Kennington station, which is currently in Zone 2 is to become a mixed Zones 1 and 2 station from this Sunday (16th May) as part of the preparations for the Northern line extension.
At the moment, Kennington is in Zone 2, but the new stations on the Northern line extension will be in Zone 1. This causes the anomaly that people in Battersea and Nine Elms living in Zone 1 would otherwise need to pass through Zone 2 to get into Central London.
The change was a condition of the funding agreement for the Northern Line Extension to ensure that when the extension opens, customers travelling to and from central London will only pay a Zone 1 fare.
The change also benefits people in Kennington, as they now would only pay for a Zone 1 fare to go into central London, instead of Zones 1 & 2. A typical adult single pay as you go trip into Zone 1 will be reduced from £3 in the peak to £2.40.
(There is an existing special fare of £2.40 for trips to Waterloo, Charing Cross, Embankment, and London Bridge)
Travelcard fares and daily caps are unaffected as the cost of Zone 1 and Zone 1/2 are the same.
Although TfL could have put Kennington station in Zone 1 rather than into a combined Zone 1/2, that would have raised fares for Kennington residents travelling south, so the combined zone agreement ensures fares won’t go up because of the change.
Andy Lord, Managing Director of London Underground, said: “The Northern Line Extension will open up a whole new area of the capital, bringing the Tube to this part of London for the very first time. As more people return to the transport network, changing Kennington to a Zone 1/2 station will benefit local residents, ensuring that they get the best value fare no matter which direction they are travelling in.”
(We can expect a new tube map to show off the new zones)
TfL has been running test Northern line trains through the extension since Christmas and expects to move into the trial operations phase in the summer, ahead of the line opening in autumn. Work on commissioning the new escalators and lifts for the stations will also be completed in the coming weeks.
Landscaping is progressing well at Kennington, where two ventilation shafts are located, with new road and pavement surfacing at the Green, trees planted, and work to install fencing at the park underway. TfL is on track to open the reinstated park areas in late summer.
The public areas around the new stations are also now being completed with work on new walking and cycling access through the railway arch by Nine Elms station, which will create a link to the Embassy Gardens area, due to open in advance of the new extension. TfL has also recently opened up four new customer passageways between platforms within Kennington station, which is making changing between different branches of the Northern line at the station much quicker and easier for customers.
Update – 14th May 2021
The Mayor’s decision has now been published, revealing that the rezoning of Kennington station will reduce revenue by an estimated £200,000 between now and when the Northern line extension opens. That will then be offset by additional revenue from the two new stations, estimated at around £3.5 million a year at the moment, compared to the £7 million a year expected before the pandemic.