Transport for London (TfL) is considering scrapping the Day Travelcard, and has opened a consultation into the proposals. The Day Travelcard isn’t that widely used by Londoners, as it’s a paper ticket aimed at visitors.

Day Travelcards offer unlimited travel on TfL services and National Rail services within London, as well as one-third off River Services fares. At the moment, when travelling from outside London, customers can buy an “add-on” of a Day Travelcard to be included on their train ticket to travel around London.

If the proposal goes ahead, TfL would stop selling any Day Travelcards – including Group, Weekend London Family and Day Travelcards bought using National Railcards.

Scrapping the Day Travelcards is expected to generate approximately £40 million of additional revenue per year for TfL, although that would be largely at the expense of the people who visit London. The consultation notes that increasing its income is one of the conditions that TfL agreed to in its funding settlement with the government.

Over the past financial year, TfL says that it has sold around 15 million of the Day Travel Cards, of which some 70% were sold at National Rail stations outside London. Therefore, the main impact is likely to be on people who buy a Travelcard in addition to their National Rail ticket, as they would have to pay for their journey to a London station and then use PAYG contactless payments, or buy paper tickets to travel on TfL services.

That could add a level of friction to a journey for people unused to how London’s contactless ticketing works, and potentially lead to them paying more as they pay for classic paper tickets, which are much more expensive than using contactless PAYG.

At the moment, the daily caps on PAYG are less than the price of an equivalent Day Travelcard so most people would save money, but not everyone is ready to ditch the paper ticket just yet.

For families, it gets more complicated, as customers travelling from outside London could apply in advance for a Zip card or get the Young Visitor discount set on an Oyster card – both of these options give discounted PAYG fares. Or they can continue to buy the more expensive paper tickets.

People using Railcards would also no longer qualify for the one-third discount unless they have an Oyster card, or buy one, and people using a disabled persons railcard wouldn’t be able to use the discount for a carer/companion accompanying them.

Counterbalancing that, for the southeast of England at least, is that contactless payments readers are being rolled out across National Rail stations which is compatible with the London scheme. In fact, it’s being deployed by TfL, so people travelling into London could use contactless all the way, and when operational, depending on how the fares are set, might not need to be charged for separate tickets for travel into, and then around London.

The decision on whether to withdraw Day Travelcards is a Mayoral Decision. To withdraw Day Travelcards, the Mayor of London would need to make a decision directing TfL to withdraw from relevant parts of the Travelcard Agreement by giving six months’ notice to the Secretary of State for Transport.

If the go ahead is given, then the changes could come into effect towards the end of this year, or early next year.

The consultation is here.

Daily pay as you go caps would not be affected, nor would weekly and longer-term Travelcards.


Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.

Tagged with:

This website has been running now for over a decade, and while advertising revenue contributes to funding the website, it doesn't cover the costs. That is why I have set up a facility with DonorBox where you can contribute to the costs of the website and time invested in writing and research for the news articles.

It's very similar to the way The Guardian and many smaller websites are now seeking to generate an income in the face of rising costs and declining advertising.

Whether it's a one-off donation or a regular giver, every additional support goes a long way to covering the running costs of this website, and keeping you regularly topped up doses of Londony news and facts.

If you like what you read on here, then please support the website here.

Thank you

  1. Jeremy says:

    Extreme edge case impacted by this: all-stations tube challenge participants.

  2. David Goodman says:

    Oh this will be a pain. My wife and I have a Two-Together Railcard and use it to buy 2 @ Zones 1-6 Travelcards for £10 each. This is less than the PAYG cap of £13.90, so we’ll be paying 40% more!

  3. 100andthirty says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if withdrawing the product results in reduced, rather than increased yield.

  4. Keith says:

    The biggest potential problem at present is that Oyster and contactless won’t work with all railcards, notably the Two Together Railcard.

    It’s currently the main reason why I use paper tickets which have Travelcard added on if we’re likely to reach the daily zone limit, especially if going beyond zone 2.

    Similarly I believe you can’t add a Network Railcard on to Oyster/contactless to get the discount if using that card. If they’re axing the paper travelcards hopefully they might look at resolving this.

    • Eam says:

      Why don’t they extend the Oyster card from West Drayton to Reading(Elizabeth line)so that people like me can install my senior railcard on the card or with technology today allow me to install Senior Railcard on my Debit card(PAYG)?

    • ianVisits says:

      Oyster is too old a technology – it’s going to be phased out, not extended to new areas.

    • Eam says:

      Then TFL will have to have some kind of technology where I can add my Railcard to my debit card which I could register with TFL.

  5. Stephen says:

    This is bad for passengers and will probably end up losing TfL money.
    I’ve done some calculations for stations on the SWR network where people might be travelling in using a Out-boundary Day Travelcard, and seen about a 25% rise each time for someone using Z1-6 Off Peak, or more again with some Railcards. Those who don’t use Z1-6 won’t pay as much if they only use Z1-2 (but will still end up paying more, if not quite as much more), and I assume TfL must get less money from a Z1-2 cap than a Z1-6 out-boundary travelcard, so this will probably reduce passenger numbers at the same time as giving TfL less revenue per passenger.

    They don’t even save costs on not having to accept magstripe tickets if there’ll still be out-boundary travelcard seasons, which they seem to be keeping, either

  6. Andy T says:

    A compromise could be to still allow travelcards issued on smart cards and only discontinue the paper version, it would encourage a shift from paper tickets to smart cards while still allowing more ticketing options.

  7. Boris says:

    Mayor of London looks to screw over people who use his services, but aren’t eligible to vote for him. Again.

    If I was the Conservative party, I’d allow regular purchasers of paper travel cards or users of zone 5 / 6 car parks to have a vote in the Mayoral elections. That might inject a bit of rationality into policies like this.

    • ianVisits says:

      By that logic, do you think Londoners should have a say in how much they charge for local services in, for example, Bristol?

    • ChrisC says:

      That’s not how our elections work.

      You’d be giving people with no other interest- and a financial one that that- than transport a vote that would affect a whole slew of other services that people living in london pay for with their council tax such as the police and fire brigade.

      The Mayor has been forced to do this by the Government so ofcourse he’s going to try and reduce the impact on people who live in London rather than transitory visitors.

    • Jake says:

      You mean ‘Mayor of London looks to remove subsidised London fare perks for non-residents who don’t London council tax and the GLA precept used to fund those services’.

      You can’t have your cake and eat it. This is reminiscent of the people of Epsom refusing to join Greater London but then complaining that their train fares are higher than their neighbours in Sutton and Cheddington who *did* join Greater London.

      Another case of “oh won’t somebody PLEASE think of the middle class Tory voters of the home counties for once”

    • Clive Hellawell says:

      It’s those who vote Conservative who have caused this as the funding settlement was imposed on the Mayor by the Conservative government!!

  8. NG says:

    The EXACT opposite, actually.
    Courtesy of “Diamond Geezer”, who also has a piece on this wheeze …… London is the only capital city in the developed world with no public transport subsidy – as dumped on Khan, by BoZo
    Though, Khan, being an idiot, kept his fares freeze, IIRC?

    • John Airey says:

      Not convinced that the Disabled Railcard companion would be unable to have that Disabled person’s Railcard on another Oyster card. As long as it’s only used when accompanying of course.

    • ChrisC says:

      He is not an idiot so less of the petty insults.

      He had a fare freeze for his first term only that was affordable within the budget at the time.

      I can tell you there is no more fare freeze because fares went up!

  9. Peter Salmon says:

    As a casual contractor, I often work on stations or inside the infrastructure for long periods. I tried an oyster/contactless twice and was hit with multiple maximum fares that were mostly refunded.

    Now I get a travelcard as it can’t charge me more than it’s face value.

    I also have a boxcard but that can’t be reclaimed.

    This system is a real mess. If I was Transport secretary I’d look at all the best ticketing systems in say Germany, France err, Europe and use them as a template.

    Our system is designed to gouge the customer and make maximum revenue for the TOCs

  10. Alan Peery says:

    Not acceptable, unless they are prepared to supply corresponding services as this could amount to denial of service to the disabled traveller.

    “people using a disabled persons railcard wouldn’t be able to use the discount for a carer/companion accompanying them.”

  11. MilesT says:

    The consultation website is not simple, you have to register to provide feedback which is no more than a cut down email message.

    You can also contribute feedback by emailing direct to, use subject “OneDay travelcards”

    Much simpler and quicker. You know what you need to do to provide input to this change which creates multiple disadvantages for certain groups.

  12. John says:

    Thats the end of family days out for me.

    Using oyster would double my family day out cost.
    It becomes cheaper to drive, or just go someplace else.
    Its already becoming harder with service reductions.

    London needs to have a rethink, its not got a monopoly on days out, its not the cheapest place either.

    • Michael says:

      Agree John,my experiences with rail and high fares has forced me travel by CAR with my family.
      One car 4 people sharing the cost more convenient,and we go when we want and return when we want and also to everyone’s home , simple and cheaper

  13. ann says:

    Wrong assumption by TFL as usual targetting those who are on the edges of London, it’s used by older folk on the outskirts of London extensively as it’s much cheaper than PAYG and oyster, if they use oyster of course. Many of my friends in Epsom are very concerned. Ageist?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Home >> News >> Transport News