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Oyster Extension Permits

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London, United...
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Oyster Extension Permits

I have a question about how OEPs work when you board the train within the final zone of your TravelCard's validity.

As we know, if you have a TravelCard on your Oyster and want to travel beyond the TravelCard's zones on National Rail and pay for it using PAYG cash on the Oyster card, you must put an "Oyster Extension Permit" (OEP) onto the card before you start your journey, so that any ticket inspector who checks your card knows that you are intending to trevael out of zone.

So, if you are have a zone 1 & 2 TravelCard on Oyster and are travelling from central London (Charing Cross, say) to Woolwich (which is in zone 4), before you get on the train at Charing Cross you must visit a ticket machine to put an OEP on your card, and then touch out at Woolwich Arsenal station to get charged the correct add-on PAYG fare.

That's fine. However, what happens if I have a Z1/2 card and board somewhere in zone 2? Do I still need to put the OEP on, or will that journey all be handled on PAYG?

Presumably if I board at Greenwich railway station, which is in both zones 2 and 3, no OEP is needed - the journey will be taken as starting in zone 3, so will be entirely on PAYG. What if I board at Deptford, which if only in zone 2? Do I need an OEP for that journey because the the TravelCard covers me from Deptford to the boundary of zone 2, and the PAYG thereafter?

London, United...
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1. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

My understanding of it is that you need an OEP for any journey where the start point is within your travelcard zones and the endpoint is outside them. Therefore if you had a z12 card and traveled from a z2-3 (such as Greenwich) station and wanted to go to z4 you would still need an OEP.

The reason for this is that without OEP when you enter at a station in your travelcard zones (any station in zones 1 or 2) no fare is deducted from your card (as £4/5 would be on PAYG) otherwise you'd be penalised if you didn't touch out in zones 1 and 2. Therefore if you were to leave a zone 4 station without touching out, you wouldn't be charged anything (as the system presumed you travelled within zones 1 and 2).

An OEP just makes the system deduct your PAYG balance at the beginning of a journey in the travelcard zones, so that they get the penalty fare if you fail to touch out.

This is just my understanding of it - I'm sure there's a very complex official explanation somewhere...

London
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2. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

I just ignore OEPs.

I travelled last evening from a national rail station which is on the edge of my ticket (z1 and 2 travelcard) to a national rail ticket in z3.

I had PAYG value on my oyster to cover the journey - but no OEP.

Everything worked fine - I touched in at the start and touched out at the end.

I was charged the correct fare - £0.85 - on exit. The lack of OEP didn't cause any problem.

The rules on OEP are so stupidly complicated that I can't see how anyone could ever be penalised for not having one. You can only be prosecuted for attempting to evade payment of your fare - I can't see how any judge would say I was attempting to evade my fare in this circumstance - especially as I can now prove that the system works perfectly withouit having an OEP loaded.

London, United...
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3. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

KNRB - So, you think that to travel entirely on PAYG from Greenwich to Woolwich Arsenal it's necessary to put an OEP on the card if it happens to have a TravelCard valid in Z2 on it?

rcspeirs - have you yet been caught by a ticket inspector when travelling out of zone on National Rail without an OEP? I'd be interested to hear their view on your interpretation of the rules.

Edited: 5:08 am, July 22, 2010
London, United...
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4. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

> I can now prove that the system works perfectly withouit having an OEP loaded. <

Was the station you travelled from just in Z2 or in both Z2 and Z3?

Bingley, United...
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for Edinburgh
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5. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

<<< Therefore if you were to leave a zone 4 station without touching out, you wouldn't be charged anything (as the system presumed you travelled within zones 1 and 2). >>>

As you haven't touched out doesn't the system charge a penalty fee?

London, United...
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6. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

Yes, technically I think you do. However, if you don't and just touch in and out you will get charged the correct fare.

The only problem is if you are stopped by a ticket inspector who checks the oyster, the ticket technically isn't valid - so you might get a penalty fare. Whether they would, given that the system is so complex and poorly advertised is another question.

I think it was a system that the association of train operating companies forced tfl into to protect their revenues (as most NR stations don't have barriers), without any practical consideration of how it would actually work.

London, United...
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7. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

Alanrow - no, if you have a travelcard you don't have to touch in and/or out within your zones - you can't be charged a penalty.

If you don't touch out outside your zones it has no way of knowing you've gone outside the zones.

London, United...
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8. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

> If you don't touch out outside your zones it has no way of knowing you've gone outside the zones. <

Which is, of course, the great (insulting) fear that the national rail companies have - they don't trust their passengers to touch out if they travel out of zone.

London, United...
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9. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

> The only problem is if you are stopped by a ticket inspector who checks the oyster, the ticket technically isn't valid <

Why is the ticket not valid, if I have touched in a zone 3 station to travel to a zone 4 station all on PAYG? Does the presence of the TravelCard in some way invalidate the normal PAYG touch in?

Santander, Spain
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10. Re: Oyster Extension Permits

But what I understood was that if I buy a ticket from the boundary of zone 2 to Hampton Court (this is my personal situation), there's no need to touch out as there are no barriers there. So , no need to touch in to take the rail back to Waterloo and then touch out to leave Waterloo station.

But I have my day return from the boundary of zone 2 in case there is a ticket inspection on the train.