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Changes to Tickets and Peak Times on Some Routes in London and the South East

From Sunday 3 December 2023, you may notice some changes to your tickets in London and the South East. This is in preparation for the rollout of pay as you go with contactless at another 53 National Rail stations

Soon, you’ll be able to pay as you go with a contactless card or device at another 53 National Rail stations across the South East.

To keep the price of tickets and pay as you go with contactless as similar as possible:

  • Single tickets now cost around half of a Return ticket

  • Evening peak times will apply 16:00 to 19:00, Monday to Friday, from or via a London station for journeys where pay as you go with contactless will be available

  • There will no longer be Super Off-Peak tickets available on these routes, however the price of Off-Peak tickets have been reduced to reflect this

Pay as you go with contactless is coming soon

Throughout 2023, the Department for Transport, Rail Delivery Group and Transport for London have been working with train companies to allow pay as you go with contactless to be introduced to 53 additional National Rail stations in the South East of England. While completing a rigorous testing plan, some challenges were encountered, which require further work to fully address and deliver the best possible pay as you go customer experience. As a result, the decision has been taken to delay the launch of pay as you go with contactless at these stations until next spring.

A further update will be provided ahead of the launch, to ensure that customers are informed in advance of the introduction of pay as you go with contactless at these stations, as well as the benefits and convenience this will bring. 

Single tickets will cost half of a Return from Sunday 3 December 2023

To enable pay as you go with contactless, Single tickets will cost around half of a Return ticket from Sunday 3 December 2023 on journeys where pay as you go will be available. You will be able to buy either an Anytime or Off-Peak ticket.

Depending on the day and time of your journey, it may be better value to buy 2 Single tickets rather than a Return ticket.  

For example, if you make a peak journey in 1 direction and an off-peak journey in the other, then an Anytime Single plus an Off-Peak Single will be cheaper than an Anytime Day Return. 

Update to evening peak times from Sunday 3 December 2023

When you buy a ticket for your journey, your fare is determined by the departure time of your train/s.

For journeys where pay as you go with contactless will be available:

  • Morning peak times apply 04:30 to 09:30, Monday to Friday

  • Evening peak times apply if your departure time is between 16:00 and 19:00, Monday to Friday, if you are travelling from or via stations in the London Zones 1 to 9

It’s important to make sure your ticket is valid for every train you’re getting. Evening peak times apply to any connecting train during this period.

If you are making a direct journey, as long as the departure time of your first train is in the off-peak period, you can buy an Off-Peak ticket. If you change trains during your journey and the departure time of any of your trains is in the peak period, you will need to buy an Anytime ticket.

Please note: Off-Peak Day Travelcards may be cheaper than buying separate Single or Return tickets for journeys where pay as you go with contactless will be available. Off-Peak Day Travelcards are valid for travel from 09:30, Monday to Friday, including travel in the evening peak times.

Super Off-Peak tickets will no longer be available from Sunday 3 December 2023

When you pay as you go with contactless, you will either be charged a peak or an off-peak fare. To keep the price of tickets and pay as you go with contactless as similar as possible, you will be able to buy either an Anytime or Off-Peak ticket for journeys where pay as you go with contactless will be available.

You will no longer be able to buy a Super Off-Peak ticket on journeys where pay as you go with contactless will be available, however the price of Off-Peak tickets have been reduced to reflect this.