You Can Use Your Oyster Card On The Gatwick Express From January

Will Noble
By Will Noble Last edited 27 months ago
You Can Use Your Oyster Card On The Gatwick Express From January
Photo by German Long in the Londonist Flickr pool

From January 2016, passengers travelling between London and Gatwick Airport will be able to use pay as you go with Oyster cards and contactless.

Said Rail Minister Claire Perry: "Our plan for passengers is to build a 21st century railway that provides better journeys for all, and improved ticketing is a vital part of that customer experience."

That all sound well and good — certainly it'll save queuing up at a ticket machine on the day — but does this mean Oyster-wielding passengers will pay a lower price? Only just. The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that a Gatwick Express single journey on pay as you go will cost £19.80, as opposed to the usual single fare, which costs £19.90. That's right, you'll save the princely sum of 10p.

A further disclaimer explains that "all existing peak and off-peak fares, advance fares, period fares, and group ticket offers from Gatwick Airport will be maintained..." and that "these may cost less than pay as you go."

Basically, this latest move from the DfT is not going to change your life.

Gatwick aside, the new rules also apply to journeys between London and Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill and Merstham stations.

This news comes on the day that Transport for London (TfL) has announced there is now WiFi in over 100 London Underground stations. Which you'll probably find more useful.

Last Updated 10 November 2015

Spielo

We've come a long way from "With Oyster, you'll always pay the lowest price"! Trains to Gatwick from London Bridge vary in price wildly depending on whether you book them in advance, travel off-peak or whatever. If the LBG -> Gatwick prices aren't comparable to the lowest ticket fares, then it's pointless.

(I realise this article is about Gatwick Express from Victoria specifically, but presumably the situation is similar for LBG, East Croydon, Thameslink etc?)

Bluesman

Yes a lot more useful than the article suggests. This applies to any rail service to/from Gatwick - not just Gatwick Express. There are much lower fares off peak via East Croydon for instance.

diamond geezer

Also, from the official government press release...

"Currently, a single journey paper peak-time ticket costs £15.40 from London Terminals to Gatwick Airport (excluding Gatwick Express). With pay as you go, a rush hour trip will cost £14.00 and £8.00 off-peak."

So that's useful.

NickL

How is the Oyster system going to tell whether you have used Gatwick Express or Southern from Gatwick to Victoria?

Juno

Remember, as well as being cheaper, the London Bridge journey usually takes a minute longer, though... so that's much less express, isn't it?

Andy Brice

Is the Gatwick Express essentially just a scam to get money out of tourists? It seems like we could be using that rail capacity for something genuinely useful.

Anonymous Widower

I have a Freedom Pass and live in Dalston. I can buy a ticket from the Coydon stations to Gatwick in the machines at Dalston, which is the cheapest way to get to the Airport. Or I could take the Overground to West Croydon, the tram to East Croydon, then use a contactless ticket to get to Gatwick.

Not straightforward, but it works. It looks to me that this deal is also designed to poke a stick in Heathrow's eye.

If you look at the Class 387 trains for Gatwick Express, Bombardier have the technology to fit them with batteries to run a service from Reading to Gatwick, where they use the batteries to jump the gaps and charge them on the electrified bits. I estimate, that they could do Reading to Gatwick, quite a bit quicker than using Crossrail/Thameslink changing at Farringdon.

There is a lot of scope for a war between Gatwick and Heathrow.

Passengers will win!