TfL U-Turn On Outer London Pay As You Go Caps

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 39 months ago
TfL U-Turn On Outer London Pay As You Go Caps

Photo by Ged Dackys from the Londonist Flickr pool

If you're an Oyster Pay As You Go user in outer London you might be getting a refund from Transport for London (TfL). Following complaints about fare changes introduced in January, which meant off peak travellers in zones 4-6 saw their fares shoot up, the Mayor has leant on TfL to make public transport fairer.

Fairer, but more complicated. Anyone who racks up a higher charge than the old-style off peak cap at least twice in a week, or at least eight times in a four week period, will get a refund the following month. This theoretical cap will be set at £8 for zones 1-4 and £8.80 for zones 1-5 and 1-6. Compare that to the standard cap of £9.20 for zones 1-4, £10.90 for zones 1-5 and £11.70 for zones 1-6 and the estimated 25,000 outer Londoners who were affected will hopefully start to feel better. (TfL will also backdate this change to 2 January, so if you're paying the higher fares you should get a refund when the new system starts in April.)

This whole farrago started because TfL scrapped peak and off peak daily caps at the start of this year in an attempt to create the effect of a part-time travelcard. The standard daily caps for inner London are actually lower than the previous off peak caps, meaning zones 1-3 residents are quids in. Outer Londoners felt peeved at their higher charges — not surprising when you consider the zone 6 cap is £3.20 more expensive than the old off peak. But even this partial reversal from TfL still means outer London is paying more than last year, by 30p a day. Hopefully it won't spark some kind of inner vs outer London civil war.

Last Updated 20 February 2015


Around 120,000 off-peak paper travelcards are sold each day - with more than half sold outside of London. Whilst this move will go some way to helping out those ~25,000 outer Londoners using Oyster PAYG, it does nothing to help the huge number of travelers to our city who rely on paper tickets.

A commuter travelling in to London from (say) St. Albans doesn't have the option to get an Oyster card - they have to buy a paper ticket. If they wanted to take advantage of this, they'd need to buy a ticket to a station on their route that's in Zone 6, jump off the train, leave the station, touch-in, re-enter and wait for the next train - not a practical solution.


Hopefully we'll see some more u-turns by TfL- especially concerning ticket offices such as Oxford Circus, Leicester Square, London Bridge, Wood Green, Brixton, South Kensington,etc