Is HOP being ripped off by TfL?



I have done a rudimentary Google maps search and plotted the average distance from Lewisham Train station to the following stations in Zone 1: London Bridge, Charing Cross, Kings Cross, Baker St, Paddington and Victoria. I also threw in Charing Cross as I seem to remember that the station there is regarded as the centre of London for some purposes.

The average distance is 6.7 miles. The station is in zone 2.

Using the same methods with Honor Oak Park, the average distance is 6.6 miles, yet it is in Zone 3.

There is a distinct swerve up in the zone on the map so as to include HOP in zone 3:

Does anyone else agree that HOP should be in zones 2&3? It would be fair and save residents a fortune.

I have yet to do the distance checking thing for other places, but I bet Stratford International (Zone 2&3) is even further away than 6.6 miles… and other places too.

I have a plan to get this on the agenda at TfL if there is support for this. What do you all think?


I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that when I first moved here, Honor Oak Park was designated as “Zone 2/3”, which meant cheaper fares each way. Can anyone else remember this better?


That’s really interesting, @Paul_Hyu - good investigating! I’d obv enthusiastically support your efforts to get this changed - why would we NOT want to be in Zone 2?!


From wikipedia:

zone 2 was created on 22 May 1983 and extends from approximately 2 to 5 miles (3 to 8 km) from Piccadilly Circus.


This is interesting because East Putney is 8.2 miles from Piccadilly Circus. Zone 2&3

HOP is 6.7 miles to same location. Zone 3!

I have nothing against East Putney (though I bet more decision-makers there than in HOP), but it’s simply a question of fairness. Either put it and other further-out places in zone 3 or pull HOP into zone 2. Zone 2&3 would equally serve.

It’s a simple argument of fairness, which I will make to our MP and to the board of TfL.

HOP and it’s residents are being treated unfairly.

A petition would be something to start with. How does one do this?


Absolutely add it to the list! I’ve lived in HOP most of my life and with the station only being 3 stops from LB, makes sense for it to be in zone 2/3 as it’s only 5.4 miles.


I moved here in 2005 and I think it was Zone 3 then (no Overground then of course, just the train - think I had a zone 1-4 travelcard as I don’t think they did 1-3 then, but that last part might be wrong…)

I’d be delighted if it was a 2/3 but it seems like it might be difficult - good luck @Paul_Hyu


This might be of interest


It should definitely be a zone 2/3 boundary station.


I’d support a zone 2/3 reclassification. Makes up for not being Forest Hill.

(ducks and hides)


The relevant info from the FoI request is:

In instances of new stations or changing existing stations there is no
fixed approach. Essentially the operator of the station concerned decides
in the first instance, having regard to the expected revenue impacts and
the zones(s) in which nearby stations are located. The proposal must then
be agreed by the train operators and the Department for Transport.

This means it might take time but it’s not impossible, not unprecedented and I think we have a very good chance of success, based on fairness. The main hurdle is the fact that the savings for residents equals a loss to the station. But this is so palpably unfair that anyone could easily make the argument and it would take a hard politician to deny it.


Might make up for having to go to a different station to buy certain tickets when the ticket office closes. TfL can use any savings to reduce ticket prices - everybody’s happy (apart from people living on local roads which suddenly become a major car park for zone 3 commuters).


I usually drive to work near Honor Oak Park station. I work unsociable hours and the journey back to zone 5 and beyond is a pain late at night. It’s slightly cheaper for me to drive as well. I am aware that this does nothing for my environmental credentials and I have thought about using public transport both for environmental reasons and for saving wear and tear on my elderly car. A move to zone 2 would leave me resolved to continue driving but 2/3 and I might reconsider.

Come 2022, I’ll have my 60+ travel card when I’ll forego comfort to save money.


By 2020 don’t you need to be 65?


The freedom pass kicks in at 65, I understand. But there’s a 60+ travelcard that Boris (spit) introduced and for a small fee you get the same concessions in London that over 65s get. Maybe that’s changed since I last looked into it.


A quick look at TFL tells me that this is still the case.


What gratitude… :worried:


Am sure it is revenue that is behind the fare zones. On this basis it is not a runner IMO to compare wee HOP with the mighty interchanges that are Lewisham and Stratford. The passenger volumes there are such that operators will have been happy for TfL to band them in zone 2, to improve their usefulness as an interchange, as the number of sales this generates would make up for the lower price. Am sure you can find other examples though and the idea does sound attractive. So let’s consider some possible consequences:

  1. Fares to central London would be 80p per day cheaper;
  2. The cachet of being in zone 2 would not be lost on Estate Agents, house prices would go up;
  3. As a result of 2, there would be more developer interest in Honor Oak so more development, residential and commercial;
  4. As a result of 3, business rates would increase and so would lease values so more pressure on small businesses;
  5. As a result of 3, more people would be living in the area;
  6. As a result of 1 & 5 more people would be using HOP station;
  7. As a result of 6, more congestion on the Overground, less likely to be able to board a train in the morning (a bit like Brockley);
  8. As a result of 6, more Park and Ride and so even less chance of getting a parking space.

A case of be careful what you wish for?

You could argue that a lot of these things will happen anyway but if we were to lobby TfL about priorities for the area, I would prefer getting a more accessible platform 1 and improving the local transport links to mitigate the Park and Ride problem.


TfL issue a Freedom Pass to 60+ residents. It costs £20 for the original card issue and you have to pay for replacements caused by loss or damage.

Works on almost everything except isolated routes and at certain times eg you still have to pay for a morning rush hour trip on train from Forest Hill to LBG up until 9:30am. Not that this constraint makes any sense of course.


Whether Lewisham is a big hub for numbers is irrelevant when you take the example of East Putney being in Zone 2&3. EP is over 8 miles from the “centre” and nearly 2 miles further away from it than HOP. That will be the basis of the argument, the point being exacerbated by the fact that Lewisham, further away also, is also Zone 2 and there is a contrived and visible swerve to include HOP in 3.

Make HOP 2&3 just like East Putney!