diamond geezer

 Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The One Day Travelcard was first introduced in 1984.
It may not reach its 40th birthday.

What a difference the One Day Travelcard made back then. It offered the opportunity to pay once and then swan around London within the zones of your choice without all that pesky queuing to buy separate tickets. It also avoided having to have a fixed route, you could just pick and choose or make it up as you went along, even stay out later and make an extra journey without taking an additional hit. That's long been the appeal of the One Day Travelcard - freedom, convenience and value - but advancement in electronic ticketing has mostly taken those advantages away. Now TfL are proposing to withdraw One Day Travelcards once and for all, reasoning that daily capping is generally better value, and bad luck to anyone who'll actually end up paying more.

The proposal has its roots in pandemic funding difficulties and the terms and conditions agreed by the Mayor when negotiating a financial lifeline from the government. This has already seen Freedom Passes restricted to after 9am, fares to Heathrow increased and the deposit on Oyster cards replaced by a fee. At one point full withdrawal from the Travelcard Agreement was a possibility, breaking longstanding links with National Rail, but thankfully weekly and annual Travelcards are pledged to continue even if their One Day sibling disappears. TfL estimate that this change will save them £40m a year, which is roughly 8% of the £0.5bn additional net revenue their ties to government require them to raise.

Travelcard£15.20£15.20 (offpeak)
£21.50 (peak)
Daily Cap£8.10£9.60£11.70£13.70£14.90

It shouldn't be a problem, say TfL. Daily capping lets you go anywhere in zones 1 and 2 for just £8.10 a day whereas the cheapest One Day Travelcard costs £15.20. By nudging visitors off paper tickets we'll actually be saving them a lot of money. But this of course assumes that passengers have contactless or Oyster cards they're willing to use instead, and we know that many don't. Thousands of tourists still insist on paying £6.70 for a single tube ticket, repeatedly, rather than embroil themselves in the cryptic complexity of London's tap-in/tap-out fare structure. Having stood in other foreign cities and thought "No, I just want a single piece of paper that works for the rest of the day", I know how they feel.

TfL's consultation helpfully lists other groups who are likely to lose out under plans to abolish One Day Travelcards.

Railcard users
• Railcard users currently get 1/3 off a One Day Travelcard making it much better value. They'll lose this perk and instead have to get their Railcard discount added manually to an Oyster card (which they might additionally have to buy).
• Disabled Persons Railcard users can currently buy a discounted One Day Travelcard for an accompanying carer, but that'll no longer be possible.

Visitors travelling from outside London
• Nine National Rail companies currently allow passengers to buy a train ticket into London with a Travelcard add-on. This combined ticket would end, separating your travel into a rail ticket followed by PAYG. Not only is this more faff all round it could also cost a lot more - TfL give the example of a traveller from Brighton ending up paying £2 extra.
• Group Day Travelcards and Family Travelcards would also disappear and need to replaced by individual travel and individual PAYG. This would be a particular hassle for 11-16 year-olds who'd need to order a special Zip Oyster card weeks in advance, or get a normal Oyster card and ask for a Young Visitor discount to be set on it, and you can just hear some families going "yeah, stuff that, maybe we won't bother coming".
• Thames Clippers offer 1/3 off their lofty fares if you have a Travelcard, but One Day users will now lose out.

Most of those adversely affected would be visitors to the capital, indeed 70% of One Day Travelcards are currently sold at National Rail stations outside the London area. This is good for the Mayor who gets to raise revenue without directly affecting most of his electorate, but much less good for anyone thinking of travelling into our city and spending money here.

TfL have in fact been squeezing the Travelcard range for years, so this latest extinguishment is perhaps the inevitable conclusion. Before 2011 they used to offer a full range of Z1-2, Z1-3, Z1-4, Z1-5, Z1-6 and Z2-6 Travelcards allowing you to buy the one best suited to your travels, but then they announced this...
"The One Day Travelcard range will be simplified and slow selling tickets withdrawn. The new range will comprise all-day and off-peak tickets valid in Zones 1-2, 1-4 and 1-6."
...and suddenly half the range was gone. The biggest loss was the Z2-6 Travelcard, ideal for anyone pootling round the suburbs, whose users suddenly had to buy a Z1-6 Travelcard instead thereby whacking up their costs by 60%. And because daily capping was linked to Travelcard costs the Z2-6 cap was simultaneously abolished, and loads of us have paid TfL a lot more dosh daily ever since. Then in 2015 the Z1-2 One Day Travelcard was killed off too leaving the Z1-4 as the cheapest card standing, screwing over visitors who only ever wanted to ride around the centre.

What I really appreciate about my Annual Travelcard, which thankfully isn't threatened, is the sense of certainty it brings. I am "allowed" to be anywhere on the tube network within zones 1-3, I don't have to worry about accidentally failing to touch in, how much TfL are going to take out of my bank balance overnight or how long I've got before I'm whacked with a time penalty. "Trust us", say TfL, "we'll charge you right", but every time you end up ringing the helpline with an incomplete journey to fix it doesn't feel like that.

The most telling paragraph in the consultation is this one.
"We would, however, like to obtain more information and evidence as to who uses these products, how they might be affected by their withdrawal, and what might be done to mitigate any impacts. We believe that stakeholders may be able to help us with this, and so are reaching out to them with a request for information and evidence on these matters."
In other words TfL aren't quite sure who they'll be inconveniencing, which is why they haven't yet produced an Equalities Impact Statement, but they're still interested in going ahead anyway. If it'll affect you do let them know.

The consultation ends on 23 May, after which a Mayoral Decision is needed to trigger a formal request to the Secretary of State. That takes six months so the earliest that One Day Travelcards could be withdrawn is December, but it'll probably be sometime next year if/when it happens. If you're a Londoner it probably won't affect you, you'll already be capping, but for those beyond the boundary it may bite hard the next time they choose to visit. This is reducing convenience to raise revenue, pure and simple.

<< click for Newer posts

click for Older Posts >>

click to return to the main page

...or read more in my monthly archives
Jan23  Feb23  Mar23  Apr23  May23  Jun23  Jul23  Aug23  Sep23  Oct23  Nov23  Dec23
Jan22  Feb22  Mar22  Apr22  May22  Jun22  Jul22  Aug22  Sep22  Oct22  Nov22  Dec22
Jan21  Feb21  Mar21  Apr21  May21  Jun21  Jul21  Aug21  Sep21  Oct21  Nov21  Dec21
Jan20  Feb20  Mar20  Apr20  May20  Jun20  Jul20  Aug20  Sep20  Oct20  Nov20  Dec20
Jan19  Feb19  Mar19  Apr19  May19  Jun19  Jul19  Aug19  Sep19  Oct19  Nov19  Dec19
Jan18  Feb18  Mar18  Apr18  May18  Jun18  Jul18  Aug18  Sep18  Oct18  Nov18  Dec18
Jan17  Feb17  Mar17  Apr17  May17  Jun17  Jul17  Aug17  Sep17  Oct17  Nov17  Dec17
Jan16  Feb16  Mar16  Apr16  May16  Jun16  Jul16  Aug16  Sep16  Oct16  Nov16  Dec16
Jan15  Feb15  Mar15  Apr15  May15  Jun15  Jul15  Aug15  Sep15  Oct15  Nov15  Dec15
Jan14  Feb14  Mar14  Apr14  May14  Jun14  Jul14  Aug14  Sep14  Oct14  Nov14  Dec14
Jan13  Feb13  Mar13  Apr13  May13  Jun13  Jul13  Aug13  Sep13  Oct13  Nov13  Dec13
Jan12  Feb12  Mar12  Apr12  May12  Jun12  Jul12  Aug12  Sep12  Oct12  Nov12  Dec12
Jan11  Feb11  Mar11  Apr11  May11  Jun11  Jul11  Aug11  Sep11  Oct11  Nov11  Dec11
Jan10  Feb10  Mar10  Apr10  May10  Jun10  Jul10  Aug10  Sep10  Oct10  Nov10  Dec10 
Jan09  Feb09  Mar09  Apr09  May09  Jun09  Jul09  Aug09  Sep09  Oct09  Nov09  Dec09
Jan08  Feb08  Mar08  Apr08  May08  Jun08  Jul08  Aug08  Sep08  Oct08  Nov08  Dec08
Jan07  Feb07  Mar07  Apr07  May07  Jun07  Jul07  Aug07  Sep07  Oct07  Nov07  Dec07
Jan06  Feb06  Mar06  Apr06  May06  Jun06  Jul06  Aug06  Sep06  Oct06  Nov06  Dec06
Jan05  Feb05  Mar05  Apr05  May05  Jun05  Jul05  Aug05  Sep05  Oct05  Nov05  Dec05
Jan04  Feb04  Mar04  Apr04  May04  Jun04  Jul04  Aug04  Sep04  Oct04  Nov04  Dec04
Jan03  Feb03  Mar03  Apr03  May03  Jun03  Jul03  Aug03  Sep03  Oct03  Nov03  Dec03
 Jan02  Feb02  Mar02  Apr02  May02  Jun02  Jul02 Aug02  Sep02  Oct02  Nov02  Dec02 

jack of diamonds
Life viewed from London E3

» email me
» follow me on twitter
» follow the blog on Twitter
» follow the blog on RSS

» my flickr photostream

twenty blogs
our bow
ian visits
broken tv
blue witch
on london
the great wen
edith's streets
spitalfields life
round the island
wanstead meteo
christopher fowler
the greenwich wire
bus and train user
ruth's coastal walk
round the rails we go
london reconnections
from the murky depths

quick reference features
Things to do in Outer London
Things to do outside London
Inner London toilet map
20 years of blog series
The DG Tour of Britain
London's most...

read the archive
Dec23  Nov23  Oct23  Sep23
Aug23  Jul23  Jun23  May23
Apr23  Mar23  Feb23  Jan23
Dec22  Nov22  Oct22  Sep22
Aug22  Jul22  Jun22  May22
Apr22  Mar22  Feb22  Jan22
Dec21  Nov21  Oct21  Sep21
Aug21  Jul21  Jun21  May21
Apr21  Mar21  Feb21  Jan21
Dec20  Nov20  Oct20  Sep20
Aug20  Jul20  Jun20  May20
Apr20  Mar20  Feb20  Jan20
Dec19  Nov19  Oct19  Sep19
Aug19  Jul19  Jun19  May19
Apr19  Mar19  Feb19  Jan19
Dec18  Nov18  Oct18  Sep18
Aug18  Jul18  Jun18  May18
Apr18  Mar18  Feb18  Jan18
Dec17  Nov17  Oct17  Sep17
Aug17  Jul17  Jun17  May17
Apr17  Mar17  Feb17  Jan17
Dec16  Nov16  Oct16  Sep16
Aug16  Jul16  Jun16  May16
Apr16  Mar16  Feb16  Jan16
Dec15  Nov15  Oct15  Sep15
Aug15  Jul15  Jun15  May15
Apr15  Mar15  Feb15  Jan15
Dec14  Nov14  Oct14  Sep14
Aug14  Jul14  Jun14  May14
Apr14  Mar14  Feb14  Jan14
Dec13  Nov13  Oct13  Sep13
Aug13  Jul13  Jun13  May13
Apr13  Mar13  Feb13  Jan13
Dec12  Nov12  Oct12  Sep12
Aug12  Jul12  Jun12  May12
Apr12  Mar12  Feb12  Jan12
Dec11  Nov11  Oct11  Sep11
Aug11  Jul11  Jun11  May11
Apr11  Mar11  Feb11  Jan11
Dec10  Nov10  Oct10  Sep10
Aug10  Jul10  Jun10  May10
Apr10  Mar10  Feb10  Jan10
Dec09  Nov09  Oct09  Sep09
Aug09  Jul09  Jun09  May09
Apr09  Mar09  Feb09  Jan09
Dec08  Nov08  Oct08  Sep08
Aug08  Jul08  Jun08  May08
Apr08  Mar08  Feb08  Jan08
Dec07  Nov07  Oct07  Sep07
Aug07  Jul07  Jun07  May07
Apr07  Mar07  Feb07  Jan07
Dec06  Nov06  Oct06  Sep06
Aug06  Jul06  Jun06  May06
Apr06  Mar06  Feb06  Jan06
Dec05  Nov05  Oct05  Sep05
Aug05  Jul05  Jun05  May05
Apr05  Mar05  Feb05  Jan05
Dec04  Nov04  Oct04  Sep04
Aug04  Jul04  Jun04  May04
Apr04  Mar04  Feb04  Jan04
Dec03  Nov03  Oct03  Sep03
Aug03  Jul03  Jun03  May03
Apr03  Mar03  Feb03  Jan03
Dec02  Nov02  Oct02  Sep02
back to main page

the diamond geezer index
2021 2020 2019 2018 2017
2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

my special London features
a-z of london museums
E3 - local history month
greenwich meridian (N)
greenwich meridian (S)
the real eastenders
london's lost rivers
olympic park 2007
great british roads
oranges & lemons
random boroughs
bow road station
high street 2012
river westbourne
trafalgar square
capital numbers
east london line
lea valley walk
olympics 2005
regent's canal
square routes
silver jubilee
unlost rivers
cube routes
Herbert Dip
capital ring
river fleet

ten of my favourite posts
the seven ages of blog
my new Z470xi mobile
five equations of blog
the dome of doom
chemical attraction
quality & risk
london 2102
single life
april fool

ten sets of lovely photos
my "most interesting" photos
london 2012 olympic zone
harris and the hebrides
betjeman's metro-land
marking the meridian
tracing the river fleet
london's lost rivers
inside the gherkin
seven sisters

just surfed in?
here's where to find...
diamond geezers
flash mob #1  #2  #3  #4
ben schott's miscellany
london underground
watch with mother
cigarette warnings
digital time delay
wheelie suitcases
war of the worlds
transit of venus
top of the pops
old buckenham
ladybird books
acorn antiques
digital watches
outer hebrides
olympics 2012
school dinners
pet shop boys
west wycombe
bletchley park
george orwell
big breakfast
clapton pond
san francisco
children's tv
east enders
trunk roads
little britain
credit cards
jury service
big brother
jubilee line
number 1s
titan arum
doctor who
blue peter
peter pan
feng shui
leap year
bbc three
vision on
ID cards