Hadley Wood to Welwyn Garden City future Oyster plans

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Envy123, 9 Apr 2015.

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  1. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    Hi, I'm new here :)

    Govia promised that they would endeavor to extend oyster from Hadley Wood to Welwyn Garden City by the end of this year. Extending Oyster to Gatwick didn't seem to work out, so I'm asking - are the plans for this Oyster extension likely to happen this year or not?

    I'm asking because there's a huge disparity between Oyster acceptance and house prices, and I have plans to buy a house either in Potters Bar or Welwyn in about a year or two. I'm just worried that Oyster acceptance would cause those areas' house prices to shoot through the roof and that I would have to go further out to afford a house.
     
  2. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Are you sure that the house prices correlate to Oyster acceptance and not to being in a London fare zone?
     
  3. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    If the Oyster acceptance did decrease fares, even if the stations were to be in their own zones, I fear that house prices would increase because of the reduced fares.

    So, I feel that house prices correlate more with the train fares than acceptance of Oyster. And that's something I'm worried about.
     
  4. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Outside the London fare zones the Oyster fares are almost always the same as their paper equivalents. Travelcard season fares certainly are the same. What you're getting is the convenience of being able to use Oyster rather than the TOC/TfL-driven "bribes" in the London zones.
     
  5. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    Thank you :)

    House prices didn't change that much when Brentwood and Shenfield got their own Oyster zones, from what I can tell, so I'm sure that the same would happen if Potters Bar - Welwyn were to be in their own zones.

    But my main worry is that if Govia's endeavors actually work for the rest of the local Welwyn route by the end of this year, that the remaining stations would be put slap bang in Zones 7-9, reducing fares and increasing house prices as a result. So, I'm wondering if the endeavors are likely to happen by the end of this year and if so, how likely is it that they would end up in the Travelcard zones?
     
  6. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    The fares won't decrease. They never do - and where would the revenue shortfall be made up if they did?

    People like to think Oyster is cheaper because they don't part with cash every time they get on a train. If you put, say, £20 on your Oyster card you never really know what it buys you unless you go through your journey history in detail which almost no-one does!

    My guess is that at some of the stations will be in a special zone in a similar way to Grays and Watford Junction.
     
  7. rdwarr

    rdwarr Member

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    Buy a house in Stevenage. About 2/3 the price of Potters Bar and the journey into London is a lot quicker.
     
  8. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    I usually spend around £10 a day going to and from New Southgate to East London. So it's cheaper than, say, Potters Bar.

    I haven't ruled out any towns north of Welwyn and I know that Stevenage has East Coast services, in addition to the GN trains, which seems very attractive.

    It's just I heard some negative things about Stevenage, so not sure about the area until I visit it.
     
  9. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Going to East London from New Southgate will be cheaper than from Potters Bar because it's a shorter journey. If Oyster gets extended it'll still cost more, you'll just have the convenience of using Osyter.

    As for Stevenage, like all towns there are good areas and bad areas. The transport links are excellent. There aren't any morning peak EC services southbound but there are some northbound ones in the evening. Many GN trains in the peak are 12 car and are either non-stop to Kings Cross or Finsbury Park and King Cross only.

    The fares are more though. Weekly season prices are £87.90 to London Terminals or £119.40 for a Zones 1-6 Travelcard.
     
  10. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    If the zones get extended, like Cheshunt going into zone 8, fares will be cheaper from those stations than a paper ticket, but any special zones will then have fares set by the train operator I believe?

    Edit: Also, nobody on the ground that I've spoken to seems to think we'll see Oyster extended on GN this year, or ever according to a few! At best they think we'll get testing started to roll out Key smartcards later this year, but nobody seems to have been told anything.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2015
  11. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    The fares is a bit of a problem, though.

    What I noticed is that when I start getting 1-2 stops outside the Oyster travelcard zone, then the changes to house prices are drastic but so do the fares. Then, somewhere along the GN line, it seems to no longer make sense (for me anyway) to move out further because the savings you make on the mortgage is eaten away by rail fares.

    I've pinpointed that sweet spot as between Potters Bar and Hitchin on the GN route. :)

    I really hope that stations north of Hadley Wood and Crews Hill wouldn't have Oyster travelcard zones. The Key would be nice, if it would work as well as Oyster.
     
  12. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I can't see why at least Potters Bar and possibly Hatfield can't make it in the zones. 7 for Potters Bar, 8 or 9 for stations to Hatfield. Welwyn Garden City and Hertford might be a bit too far and need special zones, of which there seem to be precious few available.
     
  13. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    What's wrong with a paper ticket? They've been around for years and are highly reliable! Threads on here suggest isues with the key although hopefully they will be ironed out without affecting passenger rights or flexibility.

    I agree although perhaps Watford, Grays and WGC could have their fares aligned to reduce the number of zones.

    It'll be interesting to see what happens to the super off-peak fares at weekends if Oyster does come along....
     
  14. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    Agreed.

    Paper tickets can bend, at least those few paper tickets I had for the journey from, Luton Airport Parkway to St Pancras.
     
  15. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    The advantage for me is that I now travel at odd times, and to different locations.

    It means planning in advance, especially if combining tickets, and also not having plans change during the day, involving ticket extensions (often that means queueing up as TVMs won't do them.

    With Oyster, I can do whatever I want - and I also hit a cap so that's even better.

    I've sometimes got to do a A>B>C style journey, and Oyster is great for that. Paper tickets can work if you're clever or know the sort of ticket validity that can get you hassle with some staff, but there's nothing easier than tapping in and letting something else work things out for you. It's also quicker, especially if there's a queue at a TVM and you've booked the tickets online to get Nectar points (and no bother from staff).

    I can't wait for smartcards to get to Hatfield this year one way or another, but I'd have expected to hear more about it by now. There's not that long until the supposed September switch on that I think we were told.
     
  16. HLE 13

    HLE 13 Established Member

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    Internally all station staff have been told that the station manager will be advised when the engineers are on site at their stations to carry out the work needed, when the respective station manager has been advised they will be advising their staff.

    As a side note, don't quote me on this but I would have thought by the end of August that all the equipment would have been in place but not active until the date set in September much like when Oyster rolled out to Hadley Wood and Crews Hill, they had the equipment in place but covered up until it went live.

    One thing though for the good people of Hertford, they be able to use Oyster from Hertford North to London but on the GA line not until Broxbourne, I wonder how long it will take for the local MP to ask why this is ;)
     
  17. Envy123

    Envy123 Member

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    Govia failed to get Oyster accepted to Gatwick Airport. I'd be very surprised if by the end of this year, the rest of the GN local stations would have Oyster.
     
  18. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Now that would be interesting. Tickets are currently issued from Hertford Stations which gives flexibility over which route you can use.

    If Oyster comes to Hertford North but not Hertford East the flexibility is lost. This would result in passengers paying more if, like in London only Anytime tickets remain in paper form.

    A significant dis-benefit if this is what happens.
     
  19. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Interestingly I think one of the reasons GA Oysterisation stopped at Broxbourne was something to do with Hertford stations. Other places where Oyster has crept outside zones 1-6 have not lost off-peak tickets so I wouldn't expect it to happen here either.
     
  20. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    I don't think Govia have "failed to get Oyster accepted to Gatwick Airport" - at worst negotiations around whether it will be accepted on their red-coloured trains may have delayed it's introduction.

    All Govia Thameslink Railway stations should have ITSO / The Key readers by September this year, which are also compatible with Oyster (and EMV contactless). It is simply a matter of whether an agreement can be reached with TfL / DfT concerning which of them Oyster cards can be used on.

    Edit: I've written a post here with more details about the current Govia Oyster extensions: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=2139074&postcount=3.
     
    Last edited: 15 Apr 2015
  21. jopsuk

    jopsuk Veteran Member

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    Yes, I thought the reason given at the time for not Oystering Broxbourne-Hertford was because Hertford North wasn't being done. So hopefully the tail will wag the dog and the branch will get covered?
     
  22. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    I'm not actually bothered if Hatfield ends up in a zone or not, as long as I can touch in/out on Oyster and be charged as required.

    Then I can finally travel with total freedom. Am I coming back by train, or getting a lift, or staying somewhere overnight? Who cares - just travel as I wish!

    Today I am into London, around London, out to Cheshunt, back in to London and back home to Hatfield. So I need a Hatfield > London Terminals and then using Oyster for the rest of the day. Or I get a Travelcard and an extension from boundary zone 6 to Cheshunt, which is hassle - especially if I buy in advance and my plans change.

    Roll on smartcards!!
     
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