We’ve talked about the expense of living in London, but let’s be honest, that isn’t the only thing we need to discuss. Travelling in London is also expensive, and every year the cost of a monthly travelcard rises, this year at an average of 3.1%. Granted, it might not sound like much, but little by little, it all adds up. For the last few years it’s been circulating that London’s transport is the most expensive in the world and that may still be the case.
I’ve come up with a few ways to save a few pounds, so hopefully you’ll be racking in the savings on your London travel costs from today…
If you are 16-25 or 26-30 you can make a saving on your daily travel with a fare cap of £7.90 on the 16-25 railcard and £8.90 on the 26-30. There are some terms and conditions about the time of travel, as some fares are given a 30% discount, depending on the time and mode of travel. With the 16-25 railcard specifically, if you live further out than Zone 4 it may not be worth buying a travelcard at all, as using the daily fare cap will work out cheaper, (thank me later!)
Another way to get cheaper travel, though far more simple, really depends on when you travel. If you are lucky enough to miss the rush hours of 06:30-09:30 and 16:00-19:00 during the week, you will avoid paying the peak travel fare. Again there are some sneaky terms and conditions here, but nothing to worry about: travelling from outside of Zone 1 to Zone 1 during 16:00-19:00 may not be charged as peak.
Avoid Zone 1:
If you can avoid Zone 1 all together, then do so! This makes your journey far cheaper. For example if you are going to Dalston Junction from Barking, you can take the District line to Whitechapel and then change to the Overground. Make sure to touch the pink oyster reader to register your route and avoid being charged a peak fare. If you did not touch the pink oyster reader, your oyster card/contact-less card would assume you travelled through Zone 1 and charge accordingly.
Use the buses:
This could be a silly suggestion, depending on how far you need to travel, but why not take the bus? Charged at £1.50 per hour, (thanks to the Hopper fare) you can get quite far for a lot less money. If you were going to stay on the bus all day the absolute most you would be charged is £4.50! Obviously, this is not a practical solution for everyone and for most situations… but if you have the time, it can be an interesting way to see London as you travel. Let’s just hope you don’t get stuck in traffic?