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Thameslink - different off-peak times depending on ticket type?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Spurs, 11 Jan 2019.

  1. Spurs

    Spurs Member

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    I'm looking at going from Farringdon to Elstree & Borehamwood arriving at about 6pm on Thursday, and going back at about 10pm. I've not used Thameslink before, but it looks like the outward journey counts as off-peak if I buy a paper ticket but as peak if I use my Oyster? And that as a result buying a paper off-peak return with my 16-25 railcard is cheaper than the Oyster fare?

    I was also wondering if anyone could confirm that it'll be free for my father on his 60+ London Oyster - I did consult the appropriate map but I'm colourblind and can't quite make it out for certain :E

    Many thanks!!
     
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  3. island

    island Established Member

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    There are no off-peak paper tickets from Farringdon (ZFD) to Elstree & Borehamwood (ELS).

    However, Oyster will not apply your Railcard discount to peak fares, which apply from 1600-1900 on your journey, but a discount is available on paper tickets.

    The cheapest option is a paper single for the outbound journey at £4.90 and using your Oyster on the way back costing £2.70, total £7.60. Oyster both ways would be £8.45 and a paper return ticket is £9.65.
     
  4. island

    island Established Member

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    And yes the 60+ Oyster is valid.
     
  5. JonathanH

    JonathanH Established Member

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    Alternatively, an off peak day return from London Thameslink to Radlett with the railcard is £6.55 (and people want Oyster extended?)

    The problem of course being that off-peak day returns were abolished within London when Oyster was introduced to force people to move across)
     
  6. Spurs

    Spurs Member

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    Ah, when I looked through National Rail it was offerring me what looks like an off-peak 1-6 travelcard for £8.60, which is cheaper than Oyster both ways (£6.60 peak out, £2.70 off-peak going back for £9.30 total). But confusingly it says there's an afternoon peak going towards Elstree but not one in the other direction on the fare finder, while National Rail is happy to sell me an off-peak travel card with that itinery. But you're right in any case that the £4.90 paper single and Oyster coming back works out cheaper, so thanks for that! I did always think that Oyster was cheaper than paper tickets but apparently not haha.
     
  7. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Yes, a discounted travelcard will be cheaper than a discounted paper return. Oyster fares from outside zone 1 ending in zone 1 are off-peak in the evening peak to encourage travel for evenings out. The evening peak causes quite a few issues with Oyster vs paper tickets when discounts apply.
     
  8. island

    island Established Member

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    Oyster both ways would actually be £8.45 as you’d hit the daily cap.

    If you’ll be making other journeys on Oyster that day anyway, it would be preferable to use Oyster throughout.

    Day travelcards have no evening peak for journeys within Zones 1-6.
     
  9. Spurs

    Spurs Member

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    Huh - thought it'd be the much higher peak cap. Interesting. Thanks so much for all the advice though, it's massively appreciated!
     
  10. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Annoyed I missed that in my earlier reply.

    The peak cap is better described as the all day cap. Where it is cheaper the off peak cap applies to all travel after 0930. If you travel in the afternoon peak you'll reach the off peak cap quicker.
     

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