Luton to London *season pass* options

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Hi all,
I'm about to start a job in London from May-July and need to commute from Luton. I've worked for them casually in the past, and as it stands, the anytime return will take up half my daily pay. So I'm trying to look for a cheap railcard season pass alternative. I've searched through the forum a bit, and found some great advice here, but figure there may be more personalised options for my situation.

Here are some more details so you can hopefully get an idea of what's best for me:
I'll be working 4 days a week: 9-4. But I'm on a working holiday visa, so I'd kind of like to make the most of a railcard season pass as well and would travel into London more than the 4 days, just not necessarily during peak.

At present, I travel to St Pancras and get the tube to Old Street (My work is VERY handy to Old Street stop) so if I got a pass that incorporated tube travel as well would be ideal (keeping in mind my desire to explore London outside of working hours also)

I liked the idea posed in the above mentioned thread that getting off at an earlier stop that St P. but which was within the Tube network could provide a more comfortable trip (avoiding the zombie apocalypse at St P./Kings Cross), but I wonder how that may limit me in my out-of-work-hours travel?

At the moment, I only have 3 months work locked in, so I figure monthly passes are the best bet for me. I'm pretty sure that's all the details you need from me, but if there's anything else I can help make clearer please let me know!

Cheers :)
 
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island

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Just to be sure we answer the right question, are you looking for a season ticket (a ticket which covers unlimited journeys between two points for a week, a month, or any period between a month and a year) or a Railcard (a card which is not itself valid for travel but grants a discount, usually 34%, on journeys meeting a certain set of criteria)?
 

Clip

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You can explore your option with a season ticket by using this calculator

Just a quick look for you on a 3 month Luton to London including a zones 1-6 travelcard is £1,291.40

But its always a good idea to play around wiht your dates of starting and finishing on a monthly so you start on a monday and finish it on a firday as you can gain a few extra days here and there depending on the month.
 

jon0844

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A season to London Terminals on the GN route allows travel to Old Street by tube, but if you got a FCC season on the TL route, would that also be valid? If so, I'd suggest this with a PAYG Oyster for any other leisure travel in London.
 

LexyBoy

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It sounds like saving money could be a priority. Clip has already posted the most flexible option - a Travelcard covering your train from Luton to the edge of Zone 6, and on all modes of public transport in London.

For ease of comparison I will list the options below as the monthly price, but note as others have said that it's better to buy for the exact period you need - just ask for the ticket to be valid until the last date you need it (e.g. so it finishes on a Friday, or just before a holiday, or the last day you'll be working if you can afford 3 months up front). You can buy a season for any time between 1 calendar month and a year.

  1. Luton-Z1256 Travelcard, £430.50/month.
  2. Luton-London Thameslink, £346.00/month. Covers you for Luton-Farringdon (or any station as far as Elephant & Castle or London Bridge), by rail only (no underground or bus). Farringdon is about a 20 minute walk from Old Street.*
  3. Luton-West Hampstead, £297.30/month. You would need to pay for Tube travel seperately - on Oyster Pay as you Go (PAYG) this would be 2 x £2.70 singles coming to £86.40 based on 4 weeks, or a Z1-2 Travelcard is £112.20 monthly.

Your choice would depend on how much leisure travel in London you're planning to do. With option 1, you have maximum freedom; with option 2, you'd be paying for all leisure travel within London (use Oyster), but unless you make £84 worth of trips in a month, you'd still be better off.

If your leisure travel will mostly be in Zones 1 & 2, then option 3 with a Z1-2 Travelcard might work well. (NB: with this option, you could change trains at either West Hampstead or St Pancras, as long as your train calls at West Hampstead. With PAYG, it would need to change at West Hampstead).

Also remember any season ticket can be used at any station along the route, so you'd not need to use PAYG to go to Mill Hill, for example.

*This used to be valid to Barbican or Moorgate, but I think this validity (following the closure of the Moorgate branch) has now ended?
 

jon0844

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Not exactly dirt cheap thanks to Bozza; monthly ticket for the bus is £72.20.

Ouch. Just get a PAYG Oyster then and pay daily, as it's just one bus each direction - and you'd save on the days when not coming in to London at all.

On a nice day, you can even walk. I did this a few times from Old Street roundabout to King's Cross, and wish I'd done it more as it's quite pleasant and good exercise.
 

dzug2

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Another possibility is the Greenline bus - £75 a week or £280 a month for a season ticket which covers some local connecting buses in Luton. Then Oyster on the 205 bus from Baker Street to Old Street

A bit on the slow side though
 

lemonic

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You say you are on a working holiday visa. I guess this means you may be eligible for a Britrail England Pass which is 325EUR for a month if you are aged 16-25. (If not then it costs 405EUR) You'll need to buy the pass outside of the UK though. I am not sure if this will save money on a season ticket but it does include travel all over England with no time restrictions. It doesn't include the Underground though. See www.britrail.com
 

jon0844

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You won't be able to see the prices if you view that site in the UK I believe. You'll need a way to spoof your location to being somewhere abroad.
 

Deerfold

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You won't be able to see the prices if you view that site in the UK I believe. You'll need a way to spoof your location to being somewhere abroad.

If you try and order it will say the pass is not available in your region.

However you can then choose a location on the top right of the page and try again and it will give prices.

You will need an overseas address for delivery though.
 

jon0844

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Wow, a year of unlimited standard class travel throughout the UK would be under £4,000 (£3976.19 based on current Euro-GBP rate). First class is £5932.52!

Obviously if you got 12 monthly tickets, it would be quite unlikely that you were resident outside of the UK!
 

b0b

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Are you sure on the 325 EUR, I just checked and its quoting 799 USD for standard class 1 month britrail pass. Are the Americans getting ripped off :D

edit: never mind 799 for the UK, not Eng. 639 USD for just England
 

OwlMan

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And if you get a UK resident to travel with you you both get 25% off making a month £462 each 1st class and £309 each standard class for all of national rail plus 20% off Heritage Railway association members
Where is that Australian?
Peter
 
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Wow, I hadn't gotten notification email after the first response, so I figured it'd be a dead thread, but coming in to check up on it I was surprised at the amount of replies. Thank you everyone!

  1. Luton-Z1256 Travelcard, £430.50/month.
  2. Luton-London Thameslink, £346.00/month. Covers you for Luton-Farringdon (or any station as far as Elephant & Castle or London Bridge), by rail only (no underground or bus). Farringdon is about a 20 minute walk from Old Street.*
  3. Luton-West Hampstead, £297.30/month. You would need to pay for Tube travel seperately - on Oyster Pay as you Go (PAYG) this would be 2 x £2.70 singles coming to £86.40 based on 4 weeks, or a Z1-2 Travelcard is £112.20 monthly.

Your choice would depend on how much leisure travel in London you're planning to do. With option 1, you have maximum freedom; with option 2, you'd be paying for all leisure travel within London (use Oyster), but unless you make £84 worth of trips in a month, you'd still be better off.

If your leisure travel will mostly be in Zones 1 & 2, then option 3 with a Z1-2 Travelcard might work well. (NB: with this option, you could change trains at either West Hampstead or St Pancras, as long as your train calls at West Hampstead. With PAYG, it would need to change at West Hampstead).

Most of my travel would be within the 1-2 zones, but I do have friends in Tooting Bec and would go there a bit too. Option 3 does sound pretty good, but if I'm understanding you correctly: Option 3 with the 1-2 travel card would come to $409.50 a month, and the 1-6 Travel card is £430.50? So while option 3 looks sweet at the start, it depends on how much travel I'd do in the month outside zone 2?

I looked at the Britpass, but it seemed the only options were flexipass (15 days out of 2 months) or consecutive (1 month for £500ish)
 

LexyBoy

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That's about right. You would get the Z12 Travelcard on Oyster, so any journeys outside of those zones would just be charged from the edge of Zone 2 (make sure you have PAYG credit on your card). You could also use the bus anywhere in London on this Travelcard- buses are not "zoned" for ticketing purposes, any Travelcard is valid. So you could use Tube to Clapham in Zone 2 or train to Clapham Junction, then take a bus to Tooting and it wouldn't cost any extra.
 
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awesome. And I think you've just answered my next question, which was: besides the travel outside london, is it possible to the the zones 1-2 or 1-6 on the oyster to saving fiddling round with the ticket all the time?
 

causton

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awesome. And I think you've just answered my next question, which was: besides the travel outside london, is it possible to the the zones 1-2 or 1-6 on the oyster to saving fiddling round with the ticket all the time?

Indeed! As said, if it knows you have a 1-2 season and make a 1-6 journey it will take away the 1-2 section from the fare :) but as also said above, remember you can use buses wherever!
 

button_boxer

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awesome. And I think you've just answered my next question, which was: besides the travel outside london, is it possible to the the zones 1-2 or 1-6 on the oyster to saving fiddling round with the ticket all the time?

Option 3 would be a paper ticket from Luton to West Hampstead plus a zone 1-2 travelcard on oyster, whereas option 1 would be a single paper ticket covering Luton to zones 1-6 - you can't get these so-called out-boundary travelcards on oyster.

One important thing to note is that options 1 and 2 would allow you to catch non-stop East Midlands Trains between Luton and St Pancras, whereas the option 3 combination would require you to take services that stop at West Hampstead.
 
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Thanks! That's a good point to consider. So Option 1 I'd have to do everything on the paper ticket? :/ that's unfortunate. with my country mouse ways, i'm not the fastest through the turnstiles as it is..

I read earlier that with the West Hampstead option, I could also get off at St P, as long as it stopped at West Hampstead too. Does this work in the reverse direction as well? Would be handy on the way home and on leisure trips during the weekend
 

button_boxer

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I read earlier that with the West Hampstead option, I could also get off at St P, as long as it stopped at West Hampstead too. Does this work in the reverse direction as well? Would be handy on the way home and on leisure trips during the weekend

Yes, certainly. The Luton to WH season ticket covers you between those stations and the 1-2 travelcard covers WH to St Pancras and vice versa. However because you are combining two season tickets rather than one season and one non-season, and they are not both zonal tickets, then you have to use a train that stops at the station where you change from one ticket to the other. You don't have to change trains but you do have to stop.

If you were using oyster PAYG rather than a zones 1-2 TC then you would have to get off at WH to touch in and get the next train to STP.
 
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