It's amazing how far your Oyster card can take you. Beyond the boundaries of the capital, into the neighbouring counties, on a red London bus. As far as Watford, as far as Staines, even as far as Lakeside or Bluewater for a bit of shopping. So I've attempted to make a list of all the buses that go beyond, semi-geographically arranged. It's quite easy, because TfL have a list of all these buses on their website. All I've done is rejig it a bit, and strip out the schoolbuses.
Oyster goes all the way... apart from the three buses in red, where Oyster doesn't. The 84 goes north as far as St Albans, for example, but you can't use your Oyster any further than Potters Bar. Similarly, down Bromley way, the 402 and 477 allow cheaper passage only partway into Kent. A handful of buses edge out of London and then nip back in, like the 107 to Borehamwood and the 275 to Woodford Bridge. The 331 edges out twice. Meanwhile the three buses I've emboldened are the three buses whose routes stretch the furthest out of town. All the way to Slough on the 81, right out to Redhill on the 405, even way down to Box Hill and Dorking on the 465. I must ride that last one some day.
How few Bucks there are. And what a lot of Surreys. Indeed there's a hint here as to which bits of the Home Counties are very connected to London, and might one day be swallowed up by it. The district of Epsom and Ewell to the southwest, that was very nearly amalgamated into London in 1965, and it's very connected to Sutton by bus. Ditto Waltham Cross in Hertfordshire, so very nearly part of the capital, and the "The Only Way Is Essex" bit of Essex, near Chigwell. They don't pay London council tax, Boris isn't their Mayor, but they still get to ride our buses. Unfair? Well no, because suburban travel would be stunted if there was no network overlap at all. Across the border by Oyster, on the red bus to not-London.