Southern's "the key" extended to London

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by cjohnson, 21 Oct 2013.

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  1. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    From today, Annual, monthly and weekly seasons from most Southern stations to Victoria, East Croydon and Clapham Jct can be loaded onto 'the key'. (Also London Bridge-Gatwick only).

    They also say that from February 2014, it will be possible to load a travelcard onto it.
     
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  3. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    Details here:

    https://www.southernrailway.com/smart-card/

     
  4. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    What's interesting is that I used to be able to do this from day 1 of 'not-season' fares being available on The Key, and did so with returns from Gatwick or Crawley fairly regularly...

    Except today when I go online to buy a ticket for my Key, all of the smart fares to london appear to have disappeared from the website...
     
  5. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Why is there a rather obvious attempt to ignore stations between Salfords & Merstham which already have access to the key for travel outside London? Every station which is already enabled for the system and located to the South of Gatwick Airport appears to be able to take advantage of smartcard season tickets to London - but nothing on this part of the Redhill route.

    See: https://www.southernrailway.com/smart-card/routemap_victoria

    I am sure there may be a logical reason, but it seems very odd indeed to miss out stations with a combined total of several million journeys per annum. Unlike what Southern sometimes seem to think, people do actually use trains via Redhill et al...
     
  6. ushawk

    ushawk Established Member

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    They arent being ignored, the roll-out is being phased.

    The same thing happened when it was extended to Gatwick, intermediate stations were left out until a month after.
     
  7. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    It's a bit of an odd way of phasing it. That's an awful lot of stations for the first rollout to Victoria and then they miss out a handful towards the North.
     
  8. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    Which I assume is intended to disallow the GoAhead 'key' medium on the trains branded Gatwick Express?
     
  9. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    That would be pretty crazy, given that the main service between Victoria, Haywards Heath and Brighton in peak hours is the Gatwick Express, and season tickets between these stations are permitted on the Gatwick Express without paying any extra.
     
  10. 34D

    34D Established Member

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    I agree it would be crazy
     
  11. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    Only seasons to London are available at the moment - a season ticket search shows the 'smart' fares.

     
  12. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I intend to convert my Crawley to Victoria season to the Key from next month and we'll see if I have any problems when I change at Gatwick on the Express! I actually normally travel from Three Bridges and only buy the ticket to Crawley because the fare is the same. The paper ticket is accepted at the Three Bridges barriers (and also at East Croydon and Redhill) so I wonder whether the Key season will work those barriers as well?
     
  13. Tom

    Tom Member

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    Nope.
     
  14. ushawk

    ushawk Established Member

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    Not really. I mean why put Merstham on it now if that would be the furthest north you could currently go. Because it is now rolled out at the London stations, when further stations are added, they could go pretty much anywhere on the network.
     
  15. Tom

    Tom Member

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    It is primarily down to a staged rollout - but there are also other issues such as the ITSO on Prestige at play still causing some holdups with rolling it out everywhere...
     
  16. andrewkeith5

    andrewkeith5 Member

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    I don't understand, I've bought two Smart Off Peak Day Returns from Gatwick to Victoria and one or two from Crawley to Victoria...

    I distinctly remember it as I bought two from Gatwick and one was refunded... a Smart Off Peak Day Return was £9.55...
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I'd love to know, but I have a feeling that nobody has thought about programming the gates properly :( Half the time even paper tickets aren't properly accepted
     
  17. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    Merstham was already the furthest North you could officially be permitted to use the key, prior to yesterday's announcement and event. To now have key usage available to London, but to miss out a handful of stations on a busy line which were already fitted with equipment and which already worked as per the rest of the key area, seems slightly nonsensical.

    I don't believe that would affect a rollout to the Redhill area. The scheme (publicly) already stopped at Merstham, which is the last station before entering Zone 6 to the North. And indeed, for day tickets & seasons South of Merstham, it still does. There's always the hazard of people trying to use the key incorrectly to/from Coulsdon South and stations North of there, but then there are plenty of people travelling from Gatwick towards that station and the Purley area on stopping services, and many people also have to be assisted who make the mistake of trying to use Oyster via Redhill or towards Gatwick, so various manual procedures and personal explanations are often needed to rectify mistakes anyway!
     
  18. Tom

    Tom Member

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    The Redhill area was a test location for a different version of the ITSO specification (on rail, at least) I believe, so that may explain it.
     
  19. Bidstonboy

    Bidstonboy Member

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    Is Redhill the black sheep of The Southern Network? I once stayed there for a couple of nights as The Travelodge is very handy for the station and was very perplexed to find out that none of Southern's £5 advance singles to Southampton/Eastbourne are available from Redhill yet are possible from London, Croydon and even East Grinstead!! I'd be a bit annoyed if I lived there. Therefore it doesn't surprise me that The Key isn't usable there yet.
     
  20. GodAtum

    GodAtum On Moderation

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    This looks good. Can i get a monthly East Croydon - London terminals 1st class on this?
     
  21. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I assumed any trip within the zones would be outside the scope of the Key, even though First Class tickets aren't available on Oyster. However, it looks like it is available if you try to order it on the website!

    The test will be offering First Class tickets on PAYG. Dutch Railways allow you to set your smartcard on a ticket machine to whether you get charged 1st or 2nd class when using PAYG.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2013
  22. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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    I assume it means you can't use the faster FCC trains as GX doesn't go to London Bridge. It's not clear if it's a cheaper Southern-only ticket or if the Key has less validity than the equivalent paper ticket
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2013
  23. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    It's just a 'smart' version of the Southern only fare - http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=GTW&dest=LBG&rte=777&tkt=0AS
     
  24. GodAtum

    GodAtum On Moderation

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    So in Zones I should not use the key?
     
  25. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    On the contrary, it looks like you can. It looks like some trips will be available by both the Key and Oyster.
     
    Last edited: 22 Oct 2013
  26. GodAtum

    GodAtum On Moderation

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    the reason i ask is that my 1st class season cannot be put on an Oyster. can 1st tickets be put on the key?
     
  27. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    I don't see why not. You can buy First Class singles and returns as well, but not for East Croydon to Victoria.
     
  28. GodAtum

    GodAtum On Moderation

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    Ah Ok so i cannot get a season 1st class East Croydon to London terminals?
     
  29. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Season, yes. Single, no. Return, no.
     
  30. GodAtum

    GodAtum On Moderation

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    excellent, i will order my key now :D
     
  31. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    Make sure you get one with a photo on it, as you need a photo if you want to put a season on the Key.
     
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