Are fares fair for West Hampstead travellers?

Here it comes, as seasonal in its way as twinkling fairy lights and Christmas shopping: TfL’s annual announcement about ticket price rises.

How will the changes affect the average West Hampstead resident in January? If you commute by tube into central London each day, a weekly Zone 1-2 Travelcard will increase by 2.2%, meaning a 7-day pass will now cost £32.10 instead of this year’s £31.40. The Zone 1-2 one-day travelcard is abolished, and the minimum one-day card is now for zones 1-4, which comes in at £12, as TfL tries to get even more of us to use Oystercards.

The cost of a 1-2 monthly travelcard will be £123.30, up from the £120.60 it is today. Don’t forget that if you use travelcards, it’s cheaper to buy it to start before January 2nd!

TfL does attempt to sweeten the pill with a nod to flexible and part-time workers by cutting the pay-as-you-go daily fare caps from £8.40 (peak) and £7.00 (off-peak) to £6.40 for journeys within Zones 1 and 2. However, this will not make any difference if you simply travel to and from work each day and do not make any additional journeys, as a return journey will come in at £5.80, which is less than the daily cap anyway. There’s no great benefit for most people of opting to use only contactless by the way – it generally costs the same as Oyster fares apart from in some particular circumstances.

There’s an increase of 3.4% on bus fares, with a pay-as-you-go single fare on Oyster rising to £1.50. TfL is also reintroducing a one-day bus (and tram) pass for £5, but you can’t buy it on board.

For those who only take the occasional trip into town at weekends and off-peak times, the cost of a single Tube journey on Oyster will go up by 10p to £2.30.

The full table of new fares can be found here. For a broader analysis, The Diamond Geezer blog has an excellent and detailed overview of what these changes mean for Londoners generally.

  • Paul Fox

    As has been pointed out elsewhere the daily 1-2 zone cap of £6.40 has been set at one fifth of the 7 day season – £32.10. Contactless (ie debit/credit wave and pay) has daily and weekly cost capping. Oyster only has daily cost capping. Other than being interesting for anorak types what does this mean? It means that for people using contactless (weekly capping) there is no point having a 7 day pass – contactless can’t be more expensive and could be cheaper (providing you always use the same card) than a 7 day card. People using Oyster however with only daily cost capping should still get a 7 day pass. Is this a plot to get people off Oyster and on to contactless? TfL say no – it’s simply that the back office technicalities of weekly cost capping haven’t been sorted out for Oyster they say. Incidentally it is clearly in the future intended to offer monthly cost capping set again as multiples of the daily rate. The long term aim is to end the need for term season tickets and have everyone bar annuals (which with their big discounts would be politically hard to get rid of) on PAYG.

    • Nicky J.

      Interesting – thanks for pointing that out Paul!