The London Assembly’s Transport Committee has called for the HS1 link between Stratford and St Pancras to be included in the Travelcard system.

The Committee has written a letter to the Rail Delivery Group commenting on a number of issues affecting trains at the moment, particularly the interchanges between TfL and National Rail and how safety messages are being synchronised, or not.

However, two other issues stood out.

One is the request that the Department for Transport should the Southeastern High-Speed route (Javelin) between St Pancras International and Stratford International in the Travelcard zonal system.

Although it is possible to use an Oyster/Contactless pay as you go ticket on the Javelin trains, there is a high-speed supplement charged on the journey – costing £6.80.

Including the Javelin service in the Travelcard zone would make the very fast, and quite luxurious service available for people commuting between Stratford and central London, and could help ease the pressure on the Central and Jubilee lines.

Whether that would be a short-term measure during the Covid era, or a longer-term one would need to be thrashed out between the Dft, TfL and Southeastern.

With a 6-7 minute relaxing Javelin trip between Stratford and St Pancras compared to around 17 minutes on the cramped tube, if it were to be approved as a long term upgrade, then housing prices in the Olympic Village will jump overnight.

The other request is a long-standing one being raised again, and that is for TfL to put Thameslink on the tube map. The Committee cites the improved accessibility for public transport since the Thameslink upgrade, which would make travelling north-south in London easier for those who need such facilities but rely on the tube map alone and are put off travelling through central London.

Based on October 1997 tube map


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  1. Indeed, this is so annoying. Want to go from Stratford International to UCL?

    You have to pay £5.90 for the link and then a single tube fare of £2.40 for a single stop.

    You go the slow way and it only Peak : £2.40 for the WHOLE TRIP (and only £2.90 in peak) and it ALL counts towards the daily cap.

  2. Colin says:

    Why put non TfL lines on a TfL map? Very confusing. Just use the map of all rail lines in London. People in S London will be grateful I’m sure.

    TfL is supposed to be Transport for London; an authority not a TOC and bus operator, but if they won’t promote the all lines map maybe the GLA should.

    • Alistair Twin says:

      Why? Because they are Transport For London, and this is Transport .. in London. The user doesn’t care who runs trains or buses, or boats.

      The only logical argument against it is visual clutter and legibilty/ graphic logic. the improvements on the central section are imho sufficiently good enough to justify it being on the tube map… especially for disabled users.

      I think if the overground is on there then thameslink should be.

  3. Mark Norrington says:

    Using long(er) distance services to convey passengers over short distances is very inefficient, especially when they are already well provided for (80+ trains an hour from Stratford to central London in the peak). SE Hi-Speed services were busy all day with standing on many services and no obvious way to increase capacity without procuring new bespoked rolling stock.

  4. Sean says:

    For me personally it would be great if they added Stratford to St Pancras to the travel card but as said above it would totally overwhelm the service. Southeastern want it full of Kent commuters paying big, long distance fares, hence why it’s so expensive at the moment for the short Stratford journey.

  5. Chris Wood says:

    Isn’t the fact that this change would lead to an “overnight jump” in housing prices a very good reason not to do it. It is likely that such a jump would cost long term residents far more than the benefit they would gain, and it is no part of the remit of transport policy to enrich property speculators or estate agents.

    • J Marsden says:

      I’m not convinced by that point. The new housing stock is relatively low still even after 10 years of a residential “masterplan”. The developers are largely sitting on LLDC land which quickly dissipates into low density sprawl; they are waiting for house price increases no matter where it comes from and nothing is stopping them. The largest bulk of existing high density housing which also happens to be right next door to the high speed station is owned entirely as PRS (private rental) stock by a single company. Its not hundreds of landlords creating their own little financial bubble.

      It does make me laugh though how we always get trapped by this inevitable desperation to price people off over-subscribed mass transport, intercity rail services spring to mind, instead of welcoming and embracing the modal shift and having a proper long term pipeline of funding for projects to drive it forward. We seem to be forever in a state of wishing something then being surprised then horrified.

      Take crossrail and HS1 as examples both in planning stages in the 90s, everyone knew East London was going to be the place to take up the population increase (even pre Olympics it was a planning strategy from the 80s) and yet HS1 gets only double track and crossrail opening put back by two decades. If crossrail was opened along with jubilee line extension, HS1 could have been in the travelcard zone from the outset.

      Anyway why should anyone have to pay a premium for standing up for 7 minutes for a 4 hourly service (if lucky with delays) that only takes you to St Pancras Station, no different to the con that is Heathrow express that had the DFT laughing from their Range Rovers in Surrey for a couple of decades. It really isn’t a premium service from Stratford just the sort of travel times you would expect in the 21st century.

    • John says:

      Does anyone who comes up with these suggestions actually travel by train. High Speed could never cope with the amount of people were that to happen!
      Maybe we could reopen the disused Stratford International platforms, buy some new trains, and run a Javelin shuttle to and from St Pancras at standard fares, that should do it. 😂

  6. Richard Mayes says:

    If you go to any National Railway station in the former Network Southeast area, you can pick up a London Connections map which includes London Underground, London Overground, a close up of National Rail lines, DLR, TFL rail, Thameslink, and the Croydon Tramlink. On the flip side, you can get a map of the former NSE areas so you can tell what areas are covered by the Network Railcard. I usually have a couple of these with me, and a couple of times, some people have been confused in how to get from one station to another, and after seeing me looking at the map, I have handed them a spare. With the map, and me talking them through it, I have found them a quicker route.

  7. Matt says:

    Got a right mouthful when I travelled from Stratford to st Pancras on the 395 with travel card…
    Wasnt very clear when the ticket gateline still accepted my ticket at Stratford yet only regurgitated it when I got to st Pancras! Always check the terms and conditions…

  8. J Marsden says:

    I was also going to point out that crossrail is the far bigger factor in house price increases and has already made that impact many years ago. HS1 is a much more limited service even though the West End is certainly walkable from St Pancras the central line is quicker and more reliable and then crossrail opens in a couple of years which will trump both. It might make some students and the odd commuter a bit happier having it in the travel card zone but that’s about it. I think putting HS1 into the tracelcard zone is the right thing to do from a city-wide travel ethic where we are all in this together and should have been from the beginning. DFT being far too precious and big brother over the symbolism of their assets as usual.

    With regards to Thameslink being on the standard tube map is a definite yes. Again far too much navel gazing going on. Its (now) a frequent service that crosses London and in the travel card zone. The key is to get visitors who do not have much knowledge about routes the best access to the most efficient ways to get around. Every visitor goes for the tube map its what people know and get told. If TFL fails to drag PHV into the Congestion charge we are in danger post covid 19 of letting uber or an upstart having their dream of taking over public transport as their own captive market.

    • Against Homelessness says:

      I now understand why there is so much government and media hype about HS2…. House prices!!!

      Brilliant, for just a small sum of £100 Billion we get higher house prices and as a bonus we save 20 minutes on the journey time to Birmingham!

      Fantastic! A much better investment than using the funds to build a million homes across the country on the brownfield land that is owned by the government.

      Once again, ker-ching for the minority.

      If you think this is a crazy socialist remark, do a bit of research, I have based this upon facts.

    • ianvisits says:

      “I now understand why there is so much government and media hype about HS2…. House prices!!!” <-- clearly you haven't read this website before.

  9. Chloe says:

    The other one which is MADDENING is that Farringdon is not a London Terminus.

    City Thameslink is / as is Kings Cross but if you stop and get off at Farringdon inbetween the two, it is a WHOLE different matter.

    • ianvisits says:

      It’s not that odd that a ticket to a specified station cannot be used at a different station.

    • Sykobee says:

      That is odd – certainly I would expect something reasonable when you have a “London Terminuses” destination ticket, and would expect all through stations on Thameslink between London Bridge and St.Pancras to be included (as there is no terminus).

  10. Jono says:

    Pre-Covid the service almost couldn’t cope between the hours of 5pm and 7pm with virtually no standing room to cram in any further passengers. The morning rush hour is a little more spread out as many passengers choose to use the post 9:30am off peak travel but still very busy.

    The service certainly wouldn’t cope with the addition of a whole new set of passengers wishing to significantly cut their journey times when travelling from north to east or vice versa.

    During the rest of the day there is far more capacity with seating available all through the day.

    One possibility could be to restrict the use of Oyster to only non-peak times, reverting to the current cost structure for peak travel?

  11. James Miller says:

    I use a Freedom Pass and how would this effect Stratford and St. Pancras.

    What I’d like to see is a Freedom Pass app, which also incorporated a link to my bank account. So if say, I go to Gatwick from Dalston Junction, as I used to do occasionally, before poor Chinese eating and health habits ruined all our lives, my bank account would be charged the difference.

    I hope TfL are working on such a scheme. As I use my phone for nearly all payments, other than on-line, a Freedom Pass app, would mean one payment method for all.

    If we’re going to put Thameslink on the Underground map, we should also add the Great Northern.

    And we should also make Thameslink put the tube and bus maps in their stations.

    • Jack Curtis says:

      “before poor Chinese eating and health habits ruined all our lives”

      What a ridiculous and unnecessary thing to say. Was it poor English eating and health habits that ruined our beef and egg industries in the 80s and 90s?

  12. Adam Edwards says:

    yes to Thameslink but your illustration (obviously from when this was last on the map) would need to have the north end of the route added to Finsbury Park. Not more than that as this is about just showing this key bit as it is another central London tube line on a par with the Elizabeth line.

    There is a much bigger map of all the tubes and national rail lines, which this is not replacing.

  13. Anthony Skinner says:

    Not an easy one – If you charge a supplement it should apply to all. The number of stations currently within the tfl zones is very small I believe only one. Not a freedom pass (bus pass) line at all as not a tfl line could use a senior railcard however. No real reason why cannot be put on the map but if so a similar warning to the old heathrow direct one about the supplement would need to be placed which might make it not worth it. The tameslink line should be on there but marked as national rail.

  14. Mark says:

    Putting the Javelin service between Stratford International and St Pancras on the standard Travelcard zonal pricing system would be great for me and makes sense, but I do hear the comments that it could overwhelm the long-distance service into Kent and thus a cheaper metro service would prob only make sense if more capacity could be added.

    However, I think Javelin pricing could be much fairer for those travelling afar whom have to switch at St Pancras or Kings Cross for Stratford International and have already paid a lot for their tickets to ‘London Terminals’. These numbers wouldn’t swamp the system and may free up some capacity on the rest of the tube network.

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