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Travel card in London

Old Jun 9th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Travel card in London

I am a bit confused about the best subway/transportaion pass to purchase in London. My family of four will be staying on the South Bank for 6 days and plan to take the tube in from Heathrow, as well as use it to get around town.

Is the 7-day travelcard our best bet? If so, where can I purchase it? What is an oyster card? Any other suggestions?

Thanks for your help!
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 09:31 AM
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oysters are simply the reusable plastic card that stores whichever transport tickets you pay for. Sort of like a dept. store gift card. So for instance if you want a 7 day travel card for zones 1-2 plus extensions for riding to Heathrow - that is what you pay for and it is loaded on an Oyster Card.

What actual choice you make will partly depend on the ages of your kids, etc. You can but your oyster cards at teh tube atstion at Heathrow before riding into London.
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 09:34 AM
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a) Yes, unless you plan only to use buses or not to use public transport very much (i.e., less than 14 tube rides or 23 bus rides during the whole six days). If you really think you wouldn't be using it much, you can put a cash sum on Oyster and "pay as you go", where the computer deducts fares at an advantageous rate (and never more than 50p less than the cost of a one-day travelcard on any one day). But with a travelcard you also get some 2for1 deals that might interest you and one-third off river trips.

b) Oyster is a stored-value electronic swipe card, which can be used to store your travelcard details, or cash for PAYG. The bottom line is, it's an alternative to cash, and all fares are designed to make Oyster the only sensible option. Whatever else you do, don't pay hard cash for a ticket.

c) You can get it at Heathrow - tell the clerk you want it for zones 1 and 2 with add-on cash values to get you from Heathrow into town (and back again for your return trip).

More about it here:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/oysteronline/2732.aspx

Make sure you tell the clerk how old your children are, because if they're under 11 and only travel with you, they probably travel free:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/1063.aspx
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 01:26 PM
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Thanks for all of the information! It helped us tremendously!
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 01:33 PM
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In Heathrow, opposite from the Underground's ticket queues, there's a travel assistance center. You can tell them all your travel plans and they will calculate the best deal for you. Plus you can buy the tickets right there and avoid the lines at the ticket counters. If you do PAYG, you can always top it up, and be careful to do so if you don't have enough stored on there for a full-day's travel. If you run too low and then top-up mid-day, the daily total starts over again so you will lose a few GBPs. Also, PAYG oysters can be turned in at the end of your stay and you get a refund of your deposit and unused PAYG money.
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Old Jun 9th, 2007, 02:30 PM
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Please note the following points:

If you load a 7-day Travelcard on an Oyster, the £3 deposit is waived. Be sure to keep your receipt as it will be required by the 2-for-1 or river excursion operators.

When you have a 2-zone Travelcard, your Heathrow supplement needs only to be the equivalent of a single ticket between Zone 6 and Zone 2 (£1 off-peak).
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Old Jun 10th, 2007, 02:30 AM
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Presumably some of your family of 4 are children - if so can we have their ages as the rules are different depending on age
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 06:09 AM
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the childern are 14 and 11--thanks for the help
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Old Jun 11th, 2007, 06:36 AM
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Here is where reduced-rate travel for children is summarized:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/faresandtickets/1063.aspx

And here is the detail:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...ild_Oyster.pdf
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 11:37 AM
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Rather than post a whole new thread, might I hop in on this one for input on what would be the most reasonable thing for us to do?

2 adults, 1 child (10 years old), arriving on July 17th via Eurostar from Brussels (this is still at Waterloo, right?). Our hotel is the London Guards hotel at Lancaster Gate. We will be in London from the 17th around noon until the morning of the 21st (total of 3 full days, plus the two partial days) when we will need to get to Heathrow airport. Plan on doing all the typical touristy stuff that a 10 year old would like. I'm totally confused about all the options, other than understanding that not getting any pass and just paying for tickets as we go is a stupid idea. But a "travel card" vs. pay and go.....no clue.

Expert assessment? And can whatever is recommended be purchased at the Waterloo station or should it be purchased in advance?

Thank you,
Carrie
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 12:00 PM
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Stupid as it seems a 7 day Travelcard would cost each adult £23.20 each is cheaper than a combination of 3 day (£16.40) and one day (£5.10) cards for a 5 day visit.

A lot depends on what you do on your first & last days. If there's no Tube / bus travel involved the 3 day card becomes worth it.
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Old Jun 13th, 2007, 12:02 PM
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BTW 10 yr olds go FREE on Tube if accompanied by an adult fare payer and are always free on buses
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 11:27 PM
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I have been reading about the travel cards in London, and I was wondering if it might be worth it to get a 7-day travel card added onto an Oyster card if I'm staying with a friend who is living in Zone 4.

I'm arriving on a Sunday and leaving on the following Sunday, and I noticed that on weekdays, it will cost 2.50 pounds for me to get from Zone 4 into Central London where I'll be sightseeing.

Can I get the Oyster card at the train station once I disembark from the Gatwick Express?

Does anyone know how long it would take me each morning to get from Zone 4 (NE area of London) into Central London?

Thanks.
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Old Jun 27th, 2007, 11:34 PM
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You can get a Travelcard at ANY Tube station and all the major train stations in London.

Can't say how long it would take without a specific address as Zone 4 covers a lot of ground and there may not be a direct connection into London.

If your intention is to go to Zone 4 direct from Gatwick, going to Victoria on the GEX may not be the best option - another reason for knowing the specific address
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 01:28 AM
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If it's North East London, changing to the Victoria Line at Victoria might make a lot of sense. The only alternative would be the FCC train to Kings Cross and changing there, but until the new platforms are open that would be a real pain.

As for getting the card, you can certainly get it at Victoria - you'd have to go through to the Underground ticket office. I don't know if they're available at Gatwick, I suspect not. It might be easier to ask there if you can get an add-on ticket for the Underground to get to your final destination, and then go to the local Underground station for the Oyster card, where there probably won't be such a crush of people.
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 01:40 AM
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So, if we are arriving at Waterloo for a single day in London, midweek, what would be the most advantageous fare option for two of us using the Tube throughout the day?

Thanks in advance...
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 03:30 AM
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For a typical tourist a one day zone 1-2 travelcard will suffice - unless you are intending to go to an airport that day
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Old Jun 28th, 2007, 06:33 AM
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If you are going to Heathrow the same day, buy an Oyster and pay the £3 deposit. You will save 50p on your about-town travels, and your Zone 2 to 6 supplement to reach the airport will be only £1 or £1.80 (depending on what time you do it).

You will also have the card for your next trip to London, which means you can avoid queuing for tickets by loading some value on it yourself from a machine.
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