Gatwick Airport One Day Travelcards

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Jona26, 16 Jun 2019.

  1. Jona26

    Jona26 Member

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    If using Oyster PAYG from Gatwick Airport I can make as many journeys as I wish on a Saturday to and from Boundary Zone 6 and onwards subject to the daily off-peak cap of £13.50 (with Disabled Persons Railcard added).

    A paper Thameslink Only Super Off-Peak Day Travelcard is available for £8.65.

    As Day Travelcards from Out-Boundary locations only allow one return journey from the origin to the boundary I wanted to check if Gatwick Airport counts as an In- or Out-Boundary station.
     
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  3. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Gatwick Airport is not in a numbered London Zone, and the fact that contactless and Oyster is accepted for northwards travel there doesn't change that, though it's understandable to query it given the identical user experience between using contactless/Oyster inside and outside the Zones!

    I think a more helpful way of thinking about the validity of Travelcards is in terms of the underlying tickets, rather than inboundary and outboundary. The unlimited travel on a Travelcard applies only to the zonal part of the ticket. A Gatwick to Zones 1-6 Day Travelcard is only zonal within Zones 1-6, and therefore as Gatwick Airport is well outside Zone 6 you cannot undertake unlimited travel between Coulsdon South and Gatwick on a Day Travelcard.

    What you have effectively discovered is that whilst the cap is more expensive than a Travelcard, it also means you will end up paying less if you want to travel a lot between Boundary Zone 6/Coulsdon South and Gatwick Airport.
     
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2019
  4. Jona26

    Jona26 Member

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    Thanks. I thought that was the case but wanted to check. I'm aware that Gatwick is outside the Zones but as "Special Fares Apply" for Oyster I wanted to know if this also impacted the paper Travelcard.
     
  5. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Nope, it is a disconnected mess. To avoid paying more than you need to (some might even call it "being ripped off"!) you now have a far greater number of fares and factors to consider.
     
  6. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    The only answer to it being a 'disconnected mess' will be to withdraw the lower priced paper tickets. Is that what you are hoping?

    As 'Hadders' often points out the use of the Oyster / Contactless fare scale and withdrawal of paper tickets will mean massive fare increases at off peak times and weekends relative to super off peak tickets.

    They are not 'ripping off' anyone at the moment - they are just extending choice. No one is forced to use the more expensive type of ticket.
     
  7. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I think the answer is to make sure, as much as possible, that you always pay the same fare, no matter whether you use contactless/Oyster or paper tickets. I don't think the current situation is acceptable, especially where TfL advertise that "contactless is the same fare", which some may understand as meaning it's always the same cost as a paper ticket.

    It is not really acceptable that, for the sake of simplicity on Oyster/contactless, people who use that method on the weekend needlessly overpay.
     
  8. Jona26

    Jona26 Member

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    On a related note does anyone have a link to the minimum PAYG balance required to enter at Gatwick? The link I used to have to the TFL website doesn't work anymore.
     
  9. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Unfortunately that is impossible given the flexibility of paper tickets with regard to breaking journeys and stopping short, not to mention Network Railcard discounts. There would just be too many combinations to test against.

    It will only truly work when paper tickets are ultimately withdrawn for the Oyster / Contactless fare structure.
     
  10. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    What I can say for certain is that for a great many London bound travellers at Gatwick who have arrived off flight it is a relief to no longer have to join what could be a significant scrum to get to the TVMs and then have to choose a ticket, and instead breeze through the barriers using contactless or Oyster and be on your way home or to wherever. I think many would regard this convenience worth a small extra cost.
     
  11. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    Indeed, but I think it's very underhanded to "tax" this simplicity when Oyster/contactless is infinitely better for the TOC in terms of getting data on journeys, revenue protection and fraud prevention, and so on, not to mention the greatly reduced costs of administration and the physical pieces of cardboard.
     
  12. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    I think the underlying issue is that the Oyster system cannot currently support such complexity. When Oyster fully moves over to having all fares calculated at the back office (as happens with contactless) rather than on-the-fly, on the card then such a thing would be possible. Until then the fare structure is limited by what is technically possible with Oyster.
     
  13. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    Alternatively you could just charge the same fare on Oyster / Contactless .

    I'd argue that yes, it is ripping people off. There have been advertising campaigns for years encouraging people to use Oyster for the cheapest fare. Why should it ever be more expensive than a paper ticket?

    That is ripping people off!
     
  14. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Those advertising campaigns were
    a) in London Zones 1 to 6 and
    b) they withdrew cheap day returns in London to achieve it.

    Oyster was not necessarily cheaper than what was available before 2010.
     
  15. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    I was very annoyed when cheap day returns were removed, but I'm not sure what the connection to Oyster fares to Gatwick is, given they didn't exist at the time.

    Oyster fares to Gatwick are inconsistent, a mess, and I'm afraid yes, a rip-off within the Oyster fare structure itself, even without comparison to paper tickets.

    For example, the combined Oyster fares for Norwood Junction to East Croydon and East Croydon to Gatwick is less than the single Oyster fare.

    That is completely nonsensical, a rip-off!
     
  16. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

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    Off peak you need to have a minimum balance of £8.30. In peak hours you need £15.10.
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    This is indeed an "out-boundary" Travelcard; Gatwick Airport is outwith Zones 1-6, which are the "in-boundary" Zones.

    A Travelcard that also includes Zones 7-9 is also an "out-boundary" Travelcard but additionally allows unlimited travel within Zones 7-9 as well as the traditional "in-boundary" Zones 1-6, for example Bushey to London Zones 1-6 AAA: Zones 7-9 (the 'AAA' stands for also available at).

    If anyone wants the fare structure to be simplified in this area, I can say exactly how they'd like to do it: the withdrawal of all paper tickets, and for people to pay the higher price of Contactless/Oyster PAYG. So some people need to be careful what they wish for!
     
  18. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    I'm not disputing that, because I have no idea if it's correct or not - but if it is, why is it so high?
     
  19. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That cannot possibly be true.

    The Peak Pay as you go (PAP) fare to Horley is only £1.90!

    @MikeWh can confirm what it is!
     
  20. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Yes, I agree, that, off the main routes from Gatwick, maybe even on them, there are some quite appalling inconsistencies on Oyster / Contactless, but I don't think they will ever be addressed. They will become the norm when the paper tickets are withdrawn.

    Until then, you just need to do a small amount of research before you travel, just as you would if you were making any other purchase.
     
    Last edited: 16 Jun 2019
  21. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

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    I am not disputing the fare to Horley may be £1.90. But to get the gate to open as you tap in at Gatwick, you have to have a minimum balance on your Oyster of £8.30 / £15.10.
     
  22. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    What happens if you have less than that, but have the appropriate amount for your journey?
     
  23. Iggy12a

    Iggy12a Member

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    Let's say you are travelling to East Croydon and are hoping to pay £3.20, the off peak PAYG fare. If you haven't got sufficient funds to top up your Oyster to £8.30, the advice is to either use a contactless bank card, or pay £5.40 for a paper ticket.
     
  24. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Because GTR (at the behest of DfT) decided that the entry threshold must equal the fare to London terminals, even if the card had already capped and no further fare was needed. The ridiculous thing is that in the evening peak you need more than you'll be charged to get to a London terminal because on touch out there the off-peak fare will be charged. The threshold has no knowledge of destination (obviously) so can't work differently in the two peaks.

    Yes, it's all totally bonkers. Don't blame TfL though. GTR/DfT have single handedly made a complete mess of many aspects of the Oyster system, including auto topup.
     
  25. Jona26

    Jona26 Member

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    Thanks.
     

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