Zone 1 to Gatwick - Annual Season Ticket

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jesslordy

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Hi everyone

I recently moved to the UK and started a job near Gatwick Airport and I am looking for advice on purchasing an annual season ticket. It will need to cover my travel to and from work (zone 1 to Gatwick) which will also cover travel on my days off around greater London.

I haven't had much luck with advice from Southern or TfL and am really struggling with this one.

Is the advice from Southern/GX correct that I can't get a ticket to cover all my transport needs because where I work is just outside zone 6?

Here are the details of my travels:

Travelling From:
I live on the border of zone 1 and 2 - a tube or bus ride from Victoria station.

Travelling To:
Gatwick Airport station.

Time of Day:
My hours of work are 0700-1900 4 days on, 4 days off.

Discounts:
None that I am aware off. I have a EASIT card but it won't provide a discount to/from Central London. It covers other travel on Southern with a 15% discount.

What I am currently paying:
On advice from the ticket office at Southern, I have been buying a monthly season from VIC to GTW for £286 then using my Oyster card to get to/from VIC costing £96 for the month (approx. 20 shifts)
TOTAL: £382 per month/£4202 per year if you minus time off for leave.

What I need help with:

As I travel quite a lot in greater London (zones 1-5) on my 4 days off and considering my monthly season ticket almost covers zone 1-6 - what are my options of an all inclusive annual season ticket? I currently feel like I am paying twice.

I also travel to and from work in what I consider off peak (I leave home at 5am and leave work at 7pm) but get no financial benefit from this.

I was looking at getting a zone 1-6 yearly Travelcard and another season ticket from the boarder of zone 6 to Gatwick (which I can get the EASIT 15% discount on), but reading the NRCoC 19 it looks like this isn't an option as I will have 2 x season tickets and only 1 is zonal.

I don't have time to buy a ticket each day at VIC to get me from zone 6 to Gatwick as there is little time between when when I arrive at VIC before my first train.

The other catch is I need the flexibility of being able to travel on the Gatwick Express as the only Southern service that will get me to work on time is not reliable enough. I currently give myself a 3 train buffer (1 SN, 2 x GX) to get to work on time.

Thanks for any help you can provide. I am seriouly considering buying a car to reduce my transport costs and time getting to work which seems insane! :D
 
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James Wake

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You can get a Gatwick Airport to Zones 1-6 travelcard:

Gatwick Airport(GTW) to London Travelcard Zones 1-6

Available Standard Class Adult Season Tickets (Travel is allowed via any permitted route.)

7 Days £106.70
1 Month £409.80
3 Months £1,229.20
6 Months £2,458.40
12 Months £4,268.00

Which would cover you on the Gatwick Express, Thameslink or Southern branded trains, plus anywhere in zones 1-6 on National Rail, tube, bus, DLR, Croydon tram, London Overground, Tfl Rail, but NOT Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect between Hayes and Heathrow and SouthEastern High Speed between St Pancras Intl and Stratford Intl.

There are cheaper tickets that don't include the Gatwick Express, but if you need flexibility and no arguments, this is the ticket to get.
 
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jesslordy

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You can get a Gatwick Airport to Zones 1-6 travelcard:

Gatwick Airport(GTW) to London Travelcard Zones 1-6

Available Standard Class Adult Season Tickets (Travel is allowed via any permitted route.)

7 Days £106.70
1 Month £409.80
3 Months £1,229.20
6 Months £2,458.40
12 Months £4,268.00

Which would cover you on the Gatwick Express, Thameslink or Southern branded trains, plus anywhere in zones 1-6 on National Rail, tube, bus, DLR, Croydon tram, London Overground, Tfl Rail, but NOT Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect between Hayes and Heathrow and SouthEastern High Speed between St Pancras Intl and Stratford Intl.

There are cheaper tickets that don't include the Gatwick Express, but if you need flexibility and no arguments, this is the ticket to get.

Thank you! I couldn't find that option on any season ticket calculator, only to VIC and LON terminals so that's great.

It's still a lot of money, especially considering how terrible the service is on Southern/GX and there is no competition. At least, like you said, no arguments.

Out of interest, what would be a cheaper option if I was was not to use GX and/or was up for an argument?
 

MikeWh

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Thank you! I couldn't find that option on any season ticket calculator, only to VIC and LON terminals so that's great.

Were you asking for VIC to Gatwick? Out boundary travelcards have to be specified with the zones as the destination. If you ask for Gatwick to VIC you'll see them.
 

Deerfold

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I was looking at getting a zone 1-6 yearly Travelcard and another season ticket from the boarder of zone 6 to Gatwick (which I can get the EASIT 15% discount on), but reading the NRCoC 19 it looks like this isn't an option as I will have 2 x season tickets and only 1 is zonal.

Just a quick comment on this.
From the beginning of this month the NRCoC was replaced by the NR Conditions of Travel which does not require a train to stop at the station where 2 season tickets meet.
 

James Wake

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Just a quick comment on this.
From the beginning of this month the NRCoC was replaced by the NR Conditions of Travel which does not require a train to stop at the station where 2 season tickets meet.

So it would then be a question of working out how much each of those two tickets is. Might be worth trying a ticket office to see if you can save anything doing that. Are you familiar with how to get from Gatwick to where you work? I live a few miles from Gatwick so know the local area quite well.
 

Clip

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If you really need the Travelcard then get a yearly which is about 2.5k per year then just get boundry zone 6 to gatwick ticket as an addon for each day you travel. without checking this may save you some money on the annual from gatwick to london with a TC
 

CyrusWuff

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Just a quick comment on this.
From the beginning of this month the NRCoC was replaced by the NR Conditions of Travel which does not require a train to stop at the station where 2 season tickets meet.

The annotated version posted in the "NRCoC replaced by NRCoT" thread was much clearer in this respect, in that it essentially combined the former Conditions 19(b) and 19(c), but with a bit of clarification.

I do, however, find it slightly bizarre that Transport Focus only concerned themselves with the "combination of zonal tickets" (in their example, combining a Cheshunt - Zones 5-6 Travelcard with another Travelcard on a non-stop service) and whether Oyster counted as a PTE product or not, rather than the wider issue of needing to be on a train that stopped at the changeover point when combining seasons.

Whilst the published version could be taken as meaning you can combine Season Tickets with impunity, I wouldn't like to be the first person to try it! There are, of course, at least two ways ATOC could resolve the situation: Update the NRCoT or amend the Conditions for Season Tickets...
 

yorkie

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Out of interest, what would be a cheaper option if I was was not to use GX and/or was up for an argument?
Tickets routed "Thameslink Only" are cheaper; the conditions allow you to take "the services of a particular Train Company or Companies."

In this case the company is Govia Thameslink, see their charter for company information:
Govia Thameslink Railway is the name of the company running your train services....
This company took over the expanded TSGN franchise in 2015. There is now only one train company operating trains between London and Gatwick/Brighton, so - as you correctly say - there is no longer any competition.

Prior to that, between 2008 and 2015, there were two competing companies. One of them was Southern, who operated the Gatwick Express route. Some of their staff used to claim that Gatwick Express was a separate company, and attempted to charge people as such. I know dozens of people who were 'let off' and 3 people who were charged a "Southern Supplement"; all 3 were subsequently refunded, e.g. dvboy (Southern admit they were wrong to sell GX "supplement")

In the case of a Travelcard, it is valid on all train companies within Zones 1-6, plus all trains operated by the named train company from Gatwick to the Zone 6 boundary. There will be no issue using this at the gateline at Victoria platforms 1-12 and 15-19. However the gates at platforms 13-14 (which are mostly - but not exclusively - used by most of the trains which are operated by Govia Thameslink which are non-stop between Victoria and Gatwick Airport) will reject these. Some staff may claim that Gatwick Express is still a train company (this has not been the case since 2008) and several forum members have witnessed some of those staff becoming very aggressive and forceful over the issue.

They can't redefine train company; it's a term with an inalienable meaning, but that won't stop some of them trying.

The Ticketing Settlement Agreement (TSA) allows an operator to set "dedicated" (operator specific) fares; there is no provision within the TSA to allow an operator to set brand specific fares. The definition of operator within the TSA is very clear; Govia Thameslink Railway is an operator.

Govia Thameslink Railway are obliged to comply with the TSA, whether they - or the DfT - want to or not. Failure to comply is a breach of the legal framework, and the franchise agreement.

Some people deny that "train company" is a term with an inalienable meaning and claim that a fictional company exists for the specific purpose of railway ticketing. They argue that the TSA does not apply to Govia Thameslink Railway, when clearly it does apply. I don't understand their arguments, which are completely full of holes, but some people will clutch at straws to make just about any argument they possibly can, even when faced with totally undeniable facts.

You have been warned ;)

(Oh and the Thameslink Only fares are going to be withdrawn soon anyway but the DfT won't allow the company to withdraw them until the London Bridge works are complete in 2018, as there would be an outrage if anyone's fare rose during the current disruption!!!)
 

Kite159

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In the case of a Travelcard, it is valid on all train companies within Zones 1-6, plus all trains operated by the named train company from Gatwick to the Zone 6 boundary. There will be no issue using this at the gateline at Victoria platforms 1-12 and 15-19. However the gates at platforms 13-14 (which are mostly - but not exclusively - used by most of the trains which are operated by Govia Thameslink which are non-stop between Victoria and Gatwick Airport) will reject these. Some staff may claim that Gatwick Express is still a train company (this has not been the case since 2008) and several forum members have witnessed some of those staff becoming very aggressive and forceful over the issue.

I've never had any issues with my travelcards getting rejected at the 'premium' platforms at Victoria, both standalone and outer-boundary travelcards.
 

maniacmartin

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Why am I not surprised by the direction this thread has taken? I strongly advise against trying to use the "one company, multiple brands" argument to justify using Thameslink Only or Not Gat Exp routed tickets on Gatwick Express branded services unless you really know the rules inside out and are prepared to have numerous arguments with staff

I cannot fathom why anyone would want to live in Zone 1 when working at Gatwick - it sounds like a very expensive place to live when commuting outwards.
 

jesslordy

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Why am I not surprised by the direction this thread has taken? I strongly advise against trying to use the "one company, multiple brands" argument to justify using Thameslink Only or Not Gat Exp routed tickets on Gatwick Express branded services unless you really know the rules inside out and are prepared to have numerous arguments with staff


I have already had one argument with platform 13/14 staff. The first ticket I bought (from a really great guy at the Southern ticket office who was trying to help me find the cheapest ticket possible and subsequently got told off) was a Z1-4 Travelcard and a season ticket from (I think is was) Selhurst to Gatwick. I told him I needed to use the "Express" as it was the only train that connected with the first tube. My ticket didn't work at platform 13/14 but they just waved me through. On my way home, they said my ticket wasn't valid and I would have to pay more. I of course argued as the gentleman who sold me the ticket said it was ok. I ended up getting a refund and was advised to get the monthly VIC-GTW and use my oyster card to get to and from VIC.

I cannot fathom why anyone would want to live in Zone 1 when working at Gatwick - it sounds like a very expensive place to live when commuting outwards.

I hear ya! ;) Got the flat before I got the job. Initially started working at Heathrow which was a dream compared to Gatwick! The Heathrow Express gave a 75% discount to staff so I (completely naively!) assumed that the Gatwick Express would do something similar!! I feel so sorry for tourists. I myself was one once and got ripped. The ticket machines at Gatwick only sell the overpriced tickets, you have to go to a window to buy one on a stopping service that basically takes the same amount of time, plus know they exist. I seriously don't know how the company gets away with it. Besides the fact that they falsely advertise the trains take 30 mins and go every 15 mins which is complete utter - you know what! It really makes Gatwick airport feel like a second rate airport. Unless you live close by and can drive it's just not worth the stress. I feel sorry that UK transport in the south outside London is in such a pickle. It could be fabulous but is stressful and expensive. I hope there is some light at the end of the tunnel soon.

Apologies for digressing - story for another thread!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I've never had any issues with my travelcards getting rejected at the 'premium' platforms at Victoria, both standalone and outer-boundary travelcards.

Ok that's interesting. Anyone else had a travelcard work at platform 13/14?
 
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yorkie

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....they said my ticket wasn't valid and I would have to pay more. I of course argued as the gentleman who sold me the ticket said it was ok. I ended up getting a refund and was advised to get the monthly VIC-GTW and use my oyster card to get to and from VIC.
Yes, this is actually normal behaviour for the GTR staff at those particular platforms. Unacceptable behaviour, but quite normal. Sadly.

I feel so sorry for tourists. I myself was one once and got ripped...
This is a breach of consumer law, but is also quite normal and happens daily at Gatwick Airport. Again, it's unacceptable, but quite normal.

Ok that's interesting. Anyone else had a travelcard work at platform 13/14?
I am happy to be corrected by kite159's more recent experience, but they could change them back again. Also GTR are introducing more ticket-checking staff on board trains, and I suspect some of the on-board ticket checkers will argue with anyone holding a ticket that they think isn't valid (which would indeed include the combination you describe earlier; anything that is not deemed to be a "premium" fare is at risk of being a contentious issue with some of their staff)

So, only use a ticket that is not considered a "premium" fare if you are well prepared for the potential arguments.
 

Clip

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Thanks for the info, but I looked into this and I am not Gatwick airport staff. You need to work at the actual airport and my office is near the airport not at the airport. LHR gave all airline staff the reduced rate.

Im sorry but I dont think LHR give all airline staff the discount. Who is it you work for and have you asked them about a season ticket loan yet? This will at least spread the payments to a more affordable monthly deduction for you
 

anme

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I cannot fathom why anyone would want to live in Zone 1 when working at Gatwick - it sounds like a very expensive place to live when commuting outwards.

Because London zone 1 is a much nicer place to live? I've lived in zone 1 and I've lived around Gatwick, and zone 1 is much nicer.
 

jesslordy

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Because London zone 1 is a much nicer place to live? I've lived in zone 1 and I've lived around Gatwick, and zone 1 is much nicer.

Yes, it is quite cool. 8-) I do like it a lot, minus the commute. If the trains were reliable enough it would be totally fine.
 
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