Oyster to Gatwick

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by infobleep, 15 Mar 2015.

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  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    The election is soon upon us.
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/surrey-news/reigate-mp-calls-protest-over-8842304

    I didn't think Southern had much choice in the matters. I thought it was up to TfL to do this, including putting pressure on rail companies if they are reluctant to allow it.

    I wasn't aware that Oyster would only apply for single and return journeys. Is that the case on the Watford line?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 15 Mar 2015
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  3. Kite159

    Kite159 Veteran Member

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    What about the likes of Shenfield or Grays which sit in an extended Oyster zone?

    Has the prices for Oyster to Gatwick been announced yet?
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I think he's asking for Gatwick to be placed in Zone 6?

    No chance of that happening.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    What about them? Gatwick will be the same concept, but a higher price.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Not yet, but Southern have already stated they will not be accepting it on their Gatwick Express branded trains. :roll:

    The MP would have more credibility if he campaigned for Southern's Gatwick Express route to be included, and if he could state what the fare should be (clearly more than Zone 6, but obviously not as high as the DfT will have planned).
     
  5. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Quite. Zone 6 is quite large enough already in the Purley area. It could create some very odd pricing for journeys if it was extended all the way to Gatwick.

    I was of the understanding that there is still a very eventual aspiration for this to be the case. I'm really not sure, though, how Southern would actually be happy for it to be implemented. Do you have an official source for that?

    Again, my understanding is that Gatwick Airport and subsequently all intermediate stations from Coulsdon South are soon to accept Oyster. I should imagine it would be sensible for a special fares zone to be put in place - as above, such as that at Watford Junction.

    Bear in mind that without a lot of onboard checks, it will be very hard to verify if someone is touching in or out at Gatwick as a user of the Gatwick Express branded trains. Due to platform changes, peak hour services and engineering works, there are few ways that dedicated barriers or validators could be installed at Gatwick Airport alone.
     
  6. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    And prospective candidates come up with ill-thought-through ideas to try and win support.
    Would have been better if you or yorkie had included the next line in the quote:
    Well someone doesn't know what they're talking about.:lol:

    Oyster PAYG works entirely on single fares. Some journeys have differently priced routes, but other than that there are just two fares for any journey - peak or off-peak. Oyster can also hold season tickets, but they can only be travelcards. In the case of out-boundary seasons they generally don't have the full zonal range (usually just zones 1-6 and 2-6) because I think these products are something of a cludge.

    Oyster only has a limited number (16?) of zones and each block of fares requires a separate zone. 1-9 are obvious, Watford Junction and Grays group are 10 (hence no travelcards from Grays because the prices don't match), Brentwood and Shenfield are certainly different and possibly Broxbourne too. There is already a commitment to add Dartford and Swanley as a new zone by next year, Epsom is also coming soon and as has been mentioned, Gatwick Airport is on the agenda, initially without the intermediate stations. I don't believe that there is any more room.

    Gatwick is obviously a difficult one. I believe many people want it in principle, but there are lots of very difficult issues to sort out. Not least the different fares for Express/Normal assuming that Southern/Thameslink only will disappear soon with the TOC merger. It will also be very confusing to passengers to understand that they can use it to Coulsdon South or Gatwick, but not Merstham, Redhill, Earlswood, Salfords or Horley. I can see these stumbling blocks preventing the extension until the next phase of Oyster is rolled out.

    The next phase is transferring the processing from happening at the card/reader interface to the back office. Contactless already does this and it is planned for Oyster to do the same - when other issues have been resolved. It certainly needs to be done before Crossrail services start running to Reading because there is no way that the number of different fares required beyond West Drayton can be included in Oyster's zonal system.

    And of course when the system allows touch in at Gatwick and touch out at Reading, will you be allowed to use the North Downs line via Guildford?
     
  7. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Paper tickets will most likely still represent the cheapest option for those prepared to do their homework. I have a Southern key smartcard but have only ever used it once as paper is always cheaper for my travel.
     
  8. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    One of the problems associated with a wider roll out of smart card PAYG schemes is that most people will be unaware of what they are paying for each journey because the price isn't as 'visible' as it is when you purchase each journey individually.

    Most people believe what they read in the media and will think that the roll out of Oyster PAYG will reduce fares to Gatwick when in fact we know that won't happen.

    Continued use of the trainline by passengers also demonstrates this.
     
  9. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I guess they could easily exclude the North down line by not making it part of Oyster. Thus if anyone inadvertently does take that route to Reading, just make them by a new ticket.

    Plenty fare scheme doesn't apply between Gatwick and Guildford for First Great Western services so in this case they wouldn't be able to issue one of those.

    I wonder if Oyster being so handy to use might encourage more people to travel to Reading via London than via the North Downs Line.

    By then though perhaps the key or similar will include the North Downs Line.
     
  10. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If it were to be rolled out to Gatwick, I think it will really have to be made available to those intermediate station.

    Put them in the same zone as Gatwick, and if they complain of a fare rise, tell them they have the freedom of using paper tickets. There is a price to pay for convenience. <D
     
  11. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    If they don't make it available for intermediate stations, they might have opportunities to issue penalty fare notices, so as long as they are not travel with First Great Western of course. <D
     
  12. Stats

    Stats Member

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    It's a rather pointless protest since it is in the franchise agreement to "use reasonable endeavours" to extend Oyster zonal fares to the area bounded by Gatwick Airport by 30 September 2015 subject to GTR and the Secretary of State agreeing that it is not detrimental to the commercial position of the franchise.
     
  13. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Compare the price of Anytime Day Singles to East Croydon from a number of locations:

    Gatwick Airport £5.20
    Horley £5.20
    Salfords £5.20
    Earlswood £5.20
    Redhill £5.20
    Merstham £5.20
    Reigate £5.20

    Already in the same zone it might seem?

    Do you want to have a guess at what the Oyster fare to Zone 5 might be?

    A familiar gripe from Redhill passengers is that tickets are not more expensive from Gatwick.
     
  14. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    There are currently some excellent value fares to Gatwick Airport. There's an Off-Peak Day Return from London St Pancras for £11 (rte Not Underground, valid from 0930 no evening restriction) dropping to £8 at the weekend. Expect the franchise merger to remove these good fares, and Oyster expansion to remove the best deals that remain!
     
    Last edited: 17 Mar 2015
  15. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Won't be the same for fares to Zone 1. Just compare London Terminals fares.
     
  16. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Given the way that Southern view the Redhill area as an easy revenue source and the need to surpress demand there, it wouldn't surprise me if they applied the Gatwick fares at Redhill. After all, there is no obligation to actually encourage use of Oyster and the differential is 'only' £5.
     
  17. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Well they are already in one zone together as far as going to East Croydon is concerned so they only need to create one additional zone covering these stations. It would have to be zone 7 as I can't skip zone numbers.
     
  18. edwin_m

    edwin_m Veteran Member

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    Commuters with season tickets pay regardless of whether they travel or not, so if they all work from home for a day Southern gets the same revenue without the bother of carrying the passengers. I bet Southern wouldn't be too upset to have a few more "protests" like that...
     
  19. GodAtum

    GodAtum Established Member

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    cant they use the Southern smartcard?
     
  20. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    For season tickets, yes, but not PAYG.
     
  21. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    Where did you get this information from? That's contrary to what I've heard.
     
  22. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    I guess when the map is redrawn/republished they'd just add the North Downs line to the list of exclusions along with Hayes And Harlington to Heathrow, etc.
     
  23. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    Only five weeks away! Any news, progress or updates?
     
  24. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I have no official update, but I'm sure that the slippage in introducing back-office Oyster processing is the stumbling block. Without that there are not enough fare zones to cover the intermediate stations. The conundrum is whether to introduce airport only fares like the HS1 STP-SFA and suffer the confusion of Oyster not being accepted intermediately, or wait for the back office to catch up and miss the 'deadline' for the airports. My personal view is that they should wait.
     
  25. TUC

    TUC Established Member

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    The problem is that there are multiple journey flows that are just outside the Oyster area because they are just outside Greater London. Given TfL's wider territorial ambitions, I agree that the issue needs looking at, but it needs to be done in a systematic way, not just for ad hoc special pleading.
     
  26. Matt E Raffles

    Matt E Raffles Member

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    The 'commercial position' of the TSGN franchise will be of particular interest to the DfT/Secretary of State as fares revenue for TSGN passes to the government rather than the Train Operating Company. It is likely that the DfT will be scrutinising TSGN's business case to ensure that revenue risk is kept to a minimum. Perhaps the 30 September date could be extended with the DfT's agreement.
     
  27. swt_passenger

    swt_passenger Veteran Member

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    Just saw this for the first time.

    They now do skip zone numbers. If you look at the zones out towards Shenfield (which has TOC fares only I think); they did just that only a few months ago.

    Harold Wood is in Zone 6, and then Brentwood is in Zone 9, with Zones 7 and 8 passed through 'non-stop', as it were.

    https://tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/london-rail-and-tube-services-map.pdf

    Much earlier though, Zone 9 has effectively been ignored on the way to Watford Jn, although not shown on the map.
     
  28. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    The guard on my train just made a long announcement about people using Oyster cards beyond East Croydon and if they alight at Gatwick Airport they will face a £25 fine + cost of ticket. However if they come to see him now he can deal with it and they won't be fined.

    He also said people with contactless wouldn't be fined, only those holding Oyster cards. I wasn't aware contactless had reached Gatwick Airport until then.

    What other stations is it valid to on the Brighton mainline?
     
  29. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    It hasn't as far as I know.
     
  30. JaJaWa

    JaJaWa Established Member

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    From what I've heard from GTR and the airports, they will be introducing Oyster to the airports (Gatwick and Luton Parkway) this September, and then to intermediate stations in 2016 when more zones are possible.
     
  31. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Oh dear! I can see lots of new threads in disputes and prosecutions over this.
     
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