Weekly zone 3 travelcards to hit £40 as SE London’s rail fares rise again

Southeastern train at Charlton station
Southeastern users will see rises on all fares

Weekly travelcards covering zone 3 are to hit £40 for the first time next year as the cost of rail travel in south-east London continues to rise.

While single bus, Tube and DLR fares have been frozen by mayor Sadiq Khan, the cost of other rail services will increase from January, along with travelcards and fare caps.

A week’s travel in zones 1-3 will cost £40 from January – an increase of 3.9%. The daily fare cap for zones 1-3 goes up 30p to £8.

Zones Daily 2017 Daily 2018 Weekly 2017 Weekly 2018
1-2 £6.60 £6.80 £33.00 £34.10
1-3 £7.70 £8.00 £38.70 £40.00
1-4 £9.50 £9.80 £47.30 £49.00
1-5 £11.20 £11.60 £56.20 £58.20
1-6 £12.00 £12.50 £60.20 £62.30
2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6 n/a n/a £24.70 £25.50
2-4, 3-5, 4-6 n/a n/a £27.30 £28.20
2-5, 3-6 n/a n/a £32.80 £33.90
2-6 n/a n/a £41.20 £42.60

Those who travel furthest are hit worst of all – a zone 1-6 travelcard or weekly cap goes up £2.10 to £62.30. The daily fare cap is up to £12.50 – a 4.2% increase.

Khan’s refusal to consider rezoning Woolwich so zone 3 tickets are valid means that many commuters there will be paying £49 for a week’s zone 1-4 travel from January, up £1.70 on this year’s fares. The daily cap is up 30p to £9.80.

Travellers who just use zones 1 and 2 will be paying a maximum of £34.10 per week, an increase of £1.10. The daily cap is up 20p to £6.80.

This means travellers from Woolwich can now save £3 per day, or nearly £15 a week, by taking a bus to North Greenwich and then using the Tube to central London rather than travelling by rail from Woolwich Arsenal and picking up the underground at Charing Cross or Cannon Street.

In January, Khan said he could have frozen travelcards and fare caps, but told ITV London that it would be “ridiculous and absurd” for the mayor to effectively subsidise private rail firms who were letting Londoners down.

TfL fares 2018
The full fares package for 2018. An example of a “through single” would be Charlton to Oxford Circus – a journey which involves both National Rail and TfL services passing through zone 1.

Single fares on Southeastern, Thameslink and Southern services are mostly up by 10p. Single tickets on London Overground, the Tube, Docklands Light Railway and TfL Rail are frozen.

One of the side effects of the fare freeze means is that many National Rail travellers – particularly in south London – will be paying far more for their travel than their equivalents on TfL’s fare scale, which covers many north-of-the-Thames rail routes.

A single peak-time fare from Upminster to Canary Wharf (zone 6 to zone 2) will stay at £2.80 because Upminster’s fares are controlled by TfL – but the south-of-the-river equivalent, from Erith to Canary Wharf, rises to £4.30. Off-peak, the Upminster fare stays at just £1.50, but the Erith fare will be £2.90.

The combined effect of the partial fare freeze and the Government cutting its grant to TfL is currently resulting in cuts to bus services, while plans to buy more trains for the Jubilee Line have been effectively cancelled.

The new year will bring some relief for SE London’s commuters, though – works to revamp London Bridge to accommodate new north-south Thameslink services will be finished early in the year, while Crossrail services from Abbey Wood, Woolwich and Canary Wharf are due to begin in December. Test trains are already running.

A new franchise for SE London and Kent rail services is also due to start in December 2018, following transport secretary Chris Grayling blocking moves by TfL to take over SE London’s rail services last year. Southeastern is among the bidders, but the winning operator has not yet been announced.

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