Those Oyster machines have been in place at some stations for ages (it feels like several years), tantalising passengers with the promise of integrated ticket technology at some point in the future.
Well, the future is now – if you want to travel from Ally Pally to Euston, say, you don’t any more have to buy a train ticket from Ally Pally to Finsbury Park then use your Oyster pre-pay just for the Finsbury Park to Euston bit on the Victoria Line. You can just touch in and out at Ally Pally and Euston, making it a single journey.
This is good news, of course, and something Lynne Featherstone had been pressing Network Rail hard on. But every silver lining has a cloud… As my Lib Dem colleague Cllr Richard Wilson explains in this blog post, it’s not all so simple if you have a travel card and want to go out of your usual zone.
That is easy with pre-pay on the tube network, with the extension charge just deducted from your pre-pay. But for rail they have created an Oyster Extension Permit:
If you want to travel beyond the zones covered by your Travelcard on National Rail services within London you must set an Oyster Extension Permit on your card before you travel. This means you will use pay as you go once you've gone outside the zone.Simple, eh?
Oyster Extension Permits
§ You can set your permit at any Tube or London Overground station ticket office or touchscreen ticket machine, Oyster Ticket Stops, some National Rail ticket offices or self-service ticket machines
§ You only need to set an Oyster Extension Permit when you start a journey within the zones covered by your Travelcard and want to travel outside those zones on National Rail
§ Only set your permit to your card just before you make your extension journey
§ You must have at least £1.50 pay as you go balance on your Oyster card to set one
§ A permit stays on your card until you touch out at the end of your journey
§ When touching out, the permit will be cleared from your Oyster card and the fare for the extension journey will be deducted from your pay as you go balance