Will tapping in at the Gatwick Airport gateline at Victoria with a travelcard charge a fare?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Muzer, 17 May 2018.

  1. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Title says it all, really. The context is I'm wondering if Boundary Zone fares are now possible on Gatwick Express with zero fuss - just touch your Oyster-with-Travelcard at Victoria and use the Boundary Zone ticket to get out at Gatwick?
     
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  3. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I have heard someone test this, I believe the answer was no charge if they touch out within their Travelcard Zones and the normal charge from the boundary if touching out outside the zones but within the PAYG area. I think if you travel to Gatwick Airport it charges the full fare though, but I could have remembered that wrong? I am sure @MikeWh knows.


    https://www.oyster-rail.org.uk/2016/01/oyster-at-gatwick/

    Suggests sadly no.

    Or do you mean by buying a paper ticket? It's not clear? If you do I believe Mike's answer above probably still stands.
     
  4. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    My reading of this is the OP is asking whether they can use an Oyster loaded with a Travelcard season - say a zones 1-3 - and touch-in at the Gatwick Express gateline at Victoria station (platforms 13 & 14), travel on GatEx to Gatwick and then be automatically charged the excess for 'out-of-zone' travel.

    If that's what they are asking, then no that's not how it works, rather they'll just get charged the full GatEx Oyster fare (currently £19.80).

    I suggest the OP saves themselves the hassle and just travels on a Southern train from Victoria instead - in the above scenario (Oyster loaded with with a zones 1-3 Travelcard) they will be charged the 'excess' automatically from their PAYG balance on exit at Gatwick.
     
  5. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I initially thought the same about what the OP was asking, however now I am not so sure and wondering if the reference to boundary zone means they're going to buy a paper ticket? The Oyster single fare is probably cheaper, using a Southern or Thameslink train, than buying a ticket. So I too would suggest that, and forget GX.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2018
  6. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    Yes, it's not entirely clear but maybe you're right, I don't quite get why they think printed BZ tickets on GatEx might have suddenly become zero fuss though (combining a Travelcard-on-Oyster with a paper BZ ticket is legit on GatEx but it's not going to be zero fuss! ... indeed I suspect combining a paper Travelcard and paper BZ ticket on GatEx isn't easy either...)

    One has to assume that GatEx remains enough of a money spinner for GTR that they continue with the premium fare malarkey. Oh well.
     
  7. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Tapping an Oyster card within the Zones it is valid for, and not tapping out due to using a paper extension ticket should normally be OK.

    I am sure Mike can confirm, but there are probably issues with gatelines that 'know' the first calling point will be outwith the zones (e.g. Zone 1-2 Travelcard at Maryebone) and I expect these may charge, but GTR don't just operate their non-stop to Gatwick trains from Platforms 13/14 but they also often run trains that do call at intermediate stops from these platforms (and their non-stop trains to Gatwick can and do depart from other platforms too) so there should be no issue at least in theory.

    In fact it may be a good thing to try it; if you are charged then I would be very interested to hear about this, as it may be good evidence of wrongdoing by GTR (we have plenty of evidence so far, but more would be useful)
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    I believe this has been tested, so if someone touches in on P13/14 at London Victoria and then touches out in their Travelcard Zones, they are not charged. Equally if they are using PAYG if they touch in on P13/14 at London Victoria and then touch out at, say, Horley, they are only charged the normal PAYG fare rather than the £19.80.

    Although I could be wrong on that...
     
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I am sure you are correct on that, yes.

    But I am not so sure on the issue of where you do not tap out, because you are continuing your journey on a paper ticket.
     
  10. talldave

    talldave Established Member

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    Paper Day Travelcard and paper BZ combination works fine.
     
  11. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    I actually pointed out that Oyster was supposed to charge from the boundary zone to gatwick for a season ticket on oysters . To which I got a rather curt reply informing me that it was programmed in accordance with the national rail conditions of carriage.

    It was tfl who approved the arrangement and I personally believe that the organisations complicity in the attempts by GTR to mislead and overcharge customers is quite disgraceful.

    Someone should FOI TfL on the matter and see what rationale they used to draw such a conclusion.
     
  12. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Sorry, I was indeed referring to buying a paper boundary zone ticket. Thanks all!

    (And sorry Yorkie, but I was just asking hypothetically for if one of my friends wants to know - I don't have an oyster travelcard myself, but a paper one).
     
  13. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    Paper Travelcard + paper BZ ticket - legit, and should be fine (as per talldave's reply above).

    Oyster Travelcard season + paper BZ ticket - also a legit combination (as above), though having it recognised as such at the p13 & 14 gateline might be more difficult.
     
  14. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Why is the gateline an issue for the Oyster travelcard? I'd have thought I'd be more likely to have a problem with the paper travelcard (indeed, I've had issues in the past with such combinations, though eventually managed to talk my way through). With an Oyster travelcard the gateline staff surely doesn't know you're not intending on paying PAYG, so it should be completely smooth.



    With regards to the other interesting point (which I hadn't even thought of) brought up, that of the PAYG fare if you have a Travelcard - do you get charged the full Victoria-to-Gatwick fare if you use GatEx but not if you use Southern? If so, how do they measure this (do they use the GatEx gateline)? If not, do they always charge a full Victoria-to-Gatwick fare on Oyster PAYG even if you have a travelcard? Does the same apply to fares from Thameslink-served stations? What about London Bridge Southern platforms?
     
  15. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Unless you use a gateline from which the only possible destinations are outwith the zones covered by your Travelcard (such as Zones 1-2 Travelcard at Marylebone).

    I believe GTR may charge the full fare, as if no Travelcard was held, if you use the Platforms 13/14 gateline and tap out at Gatwick Airport, and if that is the case, anyone who is charged in this manner is urged to contact me directly with the evidence.
     
  16. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    It needs a real-word test!

    Alas I'm not in the position to do so, and fewer and fewer people seem to have an inboundary Travelcard these days (and those that do aren't going to be up for a joyride to Gatwick to test an arcane - to them at least - bit of ticketing logic!).
     
  17. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    Yes, a real-world test would be interesting! I've just asked my friends if anyone has experience in this - quite a few have inboundary Travelcards though I doubt there's many who fancy a jolly up to Gatwick just to test something.
     
  18. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    Quite! The other thing is that I think the 'avoid-GatEx' message is so widespread, and the fact that a Travelcard plus BZ ticket is actually valid on GatEx is so little known, that it just wouldn't even cross the minds of most people I know. (And knowing there was the potential for faff would likely kill the idea anyway!)
     
  19. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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  20. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    All fares involving stations outside zone 6 on the Gatwick line are decided by the DfT*. TfL impliment them unless there is a technical constraint. They are not complicit and have managed to persuade the DfT to correct some of the overcharging (eg avoiding zone 1 fares which were higher than via zone 1).

    *Ok it's publicly GTR, but they have to get everything signed off by the DfT.
     
  21. mmh

    mmh Established Member

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    It'd be sensible, so it'll never happen, but the Gatwick Express fares really should just be removed. It'd not only simplify Gatwick fares (a bit, the Thameslink/Southern differences should be removed to) but remove some airport traffic from the other trains. Or even have a *lower* Gatwick Express only fare to encourage airport traffic to use it more.
     
  22. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Right, deep breath.

    Platforms 13/14 at Victoria are treated as a completely separate station to the rest of Victoria NR. At that 'station' there is an entry threshold of the GatEx single fare, regardless of whether a travelcard is present or not. If you travel to Gatwick you will be charged the full GatEx fare as Oyster extension fares do not apply. If you travel to anywhere else you will be charged the correct fare, including taking account of any travelcard, when you touch out. It is worth pointing out that there is no OSI with anywhere else at that 'station' so you might be overcharged on PAYG if you have arrived on the tube at Victoria.

    When other services use platforms 13/14 the staff are supposed to route Oyster/contactless users through an adjacent platforms gateline to avoid many of these problems. If the GatEx uses other platforms then you get a cheap ride, and the DfT have reluctantly agreed that because of the technical barriers to resolving the issue.
     
  23. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    So if you touch in at 13/14 but don't touch out, you'll presumably be charged a (rather large) fare? Has it been known to be possible to contest this?

    What you say sounds like such an unbelievable scam that I'm surprised there hasn't been more of a fuss kicked up about this point in particular. Surely the majority of people to catch the Gatwick Express would be arriving off the tube, so does this mean the majority of people would be overcharged? How much are you "supposed" to be charged for a tube journey plus GatEx?
     
  24. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Well presumably you will have an incomplete journey? What's the entry threshold?
     
  25. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    The GatEx Oyster/contactless fare is advertised as a standalone fare (like StP to Stratford I on HS1). Any additional travel is paid for separately, hence why there is no OSI.
     
  26. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    No. If you arrive from Z1 on the Underground you pay the £2.40 Z1 single and the £19.80 Gatwick Express single. That's the fare they advertise. It'd be £10.60 for a Zone 1 LU to Gatwick Airport single without using GX.
     
  27. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    wibble to satisfy the forum software.
     
  28. Joe Paxton

    Joe Paxton Established Member

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    That's my understanding. One could always try contesting it with the Oyster helpline.


    The Tube journey and the GatEx journey separately - there's no scam or overcharging, GatEx carries a standalone premium fare when using Oyster & contactless.

    If you want a cheaper, through (and non-premium) fare then use Southern or Thameslink (the latter obviously not from Victoria).


    To go back to the original question - a Travelcard-on-Oyster plus a BZ paper ticket is valid on the GatEx, the problem anyone doing this is likely to have is getting the gateline staff at platforms 13 & 14 at Victoria to understand or accept this.
     
    Last edited: 18 May 2018
  29. matt_world2004

    matt_world2004 Established Member

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    Yet not applying the extention fare between Gatwick and whatever boundary season held on the oyster card. When there is the technical means to do so and is done on the rest of the network is not being within the spirit of the atoc conditions of carriage. Unlike hs1 Travelcards are valid on the Gatwick express and can be combined with other tickets to gatwick
     
  30. Muzer

    Muzer Established Member

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    My comment was specifically in response to MikeWh's comment:

    ...which specifically says the word "overcharged". If there's no overcharging, how are you overcharged?
     
  31. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    If you depart from p13/14 and your destination is somewhere other than Gatwick Airport.
     

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