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Tag: Transport

Buying a monthly Oystercard or annual season ticket at Sydenham station.

Local commuters have been advised wrongly by station staff that they cannot purchase monthly Oystercard or annual season tickets at Sydenham or Forest Hill and that they need to travel to London Bridge or another national station to do so.

 Thanks to an intervention by Caroline Pigeon, Lib-Dem member of the London Assembly, this  has now been sorted out. Here is a reply from TfL to Caroline on this issue:

 I can advise that passengers can purchase a Monthly ticket on Oyster directly from the ticket office or Ticket Vending Machines at the London Overground stations on the Sydenham line.  If a passenger requires an Annual season ticket, they can request it from the station but it would have to be collected the following day (or later).  We apologise if staff have been advising passengers to travel to another station as this is not the case.  Our operator LOROL has confirmed that the staff have been re-briefed them so this should not happen again.

 Kind regards


 Emma Shannon

Stakeholder Communications Manager
TfL London Rail

Our thanks also to Richard Hibbert Chair of the Forest Hill Society for raising the issue.

Paying more than our fare share? Are 2011 travel price hikes justified?

We’ve all heard the news about above inflation travel price rises in the New Year. But are inner suburban areas like ours getting a particularly rough deal? 

In January, single tube and bus fares are set to rise sharply — by 5.5% and 8% respectively:

Cost of a single central London tube journey            Cost of a single central London bus journey 

                      2010    2011                                                                               2010    2011

Oyster         £1.80   £1.90                                                          Oyster        £1.20   £1.30

Cash             £4.00   £4.00     A rise of 5.5%                       Cash            £2.00   £2.20    A rise of 8 %

Now comes the really bad news for our area.

Currently there are six different one-day travelcards — in January there will be just three. The only one day cards  available, peak or off-peak, will be for zones 1-2, zones 1-4, and zones 1-6. This is bad news if you currently use the Zone 2-6 travelcard, which enables you, for example, to travel from Sydenham to Canary Wharf via Canada Water without going into zone 1. This card is being scrapped forcing you to buy a travel card which includes zone 1 even if you never travel into zone one. When the Zone 2-6 One Day Travelcard is withdrawn you’ll be forced to buy a 1-4 zone card instead. That’s a massive 57% fare increase off-peak, and an astonishing 67% increase for the all-day user.

If you are thinking – so what, I never buy a One Day Travelcard anyway, think again. You’ll be paying a great deal extra, indirectly at least, through daily price-capping. Pay-as-you-go price caps are always set to match the relevant Travelcard, so if a paper Travelcard disappears then so will the matching electronic price cap.

For example, if you use your Oyster to swan around in Zones 1-5 all day, you currently never pay more than £12.60. Once the Z1-5 Travelcard vanishes you’ll have to pay up to £15.00 instead, which is the Z1-6 cap. Over a week, a month, a year, that’ll really add up. Or consider an Oyster user who makes four off-peak Zone 2-3 tube journeys in a day, each costing £1.80. At the moment the price cap kicks in at £5.10, which means the fourth journey is free. Once the Z2-6 Travelcard vanishes the price cap leaps to £8.00, which means the fourth journey costs full price.

Hardly a fair deal for local travellers!

We are indebted to the irrepressible Diamond Geezer —surely the most characterful blog in Britain—  for his analysis of coming price rises.

Gatwick Airport station redevelopment

Network Rail has announced the go-ahead for a major upgrade of the station at Gatwick Airport with easier access, reduced congestion and better facilities.
Work to finalise the station design will start immediately with the relocation of a substation due to commence in summer 2011. Passengers will begin to see progress at the station but the major construction work is not scheduled to start on site until Autumn 2012 after the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympics games have finished. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
The £53m scheme will deliver a range of benefits for passengers including:
  • Improved passenger circulation on platforms 5 and 6 through the replacement of an existing stairway with an escalator and the installation of a new lift  
  •  Refurbishment of the concourse area to provide better facilities for passengers and improved circulation  
  • Upgrade of the track and signalling to improve performance and reliability of trains passing through and travelling to/from Gatwick Airport.
  • A new platform to address the existing bottleneck in the Gatwick area for services on the Brighton mainline


Good news for rail travellers – extra late night train on East London Line in December

Good news for night travellers on the East London line when the new timetable starts on Sunday 12 December.  An extra late train will leave Dalston Junction at 00.15am calling at Canada Water at 00.31 and arriving at New Cross Gate at 00.36am in time to catch the last train from London Bridge and arriving at Sydenham at 00.52am.

After the new timetable starts in December the times of late ELL trains leaving Canada Water towards Sydenham will be: 22.46, 22.56, 23.16, 23.26, 23.46, 23.56 and 00.31.

With the news reported earlier on this website that two extra evening rush hour trains from London Bridge will be provided in December, this shows a continually improving service for Sydenham.


More trains to and from London Bridge in December

Good news for rail passengers travelling to and from London Bridge comes with the new timetable on 12th December.

Here are the main improvements:

• Two additional evening peak trains will run between London Bridge and Crystal Palace via Sydenham at 17.24 and 18.24. This will help to ease the evening rush hour services which were cut from six trains per hour to four trains in May. We are now back to five trains per hour – not ideal but we’re getting there.

• An extra Saturday late evening London Bridge to Victoria train will leave London Bridge at 23.52, getting you to Sydenham at around 8 minutes past midnight. This fills in a 30 minute gap after the 23.36 and means that there will now be six late evening trains from London Bridge after 11pm (the 23.06; 23.22; 23.36; 23.52; 00.06 and 00.36)