Oyster and doubling back

Status
Not open for further replies.

eAi

Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
15
Hey,

With oyster, are you allowed to travel anywhere on the rail network without going through a barrier for the cost of the fare between your start and finish points - as you are on the tube? For example, if I went from Victoria to Feltham to Waterloo, without touching out at Feltham, would that be allowed? With a normal ticket, this would be travelling beyond my ticket, but with Oyster, is the Oyster card always valid?

Thanks!
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

SS4

Established Member
Joined
30 Jan 2011
Messages
8,480
Location
Birmingham
If you have PAYG credit then I don't see why it couldn't be done*.

* That's not to say it's valid nor that it's invalid.
 

MikeWh

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 Jun 2010
Messages
6,212
Location
Crayford
Hey,

With oyster, are you allowed to travel anywhere on the rail network without going through a barrier for the cost of the fare between your start and finish points - as you are on the tube? For example, if I went from Victoria to Feltham to Waterloo, without touching out at Feltham, would that be allowed? With a normal ticket, this would be travelling beyond my ticket, but with Oyster, is the Oyster card always valid?

Thanks!
Yes, you are allowed to travel wherever you like as long as the overall journey finishes within the maximum journey time. Victoria to Waterloo is a zone 1-2 journey which allows 100 minutes daytime M-F, 110 minutes evenings and Saturdays and 120 minutes Sundays. Therefore, in reality, I think you'd be pushing it to do Victoria-Clapham Junction-Feltham-Waterloo in the time allowed. You certainly couldn't stay long at Feltham.

More seriously, if Feltham has validators rather than gates, you need to be aware that exiting or entering the station at the end or beginning of a journey without validating your Oyster card when that is your authority to travel could leave you liable for a penalty fare.
 

cjohnson

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2009
Messages
585
Yes, you are allowed to travel wherever you like as long as the overall journey finishes within the maximum journey time. Victoria to Waterloo is a zone 1-2 journey which allows 100 minutes daytime M-F, 110 minutes evenings and Saturdays and 120 minutes Sundays. Therefore, in reality, I think you'd be pushing it to do Victoria-Clapham Junction-Feltham-Waterloo in the time allowed. You certainly couldn't stay long at Feltham.

More seriously, if Feltham has validators rather than gates, you need to be aware that exiting or entering the station at the end or beginning of a journey without validating your Oyster card when that is your authority to travel could leave you liable for a penalty fare.
You could probably do Vic-Fel-Wat in just over an hour if you got a fast ex-Reading train straight back to Waterloo. (Not sure why one would want to though....) Feltham does have barriers at both exits (although the ones on the Reading-bound side tend to close early evenings leaving just an open side gate with validators - but as noted above exiting there without validating would render you liable to a PF).
 

eAi

Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
15
Yep! This truly is hypothetical - just interested how these things work.

If you had a travelcard and started and ended your journey within its zones, I would guess the time limit doesn't apply.

I also guess you could buy a ticket from somewhere on national rail (say Feltham) that's outside your allowed zones to somewhere else, travel there with your Oyster travelcard and not touch out, then travel onwards on the ticket you've bought. It'd be very hard for an RPI to know you'd done that, as as far as I can tell you'd have a valid ticket the whole time, you just wouldn't have paid for part of the journey.
 

cjohnson

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2009
Messages
585
Yep! This truly is hypothetical - just interested how these things work.

If you had a travelcard and started and ended your journey within its zones, I would guess the time limit doesn't apply.

I also guess you could buy a ticket from somewhere on national rail (say Feltham) that's outside your allowed zones to somewhere else, travel there with your Oyster travelcard and not touch out, then travel onwards on the ticket you've bought. It'd be very hard for an RPI to know you'd done that, as as far as I can tell you'd have a valid ticket the whole time, you just wouldn't have paid for part of the journey.
Careful or they'll bring back OEPs!

But if you did hold, for example, a z1-2 travelcard on Oyster with some PAYG credit, and a Feltham-Staines single then in theory you don't have a valid ticket once you fail to touch out at Feltham, but at that point you do now have a valid ticket on to Staines... :s
 

eAi

Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
15
Careful or they'll bring back OEPs!

But if you did hold, for example, a z1-2 travelcard on Oyster with some PAYG credit, and a Feltham-Staines single then in theory you don't have a valid ticket once you fail to touch out at Feltham, but at that point you do now have a valid ticket on to Staines... :s
Exactly. It's pretty obscure, and I expect people with travelcards are at the more trustworthy end of the spectrum so they wouldn't consider doing this.
 

MikeWh

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 Jun 2010
Messages
6,212
Location
Crayford
Careful or they'll bring back OEPs!

But if you did hold, for example, a z1-2 travelcard on Oyster with some PAYG credit, and a Feltham-Staines single then in theory you don't have a valid ticket once you fail to touch out at Feltham, but at that point you do now have a valid ticket on to Staines... :s
You would need enough credit to pay for a zone 3-6 single or an RPI checking you after leaving zone 2 could still issue a PF. The other way you would be without a validated ticket from Feltham to zone 2 (if you hadn't touched in) so you'd be even more likely to get a PF.
 

Urban Gateline

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2011
Messages
1,526
You would need enough credit to pay for a zone 3-6 single or an RPI checking you after leaving zone 2 could still issue a PF. The other way you would be without a validated ticket from Feltham to zone 2 (if you hadn't touched in) so you'd be even more likely to get a PF.
Yep, I think the scenarios that the OP described can leave someone in murky waters so to speak if they are enacted.

If I checked someone's Oyster card on the train back to Waterloo from Feltham, say at Twickenham, and I could see they touched in at Victoria with an incomplete journey, I would question their intentions. I certainly think a Penalty fare or even MG11 would be appropriate in these cases as the person in the scenario is evading the fare between Clapham Junction and Feltham and back by not touching out and in at Feltham!

Unfortunately it just shows the weakness of the Oyster system, much of it is built on trust and open to abuse by fare evaders but on the other hand innocent people get ripped off!
 

eAi

Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
15
If I checked someone's Oyster card on the train back to Waterloo from Feltham, say at Twickenham, and I could see they touched in at Victoria with an incomplete journey, I would question their intentions. I certainly think a Penalty fare or even MG11 would be appropriate in these cases as the person in the scenario is evading the fare between Clapham Junction and Feltham and back by not touching out and in at Feltham!
That seems contrary to what other people say. The general consensus seems to be that you're allowed to travel freely with an Oyster card, within the Oyster area and only pay for the shortest route between the start and finish of your journey (as long as you either keep your journey under the time limit or have a travelcard).

Obviously the second situation where you buy a ticket and don't touch out is against the rules, but there are other situations where you might want to do what I'm suggesting - say you wanted to meet someone at Feltham and come back on the train with them.
 

eAi

Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
15
So are you saying that on National Rail with an Oyster card you must take the shortest route (or any other route allowed by the routeing guide) between your start and destination, just like you would with a normal ticket? This certainly isn't the case with an oyster card on the tube, and it would seem logical that this difference would be highlighted somewhere like in the Oyster Conditions of Use on National Rail services? This doesn't mention anything except touching out at the start and end of your journey and when you enter or leave the Oyster area.
 

Brucey

Member
Joined
7 Jan 2010
Messages
670
Then you need a ticket to cover you between Victoria and Feltham and Feltham and Waterloo. IF the Oyster card is not touched out and in again at Feltham then you would arguably not have a valid ticket as Victoria to Waterloo is not valid via Feltham.
As far as I'm aware, the concept of routeing does not apply with an Oyster card. Instead there is a time limit. In my opinion, any route can be taken provided the journey is completed within the maximum time.
 

Indigo2

Established Member
Joined
16 Apr 2010
Messages
3,674
Location
Reading
Yes, I thought it was one of the big selling points of Oyster that you didn't have to worry about the routeing guide; as long as you don't break your journey and don't exceed the time limit, only the touch-in and touch-out points are what determines the fare due and doubling back is no problem.
 

cjohnson

Member
Joined
3 Sep 2009
Messages
585
Yes, I thought it was one of the big selling points of Oyster that you didn't have to worry about the routeing guide; as long as you don't break your journey and don't exceed the time limit, only the touch-in and touch-out points are what determines the fare due and doubling back is no problem.
But presumably you do have to stay within the London travelcard zones though...?

For example, a valid route from Hayes & Harlington (zone 5) to Feltham (zone 6) could be via Waterloo/Paddington, or via a walk between the Windsor stations, but I imagine you'd have a hard time convincing gateline staff at the Windsors to let you through with your Oystercard...
 

LexyBoy

Established Member
Fares Advisor
Joined
23 Jan 2009
Messages
4,468
Location
North of the rivers
Correct, a journey on Oyster must stay entirely within the area covered by Oyster (mostly, but not entirely, the same as the London Zones). This area is shown on tube/rail maps by a dashed red line.
 

mattdickinson

Member
Joined
14 Nov 2010
Messages
430
Location
Uxbridge
Correct, a journey on Oyster must stay entirely within the area covered by Oyster (mostly, but not entirely, the same as the London Zones). This area is shown on tube/rail maps by a dashed red line.
An exception to this is when Metropolitan line services to Amersham are replaced by buses from Beaconsfield. The official advice if using PAYG is to touch in at Marylebone. You can't touch out at Beaconsfield so you are advised to touch out at Amersham when you reach there on the bus.
 

Barn

Established Member
Joined
3 Sep 2008
Messages
1,434
So if I have a Zone 1-3 Oyster travelcard and travel from Maze Hill (Z3, touch in) via Woolwich Arsenal (Z4, interchange without crossing gatelines or touching reader) to City Airport (Z3, touch out) and I don't get charged anything, I haven't broken any rules?



 

MikeWh

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 Jun 2010
Messages
6,212
Location
Crayford
So if I have a Zone 1-3 Oyster travelcard and travel from Maze Hill (Z3, touch in) via Woolwich Arsenal (Z4, interchange without crossing gatelines or touching reader) to City Airport (Z3, touch out) and I don't get charged anything, I haven't broken any rules?
I wonder would the system assume you had travelled via WWA and charge a Z4 single?
I would make sure I had enough for a zone 4 single on PAYG, but if it doesn't charge you then you haven't broken any rules. I would wager a little that there would be no charge because the system cannot tell whether travel was via Greenwich and Poplar or Woolwich Arsenal.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,381
Location
Yorkshire
So if I have a Zone 1-3 Oyster travelcard and travel from Maze Hill (Z3, touch in) via Woolwich Arsenal (Z4, interchange without crossing gatelines or touching reader) to City Airport (Z3, touch out) and I don't get charged anything, I haven't broken any rules?
It's not up to you how much you are charged, it's up to the system.
 

34D

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2011
Messages
6,031
Location
Yorkshire
Hey,

With oyster, are you allowed to travel anywhere on the rail network without going through a barrier for the cost of the fare between your start and finish points - as you are on the tube? For example, if I went from Victoria to Feltham to Waterloo, without touching out at Feltham, would that be allowed? With a normal ticket, this would be travelling beyond my ticket, but with Oyster, is the Oyster card always valid?

Thanks!
Chaps,

Normally I wouldn't dream of questionning the wisdom of either Mr Mike Wh or Mr Yorkie however can I ask them bith for an answer to a direct question:

If our OP is found by an SWT RPI with an oyster card (validated at Victoria) on an up train between Hounslow and Waterloo (maybe found at Isleworth), are we certain that he wouldn't receive a penalty fare? What if the touch in was four hours ago?

In fact, I don't like the Hounslow as an example (due to the loop). May we consider instead touching in at Finsbury, touch out at Kings Cross, and go via Bowes Park (I've chosen Bowes Park as a station where one does not _have_ to go past oyster readers to change platform, whereas you do at Hadley Wood or Crews Hill (which were places I had originally written before changing my mind).

That seems contrary to what other people say. The general consensus seems to be that you're allowed to travel freely with an Oyster card, within the Oyster area and only pay for the shortest route between the start and finish of your journey (as long as you either keep your journey under the time limit or have a travelcard).

Obviously the second situation where you buy a ticket and don't touch out is against the rules, but there are other situations where you might want to do what I'm suggesting - say you wanted to meet someone at Feltham and come back on the train with them.
With a travelcard (on oyster or paper) you can't go out of your zones..... Though of course the response to this I guess is that if one holds zones 3 and 4 travelcard oyster season and, wants to travel from Richmond to New Malden (both z4) the routes are either via Clapham (z2) or via Teddington (z6).

Given that a travelcard season oyster holder doesn't need to touch in or out (when doing so in their zones) I'd be interested to know how 'the system' would treat such a journey, and if (assuming it deems via Clapham and hence applies a PAYG charge) a travelcard season holder can legitimately not touch out at New Malden (it has barriers but two entrances, and the secondary one is usually left open and unstaffed) to avoid paying?
 

MikeWh

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 Jun 2010
Messages
6,212
Location
Crayford
Chaps,

Normally I wouldn't dream of questionning the wisdom of either Mr Mike Wh or Mr Yorkie however can I ask them bith for an answer to a direct question:
I'm not the Pope and certainly not infallible;) so don't worry and ask away.
If our OP is found by an SWT RPI with an oyster card (validated at Victoria) on an up train between Hounslow and Waterloo (maybe found at Isleworth), are we certain that he wouldn't receive a penalty fare? What if the touch in was four hours ago?

In fact, I don't like the Hounslow as an example (due to the loop). May we consider instead touching in at Finsbury, touch out at Kings Cross, and go via Bowes Park (I've chosen Bowes Park as a station where one does not _have_ to go past oyster readers to change platform, whereas you do at Hadley Wood or Crews Hill (which were places I had originally written before changing my mind).
I don't know how much information the reader gives when they first scan a card. I know there is a green light if the card is validated and I assume that that would change after a certain time. Four hours is the maximum allowed on weekday daytimes, so more than that would almost certainly not show as validated. If you were going the wrong way but still within time then you should be ok. You could always have gone too far and be going back. I think it is unlikely that an RPI would do anything because you have a validated card which will have deducted a maximum fare and if you leave it too long then you will get another one.
With a travelcard (on oyster or paper) you can't go out of your zones..... Though of course the response to this I guess is that if one holds zones 3 and 4 travelcard oyster season and, wants to travel from Richmond to New Malden (both z4) the routes are either via Clapham (z2) or via Teddington (z6).

Given that a travelcard season oyster holder doesn't need to touch in or out (when doing so in their zones) I'd be interested to know how 'the system' would treat such a journey, and if (assuming it deems via Clapham and hence applies a PAYG charge) a travelcard season holder can legitimately not touch out at New Malden (it has barriers but two entrances, and the secondary one is usually left open and unstaffed) to avoid paying?
If you have a travelcard then the reader will display the zones that the travelcard covers. If you are outside of those zones then I would expect the RPI to check last touch in. If that wasn't recent then you would be PF'd as you do have to touch in if going beyond the zones on your travelcard. If you walk past the validator at your destination without touching out then you may get stopped and in this scenario I would also expect a PF to be issued.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
50,381
Location
Yorkshire
Chaps,

Normally I wouldn't dream of questionning the wisdom of either Mr Mike Wh or Mr Yorkie however can I ask them bith for an answer to a direct question:
You can of course question me :) However I may not know the answer!
If our OP is found by an SWT RPI with an oyster card (validated at Victoria) on an up train between Hounslow and Waterloo (maybe found at Isleworth), are we certain that he wouldn't receive a penalty fare?
To be honest, I do not know exactly what information the RPI would be able to read. I understand they would see the card has been touched in. It would be logical to assume it would state the time it was touched in, and the location... but I do not know. Without that information, it is impossible to answer. With that information, we may still be guessing.
What if the touch in was four hours ago?
240 minutes... hmm, well, the touch in would have effectively expired because there would be no journey from Victoria that could result in a journey for which the maximum journey time is within 240 minutes. Whether an RPI would be able to identify that, I do not know. What action the RPI could then take, I do not know.
In fact, I don't like the Hounslow as an example (due to the loop). May we consider instead touching in at Finsbury, touch out at Kings Cross, and go via Bowes Park (I've chosen Bowes Park as a station where one does not _have_ to go past oyster readers to change platform, whereas you do at Hadley Wood or Crews Hill (which were places I had originally written before changing my mind).
My opinion is that if you have touched in, and are within the maximum journey time that is possible from the origin, then you should not have any problems, however that may or may not be the training given to RPIs.


With a travelcard (on oyster or paper) you can't go out of your zones..... Though of course the response to this I guess is that if one holds zones 3 and 4 travelcard oyster season and, wants to travel from Richmond to New Malden (both z4) the routes are either via Clapham (z2) or via Teddington (z6).
If you have a Travelcard held on Oyster, you may go out of your zones providing you have sufficient PAYG balance and have touched in.

Given that a travelcard season oyster holder doesn't need to touch in or out (when doing so in their zones)
Providing all travel is within the zones, yes.
I'd be interested to know how 'the system' would treat such a journey, and if (assuming it deems via Clapham and hence applies a PAYG charge) a travelcard season holder can legitimately not touch out at New Malden (it has barriers but two entrances, and the secondary one is usually left open and unstaffed) to avoid paying?
If you go outside the Zones on your Travelcard then you must touch in & out, and failing to do so could cause a Penalty Fare to be charged if caught outside the zones for which the Travelcard covers.
 

island

Veteran Member
Joined
30 Dec 2010
Messages
11,174
Location
0036
I remember seeing a guide to the handheld Oyster readers somewhere. I wonder if anyone knows where it is.
 

Brucey

Member
Joined
7 Jan 2010
Messages
670
I remember seeing a guide to the handheld Oyster readers somewhere. I wonder if anyone knows where it is.
It was in response to a FoI request on What Do They Know. I've spent the last hour trying to find it with no success. I remember other documents were provided at the same time, e.g. DLR CTA warning signs, LU PF warning signs, examples of PF pads for buses, LU and DLR & LOROL revenue training slides.
 

34D

Established Member
Joined
9 Feb 2011
Messages
6,031
Location
Yorkshire
If you walk past the validator at your destination without touching out then you may get stopped and in this scenario I would also expect a PF to be issued.
But surely the answer to that would be "I have a travelcard season on Oyster I didn't think I needed to touch out"

Thanks all for your answers.
 

Urban Gateline

Established Member
Joined
8 Mar 2011
Messages
1,526
But surely the answer to that would be "I have a travelcard season on Oyster I didn't think I needed to touch out"

Thanks all for your answers.
Well if the Travelcard season in question does not cover the zones the person travels through then they must touch in and out to be charged the correct Oyster excess on top of the Travelcard they hold. Otherwise it constitutes avoiding a fare, ignorance is not a defence when all the information is provided on the TFL site or available at ticket offices.
 

eAi

Member
Joined
13 May 2011
Messages
15
You certainly do need to touch out with Oyster - there are obviously cases where the shortest route between two stations that are both covered by your travelcard goes outside your travelcard's allowed zones.

But, that's not really relevant here, where you're not taking the shortest route.
 

button_boxer

Established Member
Joined
12 Nov 2009
Messages
1,270
But surely the answer to that would be "I have a travelcard season on Oyster I didn't think I needed to touch out"
The rule is that you must touch in and out when using PAYG, and any journey that travels outside the zones of your travelcard is by definition a PAYG journey (part covered by the travelcard, yes, but the journey still requires PAYG).
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top