Commuters in east London may see their travel costs slashed now that Transport for London has introduced a new Zone 2/3, incorporating 10 stations including the busy Stratford interchange. Transport for London said the new zone, which includes Central and Jubilee lines stations as well as ones on the Docklands Light Railway, could benefit more than 100,000 people a week.
The changes are to make it cheaper for passengers to travel from the east into central London as they would no longer need to buy a Zone 3 travel card, which incurs a higher charge, and can instead be charged a Zone 2 fee. Commuters heading out of London from the zone will pay the usual fare, and TfL has said commuters with remaining days on their Zones 1-3 Travelcard may be eligible for a refund on the price difference.
Abbey Road, Canning Town, Stratford, Stratford High Street, Stratford International, Star Lane and West Ham are all now officially in Zone 2/3. Bromley-by-Bow, North Greenwich and Pudding Mill Lane were already on the boundary between the two zones. A monthly Zone 1-2 Travelcard (which is now accepted for travel into Central London from the Zone 2/3 stations) now costs £124.50 – a Zone 1-3 Travelcard (which was previously required for stations in the new zone) cost £144.80 last year under the old structure.
TfL said the changes were to "recognise the shifting economic map of London towards east London". "Re-zoning these stations will benefit more than 100,000 people per week and will ensure customers travelling to Stratford from central London will never require a ticket valid in Zone 3," the statement added.
On average, TfL fares increased by 1% from 2 January 2016 compared with the 1.1% average on National Rail fares. As well as the cost of the average ticket going up, the Zone 1 peak-fare has increased by 10p and the same amount was added to the price of a Zone 1-2 off-peak ticket. Fares which include travel beyond Zone 6 have been frozen or increased by 10p.