One-day London travelcards are under threat. Transport for London is currently consulting on whether it should get rid of this type of ticket, including when sold as an ‘add-on’ to a train ticket into London.
Travelcards added to a train ticket can be great value for money, although if you are only making a few short journeys once in London, Pay As You Go methods (Oyster or contactless) can sometimes be cheaper. But there’s also the faff factor. Travelcard add-ons mean one ticket to get to and from London and travel around to your heart’s content while you are there.
It’s also easier to apply discounts from railcards and child fares to a travelcard. It is possible to get these on an Oyster card but it involves registering for Oyster and paying an admin fee first. With a travelcard, you simply buy the child fare on the day. To get similar on PAYG for kids aged 11-15 requires you to register for an 11-15 Zip Oyster card which has to be done online rather than at the station and comes with a non-refundable admin charge. Some, though not all, railcards can be added to Oyster but again require a bit of online legwork.
What about school parties who would previously have bought a group travelcard – will they be using individual contactless or Oyster cards?
Not everybody has a bank account – our sister organisation London TravelWatch’s recent report on digital exclusion highlights this important minority (260,000 in London alone).
This all seems like a lot of extra work and calculation for people. At a time when public transport needs to win back customers, it is hard to see a reason to make their experience more difficult. We’ll be responding to the consultation soon and will publish our response here on the website. You can also have your say by visiting the Transport for London website.
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