From tomorrow (Sun 4th Sept), TfL train fares between Heathrow Airport and Zone 1 in central London will be charged at peak hours rates, regardless of when the journey takes place.

(c) TfL

The change affects journeys on the London Underground or the Elizabeth line, as they are Transport for London’s (TfL) services, but won’t affect the Heathrow Express as it’s not part of TfL. The change, which was previewed in early negotiations over TfL’s finances last December, is designed to help to cover some of the shortfall in fares revenue since the pandemic.

Journeys to the airport that avoid Zone 1 will continue to have an off-peak fare, while journeys ending at stations before Heathrow, such as Hatton Cross, Hounslow West and Hayes & Harlington will also not be affected by the changes. All pay as you go journeys will also continue to qualify for daily and weekly capping and all concessions, including free travel of under 11s, will remain in place.

Another change coming in tomorrow is that the charge for a new Oyster card will increase from £5 to £7, although most people are encouraged to use contactless payments when arriving in the UK, rather than buying an Oyster card.

TfL expects that the changes to Tube and Elizabeth line fares to Heathrow Airport and the £2 increase for an Oyster card are expected to generate additional income of up to £27 million per year calculated up to 2027-28.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Raising more money from fares was a condition of our funding deal with Government. This fare increase was chosen as one which would have a lower impact on Londoners currently worried about the cost of living, and to ensure that journeys that avoid zone 1 will not be affected, helping to protect those living near and working at the airport.”

The adult pay as you go fares from Zone 1 to Heathrow Airport were:

Peak fare Off-peak fare Increase
Piccadilly line £5.50 £3.50 £2.00
Elizabeth line £12.80 £10.80 £2.00

For people who can buy a train ticket at least 90 days before they travel, then the  Heathrow Express offers tickets for £5.50, which is a considerable saving over the TfL options.


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  1. Taxpayer says:

    The Mayor of London along with Greater London Authority should be abolished!

    They are a burden on council taxpayers and they are an unnecessary wasteful tier of local government.

    Transport for London are better off under Government control to save and improve the services.

    • Colin Dale says:

      I do not mean to sound condescending, but did you read the article? Central government (the Department for Transport) are the ones who made increasing fares a condition of the funding deal, after years of cutting the TfL subsidy and underfunding London’s transport system (one of the few in the world so heavily reliant on fare revenue).

      When considering which fare rises to implement, the Mayor, GLA and TfL considered journeys to Heathrow to be less likely to affect Londoners, as they don’t travel to Heathrow from zone 1 very often.

      The vast majority of areas in England fall under a two-tier council system with district and county councils (apart from unitary authorities etc.) so the GLA model is not unique at all. It’s responsible for issues that affect the whole city, not just one borough, such as transport.

      TfL has a track record of actually improving the quality of services it takes under its control (see London Overground).

      The idea that TfL would be “better off” under Central Government control is a fallacy.

      Sorry to get “all political” as I know this website is usually very good at keeping politics out of its articles!

    • ChrisC says:

      The last thing the Government wants is to have direct control of TFL.

      And the last thing service uses need is a TFL under Government control because the service would be gutted and not saved let alone improved.

    • Alex McKenna says:

      The LAST thing we need is for London to be run by this chaotic, amateurish Government.

    • harry says:

      Get rid of Grant Shapps, whose pollicies on Levelling Down and unnecessarily inciting the unions are causing the problems, not the mayor. The government needs to find a good clone of Andy Byford as Transport Minister.

  2. ChrisC says:

    There are only a fee of those £5.50 HEX fares available and the cost soon bumps up.

    Plus most people are going to have to pay to get to Paddington as well.

    And it seems that travel cards aren’t affected by this – just those that do irregular trips to the airport and back – so mainly visitors.

  3. Keith says:

    Sounds like the trick will be to get off the train/tube in zones 2-5, exit that station and immediately re-enter it, and then continue on the Heathrow at the off-peak cap rate. Realistically though most people won’t bother (or know) about doing that, and will pay the peak rate charge instead.

    • Brian Butterworth says:

      Let’s see if that works.

      Stratford to Ealing Broadway: £3.60 Peak, £2.90 Off Peak

      Ealing Broadway to Terminal 5 (Liz): £7.60 or £6.60

      Totals: £11.20 Peak, £9.50 off Peak.

      Yup, save £1.60 Peak and £3.30 off Peak.

    • Brian Butterworth says:

      Of course if you want to save from Stratford to Terminal 5 you can touch on the pink card reader if interchanging at Ealing Broadway AND Gunnersbury it’s only £8.00 or £6.60

    • ChrisC says:

      Very few people are going to do that to save £2 on a trip they rarely take.

      And since a lot of travellers to Heathrow will have luggage and Hatton Cross isn’t step free it isn’t going to be very practical.

      For a lot of visitors ease of travel will trump cost.

    • Eric says:

      Now let’s try it with the Piccadilly line.

      Finsbury Park to Heathrow 5.50 (any time)
      Finsbury Park to Hatton Cross 5.00 (3.40 off peak; 2.25 with a railcard)
      Hatton Cross to Heathrow – free

      Definitely worth saving 2-3 pounds on a (maximum) 10 minute detour past the ticket barriers at HC, provided one isn’t in a hurry or carrying excessive luggage.

  4. Steve says:

    Central government (The Department for Transport -currently under the “leadership” of Grant Shapps) are the ones who made increasing fares a condition of the funding deal, after years of cutting the TfL subsidy and underfunding London’s transport system … simples.

  5. Carin says:

    TfL worked perfectly well until khan froze all fairs , so for years there has been no extra money for repairs. Get rid of the mayor and his flunkys and spend the money on what London really needs, transport.

    • Chris C says:

      He just got relected by a large margin!

      His fares freeze was managed within the TFL budget.

      The cost of the Mayor and his ‘flunkys’ isn’t as big as you think it is.

      Under hsi predecessor the TFL debt increased (despite his prececessor constantly lying about that) and under Khan and until the pandemic he was reducing the debt that his predecessor left.

  6. Roger says:

    Grant Schaps has single handedly ruined modern rail in the UK. A modern day Beecham. He has awarded the West Coast mainline to first Avanti despite the previous TOC increasing passenger numbers and improving services. And look where that is now. He has not offered tailored support in way of Furlough extension to airlines and airports and now as a result we see staffing problems, flight number caps and increas3d fares and cancellations, on top of this many of the staff at Heathrow are low paid workers affected by the cost of living and are not tourists. Now also paying £20pw/£80pm /£960 year. There is a need for a Airport workers Oyster card that ignores the new rule, or bypasses the Heathrow tunnel surcharge.

  7. Roger says:

    Or if you exit at Hatton cross which is considered free heathrow travel zone also from 4th September, then re-enter with a different card you still pay off peak (Subject to time of day)

    • ChrisC says:

      As I already posted very few people will actually do this just to save £2 AND add up to ten minutes to their journeys

  8. Mike says:

    While other European countries offer more and more offers to travel cheaper and encourage public transportation (or even free – see Spain), UK shows once again why it’s become the laughing stock of Europe by actually *increasing* prices.

  9. LMonroe says:

    This is an good step. Railways should be paid for by those who use them, not by taxpayers.

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