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Londoners - your advice please on travel tickets/pricing, etc.

(19 Posts)
roisin Sat 01-Sep-07 15:12:02

I've just been looking at the London Transport website, and am utterly confused - it all seems so incredibly complicated. I'm not even clear whether children have to pay or not. (We are me, dh, ds1 - 10, ds2 - 8. Ds1 is very tall for his age, so looks older. Is that a problem?)

What on earth is an Oyster card?

So I would be very grateful for your advice, as to whether we should just get individual tickets as we go, or whether to get some kind of 'card' to cover the week. (Four nights - but basically 3 whole days being tourists.)
We generally walk a lot, so short distances we would walk rather than get tube. And if we are out late at night (after theatre), or with luggage to/from station we will get taxis.

We are staying at County Hall. So we are basically talking about getting to/from the NHM, to/from Hampton Court Palace, and maybe a few other short journeys if we are tired of walking.

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 15:19:46

An Oyster card is how Londoners pay for public transport. It works out cheaper than paying for individual journeys.

Children are free on London buses, but have to pay for the Underground and Overground trains.

When you go to Hampton Court, you'd take a train from Waterloo, so would pay for that separately. Otherwise, with your location at County Hall, you'd probably be as well sticking to buses or walking, which means the kids would not need to pay.

ImBarryScott Sat 01-Sep-07 15:23:49

Oyster only works on bus and tube, but you can get paper one day travelcards as well, which include the overground train to hampton court.

Tube fares have recently been abolished for under 11s travelling with a paying adult, see here. Last weekend we took my tall, 10yo nephew out with us and no-one questioned this.

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 15:24:26

You can actually get a ticket to cover you from three days - a Travelcard. You buy it by the London Transport zone (Zone 1 being the very central part of London). You can use it on tube, buses, trains and DLR. If you use it for Hampton court, you'd need a Zone 1-6 Travelcard.

roisin Sat 01-Sep-07 15:24:28

Great - thank you!
That sounds very simple.

ImBarryScott Sat 01-Sep-07 15:25:26

ps - whatever you do, be it paper cards, or oyster, it is virtual always more expensive to buy individual tickets. I think it's now £4 or something crazy for a single in zone 1 (where county hall is).

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 15:25:49

Ooo, didn't know about free tube travel for kids. This means I can just buy a train ticket and not bother with the travelcard part

suzycreamcheese Sat 01-Sep-07 15:27:37

oyster card requires deposit of £3 each then you charge it up with more money to cover future travel...

i hate them (long story lots of electronic problems experienced)

i was under impression children under 11 with adults travelled free...havent got there yet...

i prefer one day travel cards £5.70 per adult for up to zone 4 i think

if you are walking and bussing it in central london pre paid bus tickets might be an idea (about a £1 per journey) easy get them from newsagents in books of 6..

tfl website is, as you have discovered one of the worst on the web...

roisin Sat 01-Sep-07 15:29:21

Oh no, I spoke too soon, it's getting more complicated!

So, I think, I get an off-peak travel-card for zones 1-2 for both dh and I, and the kids go free?

Hampton Court will be cheaper to use our family railcard I think, as we are not planning to do anything else that day

ImBarryScott Sat 01-Sep-07 15:31:20

roisin, what you've suggested there sounds bang on smile. Yes it is bloody complicated - can't wait til the trains are on oyster!

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 15:31:35

Sounds like a good plan, Roisin

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 16:25:37

Good plan Roisin, go by tube as much as pos and get them to let you thruogh the barrier as your children are free.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 16:26:13

Batters posted a link to walking arund London, will see if I can find it, has best routes etc.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 16:29:09

Ah, she said "For all Londoners there is a brilliant site - sorry can't do links - called walk it. You put in where you are starting off from and where you are going to and it finds the best walking route for you, with a map and written instructions. It tells you how long it will take to get there (for fast, medium and slow walkers) and how many calories you burn doing it." hang on, will see if I can link to it.

WideWebWitch Sat 01-Sep-07 16:29:40

here you go, Walkit

hatwoman Sat 01-Sep-07 16:42:26

oyster cards can be used in two ways (something TFL are crap at making clear). you can either charge them up in a newsagents - then you swipe it whenever you get on the bus or tube and it automatically deducts the right - ie the cheapest amount. this is called "pay as you go". although hampton ct is in zone 6 you can't use pay as you go on South-West trains. this - I discovered sometime after oysters were introduced - is not the same as saying that Oyster cards can't be used on sw trains - you can also put travel cards on an oyster card - in which case you can use your oyster on bus, tube, train. but you can't out a one day travel card on an oyster. I think the "smallest" travel card you can put on is a weekly.

Anotehr thing to bear in mind is that I'm fairly you get a discount on your entry fare to Hampton Ct for using the train - so yu can factor that in to your costs. HC is brilliant btw.

hatwoman Sat 01-Sep-07 16:45:32

sorry you can;t put a 7-day travel card on an oyster - the smallest one you can put on is a monthly - so not remotely relevant for you

scienceteacher Sat 01-Sep-07 16:52:00

What a brilliant site, WWW

roisin Sat 01-Sep-07 16:55:17

Thanks everybody!

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