TfL: Surrey County Council calls for expansion of zone 6 so residents can access cheaper fares
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The local authority, via an amended motion passed unanimously at full council, said it will write to Transport Secretary Mark Harper to request a joint meeting with Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport (DfT) to negotiate the expansion.
A TfL spokesperson said the authority has “no plans” to make changes to the zoning of any stations, and that it would be a matter for the relevant train operating company and the DfT. A DfT spokesperson added zone changes are enacted by TfL, following direction by the mayor.
Introducing the motion during the council meeting, Conservative councillor Matt Furniss said: “Surrey’s position on the edge of outer London has meant some residents can travel using TfL’s Oyster Card system, while others are using the National Rail ticketing system.
“As Oyster ticketing has been expanded, increasingly [there have been] calls for new stations and areas to be added to the Oyster network. While other operators have begun to introduce smart ticketing, this is often replicating the original ticketing structure in digital form, rather than offering a truly pay as you go ticket.”
Alongside the council’s calls for Sadiq Khan to retain the Day Travelcards, a key part of the same motion, Cllr Furniss said extending zone 6 would help “simplify” many of the barriers to Surrey residents using the trains to travel in and out of London.
“A zonal ticketing structure would remove the complexity of rail fares, moving on to single leg journeys and zones where passengers can pass through using contactless or a smart card,” he said.
The motion received cross-party support during the meeting, with Green Party leader Jonathan Essex saying the extension would “help us turn Surrey into the sustainable transport area that we need”. Will Forster, the Liberal Democrat leader, added: "The fact you can use your Oyster Card at Surbiton but not at Woking is ridiculous.”
A TfL spokesperson said: “TfL has no plans to make changes to the zoning of any stations in the TfL network, and it would be a matter for the relevant train operating company and the Department for Transport should they wish to change the zoning of any of their stations.
“The mayor is committed to keeping TfL fares as affordable as possible, while still ensuring TfL can continue to run clean, green and safe services, and meet the terms of TfL’s funding agreement with government.”
The motion also demanded Mr Khan withdraw his proposals to remove the Day Travelcards, a scheme which enables those outside of London to journey into the capital and use TfL services, all via a single ticket.
It was up for consultation earlier this year as TfL seeks to generate a further £0.5-£1 billion a year in revenue, as required by a government funding deal agreed during Covid.
Mr Khan however signed a decision notice in July, giving the scheme a six month notice period unless alternative income is found.