…well, the bits in London, anyway.
Most of us who use trains to get in and out of the city will have noticed the temporary closure of usual routes to platforms over the past year or so while the new touchpads have been installed, and from the 2nd Janauary (a date famous for London public transport users to routinely whine about the fares going up even though it happens every year like clockwork), Oyster card users will be able to touch in/out of National Rail stations up to zone 9. The aim is to make public transport more convenient and, presumably, coax more people onto rail services to avoid going from (for example) Balham to Victoria via Brixton, or Ealing to Paddington via Notting Hill.
How will rail journeys be priced compared to tube and bus fares? The Evening Standard reports that fares will change for the better:
The move will make some journeys cheaper as passengers will not have to buy a separate ticket for the Overground. The biggest savings will be on long journeys, such as between Surbiton in Zone 6 and Waterloo for which the off-peak price will fall from £5 to £3.20.
The cost of travelling from East Croydon in Zone 5 to London Bridge in Zone 1 will drop from £4.40 to £2.60 — roughly 40 per cent cheaper. Shorter journeys such as a trip from Lewisham in Zone 1 to Charing Cross will cost £1.70 off-peak and £2.10 peak compared with £2.40 at present…
Whether or not this will affect season ticket holders – arguably the most frequent users of National Rail – remains to be seen. This is definitely a step in the right direction nonetheless, and will hopefully encourage more people to rediscover London.