Combining Oyster Travelcard and NR tickets

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bahno

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Good afternoon everyone,

Thank you very much in advance for reading my post. I have tried to find an answer in other threads but I am still not 100% sure about the issue.

I live at Forest Hill (zone 3) and work at Gatwick Airport. I have got a TravelCard for zones 3-5 on my Oyster card and buy NR tickets from East Croydon (zone 5) to Gatwick Airport. Every morning I touch in at Forest Hill, travel to Norwood junction, where I change trains, pass through East Croydon and get off at the Gatwick Airport, where I use a NR ticket at the barriers. There is no touch-out recorded on my Oyster card for my morning journey. I have been doing this for nearly a year now without any problems.

This morning I called the TfL customer line because of a refund application (the refund request is not important in this issue). The lady on the phone went through my journey history and discovered that I do not touch out my Oyster card every morning (and for most of the afternoons as well). I described her my commuting pattern and she said I should get off at East Croydon, touch-out and then use NR ticket to get to Gatwick. I found this ridiculous as I have a valid ticket for every part of my journey. She said she understood that it would cause a major discomfort to me, but repeated that I need to do it in order to use Oyster card properly. Moreover, she mentioned that I can be fined for not touching out the Oyster card and as I had been just given advice on this, any refund claims might be rejected in the future as I do not use my Oyster card properly.

I would like to ask if she was right and I really need to get off a train to my destination just to go through the station barriers using my Oyster card and immediately back using my NR ticket. This would cause me a delay of at least 20 minutes every day.


Many thanks for your answers in advance.

Thanks,
Petr
 
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causton

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Absolute nonsense. I can see where they are coming from but there is no need to touch out.

You can use Oyster to Gatwick now so you could top up the Oyster card with money and touch out at Gatwick instead of buying a paper ticket, but I have no idea how much it will charge for the extension - it may be cheaper or more expensive than the East Croydon - Gatwick return... hopefully it will charge you somewhere around the stated East Croydon - Gatwick Oyster prices as here:
http://www.ltfares.com/#!fares?orig=NRECR&dest=NRGTW
 

LexyBoy

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Absolute nonsense. I can see where they are coming from but there is no need to touch out.

The Oyster T&Cs require you to touch in and out for every journey, regardless of the product held.

In practice there is no penalty defined for not doing so (so the helpline operator was incorrect in saying that OP could be fined) but I think that in principle they would be within their rights to withhold discretionary refunds, or to withdraw the Oyster card. I'm not aware that this has ever occurred however.
 

matt_world2004

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The Oyster T&Cs require you to touch in and out for every journey, regardless of the product held.

In practice there is no penalty defined for not doing so (so the helpline operator was incorrect in saying that OP could be fined) but I think that in principle they would be within their rights to withhold discretionary refunds, or to withdraw the Oyster card. I'm not aware that this has ever occurred however.

Not if you hold a season ticket on it it doesnt. It is recommended you touch in and out, However it doesn't actually require you to touch in and out. Otherwise I would have got in trouble with GwR a long time ago.

Section 3.7 of oyster conditions of Use.

"3.7 When you use a National Rail service, you should touch your Oyster card on the yellow card
reader before you start your journey, at the station you are leaving from; and at the end of your
4
journey, when you arrive at your destination station. You can still use your Oyster card at
stations where there is no yellow card reader or if it is not working provided that your
Travelcard is valid for the journey you are making. You may be asked instead to show your
Oyster card (and photocard where needed).
"

Note the term should instead of Must.
 

yorkie

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Providing you always ensure valid paper tickets are purchased and held, you are doing nothing wrong.

However if you are ever caught without a valid paper ticket, the company may suspect you of wrongdoing, and if they look into your journey history, they may be concerned that you could be long-term "doughnutting".

So it is absolutely vital that you never slip up when doing this.

The train companies and TfL would much rather people did touch in/out for all journeys covered by a Travelcard, but I don't think they can legitimately force this unless they cause a huge loss of certain rights compared to paper Travelcard holders.

I can see why you buy this combination: A (weekly) Zones 3-6 Travelcard on its own is £51.30 cheaper than a Gatwick to Zones 3-6 Travelcard. Individual returns cost between £4.60 and £9.90 per day, so even in a worst case scenario of working a 5-day week and paying for the "Any Permitted" SDR, the combination is less.

For a shift worker, working potentially at off peak times and weekends, the savings could be even greater, and even more so if that was combined with an Annual Gold Card.

In theory it should be cheaper for you to use PAYG to extend your Travelcard to the Airport, however rather absurdly, 2 x peak singles will cost £10.40 (£5.20 each way) which is more than a paper ticket.

The rail industry's pricing is bonkers.
 

bahno

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24 May 2016
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Thank you very much for your replies! It really made my day.

Providing you always ensure valid paper tickets are purchased and held, you are doing nothing wrong.

However if you are ever caught without a valid paper ticket, the company may suspect you of wrongdoing, and if they look into your journey history, they may be concerned that you could be long-term "doughnutting".

So it is absolutely vital that you never slip up when doing this.

The train companies and TfL would much rather people did touch in/out for all journeys covered by a Travelcard, but I don't think they can legitimately force this unless they cause a huge loss of certain rights compared to paper Travelcard holders.

I can see why you buy this combination: A (weekly) Zones 3-6 Travelcard on its own is £51.30 cheaper than a Gatwick to Zones 3-6 Travelcard. Individual returns cost between £4.60 and £9.90 per day, so even in a worst case scenario of working a 5-day week and paying for the "Any Permitted" SDR, the combination is less.

For a shift worker, working potentially at off peak times and weekends, the savings could be even greater, and even more so if that was combined with an Annual Gold Card.

In theory it should be cheaper for you to use PAYG to extend your Travelcard to the Airport, however rather absurdly, 2 x peak singles will cost £10.40 (£5.20 each way) which is more than a paper ticket.

The rail industry's pricing is bonkers.

Exactly. Monthly or simple daily tickets (especially in this part of a year with multiple bank holidays) are cheaper. Oyster PAYG is unfortunately useless for me as a commuter.

I always make sure I have got valid tickets for my entire journey. Should there be any exceptional circumstances, I can always use Oyster PAYG to get to the airport.
 
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