TfL has launched a public consultation into withdrawing its Day Travelcard ticketing option.
It is considering stopping the use of Day Travelcards covering Zones 1-9, which offer unlimited travel on buses, tubes, trams, London Overground, DLR, Elizabeth line and National Rail services in London within a single day.
The Day Travelcard is not something Londoners often use — many choose Oyster or contactless, or longer term Travelcards instead. However, those visiting London — whether international tourists, or day visitors from beyond London — do.
Day Travelcards can be bought as a standalone paper ticket at TfL stations, or as an 'add-on' to a National Rail return ticket to London from stations outside of the capital. This option is often used by people day tripping in London, using National Rail trains to get to and from the capital, and TfL services to get around once in the capital.
The National Rail 'add-on' option usually covers Zones 1-6 only, and it's not currently clear what would happen to these tickets if Travelcards were scrapped. TfL says:
We anticipate that, if TfL ceases to accept Day Travelcards, rail operators will also stop selling Zone 1-6 Travelcards. They do however determine their own products and services and have not confirmed their intentions.
However, standalone Day Travelcards would no longer be available from TfL directly if the proposals go ahead. The plans only apply to Day Travelcards, so weekly and longer-term Travelcards wouldn't be affected either. Daily pay as you go caps on Oyster and contactless cards wouldn't be affected.
TfL estimates that scrapping Day Travelcards will generate approximately £40m of additional revenue each year — a cash injection the beleaguered operator sorely needs. The proposal comes almost 40 years after the Travelcard was first launched in London, on 22 May 1983.
TfL's Day Travelcard public consultation
At time of writing, TfL is only pitching the scrapping of Day Travelcards as a proposal. A public consultation is open from today (18 April) until 23 May 2023, after which a Mayoral decision will be taken in June. If it goes ahead, it is expected that Day Travelcards will be withdrawn in late 2023 or early 2024.