Do I need a Zone 1-3 Travelcard for this journey?
September 22, 2008 6:24 AM   Subscribe

Transport for LondonFilter - Am I on the hook for a Zone 1-3 Travelcard if I travel from a Zone 3 station to a Zone 2 station via an unavoidable hop into Zone 1?

Here's one of those tricky questions about the London zone-system and travelcards. If I have a regular commute from Southfields (in Zone 3) to Holland Park (in Zone 2), do I need the full £100-and-change Zone 1-3 Travelcard? The problem is that this route, on the District Line's Edgware Road branch, goes through High Street Kensington in Zone 1. There's no interchange, but I'd technically travel through Zone 1 for one station.

Can I use a £60 Zone 2-3 pass for that journey, or will the system automatically charge my Pay-as-you-Go credit for passing through a station in Zone 1? (Or, would I be on the hook if a fare inspector were to ask to see a ticket? I never mess with my transit karma.)

I'd like to save myself £40 per month on this one, but I suspect I'm SOL.
posted by generichuman to Travel & Transportation around London, England (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ugh. Asked and answered, I think.

In doing some more digging on long-tail searches, I think I'll be paying £40 per month for the privilege of passing underneath High Street Kensington. Which makes sense, since I'm transiting the zone, but is still extremely annoying.
posted by generichuman at 6:33 AM on September 22, 2008

Well, you've answered it yourself, but to confirm, if you put the journey in the the TFL Journey Planner, it clearly states in the details for each trip that the first leg, on the district line, covers Zones 3, 2 AND 1... It sucks really - if you can't get out in Zone 1, you shouldn't have to pay, but they do need every penny they can get!
posted by benzo8 at 6:58 AM on September 22, 2008

As you said, yes. For other people, here's the relevant information:

First line on the Points to Note: "Your Travelcard must be valid for all the zones you travel through"
posted by Helga-woo at 7:02 AM on September 22, 2008

have you considered using two oyster cards? one as a pay-as-you go card and a separate one for monthly zone passes? that way you could try this out. my guess is that you can travel with a zone 2-3 card to these stations because they seem to check if your card is valid at points of entry and exit and not the route taken. go to a ticket box and check your usage and you will see only entry and exit points are logged. they don't know what trains you used en route as you don't go through gates on different platforms.

in the event that an inspector would give you grief, which I doubt would happen, you could still pull out your pay-as-you-go oyster and exit through the gates. that would cost you four quid since you didn't previously tap in using that card but it would be cheaper than the 20 pound penalty fare.

mistakes do happen. I am pretty sure you could talk your way out of problems when going from zone 3 to zone 2 if anyone really ever gave you grief for passing through zone 1.
posted by krautland at 7:04 AM on September 22, 2008

In my experience, if TFL have decided the route takes you through a zone, they will charge you for that zone when you swipe the card. The only ways to get from Southfields to Holland Park without swipping in and out a station along the way either take you through Zone 1, or out to other Zones. Krautland, there's no way I can see to do it that only includes Zone 2 and 3, so no matter what, you will get charged for going into another Zone, because the system knows you have to do that to get there.

You could walk to Holland Park from a zone 2 station, maybe Shepard's Bush? Or would the Overground work for you? (although it's all messed up with engineering work at the moment)
posted by Helga-woo at 7:16 AM on September 22, 2008

To clear up any confusion, you can combine prepay and a season ticket.

If you get a Z2-3 card and then put prepay on it, and pass though zone 1, you only get charged for a zone 1 journey. But it might cost more than £40 a month, overall.
posted by randomination at 8:09 AM on September 22, 2008

Following on from Helga-woo, when the new Shepherd's Bush Overground station opens later this year (it was hilariously delayed because the platform was 18 inches too narrow) you'll likely have more options, if you can get to Clapham Junction. Perhaps you could cycle from Southfields?
posted by randomination at 8:17 AM on September 22, 2008

... or change at West Brompton ...
posted by randomination at 8:21 AM on September 22, 2008

Yes, if you can cope with the train times (every half hour), you can get the overground from West Brompton to Kensington Olympia, and walk from there. No travelling through zone 1 involved, so you can save the £40 a month. The change at West Brompton is fairly convenient. However, you lose the convenience of a tube every couple of minutes - but if you really couldn't stand waiting for the train on a particular day, you can use pre pay to extend your travel card to let you go through zone 1.
posted by timmow at 9:25 AM on September 22, 2008

I just realised you can get to kensington olympia via earls court as well - trains every fifteen minutes, but no timetable from earls court.
posted by timmow at 9:28 AM on September 22, 2008

Thanks for the alternative answers, all! I think that the £40 per month is probably worth it to avoid getting all creative.

I just curse TfL for putting the zone border outisde High Street Kensington.
posted by generichuman at 9:48 AM on September 22, 2008

Get out at Hammersmith, walk to the other Hammersmith tube and take it to Ladbroke Grove.

When I worked near Holland Park I did the walk from Ladbroke Grove every day for a year and a half. It takes ten minutes.
posted by genghis at 3:56 PM on September 22, 2008

Or, ya know, use a bus route for the last hop.

295 goes up Holland Park Ave from Hammersmith. 94 goes to Turnham Green.
posted by genghis at 4:01 PM on September 22, 2008

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