refund the money they should be refunding as it is quite a lot of difference in the costs of the journey.

  70. Hi Kevin,

    I’ve got bad news, a workaround, and a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel. First the bad news. There is only one route from Gidea Park to Tulse Hill and that is via zone 1. Tulse Hill is far enough round from Crystal Palace for them to decide that it’s unlikely anyone would go that way. However, there is an alternative route from Gidea Park to Crystal Palace via Canada Water as long as you touch on the pink validator at Canada Water. If you then touch out and back in again at Crystal Palace it will split the journey into two with the last bit a single zone journey. This would be cheaper than the default fare to Tulse Hill. Taking next years fares, Gidea Park to Tulse Hill is £6.90 (£4.60 off-peak), Gidea Park to Crystal Palace is £3.60 (2.30) and Crystal Palace to Tulse Hill is £1.60 (£1.40).

    Obviously that isn’t ideal, but it might convince you to invest in a travelcard season instead. If you do, you would need zones 2-6. If you have to touch in to open gates at Tulse Hill then you will still need to touch out and in again at Crystal Palace or the system will still think you’ve gone via zone 1 and charge the difference to your PAYG balance. You shouldn’t need to use the pink validator at Canada Water if you have a travelcard season.

    Finally, there is a new line being built between Peckham Rye and Surrey Quays. When that is open I think that the default route for your overall journey may well change. At the very least they should give you an alternative in the same way that they do for Crystal Palace.

    Hope that helps.

  71. Hi Mike,
    I live in Chingford and work in East Croydon.
    I was wondering if I could buy the zone 2-5 monthly card which is 111.40 instead of the monthly sonze 1-5 which is 191.30. I will then supplement it by paying the £1.90 which is required because the travelcard has zone 2 included.

    This will mean a daily cost of 3.80 (return). I only go into work 3 times a week so I reckon in a month I will have incured total daily charges 3.80 * 3 days * 4 weeks = 45 * 112 (zone 2-5 card) making a total cost of 157 a month which is much cheaper than the 191 Zone 1-5 Card.

    Can this be done?

    I can see you explained this to Mamood above but that was with a zone 2-6 card but I am assuming that a zone 2-5 should suffice for this as I dont have any zone 6 area in my travel.

    Your advice will be much appreciated.


  72. Hi Tony,

    Yes, it will work for you as well. You have slipped up in one respect as the zone 1 single is now £2.00, but it doesn’t invalidate the saving.

  73. Thank you Mike, Much appreciated

  74. Hello. Great website. When my gold card (z1 – 8 +W) expires in February I would like to explore cheaper options. I live in watford and work at Vauxhall. I was thinking of getting a Z1-2 gold annual at £1168 and then doing PAYG all on oyster. I generally leave work at 6.30pm so I flirt with the 1900 end of peak. If using the above combination of a Z1-2 travelcard and PAYG from Z3 – W, I touched in at Euston before 1900, but touched out at watford after 1900, would I have to pay a peak of about £3.70 or an off peak of £1.50 on PAYG if I dont break my journey between Euston/Baker Street (if I used the met line instead) and Watford. There is a potentially several hundred pound saving possible. I fear that to take advantage of the off peak from euston, I would have to wait for the 7.04 or 7.24 trains. Its also a pain that there is no zone 3 station on the met line.

    Many thanks

  75. Hi Nick,

    You are not alone. Lots of people have decided to seriously look at cutting their travel costs. I have bad news and good news for you.

    Bad news first. Because of OSIs your journey is strung together so that it becomes one, starting at Vauxhall. The charge is decided by the touch in time at Vauxhall. There are two ways to get round this. First, wait 40 minutes between touch out at Euston tube and touch in at Euston NR; or touch on a bus (and then get straight off again) between the two. The bus breaks a rail journey as does exceeding the OSI allowance. Unfortunately you are right when you suggest that you’ll have to get the 1904 at the earliest to get the off-peak fare, and make sure you wait on the concourse until after 1900.

    Now the good news. How does a £984 saving grab you? The default route for Watford Junction to Vauxhall is via Clapham Junction. As long as you don’t touch in/out in zone 1 you only need a Z2-9+W season. If you occasionally need to go through zone 1 then it would only cost you £2 extra from your PAYG balance for each journey.

    Hope that helps.

  76. Hi Mike, thanks for you website – its very helpful! I think i now understand that if I commute from Stockwell to Hatton Cross by tube, I cannot purchase a Zones2-5 monthly travelcard as I have to change at Green Park. Is there a more affordable option e.g. Part Payg, than to buy a Zones1-6 travelcard?

  77. Hi Mike,
    Sorry for the late response, still on my question on travelling from East Croydon station (z5) to Victoria station (z1), Paddington station (z1), South Kensington (z1) [multiple trips within z1] and back to East Croydon(z5) of up to 3 times per week

    Is it wise & cost-effective to buy a PAYG and Travelcard together? Or should I just stay with a PAYG? I need to travel during the peak periods before 930am.

    If I were to buy a PAYG+Travelcard, what zones should I be buying on the PAYG and what zones on the Travelcard?

    If just using the PAYG, what zones should I be buying on this card?

    Sorry I am abit confused.

    Please advise me and thank you.

    Warmest regards,

  78. HI,
    I stay in Isleworth and work in paddington. I buy a oyster travel card from zone 1-4.
    For mornings I take southwest trains from isleworth station at around 6 AM get of at waterloo and then use bakerloo line from waterloo to paddington.
    For evening it same journey around 6:30 PM

    I have a car so the only time I use train is while travelling to office and I am actually finding the current price too expensive to pay. that too on a crowded train.

    Weekend the car is useless for me.

    Infact travelling by car and parking it there is almost the same as travel card charges.

    Any ideas to save money. I am ready to park my car at Southall / ealing broadway and then take first great western from there.

    But there is nothing that saves me a penny…

    Can you help

  79. Hi Dale,

    When it comes to seasons you can buy zones 1-5 which is a bit cheaper than 1-6. If you can find any suitable buses to take out some of the zones then that can also help, eg a bus from Hatton Cross to a zone 3 station means that you’d only need a zone 1-3 travelcard as buses are free with any travelcard.

  80. Hi Calista,

    With PAYG the system caps you automatically according to the zones you use. The most you would pay on your itinerary per day is £15.80 which is the zone 1-6 anytime cap. A weekly travelcard for zone 1-5 is £49.80 which is just more than 3x the daily cap at £47.40. If you make any other journeys during the week it might then be worthwhile, or a monthly ticket might also be slightly cheaper than daily ones, particularly if you can time the month to maximise working days. I don’t think a mixture of travelcard and payg is going to help much in your situation.

    Hope this helps,

  81. Hi Manu,

    Is waiting until 7pm to come home an option? If it is, then both your journeys are at off-peak times and you could do them for £3.70 each way. This works out a little cheaper than the weekly travelcard. Alternatively you could save more by driving to Southall because FGW trains operate on the TfL rate rather than the NR+TfL combined rate. Southall to Paddington is £3.60 peak and £2.60 off-peak. The same rates would also apply on the Picadilly line from Hounslow Central or East or Osterley or Boston Manor. You can also use buses for free with any travelcard if that might potentially save petrol or parking charges.

    Hope that helps.

  82. Dear Mike, thank you for your reply 🙂

    Warmest Regards,

  83. Hi Mike

    I have a zones 1-5 annual travelcard on Oyster (with Gold Card discount loaded) and occasionally travel to Elstree and Borehamwood in the evenings, usually via West Hampstead. If I time my change at West Hampstead so that I take the first Thameslink train after 7pm, is there a way that I can ensure that I am only charged the off peak (discounted) rate for the zone 6 extension (95p) as opposed to the (undiscounted) peak rate (£1.60)? As the Jubilee and Thameslink platforms are physically at different stations, will an OSI still always apply and, if so, would it be possible to break the journey by touching in and out a couple of times at one of the West Hampstead stations or by using validators?

    Many thanks

    PS. Just to clarify, I would be commencing my journey from London Bridge during the evening peak, but looking to make my change at West Hampstead after the evening peak.

  84. Hi Steve,

    If you touch normally it will combine the journeys and class it as peak. There are two guaranteed ways to break this, either take more than 20 minutes between touches at West Hampstead or touch on a bus and get off again. However, as West Hampstead is within your zones you could probably get away with starting a new journey at the Underground station (touch in but not out again) and then touch in at the Thameslink station. That should confuse the system enough, but I’ve not done it so I can’t be certain. Please come back and let us know if you try it. You might need to use the reader by the manual staffed gate when you touch in at the Underground or you not going through the gate might confuse other people and their cards.

    Hope that helps.

  85. Hi! I actually live in zone 2 (canada water) and work in Canary wharf.
    I am tentative to buy a zone 2-3 monthly ticket as it is currently around £25 cheaper. However, how much will I be charged if during the weekends I will get out in zone 1 or pick a tube in zone 1 to come to Zone 2?
    Also, is there any difference between a Zone 2 only or a Zone 2-3 as they are the same price? It seems better then to go to the 2nd option.
    Many thanks!

  86. Hi Mike, thanks for helping everyone here, seems to be a big help! I will shortly move to London to start my new job in kingston and I will most likely travel from Wimbledon via the train. I assume that the annual pass is the cheapest to travel as i will make 5 return journeys per week? If so can I get a discount with my 16-25 railcard? if so how much would it be? Thanks very much!

  87. Hi Joao,

    I’m confused. Canada Water to Canary Wharf is one stop on the Jubilee line. Single fares are £1.50 peak, £1.40 off-peak. A monthly travelcard costs £84.50, or almost 29 return journeys. Unless you work every day, or catch a bus somewhere, you should be using PAYG.

    To answer your other questions, the smallest travelcard covers two adjacent zones so you would get a zone 2-3. If you travelled in to or out of zone 1 you pay for a zone 1 single which is £2.

    Hope that helps.

  88. Hi Gavin,

    Season tickets are already discounted compared to return fares so there is no further discount for railcard holders. An annual season is the cheapest rate, but if you can’t afford the whole lot in one go then buy monthlies with a few days added on so they cover a whole 5 or 6 weeks starting on a Monday and ending on a Friday. Then miss that weekend and start the next ticket on the Monday. If you time it right you can get long weekends free and also annual leave. This can work out not much more than an annual without the upfront payment.

  89. great site thanks for it. i would like your advice i need to travel from zone 2 to zone 4 and i have 2 ways one is crossing zone 1 or using overground. Overground is cheaper 968 pounds for annual, but zone 1-4 is more expensive 1672. most weekends i will go to the zone 1, would you suggest buying a 2-4 zone and using pay as you go for occasional trips to zone 1, or just not bother and go for a full zone 1-4 card ?

  90. Hi ramzez,

    If you go into zone 1 and out again every Saturday and Sunday for a year it would cost £2 x 2 x 2 x 52 = £416. This is a lot less than the difference between the tickets so I’d go for the zone 2-4 and use PAYG when going to zone 1.

  91. Hi Mike

    I have a question. I am going to be travelling from Margate to Bromley each day starting next month and planning to buy a Margate- zone 5 and 6 national rail card. On 1- 2 days some weeks I need to travel to New Cross however, and the easiest way to do this is to stay on the train past Bromley until London Bridge, then get another line down to New Cross in zone 3. How can I do this using both my travel card and Oyster card as surely once I am on the train outside of zone 5 using a z5-6 travel card this is an offence? There will be no way I can scan in my oyster card either as I will not leave the station at London Bridge, but will need to use this to get out of the station at New Cross. I am very confused about how this will work out and do not want to end up with a fine…. Thanks in advance for your help.

  92. Hi Tiffany,

    The simple answer is to forget Oyster. What you need on those days is a day travelcard for zones 1-4. These cost £7.70 off-peak and £10.60 if you need to use it before 0930. Because both your tickets are zonal there is no requirement for the train to stop at any station in or near zones 4 or 5. You can buy them from Margate, or order them online to be picked up from the ticket machine at Margate. If ordering online you enter a station within zones 1-4 in the From box (eg Lewisham) and “London Zones 1-4” in the To box. For some wierd reason it doesn’t work if you specify a London Terminal, so don’t use London Bridge. If buying at the station and the clerk doesn’t know how to issue it, tell him to use NLC 0034 with Lewisham. You may need to show your season ticket to prove you have a valid ticket to get to the boundary between zones 4 and 5. The combination is 100% valid, however. There is no gap between zones in London and you don’t need to double up on zone 5.

    Hope that helps.

  93. Thanks Mike. Am I able to use my 18+ student oyster to purchase a cheaper zone 1-4 day travelcard??

    Also, I have been on the national rail site and TFL and cannot find anywhere online that I am able to input zone 1-4 as an option and buy a travel card online. Can you please advise as to how this is possible? Everything else makes perfect sense- thanks again for the advice.

  94. The 18+ Student Oyster card only discounts period travelcards. If you have a 16-25 Railcard you can get dicounted off-peak day travelcards, but only the zone 1-6 variety which costs £5.60. You also can’t use this before 1000 Mon-Fri.

    For buying the travelcard you need to go to one of the train company websites like http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk.

  95. Hi I am traveling out of the country on the 23rd of April and need to make my way to London gatwick airport and I am looking for the cheapest route. I have a half price bus travel concession so I plan on trying to use this to cheapen my journey to the airport. So according to tfl I need to make my way to either London bridge station (where I can take the capital connect) or Victoria station where I can take either the gatwick express or southern line. So I plan using busses to head to either of the mentioned stations as it will turn into a days bus pass after some travels n save me on expenses, now I want to know if my oyster card would work for capital connect, southern line and gatwick express. now I know they are deffinately not within my bus concession hence it will cost me but I don’t know the prices for them and I have searched high and dry for pricing on those. Also if I am able to use my oyster-card (providing I credited my oyster with enough for the PAYG journey), how they charge to journey to gatwick airport in oyster, how much it will cost me AND if this will affect my half price bus concession especially when after it’s turned into a 50% cut of a day travel on bus using oyster card. Hope my query makes sense.

  96. Hi Danielle,

    Unfortunately you can’t use your Oyster to Gatwick Airport. I can’t check current fares easily at the moment, but you have a number of options. First off though, don’t use Gatwick Express! It’s not really that much faster and costs more. You can either get a “Not Gatwick Express” ticket from London which is valid either from Victoria or London Bridge. Or, if you can get cheaper travel with your Oyster then you could use that to East Croydon and then purchase a FCC only single to Gatwick from there. The FCC only ticket from London is more expensive than the Not Gatwick Express. I’ll add prices later if I can work it all out.

  97. Hello, thankyou very much Mike, you been great help, really appreciate it. First time travelling via an airport other than heathrow and not easy routed too. Guess non gatwick express via Victoria or London bridge appears to be the less costly route, will see if i can get hold of how much it costs prior to my journey, fingers crossed. And please feel free to let me know of any new developments regarding my query, thankyou and have a great day

  98. Hello,
    I would like to ask you if its legal to travel from Twickenham(Z5) to Purley(Z6) with a paper travelcard Z5-6?

  99. Hi Paul,

    It depends how you do it. If you use trains the whole way then no, it isn’t. If you use buses and trams, optionally combined with trains in zones 5 and 6 only, then yes it is. You could do train to Kingston, bus to Sutton, train to West Croydon, tram to East Croydon and train to Purley.

  100. Hi Mike,
    I am a tourist from Slovakia and I’ve found this site really helpful. I hope you can help me too with my preparations for visiting London.
    I will be visiting London in March for a week (8 days to be precise), as a standard tourist. Most probably I will be living in Z3, with everyday commuting into Z1 (in peaks) and several trips outside Z3 (Windsor and Hampton Court). From what I have already read I have come up with two scenarios (both involving Travelcard Z1-3) and I would be very grateful if you helped me to decide which one – or maybe even find another one – is better for me.
    Alt.1: From what I understood from TfL site, if I buy Travelcard (in my case 7-day) from Visitors online shop it would be a paper ticket. Can you confirm that? In that case I assume I would be spared of any touch in/out procedures…
    How should I cope with the trip to Hampton Court in terms of most economic travel? Can I go to Waterloo, buy there a return ticket from Wimbledon (the last train stop covered by my Travelcard) to Hampton and get on the train already in Waterloo? Or, do I have to go to Wimbledon by Tube and only there buy and get on the train? The same vice versa on the return trip…
    The same schema valid for Windsor trip and Paddington/ Ealing Broadway stations…
    Alt.2: to buy an Oyster with PAYG and again 7-day Travelcard (as it is cheaper than PAYG with everyday return trips between Z1-3, at least one trip per day in a peak).
    Do I have to touch in/out within stations covered by Travelcard?
    What do I need for applying for Oyster upon arrival: any special IDs, photo,…?
    How is it with the refunding of any unused PAYG credit and deposit for Oyster at the end of my stay: will I get my money in any tube station basically immediately? Can I encounter any problems when trying to refund the money (I read somewhere there might be some troubles when mixing cash with other payment types…)? To be honest, I fear of refunding the most in this alternative…
    On Hampton trip (planned on Sunday) I wouldn’t buy a paper ticket (as PAYG Z3-6 is cheaper). I would get on the train in Waterloo without any questions now but can I touch in already in Waterloo (with touching out in Hampton) to calculate the fare correctly (from Z3-Z6)? Or touching in in Wimbledon is necessary?
    What alternative do you see better for me? Any other advices?
    Thanks a lot, Mike, and sorry for a little bit longer entry

  101. Hi Roman,

    Hopefully I can help. I’ll try and pick out the questions in the same order. To start with a travelcard from the visitor shop would be on paper and would therefore not require touching in and out, although where gates are involved you’ll need to insert the ticket to open the gate.

    In terms of your trips to Hampton Court and Windsor there is actually a slightly cheaper alternative. You can buy a ticket from “Boundary zone 3” to your destination from either London terminal and then travel on a direct train. This way you avoid double paying for zone 3. In both your cases the boundary fare is cheaper, although that isn’t always the case to any station outside the zones.

    Now the oyster option. If you need to open gates you will have to touch in and out anyway. It’s probably best to do this even if the gates are locked open or there are validators because it gets you in the habit. You don’t need any ID to get a normal adult Oyster card. There are refund issues if you have used multiple payment methods to top up but if it’s a problem they can send a cheque. I’m not aware of a problem if you pay the deposit and any topups by cash. You can still pay for the travelcard by credit card. Ticket machines can dispense PAYG Oyster cards with some top-up already loaded. You can then add a travelcard as a separate transaction, using a ticket office if it makes you happier.

    For Hampton Court you touch in at Waterloo and out at Hampton Court and it will only charge you for zones 4-6. Simple! For Windsor you can still get the boundary zone ticket. You’ll need to show your Oyster card or paper travelcard to get this ticket.

    The only other advice I can think of right now is to check engineering work on the Sunday. If part of the journey is going to be replaced with a bus you may decide to do Hampton Court another day.

    Hope that helps.

  102. Hi Mike, thanks a lot for your explanations. You definitelly helped me a lot. One more question: do you know how much is “Boundary Zone 3” to Hampton Court ticket compared to PAYG Z4-6 £1.80 price? ‘Cos that’s the only difference point in financial terms between my two alternatives.
    Thanks, Roman

  103. Hi Roman,

    BZ3 to Hampton Court is £3.10 single, £5.40 return.

  104. Hi Mike, so PAYG option is cheaper. Hopefully the last question: with PAYG with Travelcard on, a trip from Paddington to Windsor. Where to touch in/out (if necessary) on this route: is it possible to touch in/out at Windsor and Eton Central? Thanks, Roman

  105. Hi Roman,

    Oyster is not accepted beyond West Drayton on the line to Slough/Windsor. So on that trip I would ask for the “Boundary zone 3” to Windsor return at Paddington. You may need to show your Oyster so the clerk can check that there is a travelcard on it. Then you can use the Oyster to open gates at Paddington and the paper ticket at the other end.

  106. Hi Mike, if I got it correctly, inserting paper ticket somewhere at Windsor end of the journey will let the system know that I finished the journey (which started at Paddington with touching in) there? Because there is no other touching out on the way there…

  107. Yes. Within the zones on your travelcard the Oyster system doesn’t worry about incomplete journeys. It’s best to get in the habit of always touching in and out so that it can charge you the right amount for any PAYG extension (eg Hampton Court), but if you are combining a travelcard with a paper ticket there is no need to worry about touching at the changeover.

  108. Hi quick question.

    If I buy a Zone 2-3 monthly travelcard (Ealing Common – Oval) will I be charged to leave Oval station, even though it falls into the zones I have bought? if so how much?

  109. Ho Simon,

    Quick answers: Yes and £2. You have to go through zone 1 so it’s a zone 1 single which is £2 all day.

  110. Thanks mike! Do I also pay another £2 when I return home to Ealing Common?

  111. Yes, it’s £2 per journey involving zone 1.

  112. Thanks Mike… Managed to get my company to by me a yearly 1-3 pass 🙂

  113. Hi I travel everyday (mon-fri) from east croydon to elephant and castle.
    I buy a zone 2-5 travelcard and use the overground.
    However about 2or 3 days a week on the return journey will have to go via london bridge because of train times.
    Obvs this is out of my zones. Is it going to charge me a whole PAYG journey from elephant n castle (via london bridge) to east croydon £5.90 or will it only charge me using the tube to london bridge and the little bit of train covering zone 1 before it enters zone 2? Bearing in mind I will scan in at london bridge and out at east croydon. And a zone 1-6 travelcard is sooooo much more money. confused? :/

  114. Hi Dean,

    It will charge you £2 every time you go through zone 1. This is because you have a travelcard including zone 2 so the extra for any mixed zone 1 journey is just a TfL zone 1 fare.

  115. Hi Mike

    I want to go to Seven Sisters from South Quays.
    I have an annual zones1-3
    Can I travel via First Capital Connect to Highbury and Islington from Moorgate with this card just to make my journey 6 minutes shorter than if I went via Euston?

    Thank you

  116. Hi Caren,

    Yes, with a zone 1-3 travelcard you can use any rail services wholly within those zones apart from between St Pancras International and Stratford International on High Speed 1. If this is a regular commute then you might also want to invstigate a cheaper alternative route. Try DLR to Stratford then Greater Anglia to Tottenham Hale then Victoria Line to Seven Sisters, OR DLR to Stratford then London Overground to Highbury & Islington then Victoria Line to Seven Sisters. These are both zones 2-3 routes which will save you the expensive zone 1. The Stratford to Tottenham Hale part isn’t that frequent (roughly half hourly). If you have the travelcard on Oyster and decide to go into zone 1 occasionally then it will only take £2 from your PAYG balance for each journey.

  117. Mike Roberts

    Hi Mike
    I wish to travel from Vauxhall (Victoria Line) to Old Street (Northern Line) via Stockwell (Zone2). I will just be changing lines at Stockwell and not leaving the station therefore I was wondering if I would be charged for Zone 1 and Zone 2.

  118. You will definitely be charged for zone 1 and zone 2.

  119. Heya just a really quick question

    I have a student oyster and usually get a monthly zones 2-5 travelcard. I need to travel around zone one for one day next week is there a way i can get zone 1 added to the travelcard i already have on my oyster for the day? Or would i have to pay £2 each time i tapped in/out? I’ll be going more then one place in zone one so i’m just looking for my cheapest option.
    Thanks for your time and really sorry if you’ve already answered a smiliar question

  120. Hi Aneesa,

    No worries. You can’t add a zone just for one day, no. You’ll simply pay a zone 1 fare for each journey until you cap at the zone 1-2 rate. If your first trip into zone 1 starts before 0930 but you leave zone 2 after 0930 you may find it beneficial to break the journey at the last station in zone 2. Just touch out and in again so that you start a new journey after 0930. Obviously you’ll need to consider frequency of trains in case you can’t get the same one, but for capping you don’t want anything before 0930 unless you have to.

  121. Hi, I wondered if you could tell me any way around the problem I often have. I have a National Rail monthly travel card covering where I live (Streatham) to where I work (Hampton Court). For this journey I have to travel towards London and change at Clapham Junction and then travel back out again. Sometimes, if I am going out, I go from Hampton Court into London, and for this I use my Oyster card. However, this means I get charged for the Hampton Court to Clapham Junction part of the journey, which I have already paid for with my travelcard. Is there any way around this problem, apart from getting off at Clapham Junction and touching in with my Oyster card there? Also, Clapham Junction is very poorly served with Oyster touch points, considering its size. Thanks!

  122. Hi Paula,

    If your monthly ticket is a travelcard (zones 2-6 presumably) then ask for it to be put on your Oyster at the next renewal. You may have to actually buy it from a tube station or the TfL website as I don’t think Southern or SWT ticket offices can do that. When the travelcard is on the Oyster it will only charge you for the zones that you aren’t covered for, in this case a zone 1 single. If your monthly ticket is on paper then you do have to get out at the boundary to touch in. Remember though that a zone 2-6 travelcard is valid to Vauxhall and from there it is only a zone 1 single to Waterloo because Vauxhall is in both zones 1 and 2.

    Also, did you know that you don’t need zone 2 for this journey if you avoid Clapham Junction. Take the FCC train from Streatham to Wimbledon and pick up the Hampton Court train there. Wimbledon may even be able to sell the travelcard on Oyster because it is also served by tube trains.

    Hope this helps.

  123. Hi
    I am travelling from berrylands (Z5) to st Helier (Z4) via Wimbledon (zone3). As I dont need to touch in or out in wimbledon I just bought a z4-5 travelcard, but is didnt work? It deducted money and then said seek assistance! Why is this? And how can I rectify it? Thanks

  124. Hi Kelly,

    The system knows that to get from Berrylands to St Hellier you will need to go via zone 3. As you only have zones 4 and 5 on your travelcard it is trying to deduct a zone 3 single fare from your PAYG balance. If there isn’t enough money on the card to do that then it will say seek assistance. For the rest of this ticket it’s probably best to make sure you have some PAYG funds on your card. This can be done at a station ticket machine or an Oyster travel stop (shop). Next time you’ll need to get a zone 3-5 travelcard.

  125. Hi Mike,

    I travel 5 days a week from Highbury and Islington to Edmonton Green. I get the tube from H & I to Seven Sisters, get the train to Edmonton Green and then a bus ride to work. I travel about 2 times a week to central london but can you buses or tubes for this. What is the cheapest way I can do this a month. Buy a travelcard? Dont buy one or buy one which covers part of the areas but not all zones? Any help would be gratefully received from anyone! 🙂

  126. Hi Nicola,

    I would recommend a zones 2-4 travelcard. This would cover all your commute plus any other buses, even in zone 1. Each journey into zone 1 by tube would cost just £2 each way.

  127. Hello, I’m planning to put a 7 day travelcard for zones 1-4 on my oyster. During this time, I have to travel to heathrow and back. I will take national rail from beckenham to victoria(included in travelcard) and then tube from victoria to heathrow. how much will I be charged for my tube journey? do I pay only for the part outside zones 1-4 or do I have to pay the whole journey from victoria to heathrow? hope you can help!

  128. Hi Heli,

    You will only be charged for a zone 5-6 single each way as long as you touch in and out at each end of the tube journey. However, if you go straight from Victoria NR to Victoria LU then you will save money if you can touch on a bus and get straight off again at Victoria. This will then be a tube only journey rather than a mixed one.

    Hope that helps.

  129. HI Mike, you are actually amazing! Thank-you so much. I just looked and it seems that that will cost me £93 a month. Brilliant, thanks for your help. Nic 🙂

  130. Thanks Mike, that helped!

  131. Hi all,

    I got a quick question. If i wanted to buy an annual zone 3 pass.. would I be able to travel from colliers wood to hendon central without purchasing 1-3 travelcard. As its in the same zone, I dont see the point buying 1-3 even though i have to travel through it but never stop at the station..


  132. David,

    There are two problems. Firstly you cannot buy a one zone travelcard. More importantly, the system knows what route you are going to have taken and will charge you accordingly. If you travel through zone 1 you have to pay to do so.

  133. Can I ask what may be a dumb question if you are a London regular but I am from Dorset…..

    I will be a volunteer at the Olympics. They will give us an Oyster Card preloaded as a Zones 1-9 travelcard to use whilst we are volunteering. I have found a place to stay but its just outside the travel zone area (Leatherhead). I will be travelling each day to Earls Court. Do I just need to buy a train ticket to the first station inside zones 1-9 ( I think its Ewell or somewhere like that) and either jump off the train quickly to touch in there or just not bother with touching in (and maybe risk a penalty fare?), or do I have to buy a ticket to Wimbledon and touch in for the remainder of the journey there?

    Hope this makes sense


  134. Hi Jon,

    As the pre-loaded ticket will be a travelcard season you don’t have to worry about touching in or out at the boundary, so either buy a ticket to whichever Ewell (East or West) you will go through, or for complete flexibility buy a ticket to boundary zone 6 which will allow you to use either route from Epsom. The tickets are all the same price so the boundary zone 6 version is probably best.

  135. Hi Mike

    I was just wondering if you had any advice on the best\cheapest way to do my journey to work 5 days a week. My nearest stations are caledonian rd and barnsbury overground\caledonian rd underground and highbury and islington. I need to get to either shepperton or staines by 7.45am and returning in the evenings after 6.30? Any advice would be greatly appreciated

  136. Hi bez,

    Unfortunately both Shepperton and Staines are outside the Oyster area. However, you may still be able to take advantage of some of the Oyster charging. If your journey to work is going to start before 0630 (or if you can ensure that you touch in before 0630) then you will be charged off-peak for that journey. You will need to get off at either Feltham or Hampton to touch out and then use a season ticket for the last bit of the journey. You may find validators on the platform which if you sit in the right part of the train you can use and get back on the same train. On the way home you need to avoid touching in at Feltham or Hampton until after 1900 and then you’ll get off-peak again. Your best route is to take the Overground from CR&B or H&I to Richmond and then touch the pink validator there before getting the train to Feltham. That way your journey avoids zone 1 and will cost £2.30 off-peak or £3.60 peak each way.

    Staines to Feltham is £21.10 for a weekly season plus £23.00 for 10 off-peak oyster singles (total £44.10), or Staines to London zones 2-6 is £53.30. The paper season would avoid needing to touch in and out at Feltham, but using the Oyster route you could afford to make some of the journeys in the peak if necessary, or even go via zone 1 on occasions.

  137. Hi, was wondering if you could help.
    I’ve just recently moved to west finchley and work in crossharbour which is on the dlr.
    I bought a zone 2-4 travelcard for 24.40 and it has been charging me payg when I travel through zone 1.
    Is there a cheaper option?


  138. Hi Jayson,

    Yes, there is. You need to travel via either Kentish Town and Kentish Town West or Camden Town and Camden Road, then Stratford. You may need to touch on the pink validators on the Overground platform at Stratford. If it still charges you a zone 1 single then come back to us and report it to the helpdesk.

    Hope that helps.

  139. Hi Mike,

    I have a monthly 2-5 zone travelcard on oyster but need a single to Gatwick Airport and I am starting on this particular occasion from Victoria Station. I know I can purchase a boundary zone 5 to Gatwick Airport but will I get penalised for the zone 1 PAYG portion as I was hoping not to alight on the way to “complete” a journey so the correct zone 1 NR fare can be deducted.

    Any advice?


  140. Hi William,

    You will have to alight somewhere in zones 2-5 to complete the zone 1 PAYG journey. The best place is probably East Croydon as that gives you the maximum choice of trains to Gatwick Airport. Sit in the front coach on the way to East Croydon so you are nearest to the exit ramp.

  141. Thanks Mike. Do I in theory have to touch back in at East Croydon?

  142. Yes, you should do. The boundary zone ticket won’t work the barriers at East Croydon so your Oyster travelcard is your authority to travel. You just need to start a new journey so that the original one charges the correct zone 1 fare.

  143. I am going to work near to Bond street undeground st.Whot cheapest ticket can I buy from Feltham(fast train,tube,bus)and how much and whot ticket should be from Ealing broadway to Bond Street pls?My working day will be saturdays and also some sundays.Thanks for your advice

  144. Hi Eva,

    Feltham to Bond Street is quite expensive at £6.90 peak or £4.60 off-peak. You can reduce that a little by changing at Vauxhall and Green Park rather than Waterloo making it £5.60 peak or £4.30 off-peak. A further reduction can be gained by starting down the road at Hatton Cross where the fare to Bond Street is £4.40 peak or £2.90 off-peak. Any buses you use will be £1.35 each or £4.20 if you use 4 or more in a day. Finally, Ealing Broadway to Bond Street is £3.10 peak or £2.60 off-peak.

    If you use either Feltham or Hatton Cross then the zones 1-6 caps apply whereas from Ealing Broadway it is only the zones 1-4 caps. Saturdays and Sundays are off peak all the time.

    Hope that helps.

  145. Hi mike.
    Ive been spending a lot on my travel expenses every week. Can u recommend a week travel card? Im from feltham and taking southwest train going to clapham junction. Is there any available travel card for that journey? Im using my oyster card daily. Thanks mike.

  146. Hi vanj,

    If your journey is just Feltham to Clapham Junction then a simple paper season ticket will be the cheapest option. If you also make other journeys then a zones 2-6 travelcard on your Oyster could be the way to go.

    Feltham – Clapham Junction 7-day season – £25.70
    Zones 2-6 Travelcard 7-day season – £36.40
    10x peak single Feltham – Clapham Junction – £36.00

    Hope that helps.

  147. Hi Mike.

    I have recently moved to Wimbledon and need to travel to Canary Wharf for work. I am wondering whether it will be cheaper for me to buy

    a) point to point National Rail pass between Wimbledon and Waterloo / London Bridge; and a Zone 1-2 travel card or

    b) zone 1-3 travel card

    Thanks for your advise.

  148. Hi Apurva,

    First point is that if you buy a zone 1-2 travelcard then you only need to buy a point to point ticket from Wimbledon to Clapham Junction. But it’s a moot point because the extra zone only adds £5/week to the weekly travelcard cost while the weekly season from Wimbledon to Clapham Junction is £14.90. If you only use the card to commute 5 days a week it is slightly cheaper to just take the District line to Westminster and change to the Jubilee line there. This costs £3.10 for each peak journey while the weekly zone 1-3 travelcard is £34.20. If you’re likely to do any other travelling then the travelcard is better, especially if you want to go via Waterloo NR.

  149. Hi Mike,

    Hope you can help? I’m traveling from Ruislip Zone 6 to Wimbledon zone 3 mon-fri peak times. Bought a 3-6 oyster monthly and it seems to be deducting money from my PAYG balance? I’m touching in and out at gates either end. I’m going through earls court but never leaving the station?? What an I doing wrong and why is my PAYG being used?

  150. Hi Zain,

    You’re not doing anything wrong, but the system knows you will be going via Earls Court and so is charging you for a zone 2-6 journey less the part covered by your travelcard which makes a zone 2 journey. However, you are paying way more than you need with a travelcard unless you also make other travel within your zones. A peak zone 2-6 fare is only £2.60, so 5 days both ways is £26 compared to a zone 2-6 travelcard at £36.40 per week. So, unless you do use your card for more than your commute I would recommend just using PAYG all the time.

  151. Hi what should I do if I forget to scan my ticket at the end of a train journey? I did this on good Friday when I got off at Mortlake which doesn’t have barriers and I hardly every use oyster cards as well. Which is probably why I forgot. Advice please as I could do without a fine!!!!

  152. Don’t panic! Your card will have had a maximum journey deduction. If you phone the helpdesk and explain what happened they might decide to refund the difference between what you should have paid and what you did pay. You certainly won’t be charged any more, or get taken to court which is the only place that you can actually be given a ‘fine’. An RPI could give you a penalty ‘fare’, but that isn’t going to happen after the event.

  153. Thanks Mike 🙂

  154. Hi Mike

    Can you pls tell me the cheapest price and way to get from Brondesbury to Hampton Court, even if it means travelling by bus some of the way?

    Many thanks


  155. Hi Harry,

    Brondesbury to Hampton Court via Willesden Junction and Clapham Junction is £3.60 peak or £2.30 off peak. I don’t think a bus would make that much difference unless you went all the way by bus which would be capped at £4.20.

  156. Hi Mike,
    I have a question for you. I purchased an annual season travel card between Richmond and Feltham, but it was issued as a paper ticket, it was not put on my Oyster card. I would much rather it put on my Oyster card, just in case I need to travel to an alternate destination after work and for the reasons I am reading about above. Do you know if I can get the paper ticket added to my card? Thank you very much for your help!


  157. Hi Jamie,

    If you mean the point to point season between Richmond and Feltham costing £800 then no, you can’t put that on Oyster. If you mean the zone 4-6 travelcard season costing £968 then yes, that will go on an Oyster card. You should be able to swap a paper travelcard for one stored on Oyster at Richmond. Equally, if you wanted to upgrade the point-to-point ticket to a travelcard, that could also be done with a pro-rata payment based on the length of time left.

  158. Hi Mike,

    I stay in zone 2 (West Kensington) and travel Mon-Fri to zone 4 (Arnos Grove) for work. At the moment, I pay a weekly travelcard from Zone 1 to 4 (£41.80). Is there a way I could get a travelcard from Zone 2-Zone 4, while passing through zone 1 (I take the Piccadilly Line from Earls Court straight to Arnos Grove).

    Thanks for the help!

  159. Hi Sophie,

    The single fare finder suggests that you can make this journey by changing at Earls Court, West Brompton and Highbury & Islington. You might also need to change at Willesden Junction and there is a cross platform interchange at Finsbury Park. If you buy a zone 2-4 travelcard then you can go that way, or pay just a single zone 1 fare if you cross the centre. You can make 8 trips across zone 1 before the add-ons exceed the price of the zone 1-4 travelcard.

    Hope that helps.

  160. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the tips! But can you explain what you meant by “you can make 8 trips…of the zone 1-4 travelcard”? Also, if I were to get a zone 1 fare… Wouldn’t that mean £2 to and £2 to return, daily, on top of the zone 2-4 travelcard?

  161. The zone 1-4 weekly travelcard costs £41.80. The zone 2-4 one costs £24.20. The difference is £17.60. Eight single zone 1 journeys costs £16.00, which is equivalent to 4 return trips.

  162. Hi Mike,

    I am new in London. I want to know that if I had a travel card of zone 2-4 can I travel to Zone 3 of east London to zone 3 or west London using central line?

  163. Hi Uzair,

    You can’t travel for free through zone 1 using a zone 2-4 travelcard, but if you have PAYG credit on your card then it will simply deduct £2.00 on any journey that you do this.

  164. Hello Mike,
    Can you please help me finding the cheapest way to travel from plaistow-Z3- to saint james park underground?z1. Should be oyster, PAYG or both? Should i buy z1-z2 plus bus or z2-z3 and pay z1? I work in z1 six times a week, peak times. Thank you.

  165. Hi Soraya,

    Z1-2 weekly travelcard costs £29.20, Z1-3 costs £34.20 and Z2-3 costs £22. I wouln’t recommend trying to bus it in zone 1, and each single journey would cost £2, so I think that rules out the £22 version. Buses are free with any travelcard, so if you don’t mind getting one to Bromley-by-Bow you can save £5 a week.

    Hope that helps.

  166. Hi Mike, i live in zone 2 hampstead and wish to travel to canary wharf zone 2 . Can i buy a zone 2 only travelcard for this journey.


  167. Hi Paul, No, you cannot buy any travelcard for just one zone. You also cannot make the journey without leaving zone 2 at the moment. The cheaper option would be to travel via Camden Town/Camden Road and Stratford which would require a zone 2-3 travelcard (£22.00/week). A zone 1-2 travelcard would be a little more (£29.20/week) but offer far more flexibility.

  168. I need to travel to Finsbury Park (zone 2) from Purley (zone 6) twice a week. I am confused with all the options. I need to take a bus from my home to the station too. So I can go to Victoria and take Victoria line to F.Park (how much would this cost in oyster) Other option may be to go to West Croydon and take Overground to Highbury and change there to F.Park which is the next station – is overgroud line cheaper than the 1st option?

  169. Also one more Question. If you have Zone 2-6 travel card, are you allowed to travel through Zone 1 if you do not get out?
    e.g if I take Victoria line at Brixton or Vaxhall and get out at Zone 3, will I be charged for Zone 1 too . Or only 2 and 3?

  170. Hi Mummybear,

    I’m not surprised this looks complicated, because it is. First off, Purley to Victoria to Finsbury Park is the most expensive option. You are mixing National Rail and TfL Rail in a journey involving zone 1 so you incur the premium charge for that. From Purley, the cheapest option is to use National Rail only by travelling via Southern and FCC to St Pancras International and then Kings Cross to Finsbury Park, again with FCC. If the bus to West Croydon really is as easy as the bus to Purley then that knocks a zone off the rail journey. From West Croydon you have two cheap options: the Overground route you suggested and the same idea to the Purley route. That is NR only while the other is TfL only. Note Highbury to Finsbury Park counts as TfL only even if you use the FCC link via Drayton Park as it is inter-available ticketing on those lines.

    Hope that helps.

    Edit: You will be charged for zone 1 if the system believes you have travelled through it.

  171. Hello Mike. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply.
    This is a complete minefield!!
    For me bus to Purley Station and West Croydon are not that different. So assume I get there by bus, how much would cost oyster to travel by Overground on Highbury and Finbusry Park?
    I looked in TFL, but could not work it out. Is it different charges peak and off peak?

  172. Hi Mummybear,

    What you need to do is look at the single fare finder on the TfL site and click on the link for alternative fares. Although they don’t describe the default route, they do describe all the others, so if they haven’t described your route it is almost ceratin to be the default. Yes, there are different charges for peak and off-peak and that is all explained on another page on my site.

  173. Hi there,
    I am going to travel every week day from Stockwel (zone2) to Uxbridge (zone 6) during peak time. Which option is the cheappest? Many thanks!

  174. Hi Faby,

    There is only one fare listed in the single fare finder because to avoid zone 1 is considered unrealistic due of the number of changes. The single fares are £4.80 peak and £2.90 off-peak. You can make the journey slightly cheaper by splitting it into two and touching out and back in again half way round. Part one is Stockwell – Vauxhall – Clapham Junction – West Brompton which is all in zone 2 and costs £1.60/£1.40. Part two is West Brompton – Earls Court – Uxbridge and costs £2.60/£1.40 making total costs of £4.20/£2.80. As long as you remember to touch out and in again at West Brompton you can also use a zone 2-6 travelcard at £36.40/week. If you forget to touch at West Brompton then the system will deduct £2.00 per journey from your PAYG balance to cover travelling via zone 1. You may of course decide to go via zone 1 occasionally if you are in a hurry and as long as you don’t do it too often it will still be cheaper than the default fares.

    Hope that helps.

  175. Hello. I wanted to ask a question. I travel from zone 5 to 2. But I travel via 1. However the station in zone 2 does not have barriers – I never bother to touch in or out at the station. So can I get away with just having zone2-6 travel card ? Probably not legal – right?

  176. Hi Maria,

    I think you already know the answer to this. I’ll take a wild stab in the dark and suggest that the zone 2 station is Finsbury Park? As you may have guessed, it wasn’t so much of a wild stab. Rest assured, TfL are aware of this station and they do conduct checks from time to time. If you arrive from a south London station without any PAYG credit on your card and they check the card you will be liable to a penalty fare. Likewise if an RPI checks your card anywhere within zone 1.

  177. Hi Mike,

    I’m trying to find the cheapest way to travel from my station (Woldingham), one stop outside zone 6, to London (I need an annual zones 1 to 6). I will be a student but there is only a student reduction for an annual oyster within London, not for a season ticket between my station and London zones 1 to 6. Do you have to touch in with a travelcard on Oyster? Could I buy a standard rate annual season ticket from Woldingham to the first station within zone 6 and use that in addition to a student annual travelcard on oyster, without touching in, and be valid to travel up to Victoria/London Bridge?

    I’m so confused and no-one I’ve spoken to has known the answer.


  178. Hi Adam,

    That is fine as long as the train calls at Upper Warlingham. You don’t have to touch in with a travelcard season on your Oyster unless you are using PAYG outside the zones covered by the travelcard.

  179. That’s great, thanks so much for your reply!

  180. @Adam,I’m assuming there is no TFL operated bus that runs beyond the Oyster boundary that you could use to get into zone 6? If so a 1-6 travelcard would be valid on it and you wouldn’t need a ticket from Woldingham to zone 6. Just a thought.

  181. Hello Mike – Nice to see that you are still repying to question from when yo orignally wrote the article.
    My question if you may – you have coverd it but i quite have no understood propery

    i have a zone 1 – 2 travel card and will need to go Watford junction quite often (off Peak) will i be charged zone 2- Watford Junction or Zone 3 – Watford Junction from my PAYG

    Thank You in advance.

  182. Hi Fred,

    It will be zone 3 to Watford Junction. Remember also that the line from Euston to Watford Junction only charges peak in one direction (to London in the morning and away from London in the afternoon). If your journey to Watford Junction is in the morning peak and starts say at Oxford Circus, you will benefit from touching into a bus and getting off again before touching in at Euston NR. Likewise the other way round in the afternoon peak. The charge made relates to the whole journey even if the extra bit (ie the tube) is covered by your travelcard. Touching on the bus will break the journey in two and ensure that you get the benefit of the relaxed rates on the Euston to Watford line.

  183. Mike I Need A Reply!

    Basically I Got Into A Chelsea Football Accademy And The College Is Based In Guildford. I Need To Know The Cheepest Way To Get From Either Of These Stations To Guildford:
    Sutton Common,
    Worcester Park

    I Will Be Going 5 Times A Week And Need A Cheap Way T Get To Guildford, Even If This Means Buying A Weekly Ticket Or Whatever, Any Suggestions?

  184. Hi Darren,

    Guildford is way outside the Oyster area so you will need a paper ticket. A season is likely to be the best value although you would be travelling the wrong way compared to most commuters so it is possible that return tickets may be cheaper. I suggest visiting National Rail Enquiries to find out about your options.

  185. Hi all! Can anyone help me clarify my situation. Basically I need to get from Bow road ( zone 2) to Marble arch (zone 1) and I discovered it would be easier to if I could just change to central line at Stratford (zone 3) However, I have a zone 1-2 Oyster card and Stratford is zone 3. Will I be charged for the interchange at Stratford?

    Thank you.

  186. Hi Ral,

    I’m slightly confused by this. Are you saying that it’s easier to take the DLR from the nearby Bow Church station to Stratford? The reason I ask is that at Mile End, the next station to Bow Road towards central London, there is cross platform interchange between the Central line and the District/Hammersmith lines. I’m certain that going that way would be a lot quicker, unless your home is significantly nearer Bow Church, like next door!

    However, it appears that from Bow Church the default route to Marble Arch is via Poplar and Bank, so as long as you don’t touch a validator at Stratford you will be fine. You should ensure that you always have enough credit for a zone 3 single just in case you need to leave the station at Stratford.

    Hope that helps.

  187. Hi Mike. Thanks for your reply. Well actually I will live 5 minutes away from Bow Church (DLR) and 9 minutes away from Bow road (Hsmith and city and district). I wanted to figure out what’s the fastest route to from my doorstep to Marble arch station. According to the journey planner, I should walk to Bow Road, take the district line to Mile end, interchange to Central line to get to Marble arch. I was thinking it would be quicker maybe if I could just take the DLR from Bow church to Stratford and change to central line there. But I’m thinking I have to change through a validator when changing from the DLR to Central line at Stratford don’t I?

  188. I think the journey planner is right. By going to Stratford you are actually going quite a lot the wrong way. I would be gobsmacked if you managed to get from Bow Church to Stratford to Mile End quicker than Bow Road to Mile End plus 4 minutes. As for Stratford, you pass several validators but you don’t have to touch on them if you aren’t finishing your Oyster journey there.

  189. Hi Mike,

    I would really appreciate your help in my matter.
    In one week time (on the 23/5) I will be arriving to London with 2 kids (9,12). We will stay for 1 week and live around Leytonstone tube. Now, I can see that this stop is on the border of Zones 3/4. I am form overseas.

    We will explore London quite a lot.
    1. What would be the most economical way to travel around. I was thinking about paper 7-day travel card for myself and the older son (Since there is no time to apply for his 11-15 Oyster). The 9-year-old travels for free (correct?).
    Is there a better option?
    2. In any case, do I need to by Oyster or Travel C. Zones 1-3 or 1-4? Can I buy just TravelC without Oyster and which one paper or card one?
    3. Arriving to Luton, I bought a transport to Vicoria. Yet, in case of flight delay we miss the greenline (bus to Victoria). What would than be the cheapest way to get to City (Leytonstone) as a part of that 7-day visit?
    4. Living in Leytonstone, could you assist me with the cheapest transport to Windsor, or Hampton Court (adult, 9,12 kids).

    Thanks a lot for your assistance

  190. Hi Yvona,

    Lots of questions.

    1) The 7-day travelcard might be worthwhile if you are starting most weekdays before 09.30. If not you will probably be better off with off-peak day travelcards. These cost £7.70 for zone 1-4 for an adult and £3.20 for a child. The 9-year-old travels free on the Underground, DLR, London Overground and selected other National Rail services, but if you use National Rail south of the Thames or most of north and north-east London then they will also need a ticket.
    2) The 7-day travelcard can be bought on Oyster or on paper (it’s actually card). It can be zones 1-3 for £34.20 or zones 1-4 for £41.80. The child versions cost £17.10 and £20.90 and would have to be on paper if you haven’t got the 11-15 zip card. One day travelcards are only on paper and there is no zone 1-3 version.
    3) This depends on which option you are using. If you have a zone 1-3 weekly travelcard then you’d need Luton Airport Parkway to Boundary zone 3. If the travelcard includes zone 4 then substitute boundary zone 4. If you are not going to be making any other trips on that day then Luton Airport Parkway to Zone U23 London will give you one trip to Leytonstone but you’ll need to change at West Hampstead and Stratford. It is not valid via zone 1. Finally, if you were going to buy a daily travelcard for that day then you’d probably be better buying Luton Airport Parkway to London zones 1-6. Both kids will need tickets from Luton.
    4a) Windsor. Again this depends on what you have. With a weekly travelcard you can get returns from boundary zone 3 (or 4) to Windsor and Eton Central. The 9-year-old only has to pay from West Drayton if you get a train to Slough that stops there. Windsor is on a branch line from Slough. If using daily tickets then you’ll be better off with zones 1-6 travelcards plus boundary zone 6 to Windsor. I’m pretty sure that the 9-year-old can get a zero cost travelcard for the bits in London; Leytonstone ticket office should know.
    4b) Hampton Court. Either boundary zone 3(4) to Hampton Court if you have weeklies, or just a zones 1-6 travelcard if buying daily. Both kids will need one for the travel from Waterloo to Hampton Court.

    Finally, you might find that a Family and Friends railcard will be worthwhile if you keep your travel off-peak, and especially if you have to use the train from Luton. It costs £28 for a year and gives you 1/3 off adult off-peak tickets and 60% off child off-peak tickets. It also discounts the zone 1-6 travelcard to £5.60 adult and £2.00 child.

    I hope that helps a bit, but I’m sorry that it is a little complicated.

  191. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your ansewers. I cannot believe that anyone can be so knowledgeable re London Transport. At the same time, I really got lost. Please, bear with me:
    1. See, I still do not understand what zone card (regardless whether TravelC or Oyster) do we need for commuting to Leytonstone. If I buy a 7-day-Travel, would be 1-3Zone sufficient? And sorry, is there actually a 1-3 Zones 7-day-travelC (or weekly card-daoes that mean the same?) for my 12-year-old one for 17.10 (that is I dont need to buy a adult card for him)?
    2. Another Q: you confused me with the National Rail services, does the line to Leytonstone belong to lines covered by the Travel Card? How do I recognize whether I am covered or need a special ticket?
    3. Since I travel with 2 kids, I would like to keep the tickets as simple as possible. I dont want to worry about buing tickets or extras. That is why I was hoping that the 7-Day-Travel would spare me from any hassle…
    4. Last one: if I buy Zones 1-3 (if this is sufficient to Leytonstone) for myself, child one (?) for 12-year-old son, none for 9-year-old one, would I get around the City (plus Greenwich) where I intend to spend most of the days (with no need to use the National Rail services, with no need to buy extra tickets)
    The other way, I understand would be to buy Oyster Zones 1-3 (again if this is enough to Leytonstone) and this would spare me from buing extras?

    Sorry to bother you with my long and confusing questions. I just dont seem to get it!


  192. Hi Yvona,

    I’ll try and clarify things a bit better.

    1) As long as you always travel towards Central London from Leytonstone then you only need zones 1-3. Zone 4 only comes into play if you go the other way. Yes, the 7-day travelcard is available both for adults (£34.20) and children (£17.10).
    2) All rail services in the London zones are covered by the travelcard (except St Pancras to Stratford International and Hayes&Harlington to Heathrow). The issue is that children aged 5-10 do not need tickets on the Underground (including the line to Leytonstone), DLR, Overground and some other National Rail services. This map on the TfL website shows the National Rail services in London. If they are coloured red then 5-10s need to pay, if they are coloured green then they do not.
    3) I do understand. You can probably do almost everything you want to with the weekly travelcard. Only the trips to Hampton Court and Windsor would require extras. For Hampton Court you and your 12-year-old would need a return from boundary zone 3 to Hampton Court while the 9-year-old would need a return from Waterloo to Hampton Court. For Windsor you would need tickets from boundary zone 3 to Windsor while the youngest would need West Drayton to Windsor if you catch a train that stops at West Drayton, or Paddington to Windsor if you get a fast train to Slough.
    4) Yes, zones 1-3 would cover the city and Greenwich, but for the 9-year-old, only on the DLR to Greenwich, not on Southeastern trains from London Bridge.

    Finally, the zones are the same for travelcards and Oyster. As you want to buy the weekly travelcard I would not recommend Oyster because you wouldn’t be able to get the child rate for your 12-year-old. Paper tickets will be fine.

    I hope that’s a little clearer now.

  193. Hi Mike,

    Your answer really helped me a lot! Thanks.

    Hopefully, these few questins will clear the last questionmarks for me.
    1. Travelcards: Can I really buy Adult and Child (11-15) 7-Day-Travel Card without having to buy the Oyster prior to it? If I am correct, TFL suggests “You get one as a paper ticket from National Rail stations”.If that is the case is there NRS shop at Luton Airport or at Victoria? Is it a special shop? I understand that it is the same with my 12-year-old son.
    2.Trip to Windsor: I understand what tickets do I need to buy to cover the whole journy. Can I buy them in Leutonstone or get off somewhere else to buy them? Secondly, where should we swipe or touch the system with the extra tickets on the way there and back. Also, it will be different for me+12-year-old son and for the 9-year-old one.
    The same issue on the return fare.Plus, could you give me prices?

    Now, hopefully that is the whole lot. I am very glad that I found this website. Thanks for your job.

  194. Hi Yvona,

    1) Travelcards can be purchased at Luton Airport Parkway or in the mainline station at Victoria. A recent change in rules means that you will need a passport sized photo for photocards for you and your son. The photocards don’t cost anything, but they will take a few minutes to fill them out. You just need to go to the ticket office in the station. Oyster is simply a medium for storing a travelcard as an alternative to paper. You don’t need an Oyster card if you have paper travelcards.
    2) I suggest buying the extra tickets at the ticket office at Paddington. You can use the travelcards to get onto the train at Paddington and the extension tickets thereafter. Boundary zone 3 to Windsor costs £6.70 adult, £3.35 child. West Drayton to Windsor for the 9 year old costs £2.20, or if you want to get a fast train, Paddington to Windsor costs £4.75. All those prices are returns and assume that you won’t leave Paddington before 0930. On the way back, use the extensions to get on at Windsor and the travelcards to get out at Paddington. You’ll need to change at Slough both ways as the Windsor branch is only a shuttle service.

  195. Hi Mike,

    Thank you very much for your help.

  196. Hi Mike,
    Got a question for you.
    I recently moved to UK. I live in Walthamstow and I got a job in Kingston. I was wondering if I really have to pay zone 1-6 to get there through Vauxhall?
    If that’s the case, could I get a zone 3-6 instead, by changing to Dicstrict line at Victoria station, go to Wimbledon and then take a South West train to Kingston from there?
    There is some changing to do and I think this would take me 15 mins longer however, if this could work I could safe 100 pounds each month.
    But it sounds too good to be true doesn’t. Im not really aware of how it works here in London, I hope you can help me out.


  197. Hi Sintha,

    It is too good to be true.

    You will need at least a zone 2-6 travelcard to cover the whole journey. The default route for the journey goes via zone 1 either changing at Vauxhall or Victoria/Wimbledon. There is an alternative route which involves changing to Overground at Highbury & Islington and then to South West Trains at Richmond. To get that reduced fare you need to touch the pink validator at Richmond. You are not supposed to need to use pink validators with season tickets, so I suspect that you would not be charged for zone 1 if you go via Victoria and Wimbledon. I would ensure that you always have enough PAYG balance for a zone 1 single fare in case you need to exit within zone 1 for any reason. If you change at Vauxhall it may well charge you for zone 1 because it knows you have been that way.

    I hope that helps a little bit.

  198. You are a star!
    Thank you so much for your answer. Helped me a lot.
    I went there yesterday through Vauxhall and I was charged ca. 6.90 to get there with PAYG. So I recon it does charge you for zone 1 if you change at Vauxhall. I’m going to try to get there via Victoria and Wimbledon and see how it works for me. 60 quid a month is still some money to save.

    Thanks again.

  199. Hi Sintha,

    If you use PAYG then it will charge the same £6.90 via Victoria and Wimbledon. If you load a zone 2-6 travelcard, and have £2 PAYG ready in case, then I think there is a fair chance it won’t deduct the £2 zone 1 charge. It’s a quirk of the system when you have a travelcard loaded and a cheaper route exists with pink validators.

  200. thanks for this, but i can never fully understand this fare thing.

    i live in zone 7( carpenders park) which is an overground route and london buses with oyster dont run in my area.my questions:
    i study and work in zone 1 and most things i do are in zones 1 to 4 but it kills me that i have to pay 4-7 weekly just to make it cheap (ie avoid peak charges) into london at all and continue my journey to zone 1 by payg paying at least 2.60 what options can you offer to make it cheaper for me.is it possible to pay for just a station since i never use any more stations in 4-7 apart from carpenders park and wembley park.hope this isnt too long.

  201. Hi alfred,

    Unfortunately TfL do not provide point-to-point season tickets on rail routes that they run, so there is only one season option – the travelcard. Whether you are better off getting one and for how many zones depends on how much you use it. If you just make a single return rail trip 5 days a week then sometimes it isn’t beneficial to have a travelcard at all. If you use any oyster accepting buses then any travelcard gives you free access to all red buses. Some people find that they can use rail to get to zone 2 then use a bus to make the last bit of the journey. That usually cuts the cost quite dramatically. It really depends on what your useage is though.

  202. thanks

  203. Hello Mike

    Just wanted to ask you if there is a way to travel from East Croydon to Archway without going to Zone 1? Ionly travel two or 3 days a week. I start my journey at peak time but travel back after 7pm some days & before 7pm some days. I wanted to know what the cheapest option is for travelling with and without zone 1. (Not sure how much diff in the travellin time though…)

  204. Hi Linda,

    It’s not easy to avoid zone 1 on that journey. You would have to go via Clapham Junction, Willesden Junction and Kentish Town/Kentish Town West. Because it is not deemed a reasonable route you would have to split the journey in two which would negate most, if not all, of the savings. Also, East Croydon to London Bridge and then Northern line to Archway will be significantly quicker, possibly as much as half the time.

  205. Hi Mike,
    What zones or travel card do i need to get from woolwich arsenal station to dagenham heathway station? thanks

  206. Hi nicky,

    Providing you travel via Canning Town and West Ham then a zone 3-5 travelcard will be enough.

  207. Hi mike
    I have been trying to find the cheapest way of travelling from Romford (zone 6) to oval (zone 2) I bought a 2-6 travel card for my oyster but was still being charged £2 per single journey. I was woundering if it was because I was travelling through zone 1 via bank from stratford or whether the travel card didn’t cover peak times. I also travelled from Romford to Stratford , Stratford to highbury & islington and then caught the Victoria line to stockwell before travelling 1 stop to oval and tapping out yet I was still being charged this extra £2. So basically do I have to buy a zone 1-6 travel card and and can I buy a zone 2,3 and 6 travel card for my oyster ?

  208. Hi Adam,

    You will be charged for every zone that you travel through regardless of whether you have to touch a reader in it or not. £2 is the zone 1 single fare all day which is what you will be charged with a 2-6 travelcard. If you really want to avoid zone 1 then you’ll need to do quite a roundabout journey. Romford – Stratford – Lewisham – Peckham Rye, then touch out and back in again, then Peckham Rye – Clapham High Street/Clapham North – Oval. Peckham Rye is as far as you can get without the system insisting that you must have gone via zone 1. The other option is to do Romford – Stratford – Canada Water – Bus 188 – Elephant & Castle – Oval. There are other options from places like New Cross Gate, Lewisham, etc etc. Remember that buses are free with any travelcard.

  209. Hi, I have a quick question. I have a Z1-4 Annual Season Oyster, and need to travel out to Welwyn Garden City next month.

    I can’t find anywhere that says which NR stations are in which zone that far north. I need to get a return ticket from the limit of my card to WGC. What’s the easiest and cheapest way to do this, and how do I handle swiping in/out?

    Thanks. Site looks really useful.

  210. Hi Alan,

    I usually use this map on the TfL site. In your question the answer is Oakleigh Park. However, the best ticket to buy would be a boundary zone 4 to Welwyn GC return becasue that then allows you to travel on faster trains that don’t stop at Oakleigh Park.

    You don’t need to worry about not touching out within the zones covered by your travelcard.

  211. Stacy Simpson

    Hi, I have been a regular of zones 1-2 for years now but will be travelling from Crouch Hill to Richmond daily from next month. I thought I needed only a monthly zone 3-4 but as the overground journey goes through zone 2 will I need a zone 2-4 instead?


  212. Hi Stacy,

    Yes you will. You need a travelcard covering every zone that your journey takes you through.

  213. Hi Mike

    Yo kindly replied to my query recently on the use of a oyster card with zone 3-5 and PAYG credit.

    I have been travelling from Lee to Sutton via London Bridge. That is to say, I travel into London Bridge, and change platforms without touching out/in, or exiting at London Bridge. I touch in at Lee and touch out at Sutton. Presently, I am being charged an extra £1.60 from my PAYG, but I am not sure whether this is because the system assumes that I must be travelling through zone 2 at the very least, or because it assumes that I must be travelling through zone 1. The reason I am asking is that I am about to renew the travel card to include zones 2-5, but still intend to travel via London Bridge. Will this now mean that if I do not establish pattern/history of travel within zone 2 to get to Sutton ( for example New X exit and re-entry at New X Gate), I would still be charged the additional £1.60, because the system will not recognise that it is possible to travel from Lee to Sutton without going into zone 1?

    It is also possible to travel from Lee to Sutton by changing trains within Zones 2 (but without touching in/out), so either way, I will only upgrade to zone 2- 5, provided I don’t make an expensive mistake in paying for the extra zone, but find myself still being charged the extra £1.60 on top.

    Grateful for your clarification.

    Many thanks

  214. Hi abrar,

    £1.60 is the peak single zone 2 only fare which is what I would expect to see. My understanding is that with a zone 2-5 travelcard you will not get any extra charges. It’s an anomaly in the Oyster system which benefits travelcard holders on some routes. I cannot stress enough that I would always have enough PAYG credit to allow exit in zone 1 if necessary. Currently that is £2.10 peak and £1.60 off-peak. As long as you touch in and out where necessary (and always at the beginning and end of the journey) then you cannot be off-route on Oyster.

    Hope that helps.

  215. Hello, quick question, I live in norbiton Kingston and just got an oyster, i travel to Leigh on sea Essex a lot so I get the train from norbiton to Waterloo, tube Waterloo to west ham and train from west ham to Leigh on sea, – the oyster only works as far as upminster am I right? So id nees a paper ticket for the extra journey, So how do I go about checking out at upminster without gettin off the train n having to wait for another one? Thanks poppy

  216. Hi Poppy,

    Yes, Upminster is the end of Oyster on the main line to Southend. Unfortunately you will have to get off the train to touch out. This may mean that you’ll need to get the next train.

  217. Hi Mike
    I need advice! I’ve recently moved out to the suburbs, in Whitton, ;south west London and work in Clapham Junction. I got myself a a zone 2-5 travelled at clapham Junction but the ticket office said I could only have a paper ticket, not have it on oyster as they lacked the facilities. However I regularly travel to zone 1 and reading the comments above it appears I will not be able to go to london Waterloo in one journey any longer as I will need to get off at vauxhall to touch in my oystercard. However I an hoping this is not correct as the price for the 2-5 travel card is the same on paper and oyster yet I was not given a choice as to which I wanted and am now severely inconvenienced because I have a paper ticket despite it not being my fault or choice.. Please can you clarify? Is it possible to transfer my paper travelcard to my oystercard the next time I’m in an underground station?

  218. Hi Paz,

    I don’t think it is possible to transfer a season, no. The problem you have is that without the travelcard on your Oyster the system will charge for a zone 2+1 journey from Clapham Junction to Waterloo. At least on that line you have the dual zoned Vauxhall to come to the rescue as your travelcard is valid to there whilst Oyster will only charge zone 1 if you go towards Waterloo on NR or Victoria on LU.

  219. Hi Mike
    Thanks for your speedy response, guess I will have to wait until my ticket needs to be renewed and I certainly won’t be doing that in a National Rail office again!

  220. Hi,

    Do you have any experience or info on using national rail vouchers issued as part of ‘delay repay’ to top up an oyster card? I sometimes get them from Southeastern (when I can be bothered to claim for the 90p) but don’t make any journeys which aren’t on Oyster, and even fewer which take me outside of my travelcard zones.


  221. Yes Jeff, I do.

    You are supposed to be able to exchange them for topup at any tube station ticket office. I had trouble when I wanted to do it, and eventually found the staff at St Pancras FCC ticket office would do it. I’d imagine that other Oyster enabled NR stations should also be able to accept the vouchers.

  222. Hi Mike,

    If I have a zones 1-2 travelcard and £5 PAYG on my oyster card and i travel from Limehouse to waterloo (within the travelcard) and then touch in at waterloo, but then forget to touch out at norbiton will money be deducted from my PAYG balance anyway? Or could I be fined for having an invalid ticket?


  223. Hi Thomas,

    No money will be deducted in that scenario, no. However, yes you could be caught after passing the validators and then you would be facing action of some kind, ranging from a penalty fare to prosecution. Also, were you to return to Norbiton within about 2 hours you might find that your touch in gets counted as the missing touch out. That would mean that you’d be open to being checked on the train until the train reached zone 2.

  224. Hi Mike

    I’m so sorry but I’ve been living overseas and have returned to this oyster system and it’s so confusing. I was hoping that you could clarify something for me. I have a staff nominee oyster and want to use this for my commute from Sevenoaks. Is it possible to buy a annual paper ticket from Southeastern for the journey to a zone 6 station and then use my oyster for the remaining part of the journey with in zones 1-6 without getting of the train to touch in and out as most of these trains are fast and don’t stop until London Bridge?

  225. Hi Vee,

    Unfortunately there is a problem. You cannot combine two season tickets without the train stopping at the station where you changeover. In your case this is Knockholt, or you may decide to make it Orpington so you can at least use almost fast trains. This is assuming that the staff nominee card has a travelcard season on it. If it is in fact PAYG then you would need to get out to touch in/out. I now realise there is a bigger problem which is that the staff nominee card is not valid on National Rail services apart from those run by London Overground on behalf of TfL.

    Hope this helps.

  226. Mike, I was going to question your answer here but I’ve just remembered that the nominee cards only give free travel on TFL services and not NR so the distinction probably doesn’t matter here. Correct?

    (Sorry for doubting!)

  227. Ah, that’s what a staff nominee card is. In that case it can’t be used anywhere between Sevenoaks and London Bridge. I’ll amend the previous answer.

  228. Hi, i think this question is similar to the above, but im still confused. If my company pays for a zone 1-2 travel card and i am travelling every day from say luton to st pancras. I buy a season ticket from luton to west hampstead in zone 2. Can i stay on the single train from luton to st panc without getting off and use my travelcard when i get in to st panc? Or do i need a season ticket from luton to st panc?

  229. Hi Jay,

    Yes, you can stay on the same train, but, it must call at West Hampstead.

  230. Hi There,

    If I was traveling from northolt in zone 5 to Kentish town in Zone 2 the only way to get there is through zone 1, do i need to get a zone one travel card even though i will not be getting out there?

  231. Hi Michael,

    Technically you do, because you are travelling through zone 1. However, there is a route that avoids zone 1 which involves changing at Shepherd’s Bush, possibly Willesden Junction and West Hampstead. Alternatively you could stay on the train at West Hampstead and travel to Kentish Town West instead. In both cases you would only need the zone 2-5 travelcard.

  232. Hi,
    I have very quick question.. I take monthly travelcard from zone 1-4 … my question is since i have a pass can i exit a station which does not have touchout gates.for example places like south greenford we can exit without touching out.. so if i do tat will they charge me and i am already having a monthly pass how will they charge me.

  233. Hi Narpesh,

    As long as you are within the zones covered by your travelcard there is no penalty for not touching in or out. You might be asked to show your card if RPIs are checking passengers, but there won’t be a problem. If you want to travel outside your zones but still within the Oyster system, then you do have to touch in and out at both ends so that the correct extension fare can be charged.

  234. Hi Mike,

    I have to travel to work from Gants Hill (Zone 4 on East London) till Hays & Harlington (Zone 5 on West London).
    I have a monthly pass for zones 3-5. I take a central line from Gants hill which stops at Ealing Broadway (Zone 3 West) and catch a national rail. When I complete the travel it will deduct £2.70 from my PAYG balance. Why is this? since I have a pass Zone 3-5) and I don’t get out or swipe in Zone 1, why it charges Zone 1-5 rates for me.

  235. Hi Badari,

    It charges you for every zone you go through. It knows what route you are likely to have taken and charges accordingly. You can avoid zone 1 by changing at Stratford, possibly Willesden Junction, Shepherd’s Bush and Ealing Broadway. That way it will only deduct £1.50 for zone 2, or you could buy a zone 2-5 travelcard on your Oyster and it would be free.

  236. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply, How do I avoid Zone 1 charges. Changing at Stratford, Ealing Broadway. I didn’t understand. Can you please let me know how to avoid Zone 1 charges.

  237. Hi Badari,

    If you look at this map on the TfL site it should be obvious. Some North London Line trains from Stratford go direct to Shepherd’s Bush while you can change at Willesden Junction on the Richmond bound trains. From Shepherd’s Bush you take the Central line again.

  238. Can you improve my journey ? I am an early traveller and am in a position to make use of the oyster off peak as I travel before 6.30am. However, I travel from Brentwood which is one stop outside the Oyster so at the moment I have to get off at Harold Wood, touch in at the barrier, walk back to the platform and wait 10 minutes for the next train as the one I got off has gone. Any ideas ?

  239. Hi Dave,

    Harold Wood, Gidea Park and Romford all have the same fares as they are all in zone 6, so at times you may find it beneficial to change at Romford instead. Unfortunately before 0630 it is not really much benefit. Longer term, Oyster will be extended to Shenfield as part of Crossrail, so things should then be a lot easier.

  240. Hello Mike,
    Excellent website, really helpful! I have a question which may be stupid, but I’m hoping you can help with. I need to go to a zone 3 station this evening and only have a z1/2 travelcard with a gold card added. How much will this cost me? Would I be right in thinking it would be around £1.40 from my PAYG balance?

  241. Hi Rob,

    It depends. If you start the overall journey between 1600 and 1900 then you’ll get charged the full peak fare for zone 3. If it’s outside the peak then you’ll be charged the reduced off-peak fare for zone 3 which is 95p. In the peak it will be £1.50 if TfL set the fare for the whole journey or £1.60 if it’s a NR set fare. You are right that it will only be for zone 3 though.

  242. Wonderful – thanks for getting back to me so quickly, I really appreciate your help and the information available on your website. TfL could learn a lot from you!

  243. Hi Mike,

    First of all thank you, you are doing a wonderful job.

    I will be traveling to Teddington station from Turnham Green every day for work. However I also go to new cross gate (zone 2) in the evenings and sometimes on the weekends. Which travel pass would you advise me to purchase?

    Thanks in advance.


  244. Hi Sotty,

    I’d get a zone 3-6 travelcard for your commute and travel via Richmond. Whenever you need to go into zones 1 and 2 just put some PAYG credit on the Oyster card and it will just deduct the fares for those zones.

  245. Thanks Mike, that’s what I thought. One thing I don’t understand is that it costs £2.70 to travel from Brentwoood to Harold Wood or Gidea Park but £3.10 to Romford despite the fact that HW, GP & Romford are all in the same zone. How can this be ?

  246. Hi Dave,

    I can only guess that the additional services at Romford warrant the slightly higher fare. Within the zones the fares for all three stations will be the same, but from outside they can vary.

  247. Hi Mike,
    I have the following situation on my Oyster(all the details are from the Journey history from my online account). First journey of the day was at 10:34 using the underground, followed by several journeys(all inside zones 1-3). The oyster stopped taking money after reaching the daily price cap of 7,70. But after that it shows a journey at 18:25 from Notting Hill Gate which says No touch out with extra charge of 6,90. The following journey is with route 15 bus at 19:05 which is not charged as well as the rest of the journeys until the end of the day. My question for you is: is there any way I can ask for a refund for those extra money or better said am I entitled to ask for refund? Thank you!

  248. Hi Cristian,

    I assume that you forgot to touch out at the end of that journey from Notting Hill Gate. The good news is that it is possible that the system will automatically issue a refund when it examines your journey history. If that happens you’ll get an email explaining what to do to pick up the refund. If it hasn’t done this after a few days then if you call the helpdesk and explain what you did they will usually issue a refund.

    Hope that helps.

  249. Thanks Mike!

  250. Hi,

    I’m going to be staying in London for a week at the end of July.

    Most of my journeys will be between zones 2 & 3, with some trips into zone 1.

    From looking at your website and the TfL website, if I get a zone 2-3 travelcard, will I then be charged £2.00 for each trip into/out of zone 1 ?


  251. Yes you will. Bear in mind that you will also be charged £2.00 if you cross zone 1 from one side to the other without getting off.

  252. OK, thanks. If I had a zone 2-3 travelcard and travelled between two zone 3 stations (Colliers Wood-Kew Gardens) via zone 1, would this incur any extra charge or would TfL just look at the start and finish stations ? Thanks

  253. Yes, that would incur a zone 1 charge. If you avoid zone 1 by chaning at Stockwell, Vauxhall and Richmond or Balham, Clapham Junction and Richmond then zones 2-3 will be enough.

  254. OK, thanks for your help.

  255. Sorry for the delay, I’ve been refunded this week after calling the helpdesk. Thank you, Mike! You’ve been very helpful.

  256. Hi,

    TFL journey planner tells me to go from London Victoria to Bellingham via Bromley South. I touch in in zone 1 and touch out in zone 3 but my travel goes via zone 5 (Bromley South). I guess there is no way the oyster card knows my route and so just takes the first and last destinations. Should I really be somehow touching out/in at Bromley south? I don’t really want/need to go through the barriers.



  257. Hi Lawrence,

    One of the good things about the Oyster system is that as long as you have enough credit you can never be off-route when in the Oyster area. The fare to Bellingham is priced by using the route via Catford, but if a faster train exists by changing at Bromley South then that is fine. Just make sure that the journey time doesn’t exceed the maximum for a zone 1-3 journey.

  258. I’m travelling from Waterloo East to Dartford every day. I have a season ticket which is about £205 for a month and then I have a £40 monthly bus pass to get me to my place of work. To confuse matters there are some Transport for London buses in Dartford that I can use my Oyster on but not my monthly pass (Arriva). I travel a bit around central London too (especially weekends) and just use PAYG

    I know Dartford isn’t zoned so I can’t use my Oyster card but was wondering whether buying a zone 1-6 travelcard and then a season ticket from a zone 6 station (eg Crayford) to Dartford would save me a bit of money.

    (I realise that an annual ticket will save me money too but I may be moving in a few months).

  259. Hi Anita,

    The zone 1-6 season is going to cost £205.10/month, but at least that would cover all your PAYG usage at weekends. It would also cover buses 96, 428 and 492 between Crayford, Dartford and Bluewater. A monthly season from Crayford or Slade Green to Dartford is £40.80 while from Barnehurst it is £58.80. The Barnehurst ticket is also valid at the other two while Crayford and Slade Green are also valid at each other. None of them would be valid on fast trains between Abbey Wood and Dartford in conjunction with a travelcard season.

    I think the only way you would save money is if your bus travel in Dartford can be confined to the three TfL routes and you are happy to leave the train before Dartford. Remember that the 428 also serves Slade Green and the 492 psses 5 minutes walk from Barnehurst. Crayford is far and away the most convenient interchange.

  260. Hello Mike,

    What is the Cheapest travel card option for travelling daily from Caledonian Road & Barnsbury (z2) to Hayes & Harlington (z5 )? Can I avoid z1 charges when travel through z1 but touch in and out outside z1 with travel card?


  261. Hi Danielle,

    Sorry for the delay replying. Normally the system knows that you have gone via zone 1 and will charge accordingly so you would need zones 1-5 on a travelcard to make the journey with no extra charge. However, where there is an alternative fare which requires you to touch a pink validator (in this instance at Gunnersbury) then sometimes the system will assume that you’ve gone that way even when you haven’t. My advice is to buy a weekly zone 2-5 travelcard and load at least £2 PAYG balance and then make the journey. If it doesn’t take the zone 1 fare off then you will be ok. However, always have at least the zone 1 fare on your card in case you need to change your plans and alight in zone 1, or they change the system.

  262. Hi,

    A new travel card user here as I used to go in occasionally, or just off peak so PAYG was cheaper.

    I have a Z1-4 travelcard to cover me from the Beckenham area into London then Jubilee out to Neasden. I’ve noticed that a large number of the regular commuters don’t go touching in or out at the NR end as there are no gates and I was wondering if it were still a good idea to touch in and out.

    Having always been PAYG, I’ve always been touching in and out, but in the last week, experimented without touching in or out at the NR end. This didn’t cause any issues at the gated end and checking on Journey History its not taken any max fares so it looks OK.

    Obviously I’d need to touch in or out if I go outside Z4, but within my zones, do I need to touch in/out at non gated stations, or am I OK as long as I’m in my zones?


  263. Hi Matt,

    You’ve got it spot on. You don’t need to touch in and out within your zones if there are no active gates, unless you are making a journey outside your zones.

  264. Hi,
    If i get an annual season ticket between Hemel Hempstead and Watford Junction loaded onto my oyster card, but want to travel onto London Euston. Do I have to get off at watford Junction to swipe my oyster? or does it know I swiped in at Hemel Hempstead?

  265. Hi Helen,

    Oyster is only available between Euston and Watford Junction on that line so you would need to get off to touch in. Hemel to Watford would have to be a paper ticket.

  266. Hi,

    I’m currently living and working in south london but will shortly be moving east. My journey will be from Dalston Junction to New Beckenham. This is a zone 2 -4 journey allowing me to go for the cheaper travel card but i’m confused as this will pass through zone 1 (Shoreditch High street) will it charge me for this or will I be OK?

    Thanks in advance

  267. Hi Ben,

    If you go from Dalston Kingsland to Stratford, then either Jubilee to Canada Water or Central/District to Whitechapel or DLR to Lewisham then you will avoid zone 1. If you go via Shoreditch High Street then you will either need zone 1 on the travelcard or £2 PAYG per journey.

  268. Oh that’s a bit disappointing, I was under the impression you can load season tickets onto oyster cards, do the season tickets have to be in the oyster zone too?
    Do you know if there are any plans to extend the oyster zone out any further? Just a few more miles would keep me very happy! 🙂

  269. You can only load Travelcard seasons onto an Oyster card, not National Rail point to point seasons. As for extending the system, I don’t think there are any plans in that direction at present, and it still probably wouldn’t allow NR seasons if they did.

  270. I have a 7 day Travelcard loaded onto my Oyster. As a confirmed ‘anorak’, what happens if I touch in and head out of -say- Paddington on the tube and eventually end up at somewhere where I want to take photos from the platform for a couple of hours, without touching out and then move on to somewhere else, so that I wouldn’t actually touch out until the end of the day?

  271. Hi Phil,

    It depends whether you venture outside the zones on your travelcard or not. If you don’t then there is no problem. If you do go outside the zones and are checked by an RPI or equivalent then you may be subject to a penalty fare.

  272. Thanks. No, all travel would be within the zones purchased. Clearly, I would need to touch out and (re)book for any journeys beyond that.

  273. Hi Mike,
    This is such an excellent service you are doing! Thank you!

    Quick question: I’m living in Canary Wharf and will have to commute to Putney 5 days a week peak time – if I get a zones 1 and 2 monthly travel card will this cover the following route: Canary Wharf to Waterloo via Jubilee Line, and then the National Rail from Waterloo to Putney. Or do I have to pay extra for using the NR? Thank you!

  274. Hi Shirin,

    A travelcard covers all modes so one covering zones 1 and 2 will be appropriate for now. From December you may wish to consider using PAYG on this route: Canary Wharf (Jubilee) Canada Water (Overground) Clapham Junction (SWT) Putney. That will be entirely zone 2 and at todays rate will only cost £1.60 each way in the peak.

  275. Thanks very much Mike! I’ll do just that once the overground is complete in December.

  276. Hi Mike,

    I can’t really get me head around the cost of PAYG extension to my current travelcard. Let me explain – I have a z1-6 annual travelcard but wish to start making off-peak journeys to Watford Junction, lying outside my current travelcard entitlement. If I were to make a journey from a z1 station (say Moorgate) to Watford Junction, how much would this cost me? Similarly, if I were to travel from a z6 station (say Riddlesdown), how much this cost me? I assume they should be the same amount given that my travelcard covers the cost of the journey between 1 and 6? Thanks for your help!

  277. Hi James,

    Yes, they will both cost the same which is the zone 7 to Watford Junction fare, £1.60 peak, £1.40 off-peak.

  278. Appreciation to my father who told me concerning this webpage, this web site is actually amazing.

  279. The Great Bustard

    Yes this website is amazing. Are you able to assist with my query?

    Is is possible to have a season ticket between Sidcup and London Terminals loaded onto my Oyster?

    If yes then what happens if I get off at a station en route such as Lewisham and then catch the DLR to Heron Quays? Does it become a journey from Zone 4 to Heron Quays or is the part of my journey to Lewisham covered under my season ticket to London Terminals (it is on the same route). Thanks for your help!

  280. Hi,

    The only seasons that can be loaded on Oyster are travelcards and bus passes. National Rail point to point seasons cannot.

  281. The Great Bustard

    Thanks Mike, that’s useful to know. Just trying to work out the cheapest way to renew my season ticket given I well be moving my place of work spring 2013

  282. You can always exchange your season part way through the year and receive a pro-rata refund if the new one is less. In your case you might find that the cheapest way to do the DLR is to have a season from Sidcup to Lewisham and then use PAYG on the DLR. Lewisham is dual zoned so you only pay for zone 2 on the DLR while the NR season will be priced as zones 3-5. If you want a season covering the whole journey then you’d need a zones 2-5 travelcard.

  283. Sorry if this question has already been posted, but I couldn’t see it. I’ve always carried my oyster card in the same wallet as my paper annual season ticket without any problems, but in the last month my paper season ticket has kept failing and I’ve had to have it reissued multiple times. Today I was told it was because of the oyster card, but as I say I’ve never had a problem in the past. I only use the oyster very rarely, and there does seem to be a correlation with season ticket failures and use of the oyster. Is this really the reason, and why has it only just started happening?

  284. Hi,

    I don’t think it is the Oyster card. Paper seasons were not originally designed to be put through multiple barriers every day and where that is necessary it is almost guaranteed that an annual ticket will need replacing at some stage. If it is happening a lot recently then there may be a sub-standard batch of tickets being used.

    Hope that helps.

  285. Hi Mike,
    Quick question…I will be travelling from Dalston Kingsland to Sheperds Bush on the overground… I will go through Willsden Junction, but it is difficult to know if this is zone 2 or 3. Obviously, I would rather not have to buy a 1-3 travelcard and just get the 1-2, but when I search some parts of Willsden green are listed as zone 3 and some as zone 2??? Very confusing – Can you help?

  286. Hi Lucy,

    Willesden Junction is in both zones 2 and 3. You will only require zone 3 if travelling to or from the Richmond or Harrow directions. he other 3 lines only require zone 2. That said, Dalston Kingsland to Shepherds Bush on Overground is entirely in zone 2 so it’s not really worth buying a travelcard. Your fares are only £1.50 each way at peak time and £1.40 off-peak.

  287. Hi,

    I was wondering about commuting between certain zones and what the best/cheapest solution is. I recently arrived in London, and I’m commuting between zones 2/3 and 6, from North Greenwich to Kingston Station.
    I first take a bus to North Greenwich (just 5 stations or so), then the Jubilee line to Waterloo and then a South West train to Kingston. This costs me £14 with PAYG so I bought a weekly travel card for zones 1-6.
    Isn’t there anything else I can do? I know London isn’t a cheap city to live and travel in but paying £53 every week for commuting seems excessive heat for a 19-year old with a regular job. Thanks in advance,

    Best wishes,


  288. Hi Sara,

    Unfortunately North Greenwich to Kingston only has one fare at the moment, which is a NR+TfL through fare, including the premium for travelling through zone 1. To reduce your costs you need to chop off zones where possible so that you can buy a cheaper travelcard. Zone 1 will be easy later this year when the ELL extension opens between Surrey Quays and Clapham Junction. You can then take the Jubilee to Canada Water, ELL to Clapham Junction and SWT to Kingston using only a zone 2-6 travelcard. At the moment you would need to travel via Crystal Palace and Clapham Junction and touch out and back in again at Crystal Palace to turn your overall journey into two bits which both avoid zone 1. That would increase your journey time considerably though, so you may not want to consider it until December.

    The other thing you could investigate is whether there are any reasonable buses between Kingston and somewhere like Richmond which is in zone 4. You would then only need a zone 1-4 travelcard as all bus travel is free with any travelcard. With both options you could decide to make the current journey by train and have the extra for that journey deducted from PAYG. With a zone 1-4 travelcard you would pay just a zone 5-6 single to get to Kingston, while with a zone 2-6 travelcard you would pay the TfL zone 1 fare of £2 if you went via Waterloo.

    Hope that might give you some ideas.

  289. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the advice, I’ll look into it. I didn’t know about the ELL, that would definitely be helpful. For now I’ll look into the buses!

    Kind regards,


  290. Hi Mike,

    I’ve just moved to London and find the travelcard system a bit confusing.

    I’m starting a job that requires me to travel in from zone 2 most days (my local station is zone 2/3 border) into zone 1 at peak times, so I’m planning on buying an annual zone 1-2 travelcard.

    In addition I will need to attend courts throughout London in various different zones; I’m trying to work out what is the best option financially but am unsure of the prices of journeys beyond my travelcard.

    My question is can I add travelcard zones as neccessary. For example if I know I’ll be at a court in zone 3 for a week, can I add on an addition zone 3 travelcard for £22, and if I’m going to be in zone 5 for a week can I buy a zone 3-5 travelcard for £24.20?

    And if had a one day journey to zone 3 from zone 1 during peak time is my journey classed as zone 3 only (i.e. £1.50) because I already have the zone 1-2 travelcard? Likewise is a peak journey to zone 5 from zone 1 classed as a trip from zone 3-5 (£2.20)?

    Many thanks,


  291. Hi Richie,

    You seem to have pretty much got it. You can add a weekly season to add on extra zones, though they must be for at least two zones so 3-4 in your case. Single journeys are indeed charged only for the zones not covered by any of your travelcards.

  292. Hi Mike,

    thanks for this very helpful website. But I still have a question.
    I’m going to London next week (for 5 nights) and as a typical tourist I will travel mostly in zone 1-2 with a return trip to zone 3 for Kew Gardens and of course the travel from and to Heathrow. I think the best is to buy a 7 day travelcard and to pay the extension fares for the extra zones with PAYG. I already have an oyster card from my last trip. Now my question:
    When I load a 7-day Travelcard (zone 1-2) on my oyster card at the airport, does ist start at that moment? Will I pay the extension fare for zones 6-3 and then use the Travelcard for the rest of the journey?

    Many thanks,


  293. Hi Dagmar,

    There is a slight problem. It appears as though you can only pick up a travelcard at a station where the travelcard would be valid. Assuming that you will be using the Piccadilly line you will need to get off at Turnham Green which is dual zoned 2 and 3, touch out to record your zone 6-3 journey then touch back in and continue with the travelcard. Obviously you need to request pick up at Turnham Green. On the way back you will be fine to stay on the train. The travelcard should be loaded when you touch out at Turnham Green.

    Hope that helps.

  294. Hi Mike,

    I am travelling Brixton to Watford Junction in the morning with a national rail linked Oyster. I have a zone 1-2 pass and this causes a mix of peak & off-peak as Euston to Watford Junction is off-peak. Currently to get the right fair I get off at Warren Street and walk to Euston. It charges me a peak fare from Zone 3 to Watford Junction if I don’t do this (much more expensive). Is there a way to force my journey to split at Euston so I can use my Zone 1-2 from Brixton to Euston without paying peak to Watford Junction.


  295. Hi Tony,

    Yes, touch on a bus outside Euston then get off straight away. I’m told most bus drivers in central London are used to this behaviour now.

  296. Hi Mike,
    This site is a gem!
    I was wondering if you could help me out.

    Would it be cheaper to buy a Zones 1 – 7 weekly travel card and then pay a bit more via PAYG, to go from Watford Junction which is beyond zone 8, to Euston.
    Monday to Friday ONLY in the mornings. Returning via LU Met. line to Watford Met.)

    OR buy a weekly travel-card zone 1-9 + Watford Junction

    (My journey is from Watford Junction to Euston Monday to Friday via the London Midland fast service.
    Would the above travel-card’s allow me to use the London Midland fast service)

    *I own a 16-25 National Railcard and an 18+ Student Oyster Card

    Thank you
    John 🙂

  297. Hi John,

    With the 18+ Student Oyster the travelcards cost £40.50/week (1-7) and £53.20/week (1-9+W). The peak single WJ-zone 8 is £1.50, so unless you make 9+ single trips a week you will be better off using PAYG for the last bit. You can use Oyster on all services between Watford Junction and Euston except Virgin (because they don’t convey passengers for just that stretch on it’s own.

  298. Hi Mike

    I am going to be living in Leytonstone (Z3) for a week. I need to commute into central london on a daily basis, in peak times as well as not. What is my cheapest option. I also have my 16-25 railcard linked to my oyster. Is it cheaper to get zone 1-2 travel card and pay the difference as PAYG or just get the zone 1-4 travelcard? Thanks

  299. Hi Lucy,

    Weekly travelcard seasons can be bought for any number of adjacent zones from 2 upwards. For peak travel I would therefore recommend the Z1-3 travelcard. However, if all you are doing is 5 return journeys on the Underground with no additional rail or bus travel, you will be better off just using PAYG.

  300. Hi,
    I’ve just renewed and added for the first time an Annual Travelcard to my Oyster at Farringdon First Capital Connect Station however the old paper one runs out next week. Normally with a new card you use it straight away as it only carries an expiry date (as does the Gold Record Card) however do I start using the Oyster straight away or do I wait until next week when the old card expires. I forgot to ask at the station and I did phone CFC but they did not really understand the question
    Secondly I looked on the Oyster Online site tonight and my new Travelcard is not showing, is that because it does not start until next week?

  301. Hi,

    Oyster stores both a start and end date which allows them to load the ticket early. Therefore you will have to continue using your old season until the new one starts. As to the online system, I think that updates for tickets etc take a while to be reflected but the details should be there now. You should also see them on the summary screen if you touch on a ticket machine.

  302. my journey starts in turnpike lane/wood green (zone 3) and ends at egham (outside london). I go to waterloo (zone 1) and catch the train from there. I’m currently using a zone 1 to 4 pass, but I was wondering whether I could use a zone 3 to 6 instead? Or do I have to include zone 1 because I take the train from waterloo? I own a 18+ oyster card and am buying a weekly pass!

  303. Hi Tas,

    You definitely need zone 1 if you travel through it. On the basis that you get a discount on travelcards, I would buy a zone 1-6 travelcard and combine it with a Feltham to Egham season. As long as the train stops at Feltham (which I think they all do) there is no need to get off the train. Just use the Oyster at Waterloo and the season at Egham.

  304. Hi Mike. I suspect this question is better posted (or already answered) in Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets, but that column has been password protected for quite some time (“This post is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:”). I’ve recently acquired a paper annual travelcard season Epsom to Zone 2, but also have a PAYG Oyster. If I want to go from say Morden to Oxford Circus, do I really have to get off at Vauxhall and go up to the barrier line to touch in? Can I buy an excess ticket for Zone 1 at Morden (in the same way I can buy at Epsom a boundary zone 1 to Victoria single for travel on National Rail)? And if the answer is ‘yes’ and ‘no’, wouldn’t it be more sensible if paper travelcard seasons could be loaded on to an Oyster in the same way as the Gold Card validity?

  305. Hi Hugh,

    Sorry about the password protection on the other page. It will be lifted as soon as I have completed writing the page, but the content is such that I can’t only partially cover the topic. That said, it has been waiting a long time so maybe I need to bump it up the list of things to do.

    Back to your query. Oyster is a London system and is only available outside the zones in a limited number of places. Only one (Watford Junction) has the ability to store travelcard seasons, probably because some of the services are TfL’s own Overground operation. It remains to be seen whether the extensions for Crossrail will be done properly, or whether they will suffer the same issues as the Grays area stations.

    The Gold Card discount is simply a switch which activates lower off-peak fares and caps. Technically an Oyster card with that set is only valid when carried with the Gold (record) card (or other railcard). The capability for fraud would be just too much if you could have both a paper season and an Oyster card which would simultaneously give free journeys within the zones covered.

    You are at least lucky that you have a station on the zone 1/2 boundary so you don’t actually end up being charged any more than you should. Incidentally, charging from the inner boundary of a zone is unique to Oyster. On paper tickets you can only extend outwards from the centre. In fact “boundary zone 1” doesn’t exist as a paper origin as the smallest travelcard has to cover two zones.

  306. HI,

    I am planning to buy a monthly Travel card (Zone 1-2) to be added to my PAYG Oyester card.

    My question is, If I would like to return the same after 10 days or so… would I get my money refuneded / back? If yes, from where and how?


  307. Hi Vipin,

    Best take it to an Underground station. You will be refunded the amount paid less the cost of weekly/daily tickets to cover what you have used less an admin fee.

  308. Thanks Mike: no criticism meant re the paper tickets page: just wondered whether the password protection was intentional. I see what you mean about the potential for fraud. Thanks for the comments re boundary zone pricing: I hadn’t yet tried to purchase an excess from bdy zone 1 to Victoria or Waterloo, so now know I need to quote a station.
    Am I right then about extending Underground journeys from my zone 2 bdy into zone 1: the only way I can do this is to get off and pass through the ticket line (or pay the full fare from origin station), unless there happens to be a card reader on the platform (unlikely)?

  309. Hi Hugh,

    You are right if you want the extension on Oyster.

  310. Hi,
    I have a zone 1-4 monthly oyster to go from Richmond to Canary Wharf. I live in Twickenham and normally cycle to Richmond. If I take a bus from near my house (zone 5) one morning to Richmond will I be charged extra on PAYG?

  311. Hi mike
    I got oyster zone2-zone5 travel card,is that including bus?thanks:)

  312. Hi Richard,

    No, all TfL operated buses are free with any travelcard. Also, if you wanted to use the train at Twickenham one day you would only be charged a zone 5 single as long as you touch in and out at each end of the journey.

  313. Hi Lianna,

    Yes, all TfL operated buses are free with any travelcard season.

  314. Hi again,
    I currently have a zone 3 to 6 pass, is there any way to add zone 2into it so that I can have a zone 2 to 6 weekly instead?

  315. Hi Tas,

    Unfortunately not. The minimum zone coverage for a travelcard is 2 zones.

  316. But I would end up having 4 zones on it?

  317. Zones 3 to 6 is 4 zones. You can buy a new travelcard for zones 2-6, but you cannot buy an additional travelcard just for zone 2. If it’s a weekly ticket I’d just wait until next week. If the route you are taking avoids zone 1 and the zone 3-6 is on Oyster then using the card will only charge a zone 2 single on PAYG for each journey.

  318. This site is genius! I like in Highbury, closest stations – finsbury park station, Arsenal, Highbury & Islington. I have an 18+ oyster and need to get to Twickenham 4 times a week. I normally get the overground from Highbury & Islington to Richmond, then change for NR to Twickenham. What is the cheapest route?

  319. Hi Mike

    I’ve recently started commuting to Whitechapel for work, I’ve been getting a weekly travelcard zones 2-5, going on the 233 london bus to Sidcup, followed by trains from Sidcup to New Cross, then from New Cross to Whitechapel. I want to start adding the travelcard to my Oyster. If I add a monthly travelcard, it says I have to activate it by touching in/out on a normal journey. Firstly, will this activation work with the bus journey at the start or not? Also will I have to swipe my oyster card at the platform when I change to get the new cross to whitechapel to show I haven’t entered zone 1? Thanks

  320. Hi Iman,

    That is the cheapest route and with your 18+ travelcard discount you will be better off getting a zone 2-5 season.

  321. Hi Will,

    You can’t activate the travelcard on a bus, but you can activate it a few days before. Alternatively, for the first one you could get it from the ticket office at Whitechapel. There is no need to touch anything at New Cross because a touch in at Sidcup and out at Whitechapel will assume you’ve gone that way with no other touches.

  322. Hi Mike,

    I have an 18+ student oyster and a 16-25 rail card. I need to commute from wallington (zone 5) to whitechapel (zone 2). I travel via west croydon to avoid zone 1. Just wondering what my best option would be?
    So far Ive been using PAYG and its been costing me a lot, the lady at the wallington ticket office said I would need another photocard to buy a travelcard which confused me slightly. Would a zone 2-5 travel card not work on my journey because I am using nation rail and london overground?? I’m not too sure what the difference is to be honest. And I can’t seem to buy a zone 2-5 travel card from the machine at a student price for some reason. Would appreciate any help.

    Many Thanks!!

  323. Hi Kelly,

    I’m possibly confused too. Wallington to Whitechapel via West Croydon is the default route so a zone 2-5 travelcard should definitely work. Have you added your 16-25 railcard to your Oyster card? If yes, then I think they’ve done it wrong. The entitlement to cheap travelcards is stored in discount field 1 and can only be put there when the card is created. Unfortunately it is possible to overwrite it when the National Railcard is added. The railcard needs to be entered into field 2. The clerk at Canada Water did it right with my son’s 16+ Zip card so I know it’s possible.

    I think you need to call the helpdesk and explain what’s happened. They should send you a new 18+ card with the discount re-instated. Then I would take it and the railcard to a main underground station and ask for the discount to be added, but stress that the railcard should go in field 2 so that the student discount is not lost. Then you should be able to add reduced travelcards at ticket machines.

    Hope this helps, and I’d appreciate it if you could confirm whether my theory was right.

  324. Hello Mike,

    I just read your article here and it has been very helpful. But there is something i really need help with. See i live in Morden and my college is situated in Tottenham court road (zone 1) and my workplace is in guildford. It is quite expensive for me to get a weekly travelcard (zone 1-6) and pay for the train tickets. Is there anyway where my cost will go down and i can get all the facilities in one travelcard? Thank you

  325. Hi Ikramul,

    You can buy a Guildford to zones 1-6 travelcard on paper for £95.30/week.

  326. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Burnham to get to Hammersmith everyday. I go to Ealing Broadway (zone 3) by the train, and then get the tube to Hammersmith (zone 2). I have a zone 1-3 monthly travelcard because I need to go into zone one occasionally, and hence have to go to Paddington (zone 1) and get the train from there back to Burnham. At Paddington, I have to tap in my oyster travelcard, but because Burnham isnt on the tube map, and hence not an oyster friendly zone, I cant tap out using the zone 1-3 travelcard. I have a paper ticket that covers me from ealing broadway to Burnham. Does this mean I will get charged for tapping in using the monthly travelcard (if I just tap in at paddington) and not tapping out, or will it not charge me because I am in the allocated zone. I have asked many officers and they all seem to contradict each other, some say you have to tap out, and others say its an open ticket so as long as you use it in the allocated zone. Many thanks in advance

  327. Hi George,

    You are fine to only touch in with your travelcard as long as you have valid tickets for the whole of your journey.

  328. Hi Mike, I currently have a zone 2-3 7 day travelcard on my student oyster. I am travelling from clapham junction to brookwood on NR this weekend and was wondering whether it is essential to touch out when i have a travelcard?

    I’m thinking I could order a ticket from wimbledon to brookwood online and collect at clapham as the clapham to wimbledon part of the journey would be covered by the travelcard. The train doesn’t usually stop at wimbledon, so i wouldn’t be able to touch out and use my ticket to get back into the station. Is this possible / would i be charged maximum fares / is it just breaking the rules!?

    Also, a friend mentioned that when using an oyster travelcard on NR only (i.e. without combining journey with london underground) during peak times, you get charged from your PAYG credit despite having a travelcard for those zones. He said he was told this by south west trains staff at vauxhall, but do you know if it is correct? Defeats the whole point of a zonal travelcard if you ask me!

    Thanks in advance for your help

  329. Hi Charlie,

    Your friend has not got the right idea. A travelcard on Oyster will not charge you within your zones regardless of which mode you use (apart from the cable car and river buses obviously).

    And for your question, that is fine. There is no need to touch out within the zones. You can combine the tickets you mention without the train needing to call where you switch over.

  330. Hi Mike,

    Some advice please on the cheapest and easiest best way for a friend of mine to travel through Zone 1. They have an Oyster PAYG and a Monthly paper ticket Zones 2-6.
    They will be travelling with me from Zone 1 out to Zone 3 and then back again. This will be a one off return journey. I have an Oyster Gold Card to cover those Zone.
    Many thanks



  331. Hi Charles,

    To help you I will need to know the exact stations involved so I know which fare scale to use.

  332. Hi Mike,

    Just thought Id let you know the situation with my oyster.
    I went to the underground station to get it checked out, apparently the student discount had been overwritten completely with the railcard, so you were right. The man at the station didn’t seem to know how to put it back on, so I rang up oyster and they reinstated the student discount without me having to reorder another. So now I have both the student discount and railcard on the oyster. They said for future reference this could have been fixed at the underground station too. Many thanks for your help.


  333. Thanks Kelly,

    That’s great news. I need to find out how a station can put the student discount back on. Out of interest, how did the Oyster helpdesk put the discount back on? Did you have to nominate a station to travel from so they could load it on?

  334. Hi Mike,

    I have started commuting from Forest Hill to Ravenscourt park via Whitechapel (easiest way I believe), and currently buying a half price bus/tram pass and £20 payg on the oyster for the journey 3x a week. Any cheaper options?

  335. Hi Mike,
    We will be travelling from Farringdon to Beckenham Hill and back from Lewisham DLR to Stratford

  336. Hi Lol,

    I don’t think you can reduce that fare without sacrificing journey time.

  337. Hi Charles,

    Lewisham DLR to Stratford avoids zone 1 so is covered by the travelcard. The cheapest way to travel the other way is to use PAYG between Farringdon and Elepha& & Elephant&Castle. You need to get off at Elephant to touch out. Atfer that take the train to Shortlands and then go back to Seckenham Hill.

  338. adrian fletcher

    seeing as you are the one to ask,i wondering if i can travel to sutton on an oyster that im going to buy when i visit and also what will this be capped at.as this will be in zone 5.

  339. Hi Adrian,

    Yes, you can use Oyster at Sutton. If Sutton is the furthest out from zone 1 you go then you will be capped at the Z1-6 rates if you make enough journeys to exceed the cap.

  340. Mike,

    Zone 1-2 monthly Travelcard(oyster)+ PAYG credit: 0.55.

    Departure: Manor House.
    Destination: Woolwich Arsenal

    Issue: on the DLR service(boarded at Bank) from Canning Town to Woolwich Arsenal I received a Penalty Fare for insufficient PAYG credit, ALTHOUGH this jouney has been done several times before(different days) with less than 0.55 on it(had to top up the difference and everything was in order)!

    Why the Penalty?

    Thank you.

  341. Hi Marius,

    Although the Oyster system will force you to top up to clear the negative balance, it is still an offence to make a journey with insufficient credit. Sorry, but that’s the way it is. If you regularly use credit to go outside your zones then I recommend adding auto top-up to ensure you don’t have to think about whether you need to top up any more.

  342. Hi I live in Wimbledon and am starting a new job in Ashtead, Surrey. Wimbledon station is within walking distance of home but I would prefer to take a bus to the station on bad weather days so think a travelcard would be a good idea. I see I can buy a season ticket from Ashtead with Zone 3-6 travelcard but can’t see if it is possible to buy this ticket on my Oyster card so that it recognises that I can travel within those zones. If I want to continue my journey into Waterloo some evenings would I have to get off the train somewhere to touch in or if I just touch out at Waterloo will it know to charge for a zone 1-2 journey only?.

  343. Hi Jay,

    You cannot load an out boundary travelcard onto an Oyster unless it is from Watford Junction. Unfortunately this also means that you would have to get out to touch in when travelling to Central London. The cheapest way to do this would be to use a station on the boundary of zones 2 and 3. Putney and Putney Bridge are the nearest to Wimbledon, or Herne Hill if heading towards Blackfriars. If you can’t use a boundary station then you’ll end up paying for zone 3 twice.

  344. benjamin allen

    Hello Mike, I’ve just moved to London to work and am trying to work out what is more cost effective. I travel from Stratford to Canada water + a bus journey and home again every day, all zone 2-3. About 2-3 times a week I will make a return journey into central.

    I know it’s dependent on how much I travel and other variables but do you think it would it be more cost effective to get a zone 2-3 for the month and then top up for my zone 1 travel or to just pay the extra and get an all inclusive zone 1-3.

    I know I should be able to work this out, but the pricing and oyster system is all very new to me.

    Also, I have a 16-25 rail card if that makes a difference. Many thanks

  345. Hi Benjamin,

    I’d only buy a travelcard including zone 1 if I was going to make at least 4 peak journeys into zone 1. Otherwise it’s better to let it charge £2.00 (or £1.30 off-peak with railcard) on PAYG for each journey.

  346. Hi Mike. Thanks for the quick reply. So if I buy a paper season ticket from Ashtead with Zone 3-6 travelcard included does that allow me to travel on buses outside those zones(i.e. Zones1-2) or does that only apply to travelcards bought on Oyster? For example could I get the bus from Wimbledon to Clapham Junction using my paper season then use my Oyster on the tube from there?

  347. Hi Jay,

    Yes, buses are fully covered with any travelcard, paper or Oyster. There’s no tube at Clapham Junction though, just London Overground, Southern and SWT.

  348. Hi Mike, I travel from zone fins pk > oxford circus > stonebridge park is a zone 2-3 travel card sufficient?

  349. Only if you travel via Highbury & Islington and Willesden Junction and touch the pink validators at both while changing.

  350. Going to work. I go from Edmonton green, to seven sisters, to highbury and islington to west croydon, can I buy a zone 2-5 travelcard? and shall i tap in at interchanges e.g Highbury and Islington or just at entraces and exits.

    Plus, if i want to go from seven sisters to elephant and castle on a zone 2-5 travel card is it possible?

  351. Hi Inntesha,

    As I said on the other page, you cannot use a zone 2-5 travelcard on a journey which obviously goes through zone 1 unless you want a zone 1 single to be deducted from PAYG each time. As you only go to Croydon twice a week I recommend that you buy a zone 1-4 travelcard and use PAYG each time you travel into or out of West Croydon.

  352. Hi Mike,

    This page is incredible and I am astonished at the level an amount of help you have provided. I hope you can advise me in my situation as well.
    I have just change jobs, where originally I was traveling from west Harrow to canary wharf, my new role will require me to travel to west malling in kent. I currently have an annual 1-5 zone season pass on my oyster, which expires in the last week of December. Looking online, it looks like a monthly pass from Victoria to west malling costs £360. Given that I have a pass until December, can I get a discount on this rate? Also, after december, do you know how much extra it would cost to add a zone 1-5 pass onto the national rail ticket as well?
    Any advice you provide would be greatly appreciated!
    Warm regards,

  353. Hi Shahzad,

    While you have a zone 1-5 travelcard season then you only need to buy a season from West Malling to zones 5-6. This costs £281.90/month. Strangely this is cheaper than the Bromley South to West Malling season and there is no requirement for the train to stop at any station as both seasons are zonal. So yes, you can sort of get a discount if you see what I mean. After December you’ll need to add all zones 1-6 which then becomes £416.30/month.

    Hope this helps.

  354. Thank you. Was a huge help.

  355. Hi Mike
    Am i right in thinking that if I purchase a Slough to Travelcard Zones1-6 monthly/yearly season, bus use in Zone 1 is included?

  356. Yes, bus use throughout London is included with any travelcard.

  357. Hi Mike,

    I was just wondering what would happen if you touch into a station and then touch out the same station say if the train was cancelled or delayed. Would you still be charged?



  358. Hi Jessie,

    It’s all covered on the same station exits page.

  359. Hello,

    I have Zones 1-2 travelcard loaded onto my Oyster Card.

    Am I assuming correctly that I will be charged £2.30 for an off-peak journey from Clapham South to Hampton Court, changing at Vauxhall (and the same journey back)?

    Another quite unrelated question, what happens if I don’t touch out when using the Travelcard and no PAYG credit is on Oyster?


  360. Hi Jan,

    You would be charged for a National Rail zone 3-6 journey which is £2.10.

    For your other question I think that the answer is contained in the last section of the page above all these comments.

  361. Hi Mike,

    That’s great, thank you for answering!

    So as long as I remain in the zones covered by my travelcard, I technically don’t have to touch in and out, is that true?

  362. The rules say that you should always touch in and out, but that with a travelcard loaded there is no penalty for not doing so. In reality it would cause chaos if everyone had to queue for a validator at open stations. You absolutely must touch in and out if you intend to travel beyond the zones on your travelcard.

  363. Just one last question, if I touch in and then touch out immediately at the same station, that would cause problems with Same station exit.

    But what about touching out and then touching back in within seconds? Like a way of breaking the journey and avoiding Zone 1 where the journey has been defined as going through Z1?

  364. Yes, that works fine unless the station is classed as a continuation exit station.

  365. Thanks a lot, your help is very much appreciated!

  366. Hi Mike,

    I just moved to London and am still learning to get around. I live in Mile End and need to communte to Welwyn Garden City (eek). What’s the best/cheapest way to do this?

    Thank you!!

  367. Hi Kristina,

    The answer probably depends on your definition of best! Assuming walk/bus the whole way is out of the question you’ve got two main rail options. The quickest option is to take the Hammersmith & City line to Moorgate and then to Welwyn Garden City on FCC. You could either get a Welwyn GC to London terminals season for £62.50/week and pay £27 for ten Oyster journeys or get a Welwyn GC to zones 1-6 travelcard for £90/week. There is also a slight saving to be made by getting a Welwyn GC to Alexandra Palace season at £51.90/week plus a zones 1-3 travelcard at £34.20/week. You wouldn’t need to get off at Alexandra Palace but the train must stop there.

    The slower option is to get a Welwyn GC to zones 2-6 season for £66.20/week. With this option you travel from Mile End to Stratford on the Central Line, then London Overground to Highbury & Islington and then FCC from there to Welwyn GC.

    Although I’ve quoted weekly prices you can get seasons for any period from a month to a year and the prices will be proportionately the same but cheaper than an equivalent number of weeklies. E.g. a monthly costs 3.84 times a weekly. The only bit that wouldn’t come down is the Oyster single journeys, so the zone 1-6 travelcard would be better for periods longer than a week.

    Hope that helps.

  368. Hi.I have a question.I got a zone 1-2 weekly travelcard but today I’m moving houses and is in zone 3,I was wondering if I could add one more zone (zone 3) to the travelcard I already have 🙂 thank you

  369. Hi Tina,

    No, you can’t add just one zone, nor can you add zones for less than a week. Just make sure you touch in and out at each end of the journey and it will deduct a zone 3 single from your PAYG balance. When you next buy a travelcard make it a 1-3 one then.

  370. Hi, I’m new in London and I had a problem for 2 consecutive days with my Qyster card with monthly zones 1-2 travelcard. Twice I made the same route: I took the Overground at Hackney Central to West Hampstead and then the National Rail from West Hampstead Thameslink to Denmark Hill. At the end of the route, touching out in Denmark Hill I was charged 1.50£ “for being out of my travel zones”. I spoke to officers at the station, but they could not explain me why I was charged, because they figured out that all the stations I travelled through where definitely in zones 1 and 2. I had finally to change route and received no answers by email complaining, nor at the help number, which just continues ringing without response. Could you help me understanding? Thanks.

  371. Hi Ilaria,

    I don’t know for certain what is happening, but I have a hunch. Firstly, Hackney Central to Denmark Hill via West Hampstead is a very long way round for the journey. Is it possible that it’s taking longer than 100 minutes between touch in at Hackney and touch out at Denmark Hill? I’d guess not, but it could be causing issues if it is. My main hunch is that West Hampstead is adding a route marker which is confusing the system and making it think that you’ve gone via Stratford. Stratford is in zone 3 so with a travelcard for zones 1-2 you would be charged a zone 3 single fare which is £1.50 peak (£1.40 off-peak).

    It sounds like you’ve found a better route for now, but from December 9th it is very easy: just change at Cannonbury onto a Clapham Junction via Whitechapel train. This should be quicker and get charged correctly.

  372. Hello Mike,

    great website! Thanks for all the work you put into it!

    I´ve got one comment/question. Above you wrote: “The rules say that you should always touch in and out, but that with a travelcard loaded there is no penalty for not doing so. […] You absolutely must touch in and out if you intend to travel beyond the zones on your travelcard.”

    What frustrates me is that I know someone who seems to abuse the system. What I mean is that when she travels beyond the zones covered by her travel card/season ticket and leaves at an open station (i.e. no gates) she would simply not touch out and won´t be charged any penalties. When I asked her about this, she only smiled and said that should there be a ticket inspection at the open station, she´d be covered by her extra PAYG money on the card and would simply touch out then in front of the ticket inspector. 🙁

    Surely, this isn´t how the system is supposed to work. Aren´t there any safeguards in place to prevent people like her from misusing the system in that way?

  373. Hi Peter,

    Unfortunately this is one of the drawbacks of open stations in the suburbs. Depending on the layout of the station, it is possible to be asked to show your ticket after passing the validator, at which point she would probably get a penalty fare if she hadn’t already touched out. TfL did try a solution after the National Rail rollout in 2010 whereby you had to set a switch (the Oyster Extension Permit) which caused a maximum charge to be levied on touch in within your zones and incentivised you to touch out at the end to adjust this charge. Unfortunately this concept wasn’t publicised widely enough, was really complicated and detracted from the whole PAYG ethos of Oyster. Worse still, one particular TOC abused the system by trapping unsuspecting passengers at fully gated London terminals in the actual act of touching out, ie there was no revenue risk at all. This led to the whole concept being abandoned by TfL, and in a final act of insult the TOCs publicised the withdrawl of OEPs far more thoroughly than they ever did to explain them in the first place, leading several commuters wondering just what this thing that was no longer required actually was in the first place.

    The only other thing I can suggest is that if the ungated station used by your friend is always the same one and her journeys are regular then the TOC who operates the station may be interested in a tip off. You might just find a revenue block gets put there to see what they trap.

  374. Thank you, Mike! Your thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!

  375. Hi, I have my oyster attached to my National Rail 16-24 Card which gives a 34% discount. I have looked and that now makes the cheapest journey for me to buy a return from Hertford North to Crews Hill and then just use my oyster for the rest of the trip but how would i tap in when i dont get off until finsbury park ? thanks

  376. Hi Danielle,

    If you are using PAYG then you have to get off the train to touch in.

  377. Hi Mike, Great site… lots of good tips!
    I’m thinking of getting a zone 1 to 5 annual oyster but I have a question and I couldn’t see a similar comment? I occasionally change at Barking on my way into Zone 1 and get the c2c overground to Fenchurch Street and re join the District Line at Tower Hill if the DL is being slow!
    With an annual ticket will touching out at Fenchurch Street when I get off the train take any money from my PAYG balance as I’m using a National Rail service? It doesn’t cost extra on my PAYG at the moment so I thought I’d check?

  378. Hi am travelling from Canning town to Brixton and i change at Green park (Zone 1), it take about 45mins to get to work. Is there another route i could use so as not to pay zone 1 prices.

  379. Hi Carly,

    A travelcard season covers you for all rail modes within the zones covered (apart from the Heathrow and High Speed 1 exclusions), so you won’t suffer by using c2c for part of your journey.

  380. Hi coolmature,

    Brixton is an issue as it’s difficult to get to from the east unless you are on the actual line between Victoria and Beckenham Junction. At the moment any route to avoid zone 1 will be tortuous, but from December 9th you can change at Canada Water onto the overground to Clapham High Street then take the Northern line from Clapham North to Stockwell and the Victoria line from there. It may still take as long as your current route and looks like it will involve an extra touch out to force it to be valid. Will you be using a zone 2-3 travelcard or PAYG? If it’s a travelcard then it will probably be easiest to touch on a bus between Clapham High Street and Clapham North. PAYG looks like it could be trickier but I’ll examine options later.

  381. Hi Mike,

    I need to get to Camden Road from West Croydon. I have a travelcard for zones 2-6. I noticed that if I travel to there only on overground I will pass through zone 1. And if I want to avoid that I can change at Whitechapel and get to Stratford and then get the overground from there. But then I thought, how would the system know that I have done those interchanges?

  382. Hi Kremi,

    Via Stratford is not a recognised route for that journey. However, if you make it two journeys by touching out and in again at Stratford (on the gateline, NOT the pink validators), then both journeys will be covered by your travelcard.

  383. Hi Mike

    Is there a website we can use to check all this fantastic information ourselves? There is a lot more I want to know, but feel guilty asking you everytime. As an example, the national rail website does not provide an option to check season ticket prices with zone 1-6 travelcard added on or do a zones 5-6 to west malling price check (it forces me to put in a rail station in both to/from fields).

    Thanks again,

  384. Hi Shahzad,

    The National Rail site does give season prices including travelcard. You need to enter the out of travelcard area station first and then choose a station in the zone that you want prices for (but on the same line towards London). You should then get 3 figures, the point to point season price, the travelcard season including zones 5-6 and the travelcard season including zones 1-6.

  385. Hi Mike,

    I have a travelcard for zones 2-6. Last week I travelled from Stratford to London Bridge with the tube and then I changed to National Rail to travel to East Croydon. The thing is the system did not take any of my pay as you go credit even though I tapped out of the underground station at London Bridge and then tapped in to get to the railway station. Is there no charge when you make such a change?


  386. Hi Kremi,

    I would have expected a charge, but I won’t complain if you weren’t. One possible explanation is that you’d made other journeys in zone 1 and exceeded the zone 1-2 cap. Otherwise I’m stumped. If you can copy/paste the whole days journey history into a reply then I’ll see if any other explanation jumps out.

  387. Hi Mike,

    amazing website!
    Quick question, if I have zone 2-5 travelcard and go into zone 1, will it charge me £2 every for every journey made in zone 1? Or will it calculate single fare from the zone2 station to the zone1 station and charge me that?

    Thanks in advance!

  388. Hi Rana,

    Definitely only charge for zone 1. That could be £1.60 or £2.10 if you use National Rail, or £2.00 if you use TfL Rail.

  389. Hi Mike,

    I would copy/paste the whole day journey but when I log online there is no history option. I have a student travelcard. Is there a way I can check the history online?


  390. Hi Kremi,

    Are you logging into your photocard account or an Oyster online account? If you haven’t set up the latter then you won’t be able to see past history when you do, but future stuff will appear. Otherwise, had you made any other journeys in zone 1 that day? If you have a 16-25 railcard discount entitlement then the off-peak zone 1-2 cap is only £4.60.

  391. Hi Mike,

    I don’t have a 16-25 railcard but I did make other journeys in zone 1, so maybe its the cap price thing.
    Also, I have bought a weekly zone 2-6 travelcard, but I am going to be making a lot of zone 1 journeys next week and I was wondering if there is a way I can turn my zone 2-6 travelcard into zone 1-6? If not, what would be the cheapest option? Can I add a zone 1 travelcard to the 2-6 one?

  392. Hi Kremi,

    Unfortunately not. The smallest extension you can buy is for 2 zones which isn’t much good if you want zone 1 and already have zone 2. Most journeys will only cost £2.00, plus if you can use the train to the last station in zone 2 and then take the bus it will be free.

  393. Hi Mike, This site has provided some very useful reading, thank you. I’ve just recently received an Oyster 60+ card for use on London transport and will be travelling from Earlsfield (Overground station) to Gatwick in the New Year. Can I use my new Oyster card as far as East Croydon, and get a paper ticket for the onward journey that would be out of the Oyster card jurisdiction? And if this is possible I assume that I would have to validate the broken journey at East Croydon?

  394. Hi Mike,

    I am very new to Oyster travel and will be moving to London in the new year. I would be starting at Charlton station (zone 3) and take a bus to North Greenwich (zone 2) which will be my primary point of departure for tube travel. If I buy a zone 1-2 travel card, will this stretch of bus journey be included? I gather that bus travel is free if oyster has a stored travel card in it. Am i correct? Does this include travel by bus in all zones? Does my 1-2 travel card cover DLR and over ground as well? Thanks in advance….this is a great resource…..

  395. Hello Mike,
    i am sure you’ve probably answered this same question before-
    I need to travel from Gipsy Hill or Crysta Palace to Uxbridge and was hoping you could tell me the cheapest and or best way, I was looking at a zones 3-6 oyster travel card.

  396. Hi Teking,

    Yes, you can use the Oyster card as far as East Croydon and then buy a paper ticket. You don’t need to touch out at East Croydon because the 60+ Oyster is a free travelcard.

  397. Hi Sayak,

    Yes, all buses are included with a zone 1-2 travelcard, while the travelcard covers all rail within those zones apart from the usual HS1 and HeX exceptions.

  398. Hi Alex,

    You’ll probably need more than a zone 3-6 travelcard to make that journey in a reasonable time. Your journey would be from Crystal Palace or Gypsy Hill to Tulse Hill, then Tulse Hill to Wimbledon, then Wimbledon to East Putney, then walk to Putney and train to Richmond, then Richmond to Turnham Green and finally onto Uxbridge. You’d need to touch out and in at least once to stop the journey being treated as one.

    If you add in zone 2 then it becaomes a lot less tortuous. Crystal Palace to Clapham Junction, then West Brompton, Earls Court and then to Uxbridge. You’ll need to touch the pink validator at West Brompton to make that route work. To be honest I wouldn’t use any other routes via zone 1 because you are paying a lot more for very little time saving, if any.

  399. Hi there.

    I travel from Sutton Common to Canary Wharf each day. Until last week my quickest morning route was into London Bridge NR then onto the Jubilee Line and my quickest evening return route was Jubilee to Waterloo then NR. Until now I have always purchased Zone 1-4 monthly travel cards.

    However now that the timetables have changed and the ELL extension opened, the quickest morning route has become via Peckham Rye and Canada Water onto the Jubilee Line (i.e. avoiding Zone 1). The quickest return route remains as before via Waterloo.

    I’m trying to establish if it would now be cheaper for me to start purchasing Zone 2-4 travel cards and using PAYG to cover the Waterloo portion in the evenings, however I can’t work out what the PAYG cost would be each day for this scenario. Please could you advise.


    Oh and would I have to touch the pink Route Validator at Canada Water ?

  400. Hi Mike

    If I have a Zone 2-4 travelcard on my Oyster and I travel into Zone 1 on a National Rail train what will this cost me? Would it be a equivalent fare to taking a journey that started and finished in Zone 1 (i.e. £2.20 during peak times at 2013 prices).

    Also what times is the Annual Gold Card discount on my Oyster PAYG valid?

    Many thanks


  401. Hi Simon,

    With a travelcard including zone 2 but not zone 1 you are charged a TfL single fare whenever a mixed mode journey is made, unless your initial touch out in zone 1 (if there is one) is at a NR station in the peak. So usually it is £2.00 but sometimes £2.10, and both fares are increasing by 10p next month. In your case you touch out at Waterloo LU so it will be £2.00. In the morning you should touch the pink validator at Canada Water if the single fare finder lists that route as an alternative.

  402. Hi Captain,

    If the journey is only on NR then you will pay NR zone 1 fares (currently £1.60/£2.10). If you add LU or DLR to the journey then the TfL zone 1 fare applies UNLESS the first touch out is at a NR station in the peak. So, with a zone 2-6 travelcard season Surbiton to Oxford Circus would be £2.00 off-peak and £2.10 peak; while the reverse would be £2.00 all the time. This unfortunate anomaly arises because once charged, the Oyster system won’t refund any fares paid.

    All railcard discounts apply to all off-peak fares and the off-peak caps.

  403. What would be the right way of handling this situation – travelling from Raynes Park [NR – Zone 4] to Gunnersbury [UG – Zone 3].

    The usual route to take is via Clapham Junction [Zone 2] and then via Richmond as these trains are frequent. So for frequent travel, I would buy a zone 2 to 4 travelcard to cover this travel.

    There are however, less frequent trains that run from Raynes Park direct to Richmond, but these go via zone 6.

    I have ensured that I have enough credit in my Oyster pre-pay, but the system just uses my zone 2-4 travelcard for this journey (obviously, because it doesn’t know which way around I went!!).

    As long as I touch in at Raynes Park and have enough money for an extension to zone 6 and then touch out again, do I need to do anything else? Is there an expectation from TfL that customers would go out of their way to make sure they are charged more or is this a legal “loophole” in the Oyster system.

    The last thing I want to do is to break the rules, but as far as I am aware, I’m doing exactly what I’m supposed to – it’s just the Oyster system making assumptions about the route I travel.

  404. Hi Peter,

    You will be fine. The system cannot tell how you’ve gone so charges for the most likely route. As long as you have sufficient credit for a zone 5-6 journey and have touched in at the start of the journey then you won’t get any problems with RPIs either.

  405. Hi Mike,

    I have found this forum and your answers quite helpful.

    I need your advise on something (I couldn’t find answer to my question previously)

    I live in Z3 and uses monthly travel card Z1-3 to cover my journey. However, with increasing price every year it is getting difficult every year to pay for my travel. I have found a way which can reduce my travel cost but i am not sure if it is legal or not?

    I can buy Z2-3 travel card, and exit out at last Z2 station and take the bus service to central London (Z1), this would save me considerable amount of money – though it would add another 1 hour to my journey.

    Thank you for your advise and is there something on TFL’s website/rule about this?

  406. Hi orange,

    That’s perfectly legal. Any travelcard entitles the holder to free bus travel throughout all the zones, and even beyond in some cases.

  407. Thank you for your quick reply.

    I never knew this is legal. I was under the impression this is a way of fare evasion

    But I couldn’t find any information on TFL’s website which says any travel card entitles you for free traveling on buses.

  408. It’s not worded in the clearest way, but http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/fares-2012/26100.aspx gives you the infomation.

  409. Hi,

    I have a question for you- I normally buy a zone 2-6 weekly travelcard as I live in brixton but work in Teddington.

    However, I have two days only this week when I shall be in work. Should I just use my oyster pay as you go, or try to buy a travel card for those two days? On Friday I shall be going into central after work.


    Thanks Anna

  410. Hi Anna,

    As you can’t buy a day travelcard excluding zone 1 it has to be PAYG. Even if you do lots of extra travel, you still won’t pay more than the cost of a day travelcard.

  411. Hi all.

    I should put this post under “mixing paper ticket and oyster card” but the site says I need a password to access, so hopefully someone could help me please.

    I am planning to get an annual ticket – to/from Basingstoke to London zone 2. Normally I can get simply get a Basingstoke to London zone 2-6 season ticket, however, is it possible if I can get a Basingstoke to London zone 5-6 and a separate Oyster card just covering zone 2-4?

    I contacted one of SW Trains customers service staff and he said it was ok. However, when I asked a ticket conductor on a southwest train, I was told that I needed an Oyster card zone 2-5 so that I can cover the stations between zone 4 to zone 5.

    The conductor’s theory sounds like as if I was buying a single ticket – i.e. where I need to ensure I have got a valid ticket covering the 2 stations joining 2 different zones. However, if I buy a seasonal ticket covering all the zones, do I need to have my Oyster card duplicating zone 5?

    Many many thanks

  412. Hi mumu,

    Sorry, I will get round to finishing that page soon.

    Anyway, there categorically is no gap between adjacent zones in London so a Basingstoke to zone 5 travelcard will join seamlessly with a zone 2-4 travelcard. Both tickets are zonal for the purposes of NRCoC condition 19 so it doesn’t matter if they’re both seasons or not.

  413. Hi,
    Quick question: If I have a v2-4 travelcard and use it for a peak z1-5 journey from Bromley South (zone 5) to London Victoria can you confirm that I will be charged a Z5 NR single (£1.60) + Z1 LU single (£2.00) = £3.60 extra?


  414. Nearly! You’ll be charged £1.60 + £2.10 = £3.70 because you’ll be touching out at the end of a NR journey. In reverse you would be charged £3.60 if you start with a LU journey (say from Oxford Circus) but £3.70 if you start from Victoria NR. This is just one of the quirks of the Oyster system.

  415. Hi.. Going London Marylebone to Gerrards Cross tomorrow. Will my Oyster PAYG help? Can I touch in with that, get charged full fare and then just buy a single from West Ruislip (Z6) to GX? Worth the bother?

  416. Hi Paul,

    Probably not worth it. Off peak you will save 10p while in the peak you will lose. If you can touch out at West Ruislip and get back on the same train then it would save you £1.60 off peak. If the train doesn’t call at West Ruislip then you could be at the mercy of any on-board ticket checks between the last stop in the Oyster area and the first stop after West Ruislip.

  417. I have a 60+ Oyster card and want to travel from Waterloo to Walton on Thames. Can’t seem to find which is the last station in zone 6. Does zone 6 stop at Surbiton, although the zone seems to go on further, the stops after Surbiton are Esher and Hersham then Walton on Thames. From which stop do I buy a paper ticket, I presume I swipe in at Waterloo but where would I swipe out or do I not have to. 60+oyster card

  418. Hi Pearl,

    Surbiton is the last stop in zone 6 on the mainline; the only others are the Hampton Court Branch. You should buy a ticket from Surbiton and you do not need to touch out as the 60+ card is a free pass.

    Hope this helps.

  419. Thanks for the helpful prompt reply.

  420. Hi,

    I have read through all comments and they have been very helpful but unfortunately I have not seen a scenario I can apply to mine and wonder if you could please advise?

    I have an (18+ student) oyster card that I have an annual zones 1-6 travel card on and Travel 5 days a week from Epping (Z6) to King’s Cross (Z1).

    In 2013, National Rail station of Broxbourne has been rebranded to a Zone B (?) station and had oyster readers installed, but I cannot find any prices for the newly branded stations.

    I wish to Travel from Broxbourne Station (ZB) to Tottenham Hale (Z3) and then change to the Victoria Line to go into King’s Cross (Z1) as this will drastically reduce travel time.

    The only information I could find was that with a PAYG Oyster Card the journey from Broxbourne to Tottenham Hale would cost £5.10, which I don’t particularly wish to incur twice a day, 5 days a week, on top of the £1500 for the 1-6 travelcard. Would you have any information on how much I would be charged if I tapped in at Broxbourne and then in/out at Tottenham Hale (it’s one set of gates to the underground) and then out at King’s Cross?

    Also, I never realised you could add PAYG funds to an oyster card with a pre-paid travelcard on it, for fear TfL would deduct my PAYG first! I guess adding PAYG to my travelcard oyster would be the best way to go about what I need to do?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide,


  421. Hi Andrew,

    I’m not quite sure what the system would deduct, but it won’t be anywhere near the fare to Tottenham Hale. If you touch in at Broxbourne it will charge you for the bit beyond zone 6 when you touch out anywhere within zones 1-6. In fact, if you can let me know what it does deduct it would be useful to work out how the new extensions are working.

  422. Mike,

    Now that Oyster has finally been extended to Brentwood and Shenfield I am weighing up my options for the daily commute. I live in Brentwood and need to travel to Stratford and back 5 days per week. However, I get a lift to Harold Wood 3 mornings a week. One option is to buy a 6-3 travelcard (Harold Wood to Stratford) and use PAYG for the 7 out of zone journeys I will need to make. Is this permitted within the conditions of carriage? Also, can you advise me how much each out of zone journey will be from Brentwood to Harold Wood and vice-versa? Will it be the difference between the Harold Wood to Stratford journey and the Brentwood to Stratford journey or a single PAYG from Brentwood to Harold Wood?

    One other query, in the travelcard options for Brentwood to Stratford, is a via Shenfield journey enabling the use of a fast train to Shenfield and then a trip back to Brentwood or vice-versa. This costs extra over and above the standard Brentwood to Stratford travelcard. With a PAYG Oyster what will I be charged via Shenfield given I will touch in/out at Brentwood? Presumably nothing extra as the system will have no way of knowing. Could I be liable for a penalty?

    Thanks in advance,

  423. Hi Russ,

    Yes, paying for Brentwood to Harold Wood to connect with a travelcard is absolutely fine. I’m not sure what the fare will actually be as Brentwood is a zone on it’s own, but it certainly won’t be more than the fare to Harold Wood. Do let us know what you are charged if you try it.

    As to your other query, you will be charged for a Stratford to Brentwood journey because, as you say, Oyster can’t tell what you’ve done. You can’t be off-route as long as you are within the Oyster area and have a validated Oyster card. For your own peace of mind I would recommend having enough credit for the journey to Shenfield, but there really is no basis for a penalty fare.

  424. Hi,
    I have another Brentwood question. I have an oyster season zone 1-6 if I touch in at Liverpool st and then travel to Brentwood with the intention of touching out when I get there (although this is a loophole that has been mentioned about ungated/unmaned stations) what if a ticket inspector wants to check my ticket whilst we are inbetween Harold wood and Brentwood, will I be liable for a penalty fare as theoretically at that time I will have travelled out of my zones of my season ticket and not touched out – but I can touch out when I get to BW?

  425. Mike,

    Thanks for you prompt reply, it’s much appreciated. I will let you know what the extension fare is. Regarding the via the Shenfield option, I will give it a go and argue my case if the Revenue Inspectors stop me.


  426. Hi Sally,

    If you are checked after Harold Wood and you have touched in at Liverpool Street and have enough balance to pay for the fare at Brentwood then you will be fine. What you may need to be careful about is walking past the validators if RPIs are watching. They can still ask to see your ticket/card, and if you should have touched out, you could then be liable for a penalty fare.

  427. Hi Mike,
    Happy New Year.
    Great work you are doing here.
    I have a quick question. I usualy travel from Chingford to Canary wharf 3 days a week but never go through Zone. I get a bus to stratford and get the tube to canary wharf so zone 2-3 should suffice for me however if I went into zone 4 or zone 5 how much will I be charged per journey on my PAYG?



  428. Hi,

    Many thanks for your reply. I am wondering now though if it is actually worth my while to use the PAYG option.

    I used to get a ticket from boundary zone 6 to brentwood which with my gold card cost me £1.80 (for use on trains departing liv st around 5.30 and getting in to BW aroudn 6.30) but if i used my PAYG i have a feeling that i will be paying more than that as Oyster at that time is peak? Any views?


  429. Hi Tony,

    Just to clarify, are you getting a travelcard season? If yes then you will only be charged on PAYG for the zones not covered by the travelcard. So a zone 2 to zone 5 journey would be charged as a zone 4 to zone 5 journey. My only concern is that a travelcard wouldn’t normally be worthwhile for only 3 days a week travelling. A zone 2-3 travelcard costs £23/week. A peak single on the trains is £1.60, so £3.20/day. Two bus journeys is a further £2.80 making £6/day. You would need to do that 4 days a week to make it worthwhile.

  430. Hi Sally,

    Yes, Oyster will cost more if you only travel during the afternoon peak.

  431. Hi, I’ve been getting a headache working out my best ticket. I live in Brockley (zone 2) and will be commuting to Watford Junction for a month. But sometimes I will return to Oval rather than Brockley, and I generally like the freedom of a travelcard.
    So, I believe a 7 day travelcard that includes Watford Junction is £79.20 and would enable me to potter around London, varying my home destination.
    Or, is it cheaper to have a 7day zone 1&2 travel card (which is what I would normally have as I usually work and live within those zones) and a point to point season ticket (Boundary zone 2 – Watford Junction)
    Or zone 1 & 2 travel card with PAYG doing the extra bit to Watford Junction.
    Or can I do a point to point season ticket (Brockley to Watford Junction) and any deviations to my home destination would come off PAYG.
    At the moment this is during peak hours (though I am confused by something I read saying peak morning hours don’t count for Euston to Watford, or for Watford to Euston during peak evening. Is this the case?
    It cost my £8.60 each way today using just PAYG
    After a month I will then be travelling offpeak (unless Brockley to Watford at 5pm is considered peak as even though I would be going to work, it would be in the same direction of rush hour leaving work, I suppose. My return would be more like 10.30pm, so definitely not peak in either direction)

    Any advice will be hugely appreciated!

  432. Hi Rebecca,

    Firstly, the bad news. You cannot load point-to-point seasons onto an Oyster card. You also cannot buy seasons from a boundary zone to a station.

    The bit about Euston to Watford in the morning and vice-versa in the afternoon peak is absolutely true, but there is a very important caveat to it which says that the whole journey must be only on that line. However, we can get round that. If your journey from Brockley goes to Euston then to Watford, then you need to touch on a bus outside Euston station and get straight off. This will split your overall rail journey in two and make the second part solely on the Euston to Watford line. If you have a zone 1-2 season on your Oyster then the bus won’t cost anything and you’ll only be charged for a Willesden Junction to Watford Junction off-peak single at £1.60 each way. I think that is probably the cheapest way to do it while travelling in the peaks.

    Unfortunately leaving Brockley at 5pm would definitely be peak whatever way you look at it, while 10.30pm is definitely off-peak. I’d need to consider options a bit further for that scenario.

    Finally, the default fares for Brockley to Watford Junction are only £4.50 peak and £2.70 off-peak. The snag here is that you can’t touch zone 1, so I think the expected route would be Brockley to Clapham Junction (either via Crystal Palace or changing at Surrey Quays), then Clapham Junction to Watford Junction (either by direct Southern train or changing at Willesden Junction). That could take a while, even on the slightly faster Southern trains. There is also a cheeky alternative but it wouldn’t be much quicker (and might be slower). As long as you don’t touch out and in again (eg at Euston when changing from tube to NR) the Oyster system will assume you’ve avoided zone 1. So, you could change at Canada Water, Waterloo or Baker Street and anywhere between Queens Park and Harrow and Wealdstone. I mention it as an option, though I don’t think I’d do it myself.

    Hope this gives you some ideas.

  433. Gemma Wilson

    Hi Mike,

    I have bought a zone 2-3 Travel card. Some mornings I Travel from Clapham South (zone 2) to Ealing Broadway (Zone 3) and it is fine and does not charge me extra. However, if I travel from Balham (zone 3) to Ealing Broadway (zone 3) I get charged an additional £2.10 per journey. However, if I get the overland from Balham to Ealing Broadway then I am not charged.

    Do you know what is going on?

    Thanks a lot,


  434. Hi Gemma,

    Yes, and no.

    If you are charged £2.10 then the system thinks you have gone through zone 1. If it doesn’t then it thinks you have stuck to zones 2 and 3. Sometimes with a travelcard loaded on your Oyster the system will behave differently to when you use PAYG alone.

    When you travel from Balham NR to Ealing Broadway the system is assuming that you go via Clapham Junction and West Brompton which is a zone 2-3 journey. When you travel from Balham LU it assumes you go via Embankment which is a zone 1-3 journey. The bit I don’t understand is why it doesn’t charge you from Clapham South. Logically that should be treated the same as Balham LU but it appears to think you might have gone via Clapham North/High Street, Clapham Junction and West Brompton.

    This is almost certainly down to the teething problems putting new routes into the system after the Surrey Quays to Clapham Junction link opened last month.

    If you are travelling via Embankment and not being charged then you are saving money every day because you should be charged. Likewise with any other zone 1 combination like changing at Stockwell and Victoria. You may find that you start being charged at some stage in the future.

    Hope that helps.

  435. Many thanks Mike, you’ve confirmed that there is noe obvious alternative. I’ve just decided to go with the easy option of the rather pricey (but as are all options) of a z1-W travelcard.

  436. Hi, I live in zone – 6 Crayford and will be travelling to Hoxton via New cross. From all the maps I’ve looked at I’m confused as to whether Hoxton is zone 1 or 2. Would I get away with a zone 2-6 or would I have to get 1-6?
    Thanks for your help.

  437. Hi Tracy,

    Hoxton is in both zones 1 and 2. If you arrive from the north then it counts as zone 2, but from Crayford it is zone 1. Sorry!

  438. Hi,
    I have just got a new job where I will be travelling from Peterborough to London KX and then onto Moorgate tube station. I am looking to get a monthly rail season ticket but not sure whether to include a travelcard to add onto an Oyster Card.

    The TFL website shows I will be travelling in Zone 1 only, at a cost of £2.10 each way if I use Oyster PAYG. Over a 4 week or 5 week month this will cost me £84 / £105 a month respectively. However East Coast who I’m looking to use, show on their website the difference in cost between having and not having a Travelcard (Z1-6) added to a monthly season ticket is £56.10, a pretty good saving over the Oyster PAYG option.

    However is this right? What has made me unsure is that FCC offer a similar season ticket / Travelcard (Z1-6) option, but this works out at £115.20 for having the Travelcard added, a large difference compared to East Coast. I will confirm with East Coast the Travelcard cost but the deal seems too good to be true.

    Has anyone a similar travelling situation which they use, if so could you advise on your ticket arrangements, obviously I’m looking for the most cost effective way of getting to and from work which boils down to I think Travelcard or no Travelcard. Oh, travelling will be in Peak time.

  439. Hi,

    You don’t need a travelcard to use Kings Cross St Pancras to Moorgate. There is a special arrangement whereby tickets to London Terminals valid into Kings Cross or Moorgate may travel on the underground between KXSP and Moorgate, and also Finsbury Park and Kings Cross, but the only intermediate station you can use on the underground is Highbury & Islington.

  440. Thanks Mike, but that has totally confused me, how does this work or have you a link where I can get further information, for instance how do I travel on the UG without a ticket?

  441. You don’t. Your ticket to London Terminals will operate the gates at both Kings Cross St Pancras and Moorgate Underground stations. Regretably there is no link I can find in the public domain, but the following extract appears in the industry manual.

    Inter-available Routes – National Rail tickets valid on LU/DLR services
    Subject to tickets being valid between the appropriate stations or for the zones shown, National Rail singles, returns and Season Tickets are valid on LU /DLR services as shown below:

    Between Finsbury Park and London Terminals:
    between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross / St Pancras Und. but intermediately at Highbury & Islington only (Victoria Line / Piccadilly Line)
    and also
    between Kings Cross / St Pancras Und. and Moorgate (via Circle, Metropolitan, Hammersmith & City and Northern Lines, but intermediately at Old Street ONLY

  442. OK Mike, I will try out on next visit which should be soon, before I splash out on the Travelcard. If all works out OK I will owe you a few pints due to the savings I could realise. Still seems too good to be true!

  443. It does seem a bargain, but it’s basically to allow journeys which used to be possible on National Rail only before they closed a line and then diverted other trains. There used to be a link from Kings Cross to Moorgate via a spur at York Road. That closed a long while ago which is when the Kings Cross to Moorgate inter-availability started. Then when BR took over the Moorgate – Drayton Park branch of the Northern line and diverted the suburban trains from Welwyn and Hertford to Moorgate they started to allow the inter-availability between Finsbury Park and Kings Cross.

  444. Hi Mike,

    Regarding my question of 04/01/13 on extension fares from Zone 6 to Brentwood; The cost is not the difference between Zone 3 – 6 £3.20 and Zone 3 – Brentwood £5.20 i.e. £2.00, nor is it the cost of a single between Zone 6 – Brentwood £2.90 but is £2.70. On this basis, it is cheaper to use PAYG rather than buy a Zone 3 – 6 Travelcard plus the extension fares.


  445. Hi Mike

    My aunt lives in Whitton, she recently got her 60+ photo oystercard. She goes to Windsor a lot, does her 60+ Oyster card cover her journey to Windsor by Southwest train?

  446. Unfortunately not. It is only valid to Feltham.

  447. hello

    Sorry if a similar question has previously been asked. I used to have a simple journey that required a zone 1-6 now its a little more complicated and i am trying to get my head around it.

    I need a Z2-6 for my main commute but on a couple of days a week i will need to go to either Euston or Kings Cross.

    I will come in to Victoria on a train…when i tap out will this automatically recognise i have a Z2-6 and just charge me the cost of Z1 journey? I then need to go on the tube from victoria to euston/kings cross – again a Z1 trip so am I right in thinking it will then just take Z1 cost again? Then in return i will go on tube Euston to Vic and board train at Vic but get off in Z 6.

    How much would those additional Z1 journeys cost me? Would the oyster cap out if i was to go over daily amount for oyster travel?

    All of these journeys would be done in peak time.

    Thank you for any help in getting me to understand the charging system.


  448. Hi Hannah,

    You will be charged for one zone 1 journey each way. In the morning it will cost £2.20 and in the afternoon it will be £2.10. In both cases it is a through NR+TfL journey which is charged as a TfL journey because your travelcard covers zone 2. The touch out at Victoria NR in the morning results in the slightly more expensive peak NR zone 1 charge which will not be reduced when the tube makes it a TfL charge.

  449. Hi I am travelling from Elephant and castle which is zone 1-2 to South Wimbledon (zone 3-4)

    do i need to buy a zone 1 – 4 card for this?

  450. Hi,

    You only need zones 2-3 for that journey.

  451. I don’t have a question just a subtle appreciation for the detail and specificity of the knowledge documented here. Thank you for your work on this invaluable resource.

  452. so it only counts as one zone1 journey? I thought id get charged twice …once when tapping out at victoria and then again when tapping out at euston?

    I also echo the comment above … wealth of knowledge and much appreciated.

  453. Hi Hannah,

    Yes, as long as the time allowed for interchange is not exceeded the journey will be charged as one. You can see full details of the time allowed at each interchange on the OSI page.

  454. Thank you.

  455. Hello Mike, hoping you can help me ASAP… I have a weekly Zone 2 – 4 Travelcard and live in Bethnal Green (Zone 2). I need to go Sudbury Hill (Zone 4). I know this journey requires me to pass through Zone 1 and was wondering how much I should top up my Oyster card for my entire journey (to Sudbury Hill and than back to Bethnal Green) to ensure I do not have a negative balance. Thanks in advance.

  456. Hi Imran,

    Each zone 1 journey is £2.10.

  457. Hello Mike, when you write bus travel is free with all travel cards, does this mean if I have a travel card for zone 2-3, I can still touch in and out on the bus in zone 4 as well? Or would I be charged the singe bus fare in on my payg balance in this case?
    Thanks for clarifying and offering this support!

  458. Hi Alex,

    Yes, all buses are free with any travelcard. TfL buses don’t operate a zonal system and they only know where you get on, not where you go.

  459. Hi Mike,

    Super helpful website. I recently moved to Lee a few months ago and am still getting to grips with train versus TFL combos!

    At the moment I travel on an annual gold card with South eastern Railway from Lee stations to Charing cross every day.

    However I am due to start a new job in Kentish Town in April, I’m obviously going to still use my gold card to charing cross then jump on the northern and continue on but should I invest in a zones 1-3 travel card for my tube journeys each week?

    When my gold card runs out in July can I simply use a monthly zones 1-3 for the entire journey?

    so sorry if this is a very obvious question!

    many thanks

  460. Hi Alexandra,

    Actually you have some other options available too. You can buy a gold card for Lee to Kentish Town which is cheaper than the London terminals version that you currently have. It is valid to London Bridge then via FCC direct to Kentish Town. The only slight problem is that in the rush hours there aren’t that many trains from London Bridge to Kentish Town because the Charing Cross services take priority. Also do bear in mind that FCC trains will bypass London Bridge completely between 2014 and 2018 while the station rebuilding programme is underway.

    The main point to note is that you can exchange your current season for a different one providing there is still at least one month validity remaining. If you swap to the Kentish Town version then you’ll get a little back because it is cheaper. But if you want the flexibility of including all rail services in zones 1-3 then you can upgrade it to a travelcard season.

    If you go to Lewisham station then you should also be able to get the travelcard on an Oyster card. This means that if you ever travel beyond zone 3 but within the Oyster area you will only pay single fares for the zones not covered by your travelcard. The ticket office also ought to set the railcard flag which will give you 1/3 off all off-peak fares and caps on Oyster because of the gold card. In fact you can do that right now if you have an Oyster card; just follow the instructions on the Railcards page on this site.

    Finally, if you want to use the tube from Charing Cross to Kentish Town then you only need zones 1-2. A travelcard is not worthwhile if you only make 10 single tube journeys a week.

  461. Hi Mike,

    I’d be catching the bus from Zone 3 to Zone 2 then catching the tube from there to Zone 1. So I’d get a Travelcard for Zones 1-2, but would this include the twice-daily bus from Zone 3 to Zone 2?

    Can the card tell what Zone the bus is in? Sounds silly, right, but need to know before I start trying to touch on with no credit on my Oyster! (Which has happened to me way too many times…)

    As you can guess, I’m new to London! Your site is great by the way.


  462. Thanks Liz,

    That’s fine. There are no zones for buses because the system can’t tell where the bus is and it’s a flat fare scheme anyway. You won’t be able to use Croydon trams with only zones 1 and 2, but all buses are fine.

  463. I’ll be travelling to the Oval tonight. I have a 2-6 travelcard and i’ll be leaving from Poplar DLR, going into bank then down to the oval. How much should i put on my oyster for this journey ? I assume that i have to touch in at poplar then touch out at Oval. On the way home I’ll touch in at Oval and make sure i touch out in a Zone 2 station ( go home via Stratford) to ensure i’m not overcharged ?

  464. Hi Gary,

    You’ll need £2.10 assuming that your card is a standard adult card with no discount entitlement. On the way back you will need to travel via Clapham North and Clapham High Street to avoid a zone 1 fare.

  465. Thanks Mike. Appreciate that. Bit of a long way round to get home though isn’t it.

  466. It is, yes, but if money is your driving factor it can be worth it.

  467. Hello, just a quick question. If i want to buy annual travelcard zones 1-3 , Tube, DLR and London Overground travelcard , and i want to pay for it with cheque from my work company.
    however i need to know appropriate railway coach company name to whom cheque will be payable to. My Manager says it should be to Network Rail name, but i am not getting only Network Rail travelcard, i am getting all together with usage of tube, overground , buses.
    Hopefully to get an answer from you .

    Thank you !

    Kind Regards,

  468. Hi
    You did response to a previous question, which I cannot find now but Thank you for answering.

    I would like to know about mixing travel card and pay and go.
    I would like to buy oyster travelcard zones 3 & 4 with pay and go to get into Central London from time to time.

    What I would like to know can I use my travelcard oyster on a bus within zone 4 or will it take the pay and go money on there.


  469. Hi Julia,

    It depends on who runs the booking office where you buy the ticket. It’s unlikely to be Network Rail because they don’t run any stations. Also, sometimes the official name of the company is not what they’re colloquially known as. My best advice would be to ask at the station before getting the cheque made out.

  470. Hi Hannah,

    There are no zones for buses. If you have any travelcard then all buses are free.

  471. Mike – great site and information

    i live in north greenwich and currently have a zone2-3 travelcard monthly. i recently used it to travel into central london (baker st on the jubilee) and found that the system deducted £2.1 for each trip. i thought the system only took the difference between the zone travelcard i have and the cost for travelling into zone 1 (which i would expect to be either £1.6 or £1.2 dependingo on whether you choose zone 1-2 or zone 1-3). can you shed some light on this pls?

    thanks in advance

  472. Hi Simon,

    When you mix PAYG and a travelcard it will charge you for the zones not covered as if you were just making a journey in those zones. In your case that is a zone 1 journey which is £2.10.

  473. Hi Mike,

    My daily commute is from Hampton Wick (Z6) to Vauxhall (Z2) and then involves a walk to near Victoria (Z1). I have previously been buying full Zone 6- Zone 1 weekly and monthly travelcards for simplicity, however am considering getting a Zone 6 – Zone 2 and using PAYG for Zone 1 if I decide to go out into Zone 1 after work or at weekends or need to continue my journey on the train to Waterloo instead of Vauxhall.

    I have a 16-25 discount card and will sometimes be going into Zone 1 after work (2-3 times a week?) and sometimes (usually off peak) be traveling from Hampton Wick (Z6) to Waterloo transferring through to Waterloo East and taking another national rail to Blackheath (Z3).

    I appreciate that it is difficult to know at all accurately which option would be cheaper when it can change week on week and at short notice, but from your experience, with various price capping and the second peak time in the evening, is getting a Z2- Z6 travelcard really worth bothering with?

    Thanks again for providing such a great service


  474. Hi James,

    If your usual commute ends at Vauxhall then a zone 1-6 travelcard is overkill. You have four realistic options for that route depending on how far you want to go. Prices are all for weekly tickets:

    1) Hampton Wick to Vauxhall £26.80 (not valid beyond Vauxhall at all)
    2) Zones 2-6 Travelcard £38.00 (uses PAYG for journeys through zone 1)
    3) Hampton Wick to London £42.70 (valid to Waterloo, Victoria, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Blackfriars, London Bridge, City Thameslink)
    4) Zones 1-6 Travelcard £55.60

    Options 1 and 3 are only available on paper, but might be worth considering if you have a week with little or no extra travel. A return paper ticket to Blackheath from either Vauxhall or Waterloo East is £4.55 after 0930. Option 2 should be on Oyster to benefit from the best prices when zone 1 is required. With a railcard on your Oyster and option 2 you’ll pay the following charges for single zone 1 journeys:

    Peak National Rail only: £2.20
    Off-peak National Rail only: £1.15
    Peak NR + TfL starting on NR: £2.20
    Peak NR + TfL starting on TfL: £2.10
    Off-peak NR + TfL: £1.40

    With a railcard, the off-peak cap for zones 1-2 is only £4.60, even when travel is between 1600 and 1900.

    I hope that helps work out the best ticket for you.

  475. Helou.
    I have a question for you, can you please help me?
    We are coming to London in June and do not know how to decide on which transport ticket o buy. We will be buying a Travel card for 7 days (so we can use the 2for1 deals). We can’t decide which one to take. If we take the one that covers zones 1and2, how do we pay if we go to visit Wimbledon, which is in zone 3? Is it better for us to buy 7 days card for zones 1-3?

    Thank you very much for your help!

  476. Hi Kokica,

    Unfortunately, to get the 2-for-1 offers you need to have a paper travelcard which does make it harder to extend beyond the outermost zone. On National Rail services you can buy a ticket from boundary zone 2 which won’t add too much money each time. I’m not sure whether the same applies on the Underground. Whether you should buy the larger travelcard depends on how many times you will use the extra validity. Zones 1-2 costs £30.40 per week; adding zone 3 is a further £5.20 and zone 4 is a further £8.00 on top of zone 3. If you make more than a couple of journeys into zone 3 then it would probably be worth it.

    Hope that helps.

  477. Nicky Black

    Hi Mike,

    What a great website!!

    I have a query: I have recently started a new job in Camden (Z2) and I live in Woolwich (Z4). I have to travel through Z1 to get there. I have been buying a weekly 2-4 travelcard and paying the extra for Z1. Do you think this is the best way to do it or should I just purchase a Z1-4 weekly instead?

    I am also thinking about purchasing an annual travelcard so again, am thinking if I should just get a 1-4……?

    Thank you!

  478. Hi Nicky,

    If you make 10 journeys accross zone 1 in a week then it will cost more with PAYG for the centre. 9 or less and you win. An annual season is cheaper per day so you’ll pay more with PAYG on fewer journeys, possibly 7 or 8 a week.

    But … Have you considered going Woolwich Arsenal to Stratford on DLR then Overground to Camden Road? As long as you touch the pink validator on the Overground platform at Stratford then it won’t charge for zone 1.

  479. Hi Mike,

    This is a truly informative site, thank you! You’ve already answered some questions, but I still have a few. I live in Z2 (White City) and travel to Hendon Central (Z3) everyday for University; so purchased the zones 1-3 monthly travelcard. However, recently I’ve received a new work placement at Chase farm hospital, so the closest overground station is Gordon Hill, and it’s going to require me to use the NR trains. My journey in short will be; White city to Oxford Circus via Central, to then change on to Victoria line to Finsbury Park, and then catch the London King’s Cross St Pancras trains to Stevenage (for around 8 stops) to Gordon Hill with NR.

    So my questions are:
    -If I buy a zones 1-5 monthly travelcard on my 18+ oyster card, am I able to swipe in at Gordon Hill (as that’s in Z5) without added charges?
    -Also am I able to even use my zones 1-5 travelcard on the NR trains as their site mentioned something like “You must purchase 1-2, 1-4 or 1-6 zones” …So will I have to fork out more money? For the 1-6?
    -If I was to get the 16-25 railcard discount, would that be applied over my monthly travelcard with my oyster card, or not?

    Any help would be much appreciated 🙂 Thanks.

  480. Hi Mike

    Great site!

    Was wondering if you could answer a question for me please. I have just moved to East Croydon (Z5) and will be staying there around 4 days a week and staying 3 days a week with my girlfriend in Mile End (Z2). I work in South Kensington (peak hours), so is my best bet to buy a Zone 1-5 season ticket to cover all journeys or get a Zone 1-2 and use PAYG for the extra for when I go to East Croydon?

    Many Thanks


  481. Hi Mike,

    My daughter has just turned 16 and she and her friend will be travelling from Eastbourne to Highbury & Islington. I have bought her a paper ticket from EB to Clapham Junction (she has a 16-25 railcard). And as she also still uses a child oyster (valid for 6 months after her 16th birthday) I assume she will be able to use that from CJ to Highbury (via Victoria I think?) I’m so confused though about whether she needs to touch in at CJ? Would she have to exit the station to do so? No one at EB ticket office has a clue about this. Thanks for any help

  482. Hi Kadijah,

    Yes you can use a zones 1-5 travelcard to get to Gordon Hill. The 1-2, 1-4 and 1-6 travelcards are daily versions; period travelcards are available for any zone combination apart from a single zone. There is no discount on season tickets with a 16-25 railcard.

    Hope that helps.

  483. Hi Steven,

    This is quite complex. A zone 1-2 travelcard will not save money if the only journeys are from Mile End to South Kensington. It will save on a journey from East Croydon. Mixing the two may or may not save depending on the number of each journey and whether there are any other journeys on top of the commute. A zone 1-5 travelcard would only save if you use it for at least 4 return peak journeys.

  484. Hi Namrita,

    She will need to touch in at Clapham Junction. As a child travelling off-peak it doesn’t matter which way they go, but an adult will find the direct Overground trains via either Peckham Rye or Willesden Junction are cheaper. Victoria line should be a little quicker.

  485. Hi,
    Google brought up your site because the question has probably already been asked in list above – but after spending a lot of time reading I really can’t find it so will ask again.
    We want to go to Heathrow Airport in June. I see that the Heathrow Connect is cheaper than the Heathrow Express. We would leave from Upper Warlingham and take the train to Victoria, then a cab to Paddington. If we buy Z1-6 paper Travelcards, at Paddington do we only need to pay the Hayes & Harlington to Heathrow fare which is £5.60 each? It is a bit unclear on the website whether they will honour the prepaid Z1-6 Travelcard to that point.

  486. Hi Claudette,

    Yes, travelcards are valid on Heathrow Connect between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington. They are also valid all the way to Heathrow on the Piccadilly line, although I can understand not wanting to use that with cases etc.

  487. Thank you Mike. We have large cases as we are going away for a long time and they have been a real problem in the past for us with the stairs on the Underground. As we want to stay on the level we need to take a taxi between Victoria and Paddington.
    None of this is ideal but last time we booked a cab then sat in such bad traffic on the M25 it became more stressful!

  488. Hi Mike, great site. I need your help please. I’ve just received a staff nominee travel card. I leave in Purfleet Essex and I travel to Bond street. I’m trying to understand what my options are regarding using my staff Oyster card and whether to buy a monthly paper ticket to cover the Barking to Gray route or to do oyster pay as you go and how much would this be. Thank you

  489. Hi Simon,

    I’m not familiar with the various staff cards, unfortunately. You can’t get travelcards on Oyster from Grays group stations so you’ll probably need to get a paper ticket.

  490. Simon,

    Assuming you transfer to the tube at Barking then the staff nominee card should see you free from there (as long as you stay on a TfL mode of transport) so you’re really looking at the cheapest regular method of returning between Barking and Purfleet…which is where Mike has more knowledge than I do.

    What I don’t know is whether you could stay on the c2c line beyond Barking using staff oyster (because the tube and NR lines both go that way) and whether that would give you any benefit. (Internet scuttlebut claims staff cards are valid on the line between Fenchurch Street and Upminster but I can’t quote an official source so you WILL need to confirm that for yourself if you intend to try it.)

    Agin, whether this would provide you any benefit in terms of journey options is Mike’s domain rather than mine.


    From memory, when I was applying to TfL last year, the Staff Nominee card give free travel on all TfL modes of transport (Tube/Bus/Tram) if that helps. I would always add a caveat that the staff nominee needs to confirm the validity for themselves since my information is from a fixed point in last year and details may have changed in the meantime.

  491. Thanks Mike and Feathers, I’ve had to get a monthly C2C rail ticket for Barking to Grays @ £134. You are correct Feathers. Mike any cheaper alternatives? (:) thanks again

  492. Not sure you’re going to get any cheaper on that short a journey with only one TOC involved.

  493. Hi Mike,
    Question only partly covered earlier so here it goes:
    Can i buy a NR season ticket from Hildenborough to Orpington and a zone 1-6 travel card, to use for my daily commute to marylebone?
    Complication: My morning train calls at Orpington but my Return goes through the station without stopping.
    many thanks

  494. Hi Fred,

    You’ll find the question answered in full on the previous page to this one.

  495. Hello Mike,
    I have a 2to 5 zone travelcard.
    I will be travelling to Potters bar from Baker street tomorrow around 2 pm.
    Will you be able to tell me how much extra will it cost me and also can i use my oyater pay as you go?
    Thanks in advance

  496. Hi Sabita,

    You’ve actually got two extra sections to cover on that journey. Firstly from Baker Street to Finsbury Park, then from New Barnet to Potters Bar. The first one can be made using PAYG as long as you touch out between Finsbury Park and New Barnet (ie the system needs to know you finished within your zones. The cost for this bit is £2.10 at any time. The second one requires a paper ticket from New Barnet to Potters Bar. The train does NOT need to call at New Barnet because your travelcard season allows extending travel without the need to stop at the station where you change tickets. My recommendation would be to use PAYG to travel on the tube between Baker Street and Finsbury Park (Met then Pic lines), then buy the ticket New Barnet to Potters Bar at the NR ticket office and catch the next FCC train to Potters Bar from there.

  497. Hi Mike

    Great website – thanks!

    My question is – my daily commute will be from Canary Wharf to Syon Lane via Waterloo but can’t decide whether to get the London Zones 1-4 travelcard loaded onto my registered PAYG oyster card or as a separate paper travel card? i assume if i get the paper ticket i wont have to bother touching in and out at syon lane as it has no gates, which would be convenient. However, if i do load the travelcard onto my oyster will i still need a photocard?

    Do you think i should consider anything else regarding choosing between a paper travelcard or oyster loaded travelcard?


  498. Hi Anthony,

    As long as your entire journey is within the zones covered on your travelcard then you also do not need to touch in or out when there are no gates or they are locked open. If you travel beyond the zones covered (say to Feltham) then you will only be charged for the extra zones as long as you touch in and out at each end. Thus in your case you’d be charged a zone 5-6 single.

    My understanding is that you don’t need a photocard when purchasing season tickets on Oyster, but if the duration is longer than 7 days then the Oyster card must be registered to you.

    Hope this helps.

  499. Hi Mike,

    I’ll be visiting London with family for 7-days in August. Just concluded that I am suited best with the 7-day zone 1-2 TravelCard (purchased at any railway station) since it offers 2-for-1 discounts at many attractions. My question is if we wanted to travel outside of zone 2 and wanted to take advantage of Oyster card rates would we be able to add the TravelCard plans to our Oyster cards? If so, would we need to surrender our TravelCards (along with the 2-for-1 discounts)?

  500. Hi Dan,

    You can only have the travelcard on Oyster OR on paper. However, most Underground lines have a station on the zone 2/3 boundary so it wouldn’t add much time to get off one train, exit with travelcard and enter with PAYG Oyster then continue the journey. That way you would be charged the same as if you had your travelcard on Oyster, while still getting the 2 for 1 benefits. Sadly the same is not true of many National Rail lines (with a few exceptions) where you would need to switch at the final station in zone 2.

  501. Hi there

    I have just received my 60+ London Oyster photocard – I sometimes have to travel from Waterloo to Twickenham by South West Trains [after 9.30am]. I can’t really tell from the map if the card covers me for Twickenham or if I have to buy a ticket from Richmond to Twickenham [or if I should catch a bus from Richmond]



  502. Hi Nick,

    Waterloo to Twickenham is free after 9.30am. You can go all the way to Feltham on that line.

  503. Hi Mike,
    This seems a like a great service that you’ve set up!
    I have a quick question.

    Clapham railway station is served by both travel zone 2 and zone 3.

    I have a travel card from from zones 3-4 and had to travel from white hart lane (zone 3) to Clapham and was charged which I do not understand since my travel card covered zone 3.

    Could you please explain is this a fault or if the charges are correct, and if they are how does that work?

    Best wishes,

  504. Hi Lakhbir,

    So, you travelled from White Hart Lane to Seven Sisters, changed onto the Victoria Line and changed again at Euston or Warren Street onto the Northern Line before ending at Clapham South. Therefore your journey was zones 3-2-1-2. With a travelcard for zones 3-4 on your Oyster you’d be charged for a zone 1-2 single when you touch out.

  505. Hi Mike.

    Thanks for the help. I think I’ve worked out the best route for Wandsworth common to Woking on a season ticket would be to get zones 2-6 plus Woking?

    Would this be the same price as Wandsworth common to Woking (ie do you have to specifically ask for zones) or does the travelcard allow access to those zones from which you pass through?



  506. Hi Russell,

    Wandsworth Common to Woking only allows travel by permitted routes between the two stations. Woking to zones 2-6 travelcard allows travel throughout London outside zone 1 and all buses/trams. The travelcard will be more expensive.

  507. Hi Mike

    As a freelance Personal Trainer I travel all over London and have been using the pay-as-you-go auto top-up service (20 pounds are added to my card every time it drops below 10 pounds). However I am finding that, whilst convenient, I am not saving any money

    My question is: If I get a weekly zone 1-2 travel card (most of my work is within these zones) how much will I be charged to travel to zone 3 and beyond? And – does that come off of my card in a pay-as-you-go fashion?

    Hope that was clear


  508. Hi Ben,

    Auto-top up doesn’t save money, it just saves queueing to make top-ups and/or worrying whether you have enough credit. As explained in the page above, if you travel beyond the zones on your travelcard you will be charged single fares just for the zones not covered, and this comes off your PAYG balance. You must touch in and out at each end of your journey, even at the end which is within your zones.

  509. derrick gordon

    Hi Mike, should I be charged for passing through Zone 1 as opposed to using Zone 1 when travelling from South Harrow to Highbury & Islington?

  510. Hi Derrick,

    If you follow the advice here about routes and touching of pink validators then you should not be charged for using zone 1. There is no difference between passing through and using a zone.

  511. Why was I charged £6.20/6.70 on my oyster when I went from Victoria to Southbury? I looked for an oyster validator (red/pink) but found only another yellow touch in/touch out pad when I arrived to the British rail at Seven Sisters I think it was. Any ideas?

  512. Hi Judy,

    £6.20 is the peak fare from Victoria to Southbury. Unfortunately that fare comes under the mixed NR and TfL category which attracts a premium when it involves zone 1.

  513. Hi Mike,
    Hpe you can help, ive tried to read as much as i can but since you seem to be the font of knowledge when it comes to these things i thought i would just ask!
    Am i right in thinking that bus journeys are non zone specific? So therefore if i had a zone 1&2 travelcard but needed to get a bus in zone 3 would it still work?
    I ask as i may move to an area close to stations in zone 2 (but closest is in 3) so thinking it may be quicker and easier to hop on a bus to the zone 2 station (which has better connections anyway) but the bus wouldnt be in zone 2.
    does that make sense? Hope so!

  514. Hello Mike and thank you for this guide!

    This article neatly explained that if I mix NR&TfL journeys it is charged as a mixed ride. I have Student 18+ Zone 1-2 Travelcard. I travelled on a Saturday from Clapham Junction to Vauxhall (NR). Then changed (touch out & touch in!) to Victoria line to Euston, then changed to Northern to High Barnet (Zone 5). I was charged ₤1.9 (NR) and not ₤1.5 (TfL). What is the transfer time to make it still count as a single journey – this obviously was count as a one?

  515. Hi Roger,

    Total sense, and buses are completely zoneless. You can even use TfL buses outside the zones with a 1&2 travelcard (eg Redhill, Bluewater, Slough, etc). The only thing you can’t use free with a zone 1-2 travelcard is the Croydon trams because they need at least one of zones 3-6.

  516. Hi Marko,

    Clapham Junction to Vauxhall is a NR journey so the whole trip would be charged as a NR+TfL rate which is the same as NR outside of zone 1. You have 20 minutes between touch out and in again at Vauxhall before the journey would be split in two. Alternatively, instead of going straight between the two stations, touch in on a bus and get off straight away. This will break the journey in two and won’t be charged as you have a travelcard.

  517. Hi Mike,

    I hope you are well.

    I would like to enquire as to what can you suggest for us to use in our travel. We are relocating from Yorkshire to Borehamwood but our jobs is in South Kensington and Whitechapel, London.

    What is the cheapest way that we can use if our work starts at 8am and finishes at 8.30pm or 8pm to 8.30am. We are leaving the flat around 6.30am or pm and the train station in Borehamwood is just a 2-3 minutes walk. Will the seasoned tickets benefits us? We also have an oyster card each which we just bought, is it possible to be cheaper to use the oyster card 7 days a week? I hope you can give me advice about this and thank you in advance for any info that you can give.

  518. Hi Pru,

    For South Kensington you will almost certainly be better off with a travelcard season, especially if the card is being used regularly more than 5 days a week. The only potential saver is if touch in at Elstree & Borehamwood is before 0630 and no return is made starting between 1600 and 1900. In that case you would only be charged off-peak fares and a travelcard would be overkill. The other shift looks like being peak in both directions sadly, so you will benefit from a travelcard.

    Whitechapel is the same, but it shouldn’t be. They are assuming you will change at Farringdon, but it should be possible to avoid Underground by changing at West Hampstead and Highbury & Islington. That fare isn’t yet available, but if it becomes available than the maths may change.

    Just one quick word of caution. If you put a travelcard season on an Oyster card then the card is no longer transferable.

  519. Hi there, I have a query and was wondering if you could help.

    I was thinking of getting a zones 2 to 4 travelcard as I live in East Dulwich and work in Surrey, and then doing PAYG for going into zone 1. However, If I travel from National Rail from East Dulwich (zone 2) to London Bridge (zone 1), how much would I be charged? Also, if I was then to travel from London Bridge to say Camden, how much would that be – is it a different price to the National Rail charge?

    Also, as another example (sorry!) If I was to travel from New Malden (zone 4) to Waterloo (zone 1) and then go from Waterloo to another stop in zone 1, how much would that be?

    Also, if I travel through zone 1 to get to another zone, would I be charged (so for example, from Brixton to Highbury and Islington)?

    Any help would be most appreciated as I’m trying to work out if it is cheaper to get a zones 1 to 4 (as I currently have), or get a zones 2 to 4 and then PAYG.


  520. Hi Vicki,

    If you have a travelcard which includes zone 2 but not zone 1 then you will be charged as follows:

    TfL-only route: £2.10 at any time (zone 1 fare).
    NR-only route: £1.70 off-peak, £2.20 peak (zone 1 fare).
    Mixed route starting on an NR leg: £2.10 off-peak, £2.20 peak.
    Mixed route starting on a TfL leg: £2.10 at any time.

    You will never be charged the through fares of £3.10/£3.70. The above fares will be charged whether you start or end in zone 1 or just cross it without getting off in zone 1.

  521. Brilliant, thanks for your help!


  522. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your help!

    I need to travel from Stratford (z3) to Boston Manor (z4) Monday-Friday for about 10 weeks. Will I need to get a Zone 1-4 travel card or is there a cheaper option I can consider?


  523. Hi Femi,

    Yes, if you travel via the Overground from Stratford to Gunnersbury and then change there and at Turnham Green you will avoid zone 1. Alternatively you can change at West Brompton and Earls Court. You must touch the pink reader at either Gunnersbury or West Brompton to indicate that you’ve avoided zone 1.

    If you ony make this journey and back 5 days a week then PAYG is likely to be cheaper than a travelcard. The more additional travel you make the more worthwhile a travelcard becomes.

  524. Hello Mike,

    I am trying to understand how much I will be charged from the following journey, can you help?!
    I have a Zone 2 -5 Travelcard.

    How much will
    1) Old Street to Twickenham Cost? (going via Old street, Waterloo and City and then Waterloo to Twicks)
    2) A single Journey in London Zone (on a night out) followed by above journey to get home?

    I am really confused!

    Thanks in advance

  525. Hi Nicky,

    If I’ve understood you correctly, you want to make a single journey in zone 1 followed by a single trip from zone 1 out to Twickenham. Taking the easy one first, (1) £2.10. (2) Probably £2.10, but if the first part of your journey starts before 1900 and finishes at Waterloo Mainline then it will be £2.20. If you can describe journey 2 in more detail then I can tell which it will be.

  526. Hi, I’m working in Esher at the moment, (live zone 3). Can I buy a weekly/monthly zone 1-6 Oyster and then weekly/monthly top up from Surbiton to Esher?
    I can’t touch out at Esher so would need to be all a paper ticket, is this right?


  527. Hi Joy,

    You can buy two seasons as long at the train calls at the changeover point, which is Surbiton in this case so probably not a problem. I’m not convinced it will be cost effective though. You don’t say where in zone 3 you live, but depending on whether you need to cross zones 1 and 2 or not you can either get a paper Esher to zones 3-6 or Esher to zones 1-6 travelcard.

  528. I live in Ealing. I currently go into Waterloo and out to Esher. Is there a better route?


  529. Hi Joy,

    Yes! Take the tube to Earls Court and then the District branch to Wimbledon. That will cut out zone 1. Earls Court is dual zoned 1 and 2, but as long as you come from and go back to stations via the west end of the station you will not be charged for zone 1.

  530. Mike, thank you so much! By my reckoning this would be £116 (zones 3-6) and £56 (Surbiton to Esher) Is this right?

    Do I just ask for a zones 3-6 + Esher when I buy at the station?

    If this is right its much cheaper than my original plan. If I need to travel into zone 1/2 can I use my Oyster card for the extra?

    Sorry I find TFL baffling!

  531. Hi Joy,

    You’ve not quite got it. Earls Court is in zone 2 (as far as you’re concerned) therefore you need a zone 2-6 travelcard (146) plus Esher to Surbiton (£56.10) making £202.10/month overall. The alternative is an Esher to zones 2-6 combined which costs £184/month. This would be on paper and would mean that you’d have to stop at a zone 1/2 station (Earls Court and Notting Hill Gate both count) to touch in your Oyster for the zone 1 bit of the journey.

  532. Thank you. I hope this is my final question!

    If I got a 2-6 travelcard with Esher on top. The card wouldn’t know where I started my journey (from Esher) as I wouldn’t touch in at Surbiton. Therefore will I get stopped trying to change from train to tube at Wimbledon.

    Just trying to work out the easiest way to do this as I travel into Zone 1 for shopping etc so it would mean I’d have to get off half way through my journey and touch in if I got a paper ticket.

    The first option whilst more expensive would mean I could pay to go into zone 1 through PAYG on my Oyster.


  533. I live in Sidcup and I am full time student I go to wembley twice a week. What would be the best option for me. At the moment I am paying £16.40 for travel card is there any options available ???

  534. Hi Joy,

    Therein lies the trade-off between the convenience of Oyster for zone 1 journeys versus the cost of having two tickets. If you have a paper zone 2-6 + Esher then you will need to get off to touch in for zone 1. Fortunately for you it is very easy because you either use Vauxhall or Earls Court, both of which are dual zoned (1 and 2) so your travelcard is valid and your Oyster will only charge from zone 1. You won’t be stopped at Wimbledon as that is in zone 3 and your travelcard is valid on all trains unless they run non-stop to Waterloo or beyond Esher.

  535. Hi ShreeRam,

    Yes, there are options. First off, get an oyster card as the anytime cap for zones 1-6 is only £15.80, saving you 60p straight away. If you can tell me where you go to in Wembley and whether any other Wembley stations might be useable then there might be further savings.

  536. Hi Mike
    I am looking to move to Watford and would like some help working out my daily commute to Canary Wharf.
    I understand i can get an annual gold card to travel on national rail – this would take care of the Watford to Euston journey. But what would be the best option to continue the journey to Canary Wharf? PAYG or another zone 1-2 travel card?
    Are there any alternative solutions too?

  537. Hi nuba,

    Neither really. For just £404/year you can add travel throughout zones 1-9 in London which compares favourably with the £1216/year price of an annual zones 1-2 travelcard. And as Watford is within the Oyster area you can load the whole thing on your Oyster card. You’ll still get a gold record card which can be used to buy discounted tickets elsewhere in the Network area.

    There is an alternative solution if you don’t mind the journey taking longer. Travel from Watford Junction to Willesden Junction then take the Overground to Stratford and the Jubilee or DLR to Canary Wharf. This avoids zone 1 and brings the annual price down to £2144, a saving of £1024 on the all zones travelcard option. You will need to touch your card on the pink reader at Stratford while you change.

  538. Hi Mike, could you confirm for me is I have found a way of saving £25 a week on my travel?

    I travel on a Friday, rush hour from Diss to London Liverpool Street. Anytime day return £96.60 (not a misprint!) Instead I go Diss to Shenfield, change at Chelmsford. Anytime day return £54.50. Then Shenfield to Liverpool Street, Oyster return £16.60. Total £71.10, saving £25.50.

    Only thing is, I guess I would have to get off the train at Shenfield to touch in on the Oyster reader? This might mean getting a slighly earlier Diss train but worth it if all this is legal and above board and my sums are right.

    Thanks for a great site by the way.

  539. Hi Shannon,

    Yes, that is fine. It will be slower as you have to change at Chelmsford and again at Shenfield to touch in, but it’s all completely legal and above board.

    You could also buy a Shenfield to London Anytime Return at £18.00 which would save you getting off there. The train that you are on must call at Shenfield, but you don’t have to alight.

  540. Brilliant Mike, and so fast. I also looked at Diss to Chelmsford (or Colchester) day return and then one of those stations to London Liverpool Street. I could just buy two anytime day returns in advance. That would save me about £25 also but presumably the train would have to actually stop at Chelmsford (or Colchester) to make it legal, but I wouldn’t actually have to get off. Is that right? Thanks again.

  541. Yes, as long as the train calls where you switch tickets you can use more than one ticket to make a journey.

  542. Hi Mike,
    I have a zone 1-2 travelcard for 7 days. I am a tourist and am around for a short while. I need to travel to Heathrow (zone 6). Could you kindly explain the process of how the extension fare would be charged. I do not have an oyster card.

  543. Hi Sandeep,

    If your travelcard is on paper you’ll need to get a ticket from Turnham Green which is on the boundary between zones 2 and 3. If your travelcard is on Oyster then it will work out the fare automatically as a zone 3-6 single.

  544. Thanks Mike. Can I take the same ticket from my boarding station eg Green Park? Secondly how much would I charged extra? Can I buy a weekly travelcard from a railway station or a tube station? Thanks

  545. Hi Sandeep,

    You can buy weekly travelcards from both rail and tube stations. If you buy it at a tube station then it will have to be issued on an Oyster card which will make the extension much cheaper. I imagine Green Park could sell the paper extension, but I’ve never tried. The cash fare is £5.50 at any time while on Oyster it is £2.70 in the peak or £1.50 off-peak.

  546. Thanks Mike. You’ve been a great help. Shall revert you in case I need further advice.

  547. Hello Mike,

    Will need your assistance on buying my annual travelcard. I have to commute to Hayes & Harlington (Z5) by either taking HC/GW train from Paddington Sta (Z1) or taking the Central line from Notting Hill gate (Z2) to Ealing Broadway and catch the HC/GW train. Second option will help me save £800 per year. If so, could you please confirm the zone 2-5 travelcard will also let me use the bus in zone 1.

  548. Hi tash,

    Absolutely. Buses are not restricted by zones at all.

  549. Hi Mike,
    I started reading the long list of questions/answers, but you have answered far too many and it would take hours, so sorry if you have answered this previously!
    I have a 1-4 travelcard, and also some PAYG money on it. I usually travel between Raynes Park and Zone 1… If on the odd occasion I wish to travel from Leicester Square, via Waterloo to Zone 5 (Stoneleigh), will it charge me the whole fare from Zone 1 to Zone 5, or will it take into account my travelcard and charge just a little bit of the fare (i.e. just the bit going from Z4 to Z5)?

  550. Hi Sean,

    Just a zone 5 single.

  551. Hi, I have n Oyster travel card for zones 2 & 3. I need to travel to zone 1 sometimes. How much exactly i will be charged extra. Please give me the peak and off peak amounts. Thanks

  552. Hi Agatha,

    It will almost always be £2.10. If your travel from zone 2 to zone 1 is using NR set fares then it could be £1.70 off-peak or £2.20 peak.

  553. Hi Mike,

    If I have a annual oyster travelcard Z 1-6, but need to travel to ockendon station (NR – Zone G) which has an oyster PAYG reader.

    I am intending on travelling from Fenchurch street (touching in) and then touching out at Ockendon station (outside zone 6).

    How much will I get charged for this journey, factoring in the fact that I already have a Z 1-6 travelcard?


  554. Hi Zan,

    You’ll be charged the fare for travelling between stations in the Grays group – £2.00 peak and £1.20 off-peak (assuming you have the gold card discount loaded).

  555. Hi Mike,

    thanks for clarifying that. where does it say that on TfL? i have been struggling to find this information, and their call centres are most unhelpful.

    would it be cheaper to get annual Z 1-2 travelcard and with that a gold card. load the gold card onto the oyster and then use the oyster to ockendon?


  556. Hi Zan,

    When you travel beyond the zones covered by a travelcard you always get charged for the extra zones. In the case of Grays there are fares between the stations in that group on the single fare finder, so that is what you would be charged. The TfL site is a little vague about how this charge works, but experience confirms that this is so.

    You say that you already have an annual zone 1-6 travelcard on your Oyster. You should have had the gold card discount loaded at the same time, but if not, just take the Oyster card and the gold record card along to a tube station and ask them to add it.

  557. Hi Mike, I need your assistance on buying my annual travel card. I have to commute from Addington Village tram station to Guildford rail station. I will be using my season ticket for train and bus/tram journey. Could you please confirm which zone travel card i have purchase.

    Please let me know if I have any cheapest option.

    Kind regards

  558. Hi Arun,

    As long as you travel from West Croydon to Guildford via Sutton you will need a Guildford to zones 5-6 season. If you want to use the train between Wimbledon and Guildford then you’ll need to make it to zones 3-6. If you want to use trains via Clapham Junction to East Croydon then you’ll need zones 2-6.

  559. Hi,

    I’m potentially going to start a new job soon which will require me to make a journey from Thornton Heath (z4) to London Bridge. There is a direct stopping train for this service but it is also infrequent. If ever I miss it, there is an alternative route via E Croydon taking an express train to z1.

    If I have PAYG as well as a zone 1-4 travelcard what will happen? If it was PAYG only I’d be charged 1-4 NR, but I’ll be going outside my travelcard zones with an ability to pay (PAYG), but it probably wont register. Would I have problems with ticket inspectors etc? The z5 route would probably be occasional, so I don’t really want to pay for the extra zone all the time.

  560. Hi Matt,

    The rules for using Oyster say to touch in at the start and out at the end and the system will calculate the amount required to be paid. It is accepted that sometimes people might make a slightly longer journey than they pay for, but as long as you follow the rules you will be fine. You are correct though that it would be wise to have enough to cover a zone 5 single just in case you need to bail out before going back inside your zones.

  561. Thanks for the quick reply – I’m on auto-topup anyway so being caught short shouldn’t be an option!

  562. Hi Mike,

    I work 5 times a week and to get to work I get a bus from my house to East Croydon station, then a 9:30am train to Clapham Junction, and then a bus to Battersea but then I get a lift home in the evening and I’m currently buying a weekly 2-5 travelcard, but is it actually cheaper for me to do PAYG on Oyster than use a travelcard?


  563. Hi Jill,

    It’s very close. A weekly travelcard costs £30.20 while 5 peak rail trips plus 2 buses each day is £30.00. Each day that you can touch in at East Croydon just after 0930 will save a pound as your journey would then be off-peak. Obviously if you make just one extra journey a week then the travelcard becomes more worthwhile.

  564. Hi Mike,

    I live in Shooters Hill and I recently took up a job in Egham (few stops outside of zone 6). I was just wondering what would be the cheapest way to buy monthly ticket?

    I managed to think of one option but could you tell me if there is a cheaper option?

    Buy a monthly travelcard zone 1-6 (£213.60) and then buy a season ticket from Feltham to Egham (£110.60) which gives me a total of £324.20

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks!

  565. Hi Mikey,

    Yes, you can buy a combined Egham to zone 1-6 paper travelcard for £305.70.

  566. Hi,

    I’m a new commuter and I’m really struggling to get my head round if it’s cheaper to get a combined travel card or travel card plus oytser?

    Currently, I commute from Chelmsford to Stratford, change there and then head to Embankment (Zone 1). I saw on the platform in Stratford I could touch in on an oyster system and it said Stratford was zone 1 (thought it was zone 3 but shows what I know)?

    Now I was thinking of getting a season ticket to Stratord then oyster card from there, but I can’t figure out what is better in terms of prices or if it’s better to just get a combined travel card zones 1-6 via Greater Anglia….?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated…


  567. Hi James,

    Stratford is in zone 3, so you were right. Looking at the prices you will just be better off getting a Chelmsford to zones 1-6 travelcard rather than Chelmsford to Stratford and then PAYG. Any extra journeys will make it more worthwhile.

  568. Hi,

    I have a zone 1-2 oyster monthly card with almost two weeks remaining on it. I now need to travel zones 1-4 Dalston junction to Finchley). Is there anything I can do to just add on zones 3 and 4 for the last few weeks or do i have to do these zones as PAYG?

    Many thanks,


  569. Hi Kate,

    You could buy a weekly zone 3-4 travelcard on your Oyster for the full week. If the rest is almost a full week then do it again, or just use PAYG for the odd days.

  570. Hi mike,
    I’m having a lot of difficulty with my traveling!
    I live in Hinchley wood yet go to university in north Greenwich (Ravensbourne). However I could begin my travel in Surbiton.
    I have a zone 1-3 monthly travel card because I thought it would save me money!
    I was wondering if there’s a better way/easier way of saving me as much money as possible, thanks.

  571. Hi Anissa,

    Can you confirm exactly which stations you use at each end and I will see if there’s a cheaper way. Bear in mind that Surbiton is in zone 6 and Hinchley Wood is outside the zones.

  572. Yes, I can easily get a bus to Surbiton, starting my journey from there.
    Then ending my journey at North Greenwich tube station, then obviously coming back home from Surbiton.
    Thanks again!

  573. Barry Edwards

    Hi Mike,

    I need to understand the cost implications of the following scenario: I travel from Sidcup NR station to Surbiton NR Station. I touch in at Sidcup, touch again at Waterloo East to get out then touch again at Waterloo mainline, then at Surbiton I touch out. If I buy a Oyster season ticket it will cost me £920 half the price I would pay for NR ticket. Is there an additional cost for me touching in and out at the Waterloo stations? I need to work out the full costs. Thanks

  574. Hi Anissa,

    You can avoid zone 1 by using the overground between Clapham Junction and Canada Water. Buy a zone 2-6 travelcard season on your Oyster card and remember to touch the pink validator while changing between Overground and Jubilee Line at Canada Water. If you ever need to go into zone 1 it will only cost a zone 1 fare (£1.60-£2.20 depending on the mode used and time).

  575. Hi Barry,

    I’m confused. Can you tell me exactly what the Oyster season ticket costing £920 is? I can’t find any annual travelcard costing that amount for adults, students, apprentices or children. To make that journey you would need a zone 1-6 travelcard. With that there would be no additional cost for touching out and in at Waterloo. Indeed, if you were using PAYG there would also be no cost as long as you complete the two touches within 40 minutes. At the moment there is no way to reduce this journey by avoiding zone 1.

  576. Hi, Mike.

    When does a one month paper National Rail Travelcard start; when you buy it or when you first use it?

    When does a one month paper National Rail Travelcard, started on September 10, end; at 0430 on October 10, or 0430 on October 11?


  577. Hi Robert,

    A paper travelcard season starts immediately, which is why you can’t buy them more than half a day early. If you’re renewing with no gap then you can usually buy them a few days early but you should have to surrender the old one. A one month travelcard expires on the same day the next month at 0430, so in your example it would be October 10th.

  578. Barry Edwards

    Hi Mike, sorry I did show clearly the zones I use. I travel from Sidcup Z5 to Surbiton Z6 if you put these details in on the season ticket calculator it states £920 but I am having to travel into London (Waterloo East (in) and Waterloo Mainline (out)

  579. Hi Barry,

    I’ve worked it out. £920 is the annual price of a zone 5-6 travelcard which allows unlimited travel in just zones 5 and 6 only. From Sidcup you could go to Crayford and round to Belvedere or Bexleyheath on the rounder services. From Surbiton you could go to Hampton Court or up to Berrylands. If you need to travel in zones 1, 2, 3 or 4 then you have to pay for them. As I said in my earlier reply, the ticket you need to cover the whole journey is either the point-to-point season at £1800 or the zones 1-6 travelcard at £2224.

    If you have a zones 5-6 travelcard and make the journey via Waterloo then it will charge the NR peak zone 1-4 single which is £3.60 from your PAYG Balance. Even if there was a way to make the journey without touching in and out en route, you would still be charged because the system doesn’t have any other fare for the journey.

    You can make the journey avoiding zone 1 by changing at Lewisham, Denmark Hill and Clapham Junction. For this you would need a zone 2-6 season at £1520/year. You would also need to touch out and in again while changing trains at Lewisham so that the journey is split in two. This may become un-necessary soon if they add extra routes via Clapham Junction, but at the moment you need to do it.

    Hope this helps.

  580. Mike and Barry,

    According to the single fare finder, the default fares for Sidcup to Surbiton are £3.80 (peak) and £2.40 (off-peak), thus NR Z2-6. Does this not suggest that the default route is already via Lewisham, Denmark Hill, and Clapham Junction?

  581. Thanks David,

    I’d done most of the research a few days ago. I think that they’ve uploaded new fares. Otherwise I must have been having a really bad day last week. I was expecting new opportunities to appear sometime this month, just not today.

  582. Hi Mike,

    You have a really interesting website 😀 and I would like to ask you something..

    If for example I have a zone 1-3 travelcard, but I touch in at Euston, and after 7 or 8 hours I touch out at Euston again, without touch in or out along that time.. Would happen something? Some friends told me that they didn’t have a problem with that, but I’m not sure.

    Thank you!

  583. Hi Alberto,

    That would work fine. If your destination station had no gates there is no penalty for not touching out or in, so it’s quite possible that you could touch in at Euston and then out again several hours later. However, if you were travelling outside your zones without any PAYG balance then you may have problems if revenue staff check your ticket.

  584. Hi,
    Does anyone know am I paying for travelling for example through 1st zone from one point in second zone of East London to the point in 2nd zone in West London if I have travellcard only for travelling in 2nd zone?

  585. Hi Liga,

    If you travel through zone 1 then you will need to have a travelcard covering zones 1-2, or use your PAYG credit on each journey. You can only buy travelcards covering two or more zones, so you would either have zones 1-2 or 2-3.

  586. What is the cheapest way to travel from norbiton to farnham everyday. I also have a 16-24 railcard and is it cheaper to pay online and if so does it matter what site.

  587. Hi Alexandra,

    A weekly season costs £70.60 while individual anytime returns cost £12.00 each with the railcard discount. Unless you will be using the train more than 5 days you are probably better off with individual tickets. It won’t be cheaper to buy online, but it could be more expensive. The South West Trains website will be best as they operate the trains and there might occasionally be discounts. Other train operator sites will all cost the same, as will redspottedhanky.com. The trainline and raileasy charge booking and/or credit card fees so should be avoided.

  588. Hi Mike,
    I travel from Erith to Vauxhall. I currently have a London Terminals season ticket but I am beginning to wonder if this is the cheapest way to travel.
    Please help

  589. Hi Eve,

    That will be the cheapest way to commute between the two on a regular basis at peak times. If your return journey could start before 1600 or after 1900, or the outward journey could start before 0630 or after 0930 then using Oyster PAYG might be cheaper depending on how many off-peak journeys you can make out of the usual 10 per week.

  590. Thank you very much Mike

  591. Hi Mike,

    I’ve been struggling to buy a zone 2 – Brentwood travelcard online for my oyster, and getting a failure code of 50 which customer services haven’t been able to explain.

    Could you shed any light on what this means please?!



  592. Hi Chris,

    Sorry, I can’t. The only possible thing that might have had an impact over the weekend was a problem involving credit/debit cards and ticket vending machines. I think that is fixed now and there’s no certainty that it would have affected Oyster online anyway.

  593. Hi Mike,
    I have got a weekly oyster card for zone 2-3. If I have to travel from Herne Hill (zone 2) to High gate (zone 3) by train without getting off at any zone 1 stations, even though those trans passes through zone 1. Do, I have to pay extra for that?


  594. Yes you do. It will deduct the cost of a zone 1 single from your PAYG balance.

  595. Hi Mike
    firstly Id like to thank you for your effort, it is appreciated.
    I work in zone 6 and live in zone 2
    (Heathrow / Clapham Junction)

    Is there not a cheaper way to commute instead of buying a weekly for zone 1 – 6 (£55)

    Thank you
    Kind Regards

  596. Hi Brett,

    There’s a much cheaper way. Travel from Clapham Junction to Earls Court via West Brompton then to Heathrow. This is a TfL zone 2-6 journey costing £2.70 peak single.

  597. Mike

    Thank you very much!

    Is it safe for me to presume Id merely PAYG on my Oyster?

    Thank you again!

  598. Hi Mike

    Feeling a bit daft, but, no trains go directly to Earls Court?
    And if I depart at West Brompton id have to touch out in order to walk to Earls Court therefore splitting the journey and making it the same price as normal.



  599. Hi Brett,

    Your route is London Overground (or Southern) from Clapham Junction to West Brompton, District to Earls Court then Piccadilly to Heathrow. If you only make 5 return journeys a week then PAYG will be cheaper.

  600. Hi Mike,

    Whats the cheapest way of travelling from ilford to high barnet for weekdays in a week??

  601. Hi Aparna,

    If you avoid zone 1 by changing at Stratford and Camden Road/Town or Kentish Town/Town West then single fares are £3.20 peak, £2.20 off-peak. A weekly travelcard wouldn’t save you money on that journey alone.

  602. Christopher Billows

    HI Mike Would my Oyster Card Cap if I Travel around Zone 1 and Zone 2 in the morning and then Make a Journey from West Hampstead thameslink to Elstree and Borehamwood station which is Zone 6 and then Travel back around Zone 1&2

  603. Hi Christopher,

    While you travel around zones 1-2 your card will cap at £8.40 (if used before 0930) or £7.00. When you travel out to Elstree the £8.50 off-peak cap will apply and that will continue later when you return to the centre. The exact amount you are charged depends on how much you travel before 0930 and how much between 0930 and leaving for Elstree. The worst case would be £15.80 if you cap in zones 1-2 before 0930, down to just £8.50 if you don’t start until after 0930.

  604. Hello Mike,
    I had an annual pass to commute from Bromley South Rail station to my office at Gunnersbury Tube station daily until recently. I will just need to go to my office only a couple of days a week. I need to take a bus for a few stops to reach Bromley south.
    I looked at the TfL Fare finder indicating that the trip from BMS to Gunnersbury is £4.70 each way. However the trip from BMS to Victoria is £6.20. Would you have any explanation ? thanks.

  605. Hi,

    Can anyone help me?

    I lost my oyster today and reported it as lost. It was an oyster I use for work and am therefore required to put in a claim in for my travel expenses to have the money reimbursed. When I logged on I can no longer see my journey history.

    Is there any way to access my previous journey history even after I have reported the card stolen?

    Any help greatly appreciated…

  606. Hi Jeff,

    Yes, the cheap fare avoids zone 1 by doing something like Bromley to Herne Hill to Clapham Junction to Richmond to Gunnersbury.

  607. Hi Heather,

    You’ll need to contact the helpdesk and ask them if they can produce a statement.

  608. Christopher Billows

    Hi again Mike thanks you for that, I Forgot to add that I will be traveling tomorrow which is Off-peck all day, So am I right will it be capping me at £8.50

  609. Yes it will.

  610. HI Mike,
    I have to travel from Wembley to Southwark every 3 days a week.I use my 18+ card, i get a return ticket every day and was wondering if i take a single zone 1 would it be cheaper and which single should i get from soutwark to wembley ?

    is there a london overground route to from west hampstead to clapham juction to avoid zone 1 ?
    then take a bus to southwark ?

  611. Hi John,

    I’m not sure I quite understand. Are you saying you get a paper return from Wembley Park to Southwark? If yes then Oyster PAYG will definitely save you money. Even with your student discount a travelcard would not be cheaper for only 3 days a week. You can change at West Hampstead and go to Clapham Junction, but I’d then take a south west train to Vauxhall before getting the bus. The bus journeys would just about make the zone 2-5 travelcard with discount worthwhile.

  612. Hi Mike,

    I am now ultra-confused about how best to arrange things.

    I am travelling in from Shepperton daily to Vauxhall/Waterloo dependent on work place, and then weather dependent, either Cycle Hire scheme into Zone 1 (which so far is a joy to use – the traffic is so light), or else tube.

    Occasionally if the weather is clearly bad I change at Richmond onto the district line to get to Zone 1

    Can I get an Oyster card that covers the entirety of the journey (train/tube), or would I have to do the madness of getting a paper ticket and then getting off at Hampton to check in the oyster card, thus adding 30 mins to the journey if I cant get back on the train in time.

  613. Hi James,

    Unfortunately you will have to do the madness of getting a paper ticket. It’s possible that you could find out where to be on the train to maximise the chances of getting the same one after validating. Or, for a little more, you can change at Teddington where there are more services.

    You could also lobby SWT to include the Shepperton Branch as parts of zones 7, 8 and 9 given it’s isolation as a route to nowhere.

  614. Hi Mike,

    I have a Z1-3 weekly travelcard. I plan to goto Heathrow (Z6) from Stratford (Z3). Would you know how much will the extension cost?


  615. As long as you mean getting to Heathrow via the Piccadilly line then you will be charged a TfL zone 4-6 fare. It will be the peak fare if your touch in at Stratford is during peak times, otherwise it will be off-peak.

  616. Hi, Mike

    I take the jubilee line from wembley park to southwark every 3 days a week and I was wondering what if I go to bermondsey station using the same route and get off at zone 2 bermondsey…..Will I still be charged the regular 3.80 ??

    Which is the the cheapest route ??

    Thanks a lot

  617. Hi John,

    Yes you will because you’ve gone via zone 1. There is only one fare between Wembley Park and Bermondsey so you will always be charged the same, even if you take a roundabout route via Stratford.

  618. Hi, I got an annual 1-2 zone through my job. If I move flat to a Zone 3, is there a chance to update my annual or do I need to pay everytime on my PAYG??
    Thanks 🙂

  619. I believe you can upgrade your season at an Underground station.

  620. Hi. I have a student Oyster card on which I have a zone 1 and 2 monthly pass. But, I have a strange problem. When I tapped the Oyster on a bus from Woolwich Church Street to Woolwich and then again from Woolwich town centre to Woolwich Church Street, I was not charged! I had put in £8 extra credit thinking that for the above journey I was not covered by my zone 1-2 travel card. Could someone please explain what’s going on? I thought Woolwich and Woolwich Church Street bus stops were in zone 3 and not 2. Thanks!

  621. Hi Marsoof,

    Buses are free with any travelcard. You only need a balance to use trains in zone 3.

  622. Hi, so here it is I have been buying a zone 1-4 travel card to get me to west Kensington from barking. But after having looked I found that if I went from goodmayes to Stratford to gunersbury then district line to west Kensington I would only have to buy a zone 2-4 travel card saving me around £70 a month. However, although I am completely within my travel card zone and I have been touching both pink oyster route validators at Stratford and gunnersbury I am being charged an extra £2.10 :/. Why?

  623. Hi Salma,

    This might sound a bit silly, but you’re going the wrong way. You’re supposed to go to either Kensington Olympia or West Brompton, then round to Earls Court then to West Kensington. Earls Court is dual zoned and providing you enter and leave by the lines to the west it can be treated as zone 2. You also need to touch the pink validator at either Kenny-O or West Brompton.

    Alternatively, if you want to keep going via Gunnersbury then you need to touch out and back in again at either Stratford or Gospel Oak (which is direct from Barking). That splits the journey in two and from both those stations you have the choice of via Gunnersbury or Earls Court.

  624. Hi Mike,

    I recently started working in grays and as I currently live in Romford I get a train from Romford to Upminster and then at train to Grays. I was told by the staff at Romford that I cannot get a weekly to grays on my oyster. The woman I asked didn’t explain why.

    I was under the impression, having until recently been working in central London, that since October weekly tickets would only be avalibale on oyster and yet I have to buy a weekly paper ticket to Grays.

    What is going on ???

  625. Hi Harriet,

    Weekly zonal travelcards can only be bought on Oyster. Unfortunately Oyster cannot take point-to-point rail only seasons. It also can’t take travelcards with the Grays extension due to limitations on the number of zones available. However, the good news is that for your commute it is actually cheaper to use Oyster PAYG than buy any sort of season. The peak time single fare is £2.50 whilst a weekly season is £33.30.

  626. Hi mike, hope you can help me as I’m really confused. I am going to be travelling from Sutton common to vauxhall 3 days a week and wondered if an oyster would be better than buying a return ticket/travel card. There are 2 ways for me to go either via Clapham junction or via wimbledon and I would like to have the flexibility of both these options. Can you advise me at all on the prices and what would work out best for me?

    Thanks in advance

  627. Hi Karen,

    As long as you don’t go via London then it costs the same any way. Currently that’s £2.50 peak and £1.90 off-peak. This is actually a bargain if you go via Sutton, but the system can’t tell which way you’ve gone so it assumes in your favour. Note that if you did buy a travelcard and travelled via Sutton you would need to ensure it was the zone 1-6 version rather than the cheaper zone 1-4 version which would be valid via Wimbledon. For this reason Oyster PAYG would be much better for you.

  628. Thanks so much for your help Mike

  629. hi

    I live in zone 5 and work (9-5 mon to fri) in zone 1.
    I’ll be getting a season ticket (ST) before 01 jan 2014

    question I have is it better to get a zone 2-5 ST ( £1,208) than 1-5 ST (£2,072). how much would the extension fee be for stepping in zone 1, £1.50 ish per journey?

    I have 25 days off as leave and work is the only time I go in zone 1.

    also I understand buses are not zoned? hence its possible to use a 2-5 ST on a bus in central London without charge?

    also if I commute from zone 1 to zone 5 but don’t swipe at zone 5 (open barrier) how the hell does the oyster card know that? on a ST you don’t get charged on an incomplete journey?

  630. Hi Steve,

    If you can tell me your actual journey there might be other options available, including only using PAYG if your route is all priced by TfL. However, sadly the zone 1 single fare will be £2.20 from next year. Buses are not zoned as you say and are free with any travelcard, so yes, you could take a bus from the nearest zone 2 station without needing zone 1.

    Finally, with a travelcard loaded on your Oyster there is no effect when touching in or out within the zones covered.

  631. Hi Mike,

    Your help & support on this site is amazing! I was wondering if you would be able to help me also. A couple of questions if you don’t mind:

    1) If I were to buy a zone 2-6 annual travelcard on oyster on 1st Feb 14 and then had to travel into zone 1, (a typical example of my journey would be: Stepney green > cannon street > Bexley) Would you be able to advise me what my additional cost would be for passing through zone 1?

    2) Also if I were to go into zone 1 on a weekend and do multiple changes within zone 1 on rail and underground how much would that cost me (over and above my zone 2-6 travelcard)? Would it be cheaper to buy a paper ticket for £5.90 which is an off peak all day travel card with te Gold card discount applied (usually £8.90 without discount)

    Thanks so much for your help. 🙂

  632. Hi Lauren,

    1) after the fares increase it will usually cost £2.20. In certain circumstances it may cost £2.30. The higher fare only applies if you first touch out in zone 1 at a NR station on a peak fare.
    2) you would be subject to the zone 1-2 off-peak cap with railcard discount which is still £4.60. Make sure that the gold card discount is set when you purchase the travelcard.

  633. Hi mike that’s really helpful thanks so much.

    One last question was about the use of buses. If I have a zones 2-6 travelcard on my oyster, do I get charged from my PAYG balance if I uses busses in zone1? Or would buses be included on the z2-6 travelcard?

    Thanks again 🙂

  634. Hi Lauren,

    Busues do not operate in zones. Any travelcard gives you access to all TfL buses throughout London, including those that accept Oyster beyond the zonal boundary. Only the trams in Croydon specify that the travelcard must cover at least one of zones 3-6.

  635. Hi Mike! So happy to have come across this web page, very informative. I wonder if you can help – I’m going to be commuting during the week from Brimsdown to Liverpool St, then short bus trip from Liverpool street to Southwark Bridge (then return journey). At first I was thinking 1-5 zone travel card on Oyster, however, would I be able to get 3-5zone travel card then season ticket from Hackney Downs (in zone 2) to Liverpool St instead? Then should be able to hop on the bus from Liverpool st using my 3-5 zone travelcard on Oyster? Would that be allowed? And is there a cheaper way you could recommend? Many thanks in advance for your help!

  636. Hi Marsha,

    I’m impressed. You’ve almost worked out a very creative solution to cut costs.

    The only flaw is that you can’t get to Hackney Downs on a zone 3-5 travelcard. You would have a gap between Clapton and Hackney Downs. There is a way it could work, but it’s messy. Clapton is dual zoned (2 and 3) but is only served by the Chingford trains. You could change onto the Victoria Line at Tottenham Hale and go to Walthamstow Central and pick up the train to Liverpool Street from there. Your rail season then needs to be between Clapton and Liverpool Street (it’s the same price as Hackney Downs). Finally, the bus would be valid in Central London using the zone 3-5 travelcard.

    If the Brimsdown trains called at Clapton it would have been fine, but they don’t, sadly.

  637. Thanks for the response Mike,

    Ah – that’s so annoying! :-/ I’d thought that as the Brimsdown train doesn’t stop at Clapton, it wouldn’t count… Seeing as the first physical stop after zone 3 is Hackney Downs I figured I’d be covered with the season ticket… So close! Looks like I’ll be buying the 2-5 rather than 3-5 zone travelcard.. Thanks again

  638. Hi Mike,

    I have some questions about touching in & out correctly.

    Z1-2 Travelcard on Oyster, and making these journeys:

    1) East India to Hayes & Harlington: East India to Tower Gateway (DLR), walk, Tower Hill to Paddington H&C (Circle line anti-clockwise), Paddington to Hayes & Harlington (NR).

    2) Hayes & Harlington to Hampstead Heath: Hayes & Harlington to Paddington (NR), Paddington to Willesden Junction (Bakerloo line), Willesden Junction to Hampstead Heath (Overground).

    I am going outside the zones so I will need PAYG.

    I would like to pay the off-peak fares, so I’ll need to touch in at East India after 0930 and touch in at Hayes & Harlington before 1600, is that right?

    I am also worried about touching in & out when changing at Paddington, it seems such a difficult place to get things right! For the first journey, I suppose I’ll have to touch out at Paddington H&C and then touch in at the mainline platforms (but what if the train to Hayes & Harlington leaves from an ungated platform?); and for the second journey similarly touch out from the mainline platforms and touch in again at Paddington Bakerloo. Have I missed something?

    Thank you

  639. Hi Jan,

    No, you haven’t missed anything. If you use an ungated platform at Paddington then you need to use the validators to touch in or out. Also, if you want to leave East India before 0930 then you just need to touch on a bus at Paddington before touching in to get to Hayes.

  640. Thanks that’s great – most helpful as always!

  641. Hi Mike

    I received some East Coast Rail Travel Vouchers and I do not have plans to travel by train any time soon. They expire soon so I would like to put them to good use.

    Do you know if the Oyster ticket offices at East Coast rail/tube stations (like Kings Cross or Finsbury Park) are allowed to transfer the value of the vouchers to my Oyster Card instead of the usual – selling me a train ticket?

    Any advice would be much appreciated.



  642. Hi Vera,

    Yes, RTVs can be added to PAYG credit on an Oyster card subject to the maximum balance of £90. It’s one of those things that not all staff know how to do, but I’ve had good experiences at the FCC ticket office at St Pancras. Larger Underground stations are also usually OK.

  643. Hi Mike,

    I wish to travel from Staines to Canary Wharf. I was suggested at the SW Trains ticket office that I need a season ticket through zones 1-6 uptil Staines. I studied the map and found that I can get off at Clapham Junction and take the overground which runs only through zone two. Am I allowed to take Zone 2-6 even though my train passes through zone one.

  644. Hi PJ,

    If you get off at Clapham Junction and take the Overground to Canada Water and then the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf then you only need a Staines to zones 2-6 season ticket. If you travel to Waterloo and pick the Jubilee line up there then you will need zones 1-6. It might also be worth mentioning that the TfL bus from Staines to Feltham is included in a travelcard season so you could buy just a zone 1-6 or 2-6 travelcard. If you put the zone 2-6 travelcard on an Oyster card then you could optionally decide to travel via Waterloo for just a zone 1 single fare (either £2.20 or £2.30). You can’t put a travelcard from Staines on Oyster.

  645. Hi Mike,

    I have a Zones 1-2 travelcard (for the year). I presently live in Zone 1 and work in Zone 2. Due to unforeseen circumstances, I may move to Zone 3 permanently. Please, is it possible to pay the difference (£216) to make it a Zones 1-3 travelcard, or would I have to top up PAYG for Zones 3?

    Thank you!

  646. Hi CR,

    You can’t buy a travelcard for just one zone unfortunately. It may be possible to exchange your travelcard for a different one but I’m not sure of the exact calculation. A tube ticket office or the helpline will be able to advise.

  647. Hello,

    If I have a sone 2-3 travel card, what do I pay when I use a bus in zone 1?


  648. Hi Fiona,

    Nothing! All TfL buses are free with any travelcard.

  649. I am after travelling from Watford to wembley central off peak. What is my cheapest option to make this travel?

  650. All options cost £1.60 off-peak single.

  651. hi, I travel daily from Woolwich Arsenal to New Malden, using the overground, that I have to change at Waterloo. I have to touch out the oyster card at Waterloo East and touch in again at Waterloo when changing from south east to south west trains. I am thinking of buying a travelcard. Any idea what will it cost and what travelcard I need to buy (zone 1 to zone4)? Many Thanks in advance for your valuable advise.

  652. Hi Bhavest,

    Yes, you’ll need a zone 1-4 travelcard for that journey as you describe. That costs £45.00/week so if you only make 10 single journeys in a week you are better off with PAYG at £3.70 per peak trip. However, you can avoid zone 1 if you have a little extra time. An example would be train to Lewisham, change to Denmark Hill, then London Overground to Clapham Junction and pick up South West Trains there. The peak single fare is then only £2.60 or a zone 2-4 travelcard is £26.00/week.

  653. Hi Mike,
    We are from Canada and will be touring in London for a couple of days. We are flying into Gatwick and staying near the Three Bridges train station. Is it best for us to buy a travel card for zones 1-6 or get an oyster card, in order to travel into the London centre? Would we need to buy this in East Croydon or can we get it at Three Bridges?
    Also, our daughter is meeting up with us at Three Bridges but is coming from Heathrow. Could you advise us on the cheapest way for her to get to Three Bridges from Heathrow?

  654. Hi Sue,

    You can buy a travelcard from Three Bridges to Zones 1-6 which allows one return journey from Three Bridges to zone 6 and then unlimited travel within the zones. Thanks to competition you can buy FCC only travelcards for £14.90 off-peak Mon-Fri or just £10.00 on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. The FCC only restriction applies between Three Bridges and effectively East Croydon. After that you can use any services as it is just a travelcard. Monday to Friday the first train you can catch is at 0927.

    As for Heathrow to Three Bridges, the cheapest option is the same ticket as you but not using the outward part. From Heathrow take the Picadilly line to Central London and then National Rail from there to Three Bridges. If she uses Victoria then she must change to a FCC train at East Croydon. The only issue may be buying the ticket if she needs to use it after landing at Heathrow. The alternative is to buy a travelcard at Heathrow and a Boundary zone 6 to Three Bridges single before setting off from Victoria. She also wouldn’t need to change trains at East Croydon with that option.

    Hope that helps.

  655. Hi Mike,

    I have a Z1-Z2 TC on my oyster, and if I make a Peak NR only service from Z1-Z5 using PAYG credit, do I get changed a Z1-5 NR only fare or a Z3-Z5 NR fare (supplement to my Z1-2 TC)?

    Many thanks

  656. Hi Fiona,

    Zome 3-5 NR fare.

  657. Hi Mike,

    This is a really helpful post! I would like to ask, how is the difference calculated when switching between NR and Tube?

    For example, if I have a zone 1-2 (Gold Record) card, and I travel from zone 6 to zone 1 during peak period via SouthEastern train, how much do I pay? I thought I would be paying the zone 2-6 Oyster peak price as on the TfL website, but it seems to be more.

    How do I check the difference between NR and Oyster prices? Thank you!

  658. Hi Al,

    You’ll be charged the zone 3-6 National Rail rate which is £3.30 peak or £2.30 off-peak.

  659. Thanks Mike. Is there a list of the National Rail rates like the one TfL has?


  660. Hi,
    I’m moving next week and want to make sure I can continue using my travel card. I usually buy 1-3 zone ticket, but now I’m moving to zone 3/4. Will I be charged extra because is on the boundary or is it ok?
    Thank you!

  661. Hi Maggie,

    As long as you mean that the station is dual zoned, like Kew Gardens or South Wimbledon, you will be fine as long as you travel towards zone 1.

  662. Yes. The fares section of the new TfL website has pages for National Rail as well as TfL.

  663. Hi.
    If I have a day travel card zone 1-6 and if I go out of London during the weekend can I just buy a ticket from the last station in zone 6 even if the train does not stop at that station? For example if I go to Slough can I just buy a ticket from West Drayton which is in zone 6 even if the train from Paddington does not stop at West Drayton? If this is possible it will be much cheaper for me as I can get 1/3 off with my network railcard.

  664. Hi thanks for that. What if I travel from zone 1 to 3/4? (It will be bounds green station?)

  665. Hi Millen,

    With a day travelcard you need to buy a ticket from the boundary of zone 6 to be able to use non-stop trains. You can still use your network railcard to buy those at NR stations.

  666. Hi Maggie,

    Bounds Green is in zone 3 if you travel to or from Central London (ie south) and it is in zone 4 if you travel to or from North London (ie north). Any journey starting or ending at a dual zoned station is treated as using the zone relevant to the direction of travel.

  667. Hi, My site has been moved into east London and will be traveling from northolt to bethnal green, You can imagine my daily travels will be 3-4hrs which is a nightmare but do is there any alternative routes that can spare me the zone 1 charges? u can imagine £1000 a yer is a lot of money. Thanks

  668. Hi Charan,

    If it is Bethnal Green Underground station then there is only one fare, which given that both are on the Central Line isn’t that surprising. If it’s the National Rail station then you can use the North London Line from Shepherds Bush to Hackney Central and walk to Hackney Downs to come back to Bethnal Green. That may make the journey even longer though.

  669. Hi Mike
    Just came across your website and find your answers to questions very straightforward.
    Can you advise as to the best option for my query. I have a tfl travelcard zone 2-3 but will be moving to bexleyheath which rail zone 5. I know that this is national rail service and already have ths rail discount appliex to my card. What is the cheapest and best option as I will be travelling into stratford but trying to avoid paying for another yearly card as will also have to commute to eastham.
    Thanks for any advice you can provide.

  670. Hi George,

    If I understand correctly, you will be commuting from Bexleyheath to East Ham and want to combine it with an existing zone 2-3 travelcard? I’m not sure which discount you mention because they don’t usually affect commuting prices unless you can make use of off-peak fares. Also, I wouldn’t go to Stratford. Take the train to Lewisham, DLR to Heron Quays, Jubilee from Canary Wharf to West Ham and then District to East Ham.

    You realistically have two options. You can use PAYG which will charge for a NR zone 4-5 journey at £2.20 peak or £1.80 off-peak (£1.20 off-peak with railcard), or buy a season ticket between Bexleyheath and Kidbrooke at £86.80/month. Weekly will cost more than the PAYG because you are paying for a bit of zone 3 between Eltham and Kidbrooke.

    There are also two other options if you are prepared to use buses. Buses are free with any travelcard, so you could take a bus to a zone 3 station (Kidbrooke, Blackheath, Charlton etc) for no extra charge. Or you could take a bus to Woolwich Arsenal and start the DLR from there to West Ham. PAYG would be £1.60 peak, £1.50 off-peak (£1.00 with railcard). The big advantage of the Woolwich option is that when you renew your travelcard you won’t need zone 2 anymore. In fact, if you get on with that route ok you could ask TfL to change your season to zone 3-4 (which is the same price as 2-3) and you won’t pay any more.

  671. Hi Mike,
    I have a question concerning buying travelcards at heathrow tube station.
    I would like to buy a monthly zone 1+2 travelcard there, as I would then save a few pounds compared to being charged a zone 6 to 1 single journey and buying the travelcard afterwards.
    Is that at all possible? And if yes, at the ticket office only, or also at the machines?
    Would appreciate any advice you can provide.

  672. Hi Alex,

    I don’t know the specifics of what is available at Heathrow tube station. I suspect it is like any other tube station in which case you will have no problems. I do know that the National Rail stations do not have full National Rail ticket facilities, but they are relatively new compared to the Underground.

  673. Hi Mike,

    I have a zones 1-4 annual travel card, but am working in Milton Keynes for a while. I can get from my home, zone 4, station to MK without needing to go into central London, however if I ever needed to go back into zone 1 from MK would I need to get a MK to London Terminals paper ticket, or would I be able to get one to zone 4 and then use my oyster card without having touched in?

    Hope that makes sense!


  674. Hi Aarti,

    If the ticket between Milton Keynes and your zone 4 station is a season (even if only weekly) then the train must call at the station where you switch. If it’s a daily ticket then the train can be non-stop. In both cases you don’t need to touch in in zone 4.

  675. Thanks Mike, browsing this website has been really useful in answering questions that nobody at the station/on helplines really understood!

    Am I right in thinking that if I only touch in at my zone 4 station in the morning, and only touch out again in the evening everyday (as I already bought a London Terminals – MK ticket for this month but don’t need to go from London Termicals), I wouldn’t be penalised.

    Thank You

  676. Before I commit on exactly what you are doing, can you confirm what your local (zone 4) station is?

  677. It’s Kenton Station

  678. In that case you only need a Kenton to Milton Keynes ticket. You can use either your Oyster or the London to Milton Keynes ticket to get in at Kenton, though you aren’t actually using the Oyster. When you have a Kenton to MK season you will have to make sure that the train calls at Kenton if you want to go all the way into Euston.

  679. Hi
    I am trying to sort out what is the cheapest solution for my commute. I live in zone 2 (bethnal green station) and work in Ealing broaday (zone 3) five days a week. Aside work I am never out of zone 2.
    I am trying to find out how much I would be charged if I have a zone 1-2 travel card and touch in and out in zone 3 when I am in Ealing Broadway? Would that end up being more than the cost of the zone 1-3 travel card?

    What is the best way for me : pay as you go, travel card 1-2 with extra charge when I go in zone 3, or travel card 1-3 ?

    thanks for your help!

  680. Hi Marion,

    Get the 1-3 travelcard. It costs £5.40/week more than the 1-2 while each peak journey as an extension will cost £1.60.

  681. Hi Mike,

    hope your well. I want to travel from abbeywood to colindale but I want to avoid zone 1. What would be the best route? Would really appreciate your help. Thank you.

    Kind regards


  682. Hi Abz,

    I’d go Abbey Wood to Woolwich Arsenal, then to Stratford on the DLR (possibly changing at Canning Town), then Overground to Camden Road, walk to Camden Town then Northern line.

  683. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your help. Really appreciate it.

    Kind regards


  684. Hi Mike,

    So my understanding from the above is that for my journey (Bromley south in Zone 5 to Stratford in zone 3) which I complete via Canada water in the morning and Victoria in the evening. I would be best of getting a rail-card for zones 2-5 and then simply pay a zone 1 journey as and when I go through Victoria (not every day)?

    Kind regards


  685. Hi Ali,

    Yes, a zone 2-5 travelcard with PAYG for zone 1 travel looks like being the best solution for your travel.

  686. Thanks a lot for your response Mike.

    Do you know if it is the full £2.20 when you simply pass through like that?

    Kind regards

  687. Hi Ali,

    Assuming you use tube and NR then it will be £2.20 almost all the time. If your first touch out in zone 1 is at an NR station in the peak then it will be £2.30 because of a quirk in the way Oyster charges.

  688. Mike

    One thing that’s always puzzled me is whether there is any difference between travelcards offered by NR versus TfL. I’m only asking in relation to travel within London – not regional travel tickets that include a London travelcard component.

    Is there any difference in coverage or price? If I were travelling all over London and switching between NR and TfL, who should I buy it from?

    To be honest, I’m not even sure if my question makes any sense!

    Kind regards

  689. Hi Mike,

    I’m really impressed by this site and your patience and kindness in responding to people. Sorry if I’m going over old ground here, but most people seem to be talking about completing journeys by ending up in zone 1.

    I have a zone 1-4 Oyster monthly season ticket. I need to travel to zone 5 tomorrow. Am i right in thinking I just need to make sure I have enough PAYG credit on there, then touch in at Liverpool Street, and out at Brimsdown? And I will then be charged for a full 1-5 single? Or just a 4-5? The last part of the query is less important to me, i just want to make sure I’m covered!

    Many thanks

  690. Hi Laurence,

    Paper travelcards cost the same from either tube or NR stations. They cover the same areas and modes as well.

  691. Hi Adam,

    Yes, you’ll need enough for a zone 5 journey. Just touch in at the start and out at the end and the system will work out the charge taking account of the zones covered by your travelcard.

  692. Hi Mike,

    If I have a 7 day zone 1-2 Travelcard on Oyster card, and want to travel to South Ealing(zone 3), it will charge £1.50(off peak) from my Oyster, is it right?
    With the same journey, will it cost me the same fare if I have a paper zone1-2 travelcard and buy an extension ticket from ticket office?
    And the final question, if I have a 7day zone 1-2 travelcard and want to go to the Bromley South station(zone 5) from Camden Town(zone2), how much will it cost form my Oyster/for an extension ticket?

    I have been confused for a while, hope to fine the answer. Thank you so much.

  693. Hi Abby,

    Yes, £1.50 is the zone 3 off-peak single which will be charged with a zone 1-2 travelcard on Oyster. I don’t think LU do extension tickets for their services, and the cash fare is much more than Oyster, even if you got it from Turnham Green so it was zone 3 only.

    Bromley South will be a NR zone 3-5 fare which is £2.60 peak and £2.00 off-peak.

  694. I live in hendon which is on the border of zone 3-4. I work in archway which is zone 2. So what zone pass should i get zone 2-3 or 2-4?

  695. Hi Abdullah,

    You need zone 2-3 for that commute. But, if you only make 10 single journeys a week with no buses or extra travel, you are better off using PAYG.

  696. I am confused about how to combine national rail tickets or passes with oyster based travel cards. We are a family of 5 (2 adults, 1 kid over 15, 2 under 15) holidaying from Australia in June. We will be coming on the train from Egham each day into the city and back for about 4 days. As Egham is (I think) outside the city zones we cant use a travel card, but the national rail pass that might apply to us (the family and friends pass) doesn’t provide any discounts on the Underground. Because we are coming in from that far each morning we will need to be on the trains during morning peak times. What can and should we buy when we turn up at Egham station each morning – a travel card x 5 with some form of national rail ticket to get us from Egham into zone 6? A Family and friends to get us into London and then a few individual underground tickets when we need to? Any guidance would be great. Thanks.

  697. Hi David,

    Definitely not individual Underground tickets, they cost the earth. You could get an Egham to zones 1-6 travelcard, but that would mean leaving on the 0923 or later to get the £18.00 off-peak fare. If you want to leave earlier you can get the £24.70 anytime fare. If you are buying these tickets every day then a £30 family and friends railcard will reduce each adult over 15 to £17.00 and each child to just £4.70 for the anytime travelcards. The off-peak fares are £11.90 and £3.40. The railcard allows 1-4 adults and 1-4 children to get discounted fares. The minimum group size is one of the named adults and one child. The railcard can be in the name of up to 2 adults.

    Hope that helps.

  698. I have just bought a weekly bus pass,but now need a weekly 1-2 travelcard is there anyway of a transfer or do I have to buy travelcard

  699. Hi Tom,

    Not sure. An underground station is going to be your best bet though.

  700. Thank you, I had assumed we would need to combine underground and national rail. I had not considered avoiding the Underground entirely and, I assume you mean, coming into different national rail stations each day via Clapham Junction as we head into a different sector of the city (Waterloo one day, Victoria or Charing Cross etc the next day)? cheers

  701. Ah, I don’t think I understood what you wanted. I thought your journey was from Coulsdon South to Kew Bridge. If it’s not, please describe exactly what you want to do in more detail.

  702. Hi Mike
    Thanks for your patience and sorry to confuse things, but I am not sure how your question about Kew Bridge fits in. We will be coming in from Egham into London each day. Most of the route options will require us to change at Staines although some go straight through to Waterloo. As I read the National Rail maps and journey planner, from Waterloo we can go through to Charing Cross or London Bridge or Blackfriars or (via Clapham Junction) to Victoria. After your suggestion about avoiding the Underground, I was thinking that we could travel from Egham on national rail into town each day but travelling to a different station each day to explore different parts of town. Am I right that we can travel through to those national rail stations from Egham using the anytime fare (with a Family & Friends card) you suggested?

  703. Hi David,

    Forget the last message. Your mention of Clapham Junction had me muddled up with someone trying to make a journey from Coulsdon South to Kew Bridge.

    Back to your situation. The ticket I suggested is a travelcard with one return journey from Egham to the boundary of zone 6 (effectively Feltham) included. Once you get to Feltham you are free to travel on any rail services within zones 1-6 including tube, dlr, buses and trams. The only exceptions are the High Speed links between St Pancras and Stratford International; and Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow Airport.

  704. Thanks Mike, that sounds like it will do the trick for us.

  705. I am a bit new to this and just want to make sure I am getting the right travel card.
    If i live in Brockley zone 2, and travel via overground to Shepherds Bush Rail Station zone 2 (Clapham Junction. Route), will a zone 2 travel card suffice?
    Also if i Traveled outside of zone 2, via bus, would i be charged?

  706. Hi Nick,

    Yes and no. Yes you only need zone 2 but no, the smallest travelcard covers two zones so you would need zones 2-3. The advantage to you is that you can also go via Crystal Palace rather than Surrey Quays.

    As per the FAQ page, you can use all TfL buses with any travelcard.

  707. Good afternoon

    I live in Clapham common and will be spending the next month working in Watford Junction. Am I right in thinking that a ‘Zones 1-9 + Watford Junction’ monthly season ticket will suffice? Further, am I able to use both the London Overground services (eg Clapham Junction-Watford Junction) and mainline services (eg Clapham Common-Euston-Watford Junction)?

  708. Hi Jimmy,

    Yes, a zones 1-9 + W travelcard will do what you want, and allow both routes, but it may be very expensive. Travel via Willesden Junction only requires zones 2-9 + W, but even that is too much if you commute against the peak flow. What you need to do is make the trip into two journeys by touching out and in again at Willesden Junction. Clapham Junction to Willesden Junction then costs £1.60 peak and £1.50 off-peak. Willesden Junction to Watford Junction charges off-peak in the morning peak (and likewise the other way in the afternoon peak) and costs just £1.60. So that’s just £6.20/day compared to a Z2-9+W at £55.20/week or a Z1-9+W at £81.70/week.

  709. Posted this under Trams and Buses by mistake.
    I have an Oyster card with a discount Senior travelcard attached and another Pay as You Go card with a credit. I have registered both to myself.
    I have tried to transfer the credit from the PAYG card to my discounted card but am told I can’t as the discounted card is not an Adult card which it certainly was before the travelcard addition. Bad enough being a senior without being told you’re not an adult!
    Is there any way I can do this?

  710. As far as I know you should be able to transfer the balance between two cards. If you can’t do it online then maybe an Underground station would have more luck. Failing that, you could apply for a refund on the plain adult one.

  711. Hi there,

    I am thinking of commuting from Slough to Ealing Broadway (zone 3) and then travel onwards to Hammersmith (zone 2).
    I have two options:

    Buying a travelcard from Slough to Ealing Broadway (£180/month)
    Buying a travelcard from Slough to Zone 3-6 (£200/month).

    The question is: If I have a zone 3-6 travelcard, how would I be charged for the following types of journeys:
    Ealing to Hammersmith (zone 3 to 2)
    Ealing to Central London (zone 3 to 1)

  712. Hi Adam,

    You can’t at the moment put a travelcard from Slough on an Oyster card. Therefore I’d buy a paper season to Ealing Broadway and then use PAYG for the rest. You could buy a Slough to Zones 2-6 travelcard at £229/month which would cover you for your commute. You would then use Oyster to get into zone 1. Off peak the zone 1-2 TfL single is the same as a zone 1 TfL single (£2.20) so you can choose where to get off the train (if you’re coming from Ealing) between Turnham Green and Earls Court or North Acton and Notting Hill Gate. If peak fares are being charged then you’ll want to touch in at either Earls Court or Notting Hill Gate as these are both dual zoned 1 and 2.

    Hope that helps.

  713. Hi Mike.
    I’m wondering if you could help with some logistics and prices for me?
    This Saturday my wife and I are taking my son and some friends of his into London. We are travelling from Stanmore to Waterloo.
    We both have payg oysters (as does my son) and a family and friends railcard. This leaves 4 eleven year olds to cater for.
    I would like to know what our best (cheapest!) options are.
    Hope you can help.

    ps Fantastic site, you’re a godsend.

  714. Hi Wayne,

    Use the F&F card to get discounted travelcards for both adults and any children without a zip Oyster card. Use the zip Oyster card for any children that have one. If all the children have zip Oysters then one will have to get a paper travelcard to get the discount for the adults.

  715. Thanks Mike.


  716. I live in Norbury and have a zone 3 travel card which I used to travel to London Victoria and London Bridge. On my journey home TFL’s journey planner suggests that I take the train to East Croydon and then catch the Victoria train back to Norbury. Can I do this on my Zone 3 travel card since East Croydon is Zone 5? I not exiting the station at East Croydon therefore the argument would be that I am not coming out at zone 5.

    Any comments would be appreciated!

  717. Hi Darren,

    Assuming that you mean you have a zone 1-3 travelcard, you will be fine. Just make sure you touch in and have enough PAYG balance for a zone 4-5 single in case you have to exit in Croydon. As long as you don’t exceed the maximum journey time before touching out in zone 3 you won’t be charged.

  718. Hi, Mike
    Could you please kindly advise me the cheapest travel option from Hainault (central line Z4) to Rayners Lane (Metropolitan line Z5). I would be crossing all five zones. Would buying travel card zones 1-5 be the only option for me? that £205 a month!
    thank you so much in advance!

  719. Hi Jovita,

    If you are prepared to change at Stratford and either West Hampstead or Finchley Road (& Frognall) then you can use a zone 2-5 travelcard.

  720. Hi Mike

    I have an annual z1-3 travel card and need to take a trip to Mitcham Junction. Living in Catford I’ve decided the route would be Catford > Peckham > Mitcham Jnc, how much would the excess be and is there a cheaper route?

  721. Hi Lilly,

    Mitcham Junction is in zone 4 so you would need to pay a zone 4 single on the NR scale which is £1.80 peak or £1.60 off-peak. There is a cheaper route, but it will take longer. Either catch a bus from the nearest zone 3 station, or travel to Wimbledon and catch the tram to Mitcham Junction. Both options are covered by your zone 1-3 travelcard.

  722. Raul Fernandez

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for taking the time for reading and answering everyone’s questions. Here’s mine:

    Since Stratford will become zone 2/3 (what does this mean anyway? is it zone 2 or 3 you get charged for?) I wonder if I would still be able to go to work to Dagenham East (zone 5) with a zone 3 to 5 travelcard or if I would need to buy a zone 2 to 5 travelcard instead once the zone change goes in effect in January 2016?

    Thanks in advance.

  723. Hi Raul,

    It won’t be until January 2016 so you’ve a while to wait. Zone 2/3 means you get charged the appropriate zone for your journey. Liverpool Street to Stratford will only require zones 1-2 while Stratford to Romford will only require zones 3-6. And in your case, Stratford to West Ham to Dagenham East will still only require zones 3-5.

  724. Hi Mike,

    Am I right in assuming that a passenger will be charged Zone 1 fares for any routes via Zone 1 even if they end in Zone 2?
    I travel from Harrow-on-the-hill (Z5) to Can Wharf (Z2) via Metline changing at Finch road and then onwards via Jubilee line. Can I use a zone 2-5 travelcard and still not be charged Z1 fares?

    Many Thanks, Harsh

  725. Yes you will be charged zone 1 fares for that journey. If you want to avoid this then change at Finchley Road and walk to Finchley Road and Frognal, take the Overground to Stratford, touch the pink validator on the Overground platform and then take the Jubilee line from there to Canary Wharf.

  726. Thanks for confirming

  727. Hi Mike,

    I have an oyster season ticket from Brentwood to Zone 1. I travel through Shenfield. Next week I want to get out at Shenfield on the way home. (I tap in at Piccadilly Circus). How much will this charge my PAYG when I tap out at Shenfield?

  728. Hi Rhino,

    The single fare finder says £1.90 peak or £1.50 off-peak.

  729. Hi,
    I heard from a friend of mine that if we have oyster pass with Zone 1-2., it is valid on zone 3 dlr. Is that true? Can any one confirm?

  730. Hi Siri,

    No it is not.

  731. Hi Mike,
    My daughter (16 yrs) will need to travel from Stevenage to Highbury & Islington for school. It would be great if she could have the flexibility to go on the slow train that goes directly to Highbury & Islington via Crews Hill, or on the faster train going from Highbury & Islington by tube or overground to Finsbury Park and then via Potters Bar to Stevenage. Would it be possible to get an Oyster card season ticket to the boundary of zone 6 and then a ticket from zone 6 to Stevenage which would allow her to take either route?

  732. Hi Stef,

    It is possible, but it will almost certainly cost more. She would need a Stevenage to zones 5-6 season and a zones 2-4 travelcard season on Oyster. If she only needs to use the trains then a point to point season between Stevenage and Highbury and Islington will be much cheaper and is valid on the Underground between Finsbury Park and Highbury and Islington. If she also needs London buses then the Stevenage to zones 2-6 season is cheaper than the split ticket.

  733. Darren Jones

    Hi Mike,

    Great website.

    I currently travel from Falconwood to Watford Junction on Monday to Friday.
    I tap in at Falconwood before 6.30am each day and travel via Victoria, Vic line to Euston and then London Midland from Euston to Watford Junction, fare is £6.
    I do a similar journey home using Northern line to either pick up a South eastern train at Charing Cross or London Bridge, this is after 4pm so I am charged £8.90.

    Is there an alternative I can save money with. I was thinking about a yearly zone 1-4 travelcard loaded onto my Oyster and as I am travelling against the peak to Watford and back I pay £1.60 each day for the journey from and to Euston (Zone 4-9+WJ off peak). This would give me a saving of around £700 a year by my calculation. Do I need to do anything strange to break the journey up etc.

    Many thanks.

  734. Hi Darren,

    Yes, that will work, but you do have to do something strange. You need to break the journey in two at Euston because the off-peak fare only applies when the whole journey is on the Watford to Euston line. There are three known ways of doing this. (1) Take more than 20 minutes between touching out at Euston NR and touching in at Euston LU. (2) Touch in on a bus outside Euston station but get off straight away – buses are free with a travelcard but it will break the rail journey. (3) After entering Euston LU you need to immediately exit again (within 2 minutes) and then re-enter (within a further 45 minutes).

    You will also need to do a similar thing in the morning or you will be charged the National Rail fare from zone 5 to Watford rather than the TfL fare of £1.60. Unfortunately the fares pages don’t show what that charge would be but it is likely to be at least £2. There is a further complication with method (3). The in-out-in jig only works at gates so it’s fine if you use the LM/LO platforms at Euston but not if you use a validator for one of the ungated platforms. The in-out must be done at a gateline but the second in can then be at a validator. Finally, if buying a coffee to take 20 minutes in the afternoon you need to know that it’s 40 minutes the other way in the morning.

    It’s fun, isn’t it!

  735. Darren Jones

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the reply. Very useful.

    Could I break the journey at Euston by walking to and from Warren Street or Kings Cross and picking up my onward tube from there?

    Thanks again.

  736. Yes, both those would work. Not Euston Square though as that has an OSI with Euston NR.

  737. Thank you very much, Mike, that’s really helpful!

  738. Hi Mike

    I was wondering if you were to travel from Bromley south station (zone5) to Hammersmith station (zone2) for work Mon-Fri does a zone2-5 monthly travelcard cover this? I’m trying to see if there is a way to save money for this journey instead of buying a zone 1-5 pass.

    Many thanks!

  739. Hi Yvonne,

    That’s an awkward journey, but it is possible. It will take significantly longer than a fast train to Victoria and then the District Line. You need to change at Brixton, Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, West Brompton and Earls Court. You could also take the tram from Beckenham Junction to Wimbledon (possibly changing in Croydon) then the District Line from Wimbledon to Earls Court and Hammersmith. If you travel via Vauxhall then I recommend getting a paper travelcard or you would have to break your journey at either Brixton, Vauxhall or Clapham Junction by touching on a bus. There are plenty of other routes too, but they all suffer from needing multiple changes and generally using slow and/or not very frequent trains.

  740. Hi Mike,

    I’m starting a new job where I’ll be travelling from Kingston to Vauxhall and taking a bus to work from there – I’m considering a season ticket from Kingston to Vauxhall, but I’m not sure what my cheapest option is (I’ll be travelling during peak hours). What would the best way to get to work be?

    Thank you in advance!

  741. Hi Frank,

    A weekly travelcard (zones 2-6) costs £11.60 more than a Kingston to Vauxhall weekly season while 10 single bus journeys cost £14.50, so I think the travelcard would be better. Put it on your Oyster though so you can freely travel into zone 1 at other times if you need to at a cost of a zone 1 single.

  742. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your quick and considerate response – I really appreciate it. Have a great week!

  743. Hi Mike. Apologies if you’ve answered this one already. My 13-year-old niece is staying with me (she does not live in London). How can she travel on the bus if I do not have a contactless card? I have my own PAYG Oyster (with Auto top-up) & we need to travel by bus to get to an underground station. Many thanks.

  744. Hi Sam,

    That’s a good question. She is eligible for an 11-15 zip Oyster card even if she doesn’t live in London. It costs £10 and will last until 30th Sept after the school year in which she turns 16. It also gives her the cheap off-peak cap of just £1.50 on trains. It takes a week or so to arrive though, so not much use today.

    Other options are a child travelcard, which you can’t get from a shop of course, or an adult Oyster.

    I do think that this is a scenario that TfL haven’t considered.

  745. Many thanks for your response. I hope this can be fed back to Tfl. A friend experienced another problem where she had used her contactless card to pay for her journey & then discovered that her son had forgotten his zip Oyster card. She could not use her contactless card a second time to pay for his journey so had to get off the bus. Is there a reason for only one use of the contactless card on each bus journey?

  746. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your help in advance, I am starting a new commute from Hornchurch to Earlsfield. Could you recommend the best option for PAYG or travel card etc?

    Many thanks,


  747. Hi Sam,

    TfL do monitor this site so they’ll pick up the comment. A CPC is treated just like an Oyster card such that the journeys in one day are agregated to provide one charge per day per card. The system wouldn’t know how many people are using it so it has to assume one. Also, I believe that additional touches on a single bus are disregarded to avoid multiple fares if the card lingers too long.

    You don’t say how old the child is, but if they are under 16 I’d hope that the driver might allow travel anyway given that it’s usually free and the child is accompanied. It might be worth raising a complaint depending on the actual circumstances.

  748. Hi Jamie,

    Best is a subjective word, it depends what is important to you. If it is time then you’ll probably want to go via zone 1 and then a travelcard will be your best option. If cost is more important then you’ll need to avoid zone 1 by changing at Whitechapel and Clapham Junction. If you travel at peak times both ways then a travelcard is worthwhile as long as it’s for a month or more. If you sometimes travel off-peak then PAYG may well be cheaper.

  749. I got caught out on Saturday with the TfL/NR extension fare supplement. I have a Z1-3 Travelcard and travelled from Northwood (Z6) to Waterloo on the underground (where I was correctly charged the £1.50 extension charge), then Waterloo to Wimbledon on NR (where I was charged a further 50p).
    TfL’s helpline suggestion was that I needed to wait >30 mins at Waterloo so that it wasn’t treated as a continuous journey, but that’s not very practical at almost midnight!
    Thanks for the tip on tapping in on a bus though to force a break – very practical, although bus drivers may not understand!

  750. Hi Andrew,

    You’d be surprised, most bus drivers are very used to people touching in and getting straight off, especially if they work in central London. Also, 30 minutes would not be enough as the LU-NR allowance is 40. However, there is potentially another way to do it if the station has gates. Touch in, then touch out straight away, then touch in again. This is treated as a same station exit where the second touch in cancels the earlier entry charge and starts a new journey. I’m still evaluating this one, but it does seem to work.

  751. Hi Mike,

    I will need to travel from Gloucester Road to Feltham (once only), and am planning to take a tube to Richmond and then take a train to Feltham from there. Could I complete both journeys with Oyster PAYG, or would I need a paper ticket from Richmond to Feltham?

    Thanks a lot,

  752. Hi Leila,

    Yes you can use Oyster PAYG for the whole journey.

  753. Hi
    Wonder if you can make any suggestions
    I have a son with a 16+ student oyster
    He needs to travel by rail from East Croydon to Redhill at about 8am two weekday mornings.
    I realise once past Coulsdon he is out of the oyster zone. Is there a way of combining the oyster rail discount with a ticket for the journey from Coulsdon.


  754. Hi Helen,

    You can only do this if he’s prepared to get out at Coulsdon South to touch his Oyster. This may be possible if he’s in the right place on the train. Alternatively the 405 bus runs between Croydon and Redhill and stops near to Purley, Reedham, Coulsdon Town and Coulsdon South stations. This bus accepts Oyster all the way.

  755. Thanks for your reply
    Unfortunately the bus is not a good option as it is difficult to get on due to it being on a school run and can pass his stop without stoping. It also gets caught in traffic and can take an hour for the journey.

    I guess we need to pay the fare . Was worth a try.

    Thanks for your help

  756. Hi I need some advice on what the best option would be either PAUG Oyster or a zone 1 – 5 railcard or an combination of both in order to save.

    I relocated to London and am currently living in Chingford near the rail station and work in Waterloo. I will only be travelling on public transport Mon-Fri, with occasionally journeys during the day to locations in South London and Surrey.

    Just wanted to know what the best option would be.


  757. Hi, I currently have a 16+ oyster card but it runs out soon. I am 18 and am starting uni – can I get a 16+ oyster card or do I have to get a 18+ oyster card? My friend was able to get a 16+ oyster card for her 1st year of uni last year but that was when you applied at the post office not online.

  758. Hi Nic,

    Chingford to Waterloo in peak times justifies a travelcard. That would also cover you to the edge of zone 5 in South London. To travel further just buy a ticket from boundary zone 5 to your destination.

  759. Hi Lucy,

    The 16+ Oyster card is only for students at level 3 or below once they pass 18. University is level 4.

  760. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the reply

  761. Hi,

    I am looking to commute from Dorking into zone 2 via Wimbledon. Can i just check that if i get a zone 2 to 6 travelcard Earls Court would be valid for this as I notice it is on the border of zone 1.

    also if i am making a journey from one zone 2 station to another via zone 1 would i need an oyster PAYG and then touch in and out at the 2 zone 2 stations even though i would also have a valid zone 2 paper ticket?

  762. Hi Steve,

    Yes, as long as you approach Earls Court from the zone 2 end of the station it is treated as zone 2.

  763. Hello,

    I was wondering if it it would be possible to use the PAYG balance on my 18+oyster to buy a 7 day Travel card?

  764. Hi Safia,

    It’s not possible online or at a ticket machine or ticket stop, but you might find that an Underground station may do it for you. They might treat it as a refund first, so you will probably need ID.

  765. Hi Mike, I just ordered an oyster PAYG can I add a travelcard to this or do I need another oyster card/travelcard.

    I am starting travelling into waterloo as from monday next week from high barnet.


  766. Hi Caterina,

    Yes, your Oyster card can hold both PAYG and a travelcard. The single fare from High Barnett to Waterloo in the peak is £4.60, so if you won’t be making any further travel during the week a travelcard at £53.40 is not really worthwhile. Even the monthly version at £205.10 only just makes sense if you use it for 23 days in the month. Obviously it will be worthwhile if you make lots of other journeys apart from your commute.

  767. Hi Mike,
    Hoping you might be able to help me (as I’m not having any luck finding it online)…
    If I get a Zone 1-3 7-Day Travelcard, how much will it cost me to take a bus from Zone 5 to 3 (to then catch the tube from Zone 3 to 1)? Or are all bus fares included on the Travelcard (no matter what zone)?
    A friend told me that if I got the Zone 1-3 Travelcard and then took a bus from Zone 3 (to get to Zone 5), that the bus was free. Not sure if that was true, but if it was, if the other direction (bus then tube) would be the same.
    Thanks for your help!

  768. Hi Nadia,

    Yes, all buses are included on any travelcard. Buses don’t run in zones, it’s a purely flat fare system. You can even board at places outside London with a travelcard where the bus is operated on behalf of TfL (eg Bluewater, Redhill, Slough etc).

  769. Hi Mike, I travel from Hatfield to Piccadilly circus every day. Was thinking of buying a NR paper ticket to Hadley wood then a zone 1-6 season ticket. From what I understand from the conditions of carriage part 19 is that either:
    – must get a NR Hatfield to zone 5-6 ticket,
    – or train must stop at Hadley wood,
    – or one ticket must be season ticket and the other must not be.

    If I got daily return tickets to Hadley wood, and yearly/monthly Z1-6 oyster I can catch the fast train?

  770. Hi Mo,

    Yes you can.

  771. Hi Mike,

    I commute every weekday from either zone 4 or zone 6 into Victoria on Southern and then take the underground to zone 3. I have a zone 1-6 travelcard. Would it be cheaper to just have a zone 1-4 travelcard and to have PAYG balance on the card? I’m not really sure how it works.


  772. Hi Alex,

    Obviously it depends how many times you need zones 5-6. A zone 1-6 travelcard is £57.20/week while a zone 1-4 travelcard is £45.00/week. A zone 5-6 peak single on NR is £2.20 so you can make 5 single journeys before it would be more worthwhile having the full travelcard. If you have monthly versions then the difference is £46.90 or up to 21 single journeys.

  773. Hi Mike, I have another question please. What would be the best cost effective way of travelling to Waterloo from hatfield. I was thinking of getting a weekly travel card to Finsbury park then use oyster PAYG to Waterloo. I sorted out my journey from High Barnet to Waterloo. But every other week I start later and unable to get a lift to High Barnet. Thank you

  774. Hi Caterina,

    Yes, if you’re travelling from Hatfield all 5 days in a week then that is probably the cheapest way without resorting to buses from Finsbury Park. If you only travel on 4 days in a week and always start from Hatfield after 0928 then get daily off-peak returns to Finsbury Park instead. Still use Oyster across zone 1 though.

  775. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your wonderful site, it contains plethora of information. I have a quick question for you.

    I live in Zone4 (Ilford) and my office is in Zone5(Cockfosters) . Which Travel card should I buy?

    Should I buy a Zone (3-5) travel card, I will be avoiding Zone1 but can’t avoid travel through either Zone2 or Zone3.

    Also suggest me an alternate if I wish to cross barriers at Harringay Green Lanes (Zone3-overground) and start next leg of journey from Manor House(zone 2/3 –Piccadilly Line) till Cockfosters.

    Many Thanks

  776. Hi Shekahr,

    You need to pay for the zones you travel through. If you go via Stratford, Highbury & Islington and Finsbury Park then you’ll need zones 2-5. If you walk between Manor Park and Woodgrange Park (or Forest Gate and Wanstead Park) and then between Harringay Green Lanes and Manor House you can indeed get away with only a zone 3-5 travelcard. If you have the zone 3-5 travelcard on an Oyster card and decide to avoid the walks one day then it will deduct a zone 2 single off your pay-as-you-go balance.

  777. Thanks Mike for replying to me.
    So in all I will be buying a Zone (2-5) Card .

  778. If you regularly want to go via Highbury, yes. If you only occasionally go that way then the zone 3-5 will save you money. Zone 2-5 costs £31.20 per week, zone 3-5 costs £26.00 per week. A zone 2 journey costs £1.80 so you can make 2 trips before the longer travelcard is worthwhile.

  779. Hi Mike,
    I have a student 18+ oystercard with a 16-25 railcard. From Monday to Wednesday I will be travelling only within zone 2 (peak times). But on Thursday and Friday I will be travelling from Clapham Junction in zone 2 to Purley in zone 6 (also peak times), which costs me £3.90 PAYG each way, so £15.60 a week. I was thinking of just getting a monthly zone 2 travelcard for £63.40 but then I noticed that a zone 2-4 travelcard is only £69.90 a month. So I am trying to work out if it would be cheaper to combine the zone 2-4 travelcard with PAYG for zones 5-6? Many thanks, Fay

  780. Hi Fay,

    Zone 2 only is actually zones 2-3 because you can’t buy single zone travelcard seasons. Peak fares for National Rail are: 5-6 £2.20, 4-6 £2.60. So with a zone 2-3 travelcard at £63.40 you’d pay £10.40/week extensions while with a £69.90 zone 2-4 travelcard you’d pay £8.80/week. There really isn’t a lot in it over a month – you’re better off with zone 2-3 if there are only 8 Thur/Fri in the month but better off with zone 2-4 if there are 9 or more. Of course, if you might travel out to zone 4 at weekends as well then it may tip the balance.

  781. Hi Mike,
    Thank you ever so much, that’s really helpful.

  782. Hi Mike,

    Looking for some advise on my best travel options. Due to start work in Ealing Broadway.
    I would be traveling from and retruning to Watford Junction, Mon, Tues.
    Traveling from Wat Junc on Wed but retruning to New Eltham and then on Thir and friday traveling from and retruning to New Eltham.
    Would I be best with a zone 2-8+WJ and use PAYG? Or just paying out for a zone 1-8+WJ travelcard?

  783. Hi DJ,

    The difference between Z1-9+W and Z2-9+W is £26.50/week so unless you’ll make lots of other trips into zone 1 I’d go for the Z2-9+W option.

  784. Hi mike,
    After your response on 17 October, also phoned up the train operator and had them confirm I can travel to London with ticket from Hatfield to hadley wood and Z1-6 season ticket. And also received email confirmation.

    I commuted happily for few weeks.Until yesterday they Ticket office refused to sell me ticket to hadley wood saying that It must get a train stop there. It tried to show then email/ the conditions of carriage and the guy just simply ignored me and closed the ticket office!

    I am left with with yearly season ticket and station staff that are potentially “high alert to get me” with fines! I’m really stressed out and need to be making this journey everyday.

  785. Hi Mo,

    Your ticket combination is definitely valid. It wouldn’t be valid if you had a one-day travelcard which might be causing the confusion, but with a season ticket it most definitely is valid. You need to reply to the email and tell them the problems you are having. I’ll send you an email so you can contact me direct if you want.

    In the meantime I’d buy the Hatfield to Hadley Wood return tickets online and pick them up from a machine. You could do this at Kings Cross the day before to avoid any contact with Hatfield staff. The ticket should work any barrier at Hatfield.

  786. Hi Mike,

    Hope you can help with the following. I am moving home and will be buying a annual zone 2-6 travelcard to cover my normal commute between Romford and Homerton. Occasionally I will make a journey between zone 6-1 or vice versa during both peak and off peak times. Please can you let me know how much the additional cost for travelling to zone 1 will be. Thanks

  787. Hi Sam,

    It depends where you go to in zone 1. If it’s just Liverpool Street on NR then it’s £2.30 peak or £1.80 off-peak. If it’s Shoreditch High Street from Homerton then it’s £2.20 all day. If it’s say Oxford Circus from Romford then it’ll be £2.20 off-peak and peak might be £2.20 or it might be £2.30. On the way in to London you are better off changing at Stratford onto either the Central or Jubilee lines because the higher price is only deducted at a zone 1 NR station (like Liverpool Street).

  788. Hello I would like to ask for a very strange thing that happend to me today. I have a 7 day travelcard for zones 2-4. I traveled today from Parsons Green to Tufnell park, both zones 2 and it took money from my Oyster card. Althought if I travel from Parsons Green to East Putney, just 2 stops, both in zone 2 it won’t take any money. Can you help me to figure out what’s up with that?!
    Thank you!!

  789. Hi Veronika,

    To get from Parsons Green to Tufnell Park you have to go through zone 1. There is an alternative which avoids zone 1 and thus wouldn’t cost you extra. You need to change at West Brompton, Willesden Junction and Camden Road/Camden Town or Kentish Town West/Kentish Town.

  790. Thank you Mile for explanation! Now I understand.


  791. Hello, I would like to ask if it’s possible to travel from Tottenham hale to Parsons green and avoid zone 1.
    Thank you!

  792. Yes, change at Highbury & Islington, Willesden Junction and West Brompton, touching pink validators at Highbury and West Brompton.

  793. Hi,

    I have a travel card zones 1-2, and on occasion traveled outside my home zones (ie zone 4) without tapping out by mistake. When I go to top up for PAYG for these type of journeys I have noticed I have incurred some charges for these previously incomplete journeys. Does anybody know what charges exactly are subtracted from your PAYG balance when this occurs?

    Any help would be much appreciated


  794. Hi Jeremy,

    Yes, you will have a reduced incomplete journey charge levied in that scenario. I think that is the through NR+TfL zone 1-4 charge.

  795. Hi,

    I have an annual paper ticket from Stevenage to Zone 2 (London),
    If I take a travel card covering zone 1 – zone 2, will I be able to use it daily without any penalties for the whole of my journey?

    My Journey details.

    Stevenage (Entry – Outside Zones)- London Kings cross (Change National rail to Underground Zone 1) – Mile End station (Exit – Zone 2)


    Mile End station (Zone 2) – London Kings cross (Zone 1) – Stevenage (Outside Zones)

    If I touch in using my oyster card at kings cross – No touch out anywhere until the next day’s journey as I will be using paper ticket once I reach Stevenage.. Is it valid?

    Please help me with this.

  796. Hi Prash,

    Yes that is valid, but it will be a costly option as you are paying for zone 2 twice. You would be better off asking to exchange your existing season to one including zone 1. This can be done at no charge other than the pro-rata additional cost and your season will still end on the same day.

    The other alternative is to avoid zone 1 by changing at Finsbury Park, Highbury & Islington and Stratford.

  797. Hello,

    I currently live in Zone 4, but will be moving to Zone 6 next June (2015). If I purchase a Zones 1-4 annual rail card at the end of this year, will I be able to get an extention on my oyster card next year when I move or will it need to be done as a paper ticket extension/pay as you go?

    Many thanks.


  798. Hi Sara,

    As long as the original season is on an Oyster card you can choose to extend it any way you want. You can add a zone 5-6 season for the rest of the year, you can ask for a changeover to zones 1-6 which may be slightly cheaper, you can use PAYG or just add monthly travelcards for the extra bit.

  799. Hi,

    I would like to ask which is the cheapest method from Shenfield to Hammersmith. Would need to commute Monday-Friday for 3 months and I also have a Discount Travel Card attached to my oyster.

  800. To give a full answer I’d need to know what time your journey starts each way.

  801. I would normally enter Shenfield gates at peak time around 7:30am and stop at London Liverpool Street. I would then take the central and Piccadilly line to get to Hammersmith station.

    Any help would be appreciated.


  802. Hi mike,
    I will be starting a new job in February 2015 in Whitechapel. (9am-5.30pm) I live in Ockendon, what would be cheapest fate for me? I could drive to upminster but would prefer to leave from ockendon station?

  803. Hi Louise,

    The cheapest fare involves changing at West Ham onto the District line to Whitechapel. You can also change at Limehouse and Shadwell if you want. Next year it will cost £4 peak single from Upminster and £5 peak single from Ockendon. A weekly travelcard won’t save you any money and a monthly or longer period will be very slightly cheaper as long as you travel 21 or more days in any month.

  804. Hi As,

    Sorry, can you also confirm your return journey time and what sort of discount card you have.

  805. Thanks,So if I use my oyster card with auto top up it will cost me £10 a day?

  806. Yes, that’s right. I’d suggest the £40 top-up amount or it will be debiting every other day.

  807. What a useful site, so much more informative than TfL’s own site. Until now I’ve only ever used PAYG on my Oyster but am now starting a job with a rail commute. As I understand it, I can maintain my PAYG balance while adding a travelcard and using that for the commute? And as my ideal route will be zones 2-6, but I will want to occasionally go into zone 1 of an evening, the additional travel comes off the PAYG balance? Thanks.

  808. Hi Simon,

    Yes, that’s right. Just remember to always touch in and out if there is a chance you’ll leave your zones.

  809. Dear Mike

    I received an email today from TfL:

    “I am writing to let you know that our records indicate that your Oyster card is not set with your Annual Gold Card Discount. This entitles you to discounts, which include a third off off-peak pay as you go fares on the Tube, DLR, London Overground and most National Rail services in London.

    From Friday 2 January 2015, there will be changes to the Annual Gold Card discount benefits on National Rail services including discounts on child fares and an extension of the Annual Gold Card scheme area. ”

    My Annual Travelcard is loaded on my Oystercard, so why would the discount not automatically have been loaded with it already (or be loaded if I renew my Annual Travelcard)? Or am I just being stupid?


  810. Hi Martin,

    Not stupid, no. The problem occurs when a season is bought in advance because the discount entitlement field only has an expiry date. If you buy from a ticket office and the season starts immediately then the flag is supposed to be set.

  811. i live in zone 1 and work in zone 5.
    however im thinking of getting zone 2-5 yearly season ticket as i work 4 days a week.
    what is the extension charge PAYG one way? 2015 £2.30? or will it take less of as its part of a season ticket? 2/3 of the price perhaps? i went to zone 6 once and only cost me 0.90 instead of 1.50

    also i read you cannot get a penalty charge for incomplete journeys on a season ticket, so if i just walked through zone 1 without tapping out, in effect iv got a reduced fare?

    do incomplete journeys on yearly travel cards get looked into?

  812. Hi Johny,

    Yes, the extension is generally £2.30 for zone 1. The 90p was probably a railcard discounted fare a few years ago. As for the rest of your post, my clear advice is don’t. Yes, incomplete journeys do get looked into, and if you’re caught by an inspector then it may well be a lot more than a penalty fare.

  813. Hi mike .
    How to avoid zone 1 to get ealing bradway from gantshill…
    Because i have a travel card for 2-4 .
    Thanx in advance …

  814. Hi Umar,

    Change at Stratford, possibly Willesden Junction, and Shepherd’s Bush. Touch the pink validator at Stratford on the Overground platforms.

  815. Hello Mike,
    I live in Twickenham and start working in Staines in two weeks, therefore I will need a season ticket between both stages. If in the evening I want to go from Staines to Waterloo occasionally, does this mean I cannot use my PAYG Oyster because I can’t touch in anywhere and therefore would have an incomplete journey. Is there an alternative (other than to interrupt my journey at Twickenham, get off the train, out the barriers, touch in again and wait for the next train…?).
    Thank you very much in advance for your advice.
    Kind regards

  816. Hi Yves,

    Unfortunately you will have to get out to touch in if you want to use PAYG. You may find that if you sit in the right part of the train you can touch in and get back on. Alternatively, you can always touch in at Whitton if that has validators on the platform. It’s the same zone as Twickenham so same price. Feltham is also an option, though that will cost a little more.

  817. Hello Mike What if I travel from zone 1 to 3/4? (It will be manor park to holborn station?) Kind regards

  818. I’m not quite sure what you’re asking here. If it’s single fares then try the single fare finder. Remember to check the actual direction of travel because the peak times will be different.

  819. Hi Mike. What an informative site!
    I’ve recently learned about contactless (ie debit/credit card) payments as an alternative to Oyster. The weekly cap looks particularly useful and economical compared to Oyster.
    I commute from Zone 5 to Zone 2 anything from 3 to 5 times a week. I like the idea of a weekly cap because at the start of the week I don’t always know how many days I’ll need to travel so a weekly cap avoids making the choice between 7 day travelcard and Oyster PAYG.
    My question is if I use my contactless card for the commute (and effectively end up with a cap at the cost of a weekly zone 2-5 travelcard), but then go into zone 1 one day, will my weekly cap be increased to the cost of a 7 day zone 1-5 travelcard, or would I just be charged for the zone 1 trip on top of the zone 2-5 weekly cost?
    I hope that makes sense!
    Any help would be great, tfl are lacking in real life info. Thanks

  820. Hi Steve,

    It makes sense. The system calculates the cheapest combination given all the journeys made during the week.

  821. Hi Mike, I applied for a 60+ oyster card but was told that as I live in Dartford I would not be entitled to have one…..have you any idea if they plan to extend the boundaries to people that live in Dartford?
    Kind regards

  822. Hi Charles,

    The 60+ Oyster card is funded by the London council taxpayers so I don’t think it’s likely that the scheme will be extended, unless Dartford or Kent councils decided to pay for it.

  823. Mike,

    I am not sure if you can help me. I am currently weighing up the pros and cons of purchasing an annual zones 2-3 NR goldcard versus an annual zones 2-3 TfL Oyster as NR are no longer putting their goldcards on Oyster cards. I know there is no price difference in the actual annual tickets but is there a difference in the charges applied to travel into say zone one or is it more about the inconvenience of having to pre-purchase ticket extensions with the paper ticket rather than just using Oyster PAYG for any extension in journey? As I live in Wimbledon, I have the added complication of not being able to pre-purchase tube tickets. So if I took a journey from Wimbledon to South Kensington on the District Line with my zones 2-3 season ticket, how would I be able to pay the excess into zone 1 if I had the annual paper ticket? Is the only real consideration the fact that if I go down the Oyster route then I would lose the goldcard discount for rail journeys outside zones 2-3?

    Thank you for any advice you are able to give.

  824. Thanks Mike, in that case what do you think would be the best (cheapest) option for me if I plan to visit London from Dartford a couple of times a week during non peak times to visit museums and art galleries etc etc

    Kind regards

  825. Hi Heidi,

    If you have the paper ticket then you can still use Oyster PAYG from either Vauxhall or Earls Court by changing trains to touch in/out, as they are both on the boundary between zone 1 and 2. However, you won’t lose the discount on other rail journeys because you get a gold record card when you purchase an annual travelcard which acts as a gold card for buying tickets within the newly expanded gold card area. Also, make sure that you get the gold card discount loaded on your Oyster card so you get discounted off-peak fares when using Oyster outside zones 2-3. The only thing you don’t get with the travelcard on Oyster is any free tickets from South West Trains.

  826. Hi Charles,

    You have two options really. An off-peak travelcard from Dartford is £12.80 and can be used after 0914. Alternatively a zones 1-6 off-peak travelcard is £12.00 and can be used on the red buses between Dartford and Crayford after 0930, then by train from Crayford.

  827. great stuff…..thanks Mike

  828. Hi Mike,
    Great website!

    I know you’ve covered this above, but it seems I’m a little slow!. If I have a Tfl zone 1-2 weekly travelcard, can I travel between Clapham Junction and Bank via Southern + Waterloo & City line at no extra cost? I’m a bit confused by all the Tfl/NR mixing stuff!

    I know there are other ways to get between these places, but that’s the fastest route and I want to make sure it’s covered without having to pay extra!

    Thanks a lot!

  829. Hi Olly,

    I think the confusion is where you call it a TfL travelcard. It is issued by or on behalf of TfL but is valid on all* rail services within the zones and all bus services operated by TfL. So yes, your route is covered.

    * OK, not quite all. You can’t use Southeastern high speed between St Pancras and Stratford International or Heathrow Express/Connect between Hayes and Harlington and Heathrow. Neither of those is applicable to a zone 1-2 travelcard anyway.

  830. That’s brilliant, Mike.. thanks a million!

  831. Hi Mike

    If I want to travel from Zone4 (Underground) To Waterloo at a weekend then from Waterloo to Sunbury overground then same journey in reverse what are my best ticket options please. Previously before finding this site I would have done Oyster PAYG on the underground then purchased ticket for overground at Waterloo

    Thanks in advance – Great Site by the way

  832. Hi,

    There is not a lot between what you already do and alternatives using Oyster PAYG to zone 4 (eg Raynes Park). The problem is that once you use Oyster on NR the rate you pay for the four zone journey increases. So realistically I’d carry on doing what you are doing. The only caveat is if you can avoid zone 1 to Clapham Junction, but as you haven’t said which Underground station you’re coming from I can’t help there.

  833. Thanks Mike – I would be coming from Woodford, is it more beneficial to ditch the PAYG Oyster buy a paper card travel ticket then on my arrival at Waterloo ask for an extension?

    My thinking is that I am essentially paying for part of my journey on the Overground twice if I use Oyster PAYG which I could already have paid for if I had the paper Travelcard to hand and hence with an extension my journey works out cheaper.

    Might be a total misconception on my behalf.

  834. Hi,

    You can only buy travelcards for zones 1-6 (or 1-9) on paper so you’d probably be overpaying. If you have a bit of time you could change at Stratford, Canada Water and Clapham Junction which avoids zone 1. You can then get a paper ticket from there.

  835. Hi Mike – I have a zone 1-3 monthly travel card which expires in the middle of Feb. I no longer need this and went to get it cancelled today and was told that I would get the used portion back. I calculated this on a prorated basis but for some odd reason TFL came up with a difference of £25 less. The guy at the counter told me that there is a £5 admin fee but I cannot work out how the calculated the rest of the refund. Any ideas?
    Thanks, Dan

  836. Hi Dan,

    The refund isn’t pro-rata. They take the cost of weekly and daily tickets off the price paid for the monthly and refund the difference less the admin fee.

  837. Hi Mike I really need your help.

    I am travelling from hounslow east (Zone 4) to Stepheny green (Zone 2) using a student oyster card with young person card discount.Now I am thinking to buy a monthly travel card but the station told me I have to buy a Zone 1-4 travel card even though I did’t exit any zone 1 station during my jounery.that would cost me 123.70 per month;While a zone 2-4 monthly travelcard cost only 71.5;

    Would you have any suggestions ?

    Best Yuqing

  838. Hi Yuqing,

    If you travel via zone 1 then you need to pay for it. There is no avoiding zone 1 fare for your whole journey, but with a travelcard you can split it in two at Clapham Junction. You need to change at Earl’s Court and West Brompton, then at Clapham Junction you need to touch out and back in again*, then take the Overground to Whitechapel and change one more time.

    * You may need to touch in and out twice because I’ve had reports that there is an EOSI joining journeys together at the moment.

  839. Thanks Mike,

    Another way I am considering is using young person card discount and make sure that I start each journey before peak time begins,eg 6:30 and 4:00,so for a return it costs 1.85*2=3.7 and for a month 3.7*5*4=74;

    The only drawback is my schedule should be very strict and extra cost would be added if I travel more than that

  840. If you can travel like that then PAYG is the way to do it, especially with the railcard discount.

  841. Hi Mike,if I start my journery from Stepheny green (zone 2) at 4:30 PM through central London to Houneslow east (Zone 4) ,is it peak time fee or not?

    As I know that travelling from zone 2 to zone 1 during afternoon peak time will chagrge me off peak fees

  842. Hi Yuqing,

    It’s only off-peak if you end in zone 1 unfortunately.

  843. Hi there. So if I have zone 6-2 annual travel card on my Oyster, I can then top up that same card to cover my trips into Zone 1 as and when I make them. Is that right?

  844. Yes, Chris, that’s right.

  845. Hi Mike, I travel from Canary Wharf to Uxbridge. Canary Wharf is in zone 2 and Uxbridge is in zone 6. Can I use a zone 2-6 travel card for this or do I need to buy a zone 1-6 as I do not touch out at any place for the entirety of my journey.

  846. Hi Ishaan,

    If your journey is through the middle of London then you need all 6 zones. See the FAQ page. You can make this journey avoiding zone 1 by travelling via Stratford and West Hampstead or Finchley Road (& Frognall). You must touch the pink validator at Stratford if taking this route.

  847. Hi again, my journey is from canary wharf to Finchley Road on the jubilee (or sometimes Baker Street), and then from either of those stations till Uxbridge via metropolitan line. I don’t touch out anywhere on the way and it’s a direct journey. Should I go for zone 2-6 as it’s around £106 though zone 1-6 is about £156 , I’d save £50 on a monthly bases. Thanks a lot for your replies Mike means a lot.

  848. Hi Ishaan,

    Please see the FAQ page.

  849. Hi Mike,
    I bought a zone 3-4 week travelcard which I used to travel from Earlsfield (z3) to Richmond (z4) and for the return journey. It turns out my payg credit got charged £1.70 every time! I have to go to Clapham Junction (z2) first I understand but it was just an interchange. I tap in z3 and tap out z4 so I don’t understand why I’m being charged extra, it’s like they’re extorting us because we are forced to go through Clapham Junction.
    Thanks for taking the time to answer my question.

  850. Hi Chris,

    You’re being charged extra because you are travelling through zone 2. You can use your travelcard without paying extra if you change at Putney, walk to East Putney, take the District Line to Wimbledon and then SWT from there to Earlsfiled.

  851. Hi Mike,

    I travel in from Hersham to Waterloo, then I catch a bus to work. I rarely use the tube and if I do it’s work related (expensable).

    Is my best option to get a season ticket between Hersham and London Terminals, then use PAYG bus or should I be looking at something like Hersham-Surbiton and then a Z1-6?



  852. Hi Evan,

    The weekly travelcard from Hersham to zones 1-6 costs £16.40 more than the rail only season whereas 10 bus journeys a week cost £15.00. So for a weekly ticket you’re better off with Oyster PAYG, but monthly or longer and the travelcard should just shave it. Even better if you can persuade your employer to split the Underground fares 50-50 – maybe too cheeky? Don’t buy separate season tickets as they will cost more than the combined travelcard.

  853. Hi Mike
    I have a monthly Z 1-2 travel card and am trying to find out what the additional PAYG cost would be to travel off peak out to Watford Junction and returning same evening. Are you able to find this out?
    Many thanks

  854. Hi Donna,

    It’s a zone 3-W single which is £1.70 off-peak, £3.40 for both ways.

  855. Hi Mike,

    I wonder if you can clear up something. I recently bought a zone 1-5 annual travel card (£2,188). 99% of the time my daily commute is from Canons Park (starting at 7:30am) to South Ken (via Green Park) and return same route in the evening (around 5pm).

    I note that a daily return is £4.70 and capped at £10.90…should I make additional journey during the day or weekend (which is not often) etc. If I do, then I might be saving nearly £1000 pa I think…

    Should I stick with my annual travel card or get a refund and just use PAYG?


  856. Hi Dilip,

    £4.70 is the peak single so £9.40 is the daily peak return price. As long as you use it every day for at least 47 weeks then you will be better off. Any other travel you do, particularly on days that you don’t work, will make it more worthwhile.

  857. Hi Mike, thank you for your very helpful website!
    I bought an annual seasonticket on my Oyster for zones 1-2 in December, but next month start a new job in Zone 3 (I’ll be travelling at peak times, there and back). Do you know if it’s possible to add an extension to my seasonticket? I’m thinking if it is, it should work out cheaper than combining with PAYG, even if it’s only 3 days/week travelling to Zone 3?

  858. Hi Sarah,

    You can get a season ticket changeover done at a tube station. I think there’s a £5 admin fee. However, the PAYG addon is only a zone 3 single, so if you’re only doing it 3 times a week you may be better off that way. If you can quote yor actual journey then I can calculate the costs.

  859. Thanks Mike,
    The journey would be Canonbury to Bounds Green (via Highbury & Islington), at peak time. Or I could alternatively get the bus and then do Manor House to Bounds Green, if that makes any difference.

  860. Hi Sarah,

    If you don’t actually need zone 1 anymore then you’d be better off changing it to a zone 2-3 travelcard as this is a lot cheaper than zone 1-2 (you’ll get a pro-rata refund less the admin fee). If you keep the zone 1-2 then the trip to Bounds Green will cost £1.70 single (or £1.50 if off-peak). If you change to a zone 2-3 and need to go into zone 1 occasionally then each single costs £2.30 at all times.

  861. I just got a zone 1-4 oyster travel card as I travel from Silver Street (zone 4) on national rail and then using tube to Oxford Circus (zone 1) atleast five times a week. Normally once a week I go to visit my parents via national rail in West Drayton (zone 6).

    Now that I have this zone 1-4 travel card, will I need to keep a second oyster with pay as you go balance and then once I get to Zone 4 (maybe Southall) exit with my zone 1-4 travel card and re-enter with another pay as you go oyster for the remaining journey to West Drayton?

    Or can I just tap out using my zone 1-4 travel card? For this do I keep extra funds on this card? Or is it ignored. Although West Drayton do not have barriers but if I dont tap out or in I guess I will get the max fine.

    Thanks for your help

  862. Hi Rick,

    Your extension journeys are taken from the PAYG balance. There is no need to get off the train or make extra touches. If you touch in in zone 1 and out in zone 6 with a zone 1-4 travelcard you will be charged a zone 5-6 single. Likewise if you touch in in zone 6 and out in zone 1. You need to keep the PAYG balance topped up when you want to make extension journeys.

    As always, if you don’t touch out or in at one end of your journey there are a number of possible scenarios ranging from an incomplete journey charge up to prosecution leading to a large fine and a criminal record.

  863. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for doing this. I will be in London for 6 days, staying near the Alperton and Perivale stations, coming from and returning to Heathrow. Will spend at least 2 days on day trips to Tring Railway (Ashridge Estate) and Bicester Outlet Village. Will likely spend the rest of my time within zones 1-3, average 3 trips a day. My morning trip out would be off peak, return trip most likely peak. Can you advise if I should:

    1. Get a zone 1-4 travelcard or zone 1-3 travel card combined with payg.
    2. Best way to get to Ashridge Estate from Alperton or Perivale

    Best regards

  864. Hi Mike,

    Sorry, can you also advise on the additional tickets I would need to purchase and where I can do so for the 2 day trips to Ashridge and Bicester, following your advice to the above. I would be open to bus journeys as well. i understand that there a bus from Alperton to Central Wembley, followed by rail to Tring is possible. Not sure if there are better options.

    Your site is amazing, keep up the good work!

  865. Hi Joleen,

    From what you’ve said it looks like a zone 1-4 travelcard is probably the way to go. For Bicester use PAYG to West Ruislip and then use a paper ticket from there. For Tring, the bus to Wembley Central then use PAYG to get to Watford Junction and a paper ticket from there. In both cases you will only pay from zone 5-6 or 5-W on your Oyster card. You will need to get out at Watford Junction, so the hourly direct train to Tring from Wembley may not be the best bet.

    Hope that helps.

  866. Hi Mike,

    Noted, I will get the zone 1-4 travelcard. Can you clarify on What is the 5-w zone you referred to?

    For getting to Bicester North, where should I board from and transfer and can I get the paper ticket from a tube station? Or any rail station?

    For Ashridge, do you mean I should avoid the hourly train? Why do I need to alight at Watford Junction? Are there better, albeit more expensive options then? Thanks for the lightning reply!

  867. Hi Mike,

    This might have been answered else where but, I am currently using a monthly season ticket between guildford and London zones 4-6. If i wanted to to travel from guildford on an adhoc basic into central london zone 1 and i bought a zone 1-4 offpeak travelcard (with railcard) would i be able to get a fast train from guildford to waterloo which wouldn’t stop in any london stations before waterloo? or even just a slightly fast train (via clapham junction) ?

    In addition to the above.
    I would ideally try to use PAYG but that would involve getting off and back on again at a zone 4 station both on my way into london (to get into the PAYG network) and then on my way back home in zone 6 (to avoid effectively double paying for travel in zones 4-6) which i would imagine might end up costing more?


  868. Hi Joleen,

    You would be boarding in zone 4 (Wembley C) but only charged for zone 5 to Watford Junction because your travelcard covers you to the boundary between zones 4 and 5*. You need to alight at Watford Junction to touch out and end the PAYG journey. Wembley Central to Tring off-peak day return is £12.40. Watford Junction to Tring off-peak day return is £8.10 with two £1.70 PAYG singles saving you about a pound. (*as it happens the off-peak fare is the same from zone 4-W as zone 5-W).

    For Bicester North you need the Central line from Alperton to South or West Ruislip. Buy the ticket to Bicester North from South or West Ruislip. Check times because trains aren’t very frequent on that line.

  869. Hi Alasdair,

    Yes, Guildford to zones 4-6 and zones 1-4 is fine on a fast train. Zones 1-3 would be fine if you could buy it. Yes, you would have to get off to use PAYG.

  870. Hi, I bought a 2-4 weekly travel card yesterday and this morning I went to tap the Oyster reader. I started my journey from Penge East which is zone 4 and was getting on the Victoria train to get off at Brixton (zone 2). However, when I tapped in at Penge East it came up with ‘seek assistance’. I don’t understand, as because I was getting on at zone 4 this should be covered right? I had to put extra money on my oyster this morning so I could tap in.

  871. Hi Amanda,

    There are a number of things which might have gone wrong. Did you order it online, but after 11pm? If yes it will be available to collect tomorrow. Did you select Penge East to pick up from? If you selected Penge West in error then you’ll either have to go there, or let the order lapse and refund you automatically. Did you set the start date for today? If it was in the future then you will have the travelcard but it won’t be used until the start date.

    If you call the Oyster helpline they should be able to see what has happened.

  872. Hi Mike. I have a problem with my travel card. Every day I travelling from East Croydon to Hammersmith via Clapham Junction and via Richmond. So I no travel in via 1st zone, I have a travel card for zone 2-5 and every day I have to pay extra about £ 5 PAY. So could you please help me? I don’t know why… Thanks for your help. Joanna.

  873. Hi Joanna,

    The single fare finder only lists one route avoiding zone 1. That involves changing at Clapham Junction, West Brompton and Earls Court. You need to touch the pink validator at West Brompton to get the cheaper fare. Going via Richmond seems a bit roundabout to me.

  874. Hi Mike,

    My husband and I are moving to Potters Bar (currently in High Barnet). I wanted to see what is the best options I will only be travelling into Kings Cross but my husband will be travelling into Shepherds Bush what is his best option to get the best price on his tickets?

  875. Hi Gem,

    As you probably know, Potters Bar is just outside the Oyster area at the moment. You will need a Potters Bar to London Terminals season. This is valid into both Kings Cross and Moorgate, and also on the Underground between Kings Cross, Moorgate, Old Street, Highbury & Islington and Finsbury Park, but not at any intermediate stations on the Underground. For your husband I suggest a Potters Bar to zones 2-6 travelcard. Change at Highbury & Islington and possibly Finsbury Park and/or Willesden Junction using London Overground to avoid zone 1.

  876. Hi Mike,

    Not an Oyster question but you know your stuff with London travel and I don’t so please answer if you are happy to! I’m booking a ticket from Coventry to New Cross in May, and specifying New Cross online allows us to book via a £160 travelcard. However if I book as an Advance outbound and Anytime inbound ticket specifying “London Zone 2” as the destination station the total would be £114 in total. I was just concerned as extending a National Rail ticket to Zone 2 in this way allows you to make a single journey within London (including connections), however given that we would need to take the Underground from Euston to London Bridge and then SouthEastern from London Bridge to New Cross, I wondered whether this would still be workable (e.g. if it means leaving the exit barrier at London Bridge).

    Can you help?


  877. Hi Andy,

    My understanding is that tickets with a destination of London zone 2 (acually described as Zone U12* London) enable one Underground and/or DLR journey to any station in zones 1 or 2 as the last part of the journey. It is not valid for further travel on National Rail. You might be ok to arrive on London Overground at New Cross, but I’d check this before trying it.

  878. cyclinginstructor

    hi, thanks for all the work in creating and maintaining this site. I have a 60+ travel pass and senior railcard Is there any method of determing what the fare will be when travelling outside the 60+ area from within it, without going to the ticket office and asking them. I cannot find any of the online ticket booking services that support the 60+ rail card, paul

  879. Hi Paul,

    The 60+ Oyster card (and Freedom Pass) is treated as a season ticket for fare splitting purposes so all you need is a ticket from the last station within the 60+/FP area.

  880. Hey there Mike,

    I have a question – maybe you can help me clear up something.

    I live in Vauxhall and will be working in Cockfosters shortly.

    My question is , if I get a zone 2-5 travelcard, will I be charged when I pass through zone 1? Even if I don’t get off at zone 1?

    I’ve read some replies regarding a similar situation, but the date they were given in is fairly old, so was wondering if things have changed.
    The TfL sites aren’t clear about this and the examples they give don’t show the situation of passing through zone 1.

    Thanks a million,


  881. Hi Radu,

    Yes you will. See my FAQ page.

  882. Hi Mike
    I know that some Season Tickets which terminate actually allow a small amount of underground travel. As per your message above regarding Kings Cross/Moorgate.
    My season ticket is from Banstead to London Terminals. Where does this allow me to travel to? I always use London Bridge or Victoria, but where else can I terminate in London? Is there a website I can look at to find this out


  883. Hi Peter,

    The season ticket calculator on the National Rail site tells you which terminals it is valid to. In this case it is all South London terminals along with City Thameslink. There is also temporary validity on some Underground lines in connection with the London Bridge work.

  884. Hi Mike,

    I plan to start commuting from Leighton Buzzard to Shepherds Bush 5 times per week, and plan to use the direct Southern train that goes from Milton Keynes to Croydon, which requires a Leighton Buzzard to Zone 2-6 ticket.

    My question is if I wanted to occasionally use the fast train from Euston (either because of delays on the Croydon-MK line or if I spend an evening in Central London) what is the cheapest feasible way I could do this?

    I can’t use my Oyster card since I would have no opportunity to tap out on the fast train out of London, so the only option I can think of is to buy a paper Zone 1 travelcard at Shepherds Bush which covers my journey into Central London and my Zone 1-2 train ticket out of London, which seems very expensive at £12.

    Is there a way I could get an oyster Zone 1-2 single @£2.90/£2.30 and then a paper train ticket that covers Zone 1 to Zone 2 for my journey out of London which is valid on the fast train?

    Many Thanks

  885. Hi Charlie,

    Yes, as you have a season ticket you can buy a single to the first station in zone 2 from Euston and use that on a fast train. This would cost £4.80.

  886. Noel Turner

    For Charlie
    The 18 bus runs from Euston past Willsden Jn station entrance it may be free on your zone ticket. It is slow at peak vehicle time but serviceable otherwise.

  887. I have a zone 2-6 travelcard on my Oyster. If I travel from canada water to St John’s Wood. Will I be charged for passing through Zone 1 on the Jubliee line? Thanks in Advance

  888. Hi Siggy,

    Check the first item on the FAQ page.

  889. Hi Mike,
    I have some questions regarding the7-day Travelcard issued by National Rail. Normally I use my Oyster Card when in London, but this time we want to profit from the “2-for-1” promotion Nationa Rail offers.
    So we plan to buy 7-day Travelcards for Zone 1-2 which should cover most of our travel.

    But we plan two journeys outside these zones.

    1.) To Hampton Court (from Bayswater tube Station via Wimbledon, where we change to the national rail) and return ( we may travel via Waterloo Station on the return journey)

    2.) To Heathrow Airport (complete journey by Tube)

    I read somewhere that you can get (paper) extension tickets for the travel outside zone 1-2, so we don’t have to pay a zone 1-6 fare. Is this correct, and how does it work?
    I also still have my Oyster card, so it might be an option to use this for part of the journey.

    Thank you for your answer,

  890. Hi Dagmar,

    You can use Oyster for both journeys as Hampton Court is within zone 6, just. As you have a paper travelcard your cheapest bet is to start the Oyster journey at the boundary of zones 2 and 3. Fortunately this is a station on the District line so you can get off to touch in at East Putney and continue on the next train. If you return to Waterloo then there isn’t a station on the mainline so you’d need to touch out at Earlsfield, Clapham Junction or Vauxhall, all of which are in zone 2 as far as you’re concerned.

    For Heathrow the off-peak Oyster fares are the same from zone 2 or 3 to zone 6 so you can touch in at Earls Court or Hammersmith while you change from District to Piccadilly Lines. Hope that helps.

  891. Hi Mike,

    Very interesting Article and thanks for all the answers and help you are providing. I could not read everything and I’m sorry if my question has been already answered.

    Here is my issue : I have an oyster card with a zone 2-4 travelcard on it. I’m living in New Malden (z4) and working in Putney (z2) (therefore my usual trip is New Malden – Wimbledon by train and then District Line from Wimbledon to East Putney). However, 3 Mornings a week, I have to take the train from Norbiton rail station (z5). My thought was to just use my PAYG for these 3 mornings from Norbiton and then my Travelcard z2-4 would take over. But unfortunately, it looks like it is not happening this way. I have started this trip 2 dasy ago and I’m paying 1.90 pounds on my PAYG each single way (which is a rip off seeing that I’m just doing 1 stop out of my travelcard zone allowance. It would cost me less to take the z2-5 travelcard, looks a bit strange to me. I think this is due to the fact that I’m not tapping my PAYG at Wimbledon and therefore, the system is just making me pay a full trip Norbiton – East Putney. Even if I was tapping in Wimbledon, it would charge me for a trip between Norbiton and Wimbledon on my PAYG which would be already more than what I should pay…I can’t go down the train in NEw Malden just to tap my PAYG in z4, it would be silly. Waht do you think ? Is it a mistake from the system and I could ask TFL to do something about it ? Do I have a better solution than taking the z2-5 travelcard ? thank you very much for any help you could provide

  892. Hi Gus,

    There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that the single zone peak single on National Rail is £1.90. If you were paying for Norbiton to New Malden then it would actually be £2.30, and Norbiton to East Putney would be £2.70. I agree that to add zone 5 for 3 trips is cheaper than using PAYG – totally daft, but that’s London fares for you (nothing to do with TfL, this is NR/ATOC).

    The good news. East Putney and Putney are actually on the boundary between zones 2 and 3 so you only need a zone 3-5 travelcard. This costs the same as the zone 2-4 travelcard you are currently buying.

  893. Hi,
    What is the fastest bus to get me through zone 1 from south to north? I have a zone 2-3 card and am trying to avoid paying extra by using bus in zone 1.

  894. Hi Mark,

    It really depends on where you need to get from and to. I’ve no idea which ones take less time, but I’d start by using the TfL journey planner with the two stations and see what it comes up with.

  895. Hi Mike,

    I don’t mind which zone 2 station as long as it’s south of zone 1, (eg. elephant castle,vauxhall,etc) and get to a zone 2 station in north (in this case tottenham hale IKEA). I found a bus in tfl but it’s about 50 min journey. I think I will rather just go to East Croydon IKEA.

  896. Hi Mark,

    It’s difficult giving advice without knowing the whole journey. Can you get to the South London Line? Clapham Junction -> Canada Water -> Stratford -> Tottenham Hale avoids zone 1.

  897. Thanks Mike,
    I have a zone 2&3 travel card. I would be at elephant and castle and need to get to tottenham hale.

  898. Are you saying that you live near Elephant and Castle, or could get to it before wanting to abandon rail travel? If you live near to it, why did you also suggest Vauxhall as a potential place to switch to a bus? If you are going to get there from somewhere else, please tell me your start station. I don’t need your address or anything contentious.

  899. Hi Mike,

    As per above, I just used Vauxhall as an example of a station south of zone 1 (OK, it is actually a zone 1+2 station, so I can understand the confusion). I live in Elephant, so basically wanted to either omit zone 1 or get through it using a bus because my zone 2,3 travel card includes bus travel. So E&C would be my start station, ideally. Thanks

  900. Hi Mark,

    OK. Elephant is also dual zoned. To stop the system assuming you’ve gone through zone 1 you’ll need to split the journey in two. Start by taking the Northern line to Clapham North then walk to Clapham High Street and take the Overground to Canada Water. Then it’s Jubilee line to Stratford and either direct to Tottenham Hale or via Hackney Central/Downs. To split the journey you will need to touch out and back in at a gateline at Stratford while changing trains. Neither the pink validators nor any yellow validators not attched to a gate will do the job, it must be out and in via a gate.

  901. Hi Mike,

    OK excellent, gonna print this advice and try it out. One more thing, what do you mean by gateline?

    Thanks for your help,

  902. A line of ticket gates with Oyster readers attached.

  903. Thanks Mike,

    Was just thinking, as I recently took a bus 188 to bermondsey and then Stratford by tube, that might also work combined with your proposal. Ie. Bus 188/1 from Elephant to bermondsey or canada water and then tube to Stratford and then (after touching out in gateline) stratford to Tot hale.

  904. Hi Mark,

    Yes, that would also work. I’m no expert on buses other than my local area and some of the useful ones which go outside the zonal area.

  905. Michael Moore

    I have a 2-4 travelcard. I need to take a bus in the morning, but if I start my tube journey before peak time in the morning, and then travel to zone 1, will i get charged off peak for zone 1?

  906. I have a Z1-5 travelcard but want to travel to Heathrow. How much would this charge me PAYG and do I need to do anything other than tap in and tap out?

  907. Hi Michael,

    Yes. The fare decision is based on touch in at the start of the rail journey even if the start is covered by a travelcard.

  908. Hi Harry,

    It’ll be a zone 6 single (currently £1.50/£1.60) and you just need to touch in at the start and out at the end.

  909. Hi Mike,
    I will be commuting from Clapham Junction to Gunnersbury via Richmond and wanted to know which travelcard I need to get. I thought a Zone 2-3 would be sufficient as Clapham Junction is Zone 2 and Gunnersbury is Zone 3 but someone told me they would not allow it on the train from Clapham Junction to Richmond as that is Zone 4 even though I’m only interchanging there.

    Are you able to advise?

    Thank you for your help!

  910. Hi Soraia,

    Richmond is in zone 4 so you should pay for that if you go that way. There is a route defined via West Brompton and Earls Court which is valid with just zones 2-3. As long as you have enough PAYG credit to pay for the zone 4 single you are fine to go via Richmond with the 2-3 travelcard on your Oyster. Make sure you touch in at the start and out at the end and it will deduct the extra at the end.

  911. Hi Mike,

    I have a z2-5 travelcard and, I believe, a 16-25 railcard attached (the TFL worker seemed to struggle with the application of the railcard).

    When travelling off-peak to z1 from Wandsworth Town (changing at Vauxhall) I am being charged £2.30. This shows as an extension fare on Oyster Online. Should this be £1.50? I haven’t been able to do any journeys that aren’t mixed/extension to test that the railcard is correctly applied.

  912. Hi Jamie,

    Yes, it should be £1.50. It would appear that the railcard has not been added properly (or at all).

  913. Hi Mike,

    my daily commute is either from Ladywell (z3) into Cannon Street (zone 1) or Brockley (z2) into Bank (z1), depending on several factors, mainly the time I leave home or the office.

    I always travel at peak times, and up until today I’ve used only a PAYG card, so it’s either £ 2.90 or £ 3.30 depending on the route.

    Today I have added a zone 1 to 2 travelcard to my PAYG Oyster.

    If I travel from Brockley that won’t be a problem, but if I take the Ladywell route, is it safe to assume that my PAYG balance will go down by only £ 0.40, i.e. difference 2.90 and 3.30?

    Also, what happens if I touch in at Cannon street and then forget to touch out at Ladywell? (it happens sometimes, due to the lack of barriers). Will my PAYG balance be deducted the maximum fare?

    All in all, do you think what I’ve done is the best option, or should I have gone for a zone 1-3 travelcard for peace of mind instead?

    Thanks very much, your website is brilliant

  914. Hi Mario,

    If you travel from Ladywell you will be charged a zone 3 NR single which is £1.90 peak. On the return journey if you forget to touch out you will potentially be liable for a penalty fare or prosecution.

  915. Hi Mike,

    I’m going to start commuting between Ockendon and Canary Wharf. Been reading through the past comments, and I’m wondering if the Grays area station issues still exists — Can I get a season ticket covering my commute on an Oystercard (Ockendon + Zones 2-6)?

  916. Hi Bob,

    Sadly not.

  917. Hi Mike,

    My work commute consists of me getting on from Hounslow West (Zone 5) to London Bridge (Zone 1). However I will be moving to Canary Wharf soon which is in Zone 2.

    Therefore, if I go from Hounslow West to Canary Wharf, would I be able to use a Zone 2-5 travelcard, or would I still need to use a Zone 1-5 travelcard as my commute would still consist of me travelling through zone 1.

  918. Hi Nitish,

    If you travel through zone 1 then you need to pay for it.

  919. Is it possible to use travelcard valid for zones 1-6 to travel to Windsor by train and pay just the price difference? How can we actually to that? Would it be a mixed travelcard with PAYG oyster? How can I find the exact price difference?
    Same questions for Watford junction with London Midland.

    Thank you

  920. Hi Beni,

    Same questions but different answers!

    Windsor: If you have a travelcard season then you need to buy a ticket from Boundary zone 6 to Windsor, or West Drayton to Windsor, or Feltham to Windsor depending on which route you intend to take.

    Watford: As Oyster is accepted at Watford Junction you can just mix your season ticket and PAYG.

  921. Hi Mike. Absolutely love your website – thanks for all the help you’ve provided both directly and indirectly (through the likes of me reading other replies). I have a question which I hope you can help with as I’ve spent quite a few hours toying with calculations.

    I have an annual zone 2-4 travelcard on Oyster which I bought to run from 1 Jan-31 Dec (and paid 2014 £1040 price as I renewed in December 2014). However, I’ve just moved out to Woking. As a short term option this week, I’ve been buying a Woking to boundary zone 4 single in the morning (£6.60) + a GC discounted single in reverse (£4.35) and travelling via Clapham Junction or Surbiton to Vauxhall, where I then get the bus up to Great Portland Street. Due to needing to avoid zone 1 (and thus Waterloo), I have to get up and travel pretty early because of the 45-50 minute bus journey from Vauxhall, and it gets me back later too.
    So the time has come for me to add zone 1 but I’m thrown by being halfway through the year and whether I’ll end up paying more money than I need to if I plump for a Woking z1-6 6-month travel card, and it’s confused by having several scenarios. The most important things are not paying any more money than I need to in order to add zone 1 so I can get to Waterloo and use the tube up to Regents Park.

    The first question is can I make my Oyster annual travelcard a Woking to Zones 1-6 card? I’ve assumed not. If that’s the case then am I better off surrendering my z2-4 Travelcard for a refund and buying a paper Woking to Zones 1-6 card?
    Given that I’m halfway through the year I don’t know whether to plump for 6 months (£2,184.20) or 12 months (£3,792.00) – either way, feel like I will be losing out but especially if I buy a 6 month one as the effective average journey cost is higher (it’s just not as good value). However, if I did go for the 6-month card then that takes me to the end of the year and I can get a 12-month card at 2015 prices at the end of Dec before fares rise.

    However, I was wondering if I would be better off making my z2-4 card a z1-4 card and carry on buying paper tickets at a cost of £10.95 a day and doing that until the end of the year (my intention would be to then buy the Woking zones 1-6 annual card before the Jan fare rise).
    I’m not sure if my calculations are correct on the pro-rata difference. The z1-6 and a 6-month card costs £2,184.20.
    An Oyster z1-4 Travelcard costs £1,844 – I think the pro-rata difference I’d have to pay would be £376.42 before admin fees based on dividing £1,844 by 365.242 days in a year and x 171 days until 31 December). (z1-4 costs £1,844 = 5.048707432332536 x 171 days = £863.3289709288636
    compared to 2-4 card, £1040 / 365.242 x 171 = 486.9100486800532. Pro-rata difference = £376.4189222488104). So if that was the case, based on 170 days of travel remaining this year I think I would end up paying £2237.92 (£1861.50 rail tickets + £376.42 pro-rata Oystercard difference), compared to £2,184.20 with a Woking to z1-6 6-month card. Does that look right to you? I’m sorry for the complication and many figures – as you can probably tell, I’ve been thinking about this too long and got a little lost in it all!

  922. Sorry Mike, me again.

    I think I made a mistake in my final calculation. I think I incorrectly used the ‘170 days’ figure for how many days I’d actually be travelling, when it should only have been used to work out the pro-rata difference between the z2-4 and z1-4 travelcards.

    I estimate that I’ll actually be travelling that journey (Woking to c. London) about 120 days from 13 July to 31 December because I won’t be travelling at weekends (apart from the odd jaunt) and because of annual leave & bank/public holidays.

    Therefore, I think I’m better off with paper tickets and a z1-4 Oyster travelcard. But does it sound right and is there a better way?

    I work it out to be £1690.42 (from 13 July):

    120 x £10.95 (6.60 + 4.35 on paper Woking to boundary z4 tickets with Gold Card discount on return leg) = 1314 + £376.42 to cover the pro-rata difference by changing my Oystercard to from z2-4 to z1-4 = 1690.42, compared with Woking z1-6 6 months card (£2,184.20).

    Thanks again and I’m sorry for the long posts.

  923. Hi Elisa,

    You’ve got the general idea right, although the calculations do not go into multi decimal places. This year has 365 days. You can do a season ticket changeover such that you’ll pay the same rate as last year for whatever is left of your original year. On that basis I think the best option is to change it to a Woking to zones 1-6 season, although I’m having trouble finding out what the price for that was last year.

    The spanner in the works is finding somewhere to issue the changeover that also deals with Oyster. It’ll need to be one of the NR stations issuing Oyster cards at the ticket office because the old travelcard has to be unloaded from the Oyster.

    I’ll try and come back later today with the proper calculation and also the best place to try and do it, if that is the cheapest way.

  924. Hi Mike. Thanks very much for your reply. I’ve tracked down the 2014 price for Woking to z1-6 – I believe it was £3,704.

    Would the below calculation be correct then?

    Woking to London zones 1-6 £3,704 (2014 price), divided by 365 days = 10.147 (x 171 days from 13 July)
    = 1735.298

    z2-4 card £1,040 (2014 price), divided by 365 days = 2.849 (x 171 days from 13 July)
    = 487.23

    Pro-rata difference (1735.30 – 487.23) = 1248.07

    So would I pay £1248.07 for Woking z1-6, versus £1690.42 if I continue as I am (z2-4, mix of paper tickets), from 13 July through to 31 December (and get unlimited travel thrown in)?

  925. Hi Elisa,

    Yes, £3704 is correct for Woking to zones 1-6. Your calculations are almost correct, I make it this:

    13/07/2015 to 31/12/2015 = 19+31+30+31+30+31 = 172 days (you have to include 13th July).
    Base price of old ticket is £1040/365 = £2.85 (rounded to nearest 1p).
    Base price of new ticket is £3704/365 = £10.15.
    Cost of new ticket £10.15×172 = £1745.80
    Credit for old ticket £2.85×172 = £490.20
    Cost of changeover = £1255.60.

    Now, given that you work near Regents Park I think the best place to go to try and get the changeover is Marylebone. They deal with Oyster cards and I’ve always had good feedback from there. They may need a few days notice to check the calculations so you might need to continue with your temporary solution for a few more days.

    Also, one final thing to consider. You mentioned Camden Road in a duplicate post. You can travel from Clapham Junction to Camden Road in 40 minutes using London Overground. I know the service to Clapham Junction from Woking is poor in the peaks, but that would enable you to continue avoiding zone 1. You’d then only need a Woking to zones 2-6 ticket. It’s not that quick, but may be less susceptible to rush hour traffic than buses.

    Hope this helps.

  926. Hi Mike,
    Thanks ever so much for your time on this, I really appreciate it. Yes, I had considered going up to Camden Road – to explain, I used to travel from Richmond to Camden Rd and walk down to work (about 25 mins, rather than get the bus as it was my exercise!) to get in for 9am, but now I’d be aiming for the same time from Woking and have to walk 2 miles to get to Woking station anyway. Overall, it simply takes too long to make it worthwhile when I weigh up the saving vs quality of life balance! I figured that I’ve saved enough excluding zone 1 from my Travelcard for 18 months to justify it.
    I’d also decided to plump for Marylebone out of the stations on the page you’d linked to as I like the station from past experience and it’s only 15 minutes for me to walk there to sort it out.

    I’m assuming that this is a straight changeover to an annual Woking to z1-6 annual card, therefore still eligible for 1/3 off fares in the new extended Network Railcard area?
    Will it become a paper ticket, changing my Oyster to a normal PAYG card?
    I’m not sure this makes any difference but should I ensure the paper ticket is linked to my Oyster card to benefit from the caps/discounts? (I previously had my Annual Gold Card linked to it, well I’d asked the staff to do it anyway but from reading these forums I’m well aware that it’s not always that straightforward!).

    I’m sorry about those extra questions, I anticipated my reply being just a big ‘thank you’ but then these questions all came to mind.

    Thank you once again.

  927. Hi Elisa,

    You’re welcome, it’s a pleasure to find someone who has already researched as much as you and has some idea. I can sympathise with your situation having commuted to Woking for a couple of years including walking back along the railway half way to West Byfleet.

    Anyway, yes your Oyster will revert to PAYG but is still eligible for the gold card discount. You’ll only need it if you go beyond zone 6 because your paper ticket is a full travelcard. Good luck at Marylebone.

  928. Hi Mike,

    I went to Marylebone today to ask them to do the changeover but had no success and a very frustrating time, despite being very clear and repeating what we had discussed here.

    I went to the NR ticket office and was told they could not/would not do it – various reasons mixed in together, such as ‘we can’t do it because you didn’t buy it from us’, or ‘we don’t have the equipment’, ‘we can’t do it because you bought it from LU’ (I renewed this annual card at the LU Euston office last year after buying it originally at SW-run Richmond), or ‘we can’t give you a refund because we never had the money’ (despite explaining that this is not what I want, only a changeover to a different ticket from Oyster to paper). I was told I had to go back to Euston/had to ask LU/had to ask at Woking (despite me saying they can’t)/had to get a refund on my Oyster and buy the paper season ticket. The lady spoke to another member of staff, apparently the resident ‘ticket expert’, who said that they couldn’t do it.

    I then asked at the LU ticket office, hoping that they could verify that I had it right, but they also suggested getting a refund. The LU office said that Marylebone standard ticket office could issue Oyster cards and the like but ‘can’t physically unload them’, but the same chap said that he thought that what I was requesting wasn’t possible full stop (and also thought it was somehow more complicated when I mentioned ‘zone 1’ [?]) so I have to take it all with a pinch of salt.

    I might try St Pancras at the weekend as that is on the list of stations that can handle this type of changeover. Hopefully they can help, I’ll update on here just because it might be useful to others looking to do the same thing.

  929. Hi Elisa,

    Sorry to hear that. I’m going to try and contact someone who works there and find out if what you say is correct.

  930. Hi Elisa,

    I’ve received a reply and learnt something new. Apparently you cannot changeover a travelcard issued at an Underground or DLR station or ticket stop or travel information centre at a TOC operated ticket office, including those run by London Overground and TfL Rail. It also doesn’t work the other way. Providing you haven’t altered the travelcard already you can do a similar exchange process at an Underground station, though unfortunately they charge a small fee. Towards the bottom of this page is a link to a form which you can take to your chosen station. Note that they require 7 days notice, though you will keep the old ticket while they do the calculations. You can include travel to a station outside the zones.

    Sorry for not understanding this critical difference between TfL issued and NR issued travelcards. SWT have a lot to answer for when they withdrew Oyster facilities at Richmond and Wimbledon.

  931. Hi,
    I have a zone 4-6 travel card and i travel between Morden – teddington. I used to take tram from morden to wimbeldon and then a train to teddigton.
    Now, due to tram upgrade, they terminate at Dundonald and i have to walk and manually enter the wimbeldon station. It is charging me 1.90£ each way although i am still travelling between zone 4 – 6. Do you have a clue how can i avoid that?


  932. Hi Sadaf,

    You may be travelling between zone 4 and 6, but Wimbledon is in zone 3. If you haven’t been paying for zone 3 then you’ve been open to a possible prosecution for fare evading. Is there a bus you can get to Raynes Park station instead?

  933. Hi Mike,

    I hope you’ve had a nice week. I’m sorry to say it’s me again! I’d actually spotted the altered availability form prior to first posting on here in search of your expertise, so yes I decided to fill it in and take it along to an LU office but unfortunately I ended up being told different things again, such as that they wouldn’t be able to include Woking (I’m not surprised, I had first assumed they wouldn’t) as well as saying that I should either a get a refund or change my Oyster annual z2-4 travelcard to a zone 1-2 annual travelcard and buy a season ticket from Woking to Waterllo, even though that isn’t the cheapest option by my calculation (and I had stressed this was important). The (nice) chap asked me what I was doing at present and I explained I had been buying paper Woking to boundary zone 4 tickets and he said I couldn’t do that if my train didn’t stop in bz4 – I explained I’d never had a problem with ticket inspectors or with SWT selling me the ticket, so there you go! He also threw doubt on whether Woking to z1-6 would cover tube travel… but that’s not the case, right? I’m sure that ticket would let me go wherever I want on LU, Overground, DLR within z1-6 (and buses), right?

    One question about zonal tickets – say if I kept my z2-4 Oyster annual travelcard, if I bought a paper season ticket to cover Woking to zone 2 (Vauxhall), could I just buy a Woking to Zones 5-6, or would it have to be Woking to Zones 4-6? I ask as I wonder if I’d essentially be paying for zone 4 twice. If Woking to z5-6 + Oyster z2-4 is ok to cover that journey, is it still the case that the train doesn’t need to stop in z5 or 4? i.e. could I get the train from Woking non-stop to Clapham Junction and change for Vauxhall?

    I’m very sorry to ask you yet more questions and really appreciate your efforts to help so far.

  934. Hi Elisa,

    Sigh! As the form asks you to circle the zones required, I wonder what the space for another station name is for then? Given his other answers I’d not be confident that he knows what he’s talking about. You definitely can buy Woking to BZ4 day tickets to use with your travelcard. As for his suggestion that Woking to zones 1-6 wouldn’t cover tube travel … if I were you I’d complain to LU about that advice. It seems like he needs a refresher training course. You certainly don’t want to buy Woking to Waterloo and a zone 1-2 travelcard separately.

    Your final paragraph is a bit of a grey area. A Woking to zones 5-6 plus a zones 2-4 definitely covers all the way to Vauxhall, There is no gap between adjacent TfL travelcard zones. So yes, Woking to Clapham Junction would be fine. However, if you added to that a Vauxhall to Waterloo season then whatever you were on between Clapham Junction and Waterloo would have to stop at Vauxhall. You also wouldn’t be able to use the tube in zone 1, though buses are fine of course.

    If you really can’t get LU to issue a Woking to zones 1-6 season (and I do believe you should be able to), then I’d probably exchange the zone 2-4 travelcard into a zone 1-4 travelcard and buy the Woking to zones 5-6 season as a separate ticket. You’ll still have the benefit of a gold card with the remainder of the annual zone 1-4, so just buy Woking to zones 5-6 to cover up until the end of the year. Then you can get the whole thing for next year on Jan 1st.

    You don’t say where you tried to get this sorted. If it wasn’t a large station then I’d suggest trying Waterloo Underground. I certainly hope you can get this sorted out.

  935. I’m trying to work out the price / cheapest and what its called to go from
    Morden-Vauxhall tube
    Morden – Oval
    Morden- stockwell

    what is the difference between putting the season ticket on your oyster to just having a paper version. Also does this cover free bus travel?

  936. Hi Stacey,

    In all cases that is a zone 4 to zone 2 journey so the single fares are £2.40 peak and £1.50 off-peak. You can only get travelcard seasons for the Underground and there’s no difference in price between paper and Oyster. Oyster is more convenient because it allows you to travel outside your zones by paying the extension fare from your PAYG balance. You also don’t suffer from the paper wearing out through repeated insertion in ticket gates. All travelcards allow free bus travel on all TfL operated routes. If you only make one return tube journey a day, 5 days a week, then a travelcard is a little more expensive, but if you even make 1-2 bus journeys a week it will be worthwhile.

  937. Hello! I will be visiting London in October. I will be staying with a friend in Hinchley Wood and i am very unfamiliar with the travel card system. Since hinchley wood is not in a zone, if I travel from there to anywhere in zone 1 how will I be charged? I plan to get a 7 day travel card and load it up with some money as well. Thanks for any info you can give!

  938. Hi Lauren,

    Hinchley Wood is just outside the travelcard and Oyster area, so you will not be able to use an Oyster card there. You can buy a 7-day travelcard from Hinchley Wood to zones 1-6 at £66 which is cheaper than some just outside the zones stations. That is valid for unlimited travel in zones 1-6 and between Hinchley Wood and Surbiton.

  939. I need some advice please i am trying to figure out which option is cheapest for our family.
    We are travelling to London Euston from the midlands in October. From Euston we need to travel to our hotel in zone 2 and possible some sight seeing in Zone 1. The following day we need to travel to Bond street station before 9.30am and then back to Euston later on in the evening. We are a family of 2 adults and 4 children 1 aged 11 the others under 11. We also have a family and friends railcard.
    I have been searching online to book tickets in advance and the 1 day travelcard will cost £12.00 per adult and £6.00 for the 11 year old per day. Will the Oyster card be a cheaper option is there an discount with the family and friends railcard.? many thanks

  940. Hi Amy,

    There is a discount with the F&F railcard, but only for the whole zones 1-6. If you stay within zones 1-2 then the daily cap will be less than the railcard discounted travelcard. Get a third Oyster for your 11 year old* and get a two week child discount added at the TfL travel centre at Euston for half price fares and caps. Don’t worry about travelling before 0930 as the cap is now all day – £6.40 adult and £3.20 child.

    *If you think you might come to London a few times before your child is 16 then it might be worth getting an 11-15 zip card. Off-peak single fares are just 75p with a £1.50 cap, though you will pay a little extra for the pre-0930 journey. The card itself costs £20 but will last until they are 16.

  941. Hi,

    I’m about to renew my annual travelcard following a house move and now trying to work out my cheapest option.

    I now live in zone 4 and work in zone 1 (Waterloo). Most weeks 3 days a week I will need to make 1 return journey to zone 6 (Feltham) in the evening peak. As I understand it this means that if I have a zone 1-4 travelcard I will just pay a zone 5-6 fare on my Oyster? So £1.70 for every return journey. I have a gold card but understand this offers no discount during the evening peak on PAYG fares.

    I think a 1-4 with PAYG as required will work out cheaper than a 1-6 (, I just want to make sure I have my sums right. Thanks in advance for any help!

  942. Hi Chris,

    You’ve almost got it right. Yes, you would be charged a zone 5-6 fare, but it would be at the National Rail scale so £2.30 peak or £1.90 off-peak. Sadly there is no railcard discount on peak single fares. If your commute is solely on SWT then you may find a paper season to London Terminals works out cheaper if you live on the line to Feltham. You can then buy a return ticket with discount from your station to Feltham to use in conjunction with the season ticket. The only caveat is that the train must go through your station. If you live on the Hounslow loop and want to travel via Richmond, for example, then the travelcard will probably be better.

  943. Thanks Mike.

    I will actually be going Waterloo > Feltham > Brentford in the evenings, although I do require the travelcard as my morning commute (and evening commute two days a week) is Hanwell > Paddington > Waterloo.

    Basically trying to work out whether it’s worth spending the extra £500 for a 1-6 or not.

  944. OK Chris,

    Well the travelcard is obviously best for you. You have the extension fares for Feltham so you just need to do some maths.

  945. Hi Mike,
    Very helpful website thank you! I was just wanting to confirm that if I buy a Travelcard zones 2-4 that when I make the odd journey into zone 1 I will only pay for a single (x2 to get back)?
    I’m travelling from Balham to Brentford every day for work and a 2-4 is £800 cheaper than 1-4 so makes more sense to me to just pay the odd extra?
    Thanks again.

  946. Hi Jamie,

    Yes, that’s correct. Usually £2.30 single.

  947. Hi Mike,

    Quick question and apologies if it’s been answered and I’ve missed it. Great site btw!
    I have a 2-4 travelcard travelling on NR from Palmers Green and Finsbury Park (zone 2-4). However, I’m meeting some friends in Earls Court which is Zones 1 & 2!! Obviously to get there I’ll have to travel through zone 1, I just can’t work out what I would be charged!!!
    Help would be greatly appreciated!!

  948. Hi Vinnie,

    It’ll be a zone 1 single of £2.30.

  949. Just realised that after a Monday off work, I purchased my new Z1-4 weekly Travelcard a day early, so the start (Tuesday) overlaps with the end of the previous Z1-4 one. Is there any way of getting a refund on the twice-paid overlap day?

  950. Hi Nick,

    Is this on paper or Oyster? I thought that the Oyster system stopped you getting overlapping travelcards. If it is paper then contact the company you purchased from, otherwise contact the helpdesk. I don’t know whether there is anything that can be done, but you can only ask.

  951. It was Oyster on a Southeastern ticket machine, which it seems allow the customer to be a bit dim and have overlapping Travelcards (should have selected “start tomorrow” rather than “start today” for the new one). I could understand if I’d gone from – say – a Z1-3 to a Z1-4 to get the extra Zone, but not two overlapping Z1-4s.

    I’ll try the Helpdesk over the weekend.

  952. Hi Nick,

    Oh dear, that is poor programming. You may have to contact Southeastern as they operate the machine.

  953. Hello i got 18+ oyster card. My usually zones are 4 to 3 on train and if i get a monthly ticket for those zones and if i go Zone 2 or 1 for one day during that month. Will I be charged extra and how much?

    And btw another question, sorry, since i have 18+ discount card attached to my railcard. I was charged £2.30 on train and 1.50 on bus this morning aren’t I supposed to get discount. The train journey only charged me £1.30 when i had my 16+ oyster last week same time. Please help

  954. Hi Angie,

    The 18+ Student Oyster is different to the 16+ zip Oyster card. With the 18+ card you are charged full adult single fares and caps but you get a 30% discount on the price of travelcard seasons. If you have a 16-25 railcard then you can attach that to the Oyster and get 34% off off-peak single fares and the off-peak caps.

  955. Hey mate,
    I recently run into a problem, I bought a monthly travel card for zones 2-3 with my 18+, just to make this clear, I buy it to go to university and during my previous years I paid for a typical 1-3 travelcard and never used to get chardged when touching in East Ham and touching out at Hendon Central (these 2 stations are both inbetween 3/4) so whenever I touch in east ham and touch out in Hendon central I get a charge penalty because to my travelcard it counts as zone 4 not 3 and this is kind of confusing me seriously, is there a point to buying a travelcard anymore?

  956. Hi Leon,

    The problem is that you aren’t paying for zone 1. If you want to use just zones 2-3 then you need to travel via Stratford and Camden Road/Camden Town. You won’t pay for zone 4 at either end of your journey, whichever way you go.

  957. Hi Mike , Iam struggling to get the best fare fromm Mainline Chiswick station to Whitton , I work in Whitton Mon-fri what is the best option and saving? 1week 1month travel cards or PAYG have to be at Whitton station by 7.30…guess the peak fares will apply considering the time I get on the train …I only have an oyster do I need some kind of railcard? Please revert

  958. Hi Liz,

    If the only travel you need is SWT then a rail-only season ticket is probably the best option. £21.90/week or £84.10/month.

  959. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering if having bought an annual travelcard, if you need to cancel it 4 months in, can you get any refund on the unused portion?

    A friend of mine is working in zone 1, but is moving house to zone 2. He will be travelling peak time both ways, 5 days a week, so I think a travelcard is best. One person in his department will have to do a stint abroad for 2-3 months from Feb 2016. Whilst he is unlikely to go, there is still a chance and he won’t know for sure for a while.
    If he buys an annual zone 1-2, is it possible to get a refund on the unused portion if he ends up going? How would this be calculated – would it be comparable to 5 monthlies?


    P.S. Apologies for the multiple questions & posts, this (you) really is an invaluable resource which could probably replace most of the tfl information/customer services.

  960. Hi Saj,

    Yes, he can get a refund which is calculated as the difference between the annual cost and the cost for an equivalent monthly rate season, less a small admin fee. An annual has no refund value after about 10 months.

  961. Hi,

    I am looking to travel to Oxford, off-peak day return. I have a zones 1-3 monthly travel card on my Oyster. I understand I can use my travel card up to Ealing Broadway and purchase a day return which covers the rest of the journey from Ealing Broadway to Oxford. However, the terms of the day return say ‘not via London’. Is this allowable, given I’ve taken the train from Paddington? – yet the first part of the journey is covered by the travel card? Also, is there an issue if the train doesn’t stop at Ealing Broadway?

  962. Hi Max,

    Yes, it’s fine, even if the train doesn’t stop at Ealing Broadway. You could also buy a Boundary zone 3 to Oxford day return at the same price as that says Any Permitted. The difference is that the BZ3 ticket is only available at a ticket office, not online.

  963. Hi Mike,
    I have a Gold Travelcard from Luton Airport Pkwy to London St Pancras and including zones 1-6 to get me to Borough Underground. I am tired of taking out the Gold Card and inserting this in the card machine at each point. I am trying to find out if there is any scan method I can use, such as by using my Oyster card without this charging me any more? Have you any ideas how to overcome this? What set up would be required for my Oyster card too?
    Appreciate your advice very much.
    Kind Regards

  964. Hi Glenn,

    I think your answer is probably coming to Thameslink soon in the shape of “The Key”. You can already buy travelcard seasons from Southern stations outside the zones which work all the barriers in London and buses etc as well.

  965. Hi Mike,

    I am new to London, here for uni and trying to figure out the best and least expensive way to travel from zone 2 (queens road Peckham) to zone 6 (Uxbridge). Do I have to buy a travel card covering Z1-6? Or is there a way I can avoid zone 1 altogether. Also, I have classes only 3-4 days a week.

    Thank for your help.

  966. Hi Jacqueline,

    That’s an awful commute. There are a number of ways to avoid zone 1 and also different ways to go through zone 1 with different prices. The single fare finder lists the different variations. If you are only travelling 3-4 days a week then you’re probably better off using PAYG, especially if any of the journeys may end up being off-peak.

  967. Hi Mike,

    I have a monthly rail travel card for Zones 2 – 5. In case if I have to goto Zone 1, do i need to swipe in the oyster a station before entering Zone 1 or can i swipe directly while exiting in a Zone 1 station. If so how much will i be charged?


  968. Hi Rama,

    If there is a chance you will leave the zones covered by your travelcard then you must touch in within the zones. If you don’t then you will get charged a maximum fare when you touch out.

  969. Hi Mike,

    I trying to find out if it will be more beneficial for me to change my Annual Gold Card to an Oyster Card as I only work 4 days a week but still travel at peak times?


  970. Hi Adele,

    I’d need to have more details before I can offer any suggestions. What is your actual commute? Do you ever use the trains when not commuting?

  971. I live in Zone 3 and travel to Chancery Lane (Zone 1) and very rarely use public transport at the weekend.

  972. Sorry, I need to know where you are coming from, or at the very least what sort of train(s) you catch.

  973. Hi Mike,

    I always come back to your site every few months, a very useful tool!
    If I have an annual Zone 1-4 oyster card and commute from London Victoria/Blackfriars to Beckenham Junction am I ok to take a fast train to Bromley South (zone 5) and get a stopping service back 2 stops to Beckenham Junction without being charged extra for entering Zone 5/penalised if stopped?
    I wouldn’t be tapping out at Bromley South, just changing platforms.
    Thanks in advance for your reply!

  974. Hi Nick,

    Yes, that’s fine. As a precaution I would have some PAYG credit such that you could exit in zone 5 if needs arose.

  975. Hi Mike,

    My actual journey is I walk or take the bus to Putney Mainline Station and catch the train to Waterloo where I get the bus to my office. I do the same on the return but I always catch the bus home from the station which means I use Zone 1-3.

  976. Hi Adele,

    Right, that changes things a lot. Putney is on the boundary of zones 2 and 3 so you only use zone 2 if travelling towards London. Buses are not zoned at all. As you don’t use the Underground you also have the option of a rail only season. So, using weekly pricing (annual is 40x a weekly season) these are your options:

    Zone 1-2 Travelcard: £32.10/week.
    Putney to London Terminals: £17.80/week plus 4x daily bus cap £17.60 = £35.40 – Not worth it!
    Zone 1-2 daily cap: £6.40 x4 = £25.60.

    So, if you only travel 4 days a week you should use PAYG. If you use contactless then it will cap at the weekly travelcard rate between Monday and Sunday so you’d be covered if you did travel on 6 or 7 days one week.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  977. Hello Mike

    I was wondering if I was traveling from zone 6 (Loughton) to Zone 1 (Southwark) and I touched out at Zone 1 at around 09:40, would I be charged at peak or off peak rate?

    Kind regards

  978. If I have travel card for 1 week from zone 2-4 will I still be able to use unlimited bus?

  979. Hi David,

    Unless you can touch in after 0930 in Loughton then it will be peak. See the peak, off-peak and caps page.

  980. Hi Mary,

    Yes. Any TfL operated bus anywhere in London, and outside wherever they also accept Oyster.

  981. Hello!
    I have an 18+ Oyster card for 1 year for zones 1-3. What do I need to do if I want to go to Heathrow airport (zone 6) using the Piccadilly line? How can I use my card and do I need to buy a single ticket just for this journey? Thanks very much!

  982. Hi Natalie,

    Just add enough for a zone 4-6 single to your card and then touch in in zone 1 and out at Heathrow. You’ll need £2.40 in the peak or £1.50 off-peak.

  983. Hi Mike
    I bought monthly travel card zones 1-3 effective from 2 Dec. After using it for 2 weeks I realised and started just using zones2-3 underground tube and bus to reach my destination in zone 1.
    Can I ask for reducing to zones 2-3 and get refund? Secondly, can I stop using travel card and get the refund whatever I can get and just use as PAYG since I will be using it for only 3 days in a week after 24 Dec. Thanks

  984. Hi Mar,

    There are two separate issues here. You can choose to reduce the number of zones, but it won’t be done retrospectively even if you didn’t use the zone you no longer require. You can also get a refund for a partly used travelcard, though a monthly ceases to have any value once there is less than a week left. All the details can be found on the TfL website.

  985. Hi Mike, I am looking to get a tfl season ticket for year zone 2 to 3. Does bus journeys be included say if I got a bus from a zone 4 area to zone 3 would I get charged bus journey? Thank you

  986. Hi Anit,

    All TfL buses are included with any travelcard. Buses do not run in zones, it’s just a flat fare.

  987. I have a 7-day zone 1-2 travel card on my oyster, how much should i top up to get from zone 2 to Heathrow airport?

  988. Hi Henry,

    That’s a zone 3-6 TfL-LU single which is £2.80 peak and £1.50 off-peak.

  989. Hi Mike,

    I’m wanting to buy an annual travelcard before the New Year but I’m in a slight predicament as to zoning – I currently live in Mornington Crescent and commute into Piccadilly Circus on the tube, but it’s likely I’ll be moving to Finchley at some point in 2016. Can I buy a zone 1-2 annual travelcard and upgrade it to a zone 1-3 card if necessary?

  990. Hi Samantha,

    Yes you can. However, how much additional travelling do you do apart from your commute? If it’s not much then you may be better off using PAYG. In particular, can you walk to Euston rather than Mornington Crescent? If you can then you’ll only be charged for a zone 1 single rather than a zone 1-2 single. That’s £2.30 single, £4.60 return, compared to the £5.35 average daily cost if you use the annual season on 240 days a year (48 weeks).

  991. Hi Mike,
    Very sorry if this is an obvious question! I am just very confused, I need to commute from parsons green station (zone 2) to Kenton or Northwick Park (zone 4).
    Can I get a zone 2-4 travel card even if i go via zone 1 but don’t get off? Also what would be my best route?

  992. Hi Imogen,

    If you travel via zone 1, or the system thinks you have, then you need to pay for it. Thankfully there are some alternative routes for this journey which avoid zone 1, so a zone 2-4 travelcard will be fine. Your best route is probably to change at West Brompton and Willesden Junction. You need to touch the pink reader at West Brompton while changing trains. Although you may pass another one at Willesden Junction you don’t need to touch that one as well.

  993. Hi, quick question about when Gatwick comes online with payg. Can I use my zone 2-5 travelcard and just top up the extra using my payg allowance on my Oyster for the extra journey to Gatwick?

    For info I will be travelling from Ealing Broadway (zone 3) > Shepherds Bush > Clapham Junc > Gatwick
    The fare from East Croydon – which is zone 5 – to Gatwick according to TFl is £5.20. I would pay this extra, is this right?


  994. Hi Joy,

    Yes, that’s how it should work. The only exception with Gatwick is if you use the Express, but that won’t apply if you get on at Clapham Junction.

  995. Hi Mike

    Great website thanks for giving your time and experience. I recently moved to Purley and commute to east Acton. I do not travel via zone 1 as I use the overland service purley – clapham Junction – shepherds bush – east Acton. However, I can’t seem to find the right weekly travel card. Do I have to get a zone 6 -1 or is there a cheaper alternative ? Thanks Chloe

  996. Hi Chloe,

    You can use a zone 2-6 travelcard for that journey.

  997. Hi Mike,
    I have a 1-6 zones on my Oyster card, as was travelling from Crayford to Wood Green daily. Circumstances have now changed and I am currently still travelling from Crayford but only into zone 1 (no tubes now needed). Now that Dartford is in the zones, I was wondering whether I can change the zones on my oyster, or whether I can add Dartford? My ticket does not expire until 2/9/16

  998. Hi Lyn,

    This is an odd one because there are more than one variable in the change.

    For Dartford you would need to add zones 7-8. It is possible to add zones, but if you are only using Southeastern trains then a paper season ticket from them might be cheaper. The problem is that Southeastern can’t do an exchange on a travelcard loaded onto an Oyster. I would call the helpdesk and ask what amount of refund you would get if you surrendered your travelcard on a particular day and also what it would cost to add zones 7-9 for the remainder of the term. Then compare those options with the price of a new season from Dartford to London Terminals.

  999. Hi Mike,

    I’ve just bought a annual travel card (zones 1-3) which for the first time for me, they’ve put on an Oyster Card (I’ve previously had the paper travel cards). The gentlemen on the counter warned me that I now need to start making sure I tap my oyster card on the way out otherwise they’d charge me for zones 1-6. Is this information correct? I’ve paid the full year upfront and haven’t ‘uploaded’ any additional cash onto the card so I’m not sure how they’d actually charge me?

  1000. Hi Mike,

    I have a Zone 1-3 Annual Season ticket which runs out in Aug 2016. But I am moving to Zone 5 in Feb. What is the best way to top up my season ticket?


  1001. Hi Matthew,

    Technically it is correct. The rules say that you must always touch at each end of every journey. However, where a travelcard is being used there is no penalty for not touching as long as the whole journey is within the zones covered by the travelcard. If you travel from zone 3 to zone 6 you will need to touch in at the zone 3 start to ensure that you only pay a zone 4 to zone 6 single from your PAYG balance.

    If you have no balance and the system decides that it needs to charge you it will make the balance negative. This then invalidates the travelcard until such time as the negative balance is cleared meaning that it will no longer operate the gates within the zones.

  1002. Hi Paul,

    You can either purchase a zone 4-5 travelcard to sit alongside your existing one, or you can take it to a tube station and ask them to upgrade the ticket to a full zone 1-5 travelcard.

  1003. Hi Mike,
    I just purchased a monthly oyster travel card for zone 2-3.
    If I go to zone 1 using top-up, will I be charged £2.80?
    Many thanks in advance!

  1004. Hi Alessia,

    It’s likely to be £2.40 as the zone 1 single fare. In some cases it might be £2.00 off-peak, or a maximum of £2.50 peak, if you exit at a National Rail station in zone 1. Make sure you touch in in zones 2-3 so that the system knows you haven’t come from further out.

  1005. Hi Mike,

    I am looking to purchase a monthly travel card for zones 5 to 4 as majority of the stations I use is between these zones. However I live in zone 5 and sometimes I would need to travel through to zone 1 to then go back out to zone 4 or 5. Would I be charged for entering zone 1 though I have not exited out into Central London?

    Many thanks and great website!


  1006. Hi Nejla,

    It’s difficult to advise exactly, but if the Oyster system thinks that you’ve gone via zone 1 then you will be charged. If your travelcard only covers zones 4-5 then you’ll be charged a zone 1-3 fare depending on the services you use. If you can advise the stations involved then I might be able to suggest an alternative if one exists.

  1007. Hi Mike,

    I’ve been looking at this thread and you’ve been very useful! I live in Cutty Sark, and work in Welwyn Garden City (yes, it’s a heck of a journey). I want to buy an annual travel card on my oyster (Zone 1-2). Normally I would board the train at Kings Cross. Given that I would have Zone 1-2 covered on my Oyster card, can I just buy an extension from Zone 2 to WGC (annual rail pass or carnet tickets? Or do I need to buy a paper annual travel card that covers Zone 1-2?

  1008. Hi Judy,

    Well done! You’ve found one of this years travelcard anomalies. A slightly better version is buying zones 1-3 on your Oyster card. A zone 1-3 plus WGC to zones 4-6 is a little cheaper (£88/year) than WGC to zones 1-6. That combination is valid on fast trains. The other extension ticket that would be valid is boundary zone 3 to WGC, but that would end up being more expensive than the annual z4-6 ticket over a year. Any other combination would require the train to stop at a named station and/or be more expensive anyway.

  1009. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your response to my comment on 7 Jan (Cutty Sark to WGC). Can I check that I can buy annual tickets for both, ie. zone 1-3, and for WGC to zone 4-6 (or carnet for the latter)? For the latter, I was told at the ticket office I need to pay for the daily tickets which doesn’t make sense because that will probably work out more expensive. Thanks so much for clarification.

  1010. Hi Judy,

    Absolutely. The key point is that both season tickets are zonal so there is no need for the train to call anywhere specific. There is no gap between London fare zones so as long as you have all the zones you need covered then you are fine. The ticket office probably confused your situation with buying a point-to-point season for the latter part. That would not be allowed unless the train called at the point you switch seasons. It’s all in condition 19 above.

  1011. Hi Mike,

    If I currently use a zone 6-2 travelcard and make multiple journeys through zone 1 on a single day, would the extra amount charged be capped at £6.50?

  1012. Yes it will.

  1013. Hi Mike,

    I have a monthly ticket from Brighton to east Croydon and a zones 2-5 travel card. I am making a one off journey from Brighton to London Waterloo. Do I have to swipe out using my monthly ticket then in again using my oyster at east Croydon to avoid being charged a maximum fare (because I’m travelling into zone 1)?

  1014. Hi Maya,

    As long as the train calls at East Croydon then there is no need to get out there. You need to touch your Oyster in somewhere within zones 2-5 before going into zone 1. You could do that at Clapham Junction.

  1015. My son needs to travel from kidbrooke to Waterloo east for 1 week soon mon-fri. He has a 16+ oystercard. What would be the cheapest? To use payg or to put a travel card onto it? If its the latter, then how and when can I get this loaded. I find the tfl website VERY confusing so hope you guys can help me with this.

  1016. Hi Rob,

    If it is just Kidbrooke to Waterloo East and back for 5 days with no extra travel, PAYG will be cheapest.

  1017. Thanks Mike, much appreciated. Just looked on TFL and as I see it, it will cost £17 for the week (kidbrooke-waterloo east and back) on a 16+. (£1.70 per train x10) Is this correct? Sorry but I find it all so confusing lol.

  1018. Hi Rob,

    Yes, that’s right.

  1019. I am hoping you will be able to help me. I need to renew my annual travel card. I currently have zone 1-3 but I will be moving in a couple of months to zone 4. If I was to buy a zone 1-3 annual card now would I be able to put on the extra zone 4 annual bit after I move.
    Look forward to hearing from you

  1020. Hi Sam,

    Yes you can. You need to apply for a changeover and you’ll pay the pro-rata difference for the time with the extra zone. There may be a small admin fee as well (£5 or £10).

  1021. Hi Mike,
    I am hoping to find a way to minimise the costs commuting from Chiswick to Richmond by bus/tube then taking train to Ascot.

  1022. Hi Xander,

    Can you start the journey at Chiswick station? The Anytime day return from there is only 20p more than from Richmond and won’t involve the Underground. Because you are travelling against the peak flow in the morning the daily tickets work out cheaper than seasons, so there’s not much else can be done.

  1023. Hi Mike,
    I hope you can help me. I bought an oyster PAYG card (40 pounds) but the weekly travelcard is a better option for me. Can I exchange it? I am a visitor and will be only 7 days in London.
    Look forward to hearing from you.

  1024. Hi Vesna,

    I don’t know the answer, but my best advice is to take it to a TfL visitor centre and see if there’s anything they can do.

  1025. I have a monthly travelcard on my oyster covering zone 2 and zone 3. Whenever I travel to zone 4 using the route wapping overground in zone 2 to clapham junction then rail to St. Magarets in zone 4, I get charged £2 on my (peak time). I knew I had to pay extra, but paying £2 more doesn’t make sense, when the difference between zone 2 – 3 and zone 2 – 4 isn’t £2 when looking up fares. Any suggestions? Is it because it because st. margarets is rail only and I get charged more compared to another zone 4 station that has tube as well as rail?

    I use the pink tap in at clapham junction.

    Thank you in advance.


  1026. Hi Mai,

    £2.00 is the peak single fare for zone 4 on NR lines. See my single fares page for more detail. You need the NR1 column.

  1027. Hi Mike,

    I have a question I hope you can help with. I am moving to surrey quays with my boyfriend but my work is on Arnos Grove. I was planning to get a 2-4 travelcard and use the overground to Highbury and Islington and then victoria line. I noticed however that Shoreditch High Street is in zone 1. Will I be charged a zone 1 fare even if I don’t touch in and out only for that station? I could end up in Highbury and Islington through Stratford, so how would they know I went through zone 1?

    Thanks in advance,

  1028. Hi Maria,

    They know you went through zone 1 if you don’t touch the pink validator at Stratford while changing trains. And yes, you will be charged a zone 1 fare if you go through Shoreditch, or if the system thinks you have.

  1029. Hi Mike,

    What a very helpful site this is! Perhaps you could help me with my question please. I need to commute from Beckenham Junction (z4) to Farringdon (z1) on National Rail trains only (via Herne Hill) so I intend to buy a season ticket (on Oyster) for £127.50, which does NOT include travel on London Underground (but it’s £51.10 less than if I bought a season ticket that includes it) because it is likely most days I will only need National Rail trains.

    My three main questions are:
    1) if I need to use the tram from Beckenham Jct or any bus, would that still be free (included in my travel card)?

    2) if I need to travel, for example from Beckenham to Clapham Jct on National Rail only (via Victoria), would that journey be covered by my travel card? I’m assuming my travel card would cover travel to and from any NR station, even if it is not on the Beckenham-Farringdon route?

    c) if I one day I go from Farringdon to Oxf. Circus on underground, and then onto Victoria Station again on underground, then return to Beckenham Jct on National Rail, what would I be charged for the Underground journeys not covered by my travel card? Zone 1 travel on undergound only, or do I get charged the capped fee of £9.30 (z1-4) despite having a travel card?

    Thank you so much in advance,

  1030. Hi Cristina,

    The £127.50 price is a point-to-point season which is only available on paper. The only seasons which can be added to Oyster cards are travelcards which then cover all rail within the zones as well as all TfL buses, and trams (as long as the travelcard includes one of zones 3-6). The point-to-point ticket is valid on any permitted route between Beckenham Junction and Farringdon. These include via Crystal Palace or West Dulwich and Herne Hill, walking via Penge East and West and then London Bridge. While the Thameslink line is shut between London Bridge and Blackfriars you can use the Northern Line between London Bridge and Elephant & Castle. I don’t believe it would be valid between Clapham Junction and Victoria as that isn’t a through route towards Blackfriars.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  1031. Hi,

    I have a Gravesend & London Zones 2-6 travel card. Is it possible for the Zones 2-6 travel card to be added to my PAYG oystercard? So that when I exit in Zone 1 I am only charged for the journey from zone 2 to zone 1?

    Many thanks

  1032. Hi Dunk,

    Sadly no.

  1033. Apologies if this has been covered but there’s a lot of comments here, does this affect the weekly capping on contactless cards?

    If I travel from zones 2-3 everyday on my contactless card it would be capped weekly providing I do enough journeys. What happens if I pop to zone 1 one evening? Do I just get pay the extra as shown on this page or would that day’s travel be considered ‘different’ and therefore not taken into account for the weekly capping?

    I’m worried that this one anomaly would mess up the saving through capping on the other days. Thanks for your help.

  1034. Hi Richard,

    The contactless capping algorithm calculates the best possible mix of caps and extension fares for the journeys made each day, and each Monday to Sunday week.

  1035. Hi,

    A friend of mine has a paper travelcard for zones 2-5, but says that she can get off at London Victoria because it is an any route travelcard. I need to buy a yearly travelcard soon, but was wondering if this is correct and would work for me. I don’t need to use the underground, and would only occasionally go to London Victoria, but the price difference is huge to get a zone 1 inclusive card. Any help would be great, thank you!

  1036. Hi Jenny,

    Victoria is in zone 1 and you definitely need to include that zone if you are using it with a travelcard. If the travelcard is on an Oyster card then you can occasionally go to Victoria and just pay a zone 1 single fare. However, if you only use National Rail trains then it’s possible that a paper point-to-point season ticket might be even cheaper than a zone 2-5 travelcard.

  1037. How will a journey be charged if I use my Zone 1/2 travel card after Zone 2 to get to Gatwick?
    Will it be cheaper to go London to East Croydon, touch out and touch back in to get a train from E Croydon to Gatwick or will Oyster automatically charge the fare from zone 3 to Gatwicj

  1038. Hi Richard,

    I answered the first bit on the Oyster at Gatwick post. That said, if you’re prepared to touch out and in again at East Croydon then that is likely to be cheaper anyway.

  1039. Hi Mike,

    You have so many great responses above and apologies if you have already covered this. I commute from Horsham to Ealing broadway, my route is horsham > Clapham Junction > Shepherds bush > Ealing Broadway. I’m pretty certain my best option is to get a Horsham with Zones 2-6, would you agree?
    My question is around what happens if i go into Zone 1, i have the option of a paper ticket or to use the smart key card. I’m unsure whether you can pay for additional journeys using the smart key card if you went into zone 1 or what happens if you have a paper ticket? Any advice would be great.

  1040. Hi Natalie,

    In both cases (paper and the key) going into zone 1 is expensive. The cheapest way is to use a contactless payment card or an Oyster card and split your journey at a zone 1/2 station. That way you only pay for zone 1. Both Notting Hill Gate and Vauxhall are zone 1/2 so you do have options.

    You can’t use PAYG on a key card in London and paper tickets would need to be from a named station in zone 2 to London.

  1041. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the response, so in essence would i need to exit and then enter the station again using my contactless card/oyster at a zone 2 station to just be charged for travelling between a zone 1 and 2 station?
    Otherwise i’m guessing I would have to use my contactless card for the whole journey within London if i was travelling within Zone 1?
    Thanks so much for the advice!

  1042. Hi Natalie,

    Yes, that’s right. But if you use a station on the zone boundary you’ll only be charged for a zone 1 single. With Vauxhall you could combine needing to switch payment methods with switching between NR and LU.

  1043. Hi Mike,

    I have a Zone 1-5 Travelcard and I need to travel from zone 1 to zone 6. If I just do a straight journey in peak time from zone 1 to zone 6 using my zone 1-5 travelcard, would it charge me £5.10 like a normal PAYG journey would, or would it charge me £1.70 as this would be the cost to go from the closest zone 5 station to my zone 6 destination.

    Thanks in advance

  1044. Hello all!
    I work in Shep Bush and live in Brixton, so I only am 2 months into my annual Zone 1-2 travelcard. I’ve just heard my office is moving to Ealing Broadway in Zone 3!

    Can you still get extensions? I am jobhunting as Ealing is too far out for me, so don’t want to increase my Annual card as I aim to be working in Zone 1-2 again ASAP!

    Am hoping I can buy a weekly/5 day extension? Or would paying the extra on Oyster top up make more sense?

    Sorry to ask, I’ve tried for days doing the maths and have only got more and more confused!

    Thank you SO much x Mel

  1045. Hi Kieran,

    It’ll be £1.70 which is the single zone 6 fare (also happens to be the zone 5-6 fare as well).

  1046. Hi Mel,

    You can buy extension travelcards, but only for a minimum of 2 zones. As you don’t want to increase your annual card I think PAYG for the extra zone is probably best. As long as you take the Victoria line from Brixton (as opposed to the National Rail line to Victoria) then each single journey will cost £1.70.

    Have you considered trying to avoid zone 1? Brixton – Vauxhall – Clapham Junction – Shepherd’s Bush – Ealing Broadway. You could then trade in your zone 1-2 for a cheaper zone 2-3. If you wanted to go via zone 1 ocasionally then the single extension fare is £2.40.

  1047. Hi Mike,

    I live in Croydon and work at Old Street. I have a weekly Zone 1-5 travelcard and I need to go to Gatwick Airport now and then, after work. Normally, I buy an off-peak day return ticket between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport, then I take the train from London Bridge to East Croydon, touch out with my Oyster travelcard, touch in with the paper ticket and continue on another train to Gatwick. Would it be easier to just touch in with Oyster at London Bridge, and exit using the paper ticket at the barrier at Gatwick, without breaking my journey (then enter using the return part of the paper ticket at Gatwick and touching out with my Oyster at East Croydon) or will I be penalised for doing so?

    Thank you in advance,


  1048. Hi Tamas,

    There is no penalty for not touching out within the zones covered by your travelcard so you are fine to continue on to Gatwick on the same train. On the way back you can use either to exit at East Croydon, though I’d probably use the paper ticket as that is what you have been travelling with at that time.

  1049. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your quick response, you were really helpful.

    Enjoy the rest of the day,


  1050. Hi,
    I’m travelling from Camden Road (Oyster), to Sunbury on SWT (not Oyster) via Richmond.

    Is there anyway I can use my Oyster for the Camden to Richmond route and get a normal ticket for Richmond to Sunbury?

  1051. Hi David,

    Yes you can. You’ll need to touch out at Richmond before getting the train to Sunbury.

  1052. Thanks,

    Will I need to physically go through the barriers and then come back into the station? Or is there a Oyster reader within the platforms that I can touch out on?
    Many Thanks,

  1053. You’ll need to go through the barriers, but it’s not too much of a detour given that you are changing trains anyway. You’ll see what I mean when you get there.

  1054. Hi Mike,

    I am travelling to Sunbury from Earlsfield for work on a daily basis. I have been purchasing a 7 day railcard. I also do a fair bit of travel after work and on the weekends in London where I use my oyster card (PAYG). I can in some weeks spend up to £100 a week between topping up and the 7 day pass.

    I have been thinking about loading a zone 2-6 travelcard on my oyster to cover my work journey and other bus/tube trips for the weekends. Can I then purchase a paper extension ticket to Sunbury as this station is not within the London zones?


  1055. Hi Loni,

    Yes you can. As long as the train calls at Hampton (they all do I think) you can just buy a season between Hampton and Sunbury. If your other travel takes you into zone 1 regularly then you might be better off getting zones 3-6 on the travelcard. This is because the daily cap of £6.50 applies to pay as you go travel in zones 1 and 2. You don’t need to do much travel in zone 1 to reach that cap. Earlsfield is in zone 3 so you don’t need zone 2 for work. The difference in travelcards is £8.30 a week so it depends how much of your extra travel is just in zone 2.

  1056. Hi,

    My work covers me for a zone 1-2 every week. So if I’m commuting from Romford (zone 6) through Stratford (2/3) to Liverpool street (1) does this mean I can just purchase a Zone 3- 6 travel card and that in effect works the same as a 1-6 due to the dual status of Stratford?

    Kind regards,

  1057. Hi Josh,

    You’d be covered anyway because there is no gap between London zones, but yes, Stratford’s dual zone status makes you doubly safe.

  1058. lukeknowles89

    Hi Mike,

    I have a Zone 3-1 season ticket.

    can i travel on the Stratford international to St Pancras with this being covered or do i still have to pay an additional fee?



  1059. Hi Luke,

    You still need to pay an additional fare.

  1060. Hi,
    I’m going to be traveling out to zone 6/7 from zone 2 temporarily(Oval to Moor Park).
    I have an annual 1-2 travel card.
    How much extra a day will it cost roughly?

  1061. Hi Amy,

    It’s a zone 3-6 fare on the TfL-LU scale. Singles are £2.80 peak or £1.50 off-peak. Maximum daily cost of £5.60.

  1062. Oyster travel card zones 1-3. But going to zone 6 what will the charge be

  1063. It will be the zone 4-6 single fare appropriate for the journey being made. You may be able to work that out using the tables on my single fares page. If you confirm your starting and ending stations and time of touch in at the start then I can provide the figure.

  1064. Hi Mike,

    I live near Bruce grove and usually work in Brixton from 9-6 in the week. Sometimes I have to go to zone 1 places but I can use buses.

    I am thinking of buying a zone 2-3 monthly travelcard. And could you please tell me how much extra do I pay for Brixton and the zone 1 travels.


  1065. Hi Long,

    If your daily commute is between Bruce Grove and Brixton then you will need a zone 1-3 travelcard. If you do get a zone 2-3 travelcard then each single trip into or across zone 1 will be £2.40.

  1066. I have a zone 3-4 travel card from lewisham, but passing through zone 2 denmark hill to clapham junction station. I wont be touching at denmark hill station, just changing trains on same platform, do i need to pay for zone 2?

  1067. Hi Dammy,

    You don’t say where you are going to, but in all likelihood you will have to pay for zone 2. The Oyster system knows how to get between any pair of stations and charges accordingly.

  1068. As you indicate in the intro at the top of the page, if I go from Oakwood to Herne Hill with a Z12 travelcard this seems to be regarded as a TfL+NR journey and I have to pay about 70p more than an Oakwood to Brixton journey which is a TfL only journey — even the part that I am using an extension for (Oakwood-Manor House) is solely on TfL! Understood that this is the rule but my question is ‘Is this not highly dubious?’. I have paid for everything in Z12 already and only want some extra TfL travel (which is generally cheaper), why should I have to pay more (presumably the extra goes to the NR TOCs, but I have had no more travel on them that I would have done solely with a Z12 only journey….?)

  1069. Hi Richard,

    It’s not ideal, but it is how it works. For all the Oyster system knows you might be going further south from Herne Hill, so it has to treat it as a mixed NR + TfL journey. By the time you touch out at Herne Hill it can’t see where you changed in London.

    In this instance you can break the OSI by doing the hokey-cokey at Victoria LU. Towards Herne Hill touch out, in again and out again at Victoria LU. This will split the journey and make Victoria to Herne Hill a mixed journey but one that is fully covered by the travelcard. It would cost more on PAYG. The other way you touch in, out and in again at Victoria LU

  1070. Hi Mike,

    I have a 1-4 zone weekly oyster travelcard. I will periodically (maybe once/twice a week) now have to start travelling to Hayes (Kent) which is in a 5 zone rail area, but I only need to go one way as I can get the bus back to my home. What is the cheapest way to pay for the extension please? or do they all costs the same? I know the answer is probably written above, my apologies if it is, but I am sitting at work trying not to get caught on the internet. Many thanks for your assistance – Gill

  1071. Hi Gill,

    Just put a bit of PAYG credit on your Oyster card and touch in at the start and out at the end (Hayes). It will deduct a zone 5 single on the NR scale, £2.00 peak or £1.80 off-peak.

  1072. Hi Mike,

    Thank you, much appreciated.

    Kind regards 🙂