Charlton station
Missed it again: Southeastern and Thameslink fares go up next month

The cost of a weekly four-zone travelcard from Woolwich Arsenal is to break the £50 mark for the first time next month as part of transport secretary Chris Grayling’s annual fare increases.

While London mayor Sadiq Khan has frozen fares on TfL services for the third year running, he has elected not to cover increases on travelcards and fare caps, which are set by rail companies, saying it would be “ridiculous and absurd” to cover the fare demands of the private operators.

This means commuters who use travelcards – or have their Oyster or contactless fares capped each week – will see increases from January. The cost of a zone 1-4 travelcard, covering Woolwich Arsenal, Eltham, Plumstead, Grove Park and Bromley North, will rise £1.50 to £50.50 from 2 January. A zone 1-5 travelcard, including Sidcup, Belvedere, Bexleyheath and Bromley South, will cost £60.

A zone 1-2 ticket – covering Lewisham, Deptford, Greenwich and North Greenwich – is up £1 to £35.10, while a zone 1-3 travelcard, covering Charlton, Blackheath and Catford, will increase £1.20 to £41.20.

Daily caps up, TfL trains now cheaper

Destination board
“Let’s go to Woolwich Public Market, it’s easy to get a train home to north London… oh.”

The zone 1-2 daily cap will go up 20p to £7, zone-1-3 will reach £8.20, and zone 1-4 will go up 30p to £10.10.

One effect of the TfL fare freeze is that its single fares are now mostly cheaper than National Rail services, despite the Underground and DLR being vastly more frequent and reliable than their mainline counterparts.

Many National Rail services in north, east and west London actually use the cheaper TfL fare scale – however, most Southeastern and Thameslink services do not, meaning SE London travellers lose out.

From Woolwich Arsenal, it will now be 30p cheaper to take the DLR than Southeastern or Thameslink to central London at all times – and that DLR fare will take you to a far wider range of destinations. From Lewisham or Greenwich, the DLR will now be 10p cheaper for the first time.

The increases also follow the botched introduction of Thameslink services to the Greenwich line, which saw the entire line lose one train per hour while the new service trained its drivers. A full weekday service will belatedly be introduced on Monday, though weekend travellers will have to wait until next year.

Click here to see your fare next year.

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