Is HOP being ripped off by TfL?



I stand corrected. Thank you.


Love this idea.


It’s a tough go. When I lived in Kennington I was part of a campaign to reclassify Kennington Station from zone 2 to zone 1 or 1/2. It made sense. It’s one stop south of Waterloo. And where the Northern line branched to the City and Charging Cross.

Lots of general agreements on this plan all round. Nothing came of it.

So good luck.


It can be done - but needs local Government input. For example, Mayor of Newman and role with rezoning of Stratford High Street, Stratford International DLR station, West Ham, Canning Town, Star Lane and Abbey Road etc. Agree with sentiment - however suspect depends on political agenda / plus risk of increase in use of station etc.


Please bear in mind that the map you are saying this about is diagrammatic. There is a geographically accurate version here:

Note how close to zone 1 East Putney is. If you just use Charing Cross as the centre then most of North London is in a contrived zone and am sure revenue drives that too.


This is a very good point. Shouldn’t the logical argument for zone definition be about distance be ‘distance to zone 1’? (I’ll admit it could also be about ‘cost to Tfl to zone 1’ or ‘track miles to zone 1’ etc).


I don’t use Charing Cross as the centre of London personally!

It happens that the zones were originally measured as being from Piccadilly Circus (aka very close to Charing Cross) and they mostly haven’t changed since that original random decision was made in the early 80s. London uses it!

It’s about time that was challenged for HOP, especially given its distance from the City, which arguably should be considered the central point.

I think the mid point between Bank and Charing Cross should be taken as the mid point of London, making it approx Blackfriars, by which distance HOP is 5.9 miles and East Putney 6.7 miles.

The disparity is as big as the unfairness.


East Putney to zone 1 (@Earls Court) = 4.29 miles
HOP to zone 1 (@ London Bridge) direct = 4.75 miles

Data sources:


I suspect it’s a lot more to do with load and demand than it is to do with physical proximity to a random spot in “the centre” of London.


Are you sure?
I did some measuring on Google Maps and the distance from Piccadilly Circus to Honor Oak Park is 5.6 miles and the distance from Piccadilly Circus to East Putney is 4.8 miles.
Stratford is closer to Piccadilly than HOP, but this is an exception rather than the rule. It looks to me like HOP is reasonably positioned in zone 3.


I can’t see why it should be. Isn’t it supposed to be run for the benefit of users? Why should one person be charged more just because others want to make a similar journey? It’s no more expensive to provide that service.


It’s all about the revenue peeps! Witness what happened with Shoreditch High Street:


You are right. I was using the walking measurement on my phone app to get a rough distance, but the crow flying distance tool on the PC shows you to be right! This makes a difference to the argument of the center being the arbitrary Picadilly Circus but still holds up compared to Lewisham, which is 6.08 miles from Piccadilly Circus and in Zone 2&3 whereas HOP to Piccadilly Circus is 5.72 miles out and in Zone 3.

However, I think the nuanced argument is as follows:

I think it would be fair today to categorise The City and the West End equally as the twin centres of Central London and hence I have taken Blackfriars, being as it is the midwaypoint between Picadilly Circus and Bank as the crow flies to make my following case.

The distance to Blackfriars as the crow flies (not walking) from Honor Oak Park is 4.93 miles. Zone 3.

The distance to Blackfriars as the crow flies (not walking) from East Putney is 5.89 miles. Zones 2&3.

Or to make the differences more stark, we could put it this way: The banker working in the city traveling from East Putney to Bank pays £131 x 12 = £1572 per annum to travel 6.45 miles - yet your banker constituents, traveling from Honor Oak Park to the exact same station pay £153.60 x 12 = £1843.20 per annum to travel only 4.77 miles - a shorter distance by 73%, yet paying £271.20 more per year. SE London bankers pay 17.25% more to travel 27% less far than SW London bankers!


I have some sympathy with your argument but please try to avoid the reverse snobbery…

The vast majority of people that work in and around Blackfriars are not bankers. Working for or in a bank does not necessarily make you a banker.


Of course it is for the benefit of the users, but the TfL network isn’t one fluffy vanilla thing that is the same everywhere. The job of managing different levels of demand throughout the whole network has to be enormously challenging. They have a limited budget and have to decide where to spend it, and where they can’t spend money right now they have to do other things to manage demand. That’s just reality. If everything is the same and costs the same to run, then for example why is TfL spending hundreds of millions of pounds extending Bank Station?

Making HOP zone 2 vs zone 3 will have a measurable impact on how many people use that station, that is simple supply and demand economics. Surely you can see that there are many knock-on effects from that (as Brett eloquently put it). Or to put it differently, it’s not quite as arbitrary as “it is 3.7654 miles from the 2nd lion in Trafalgar Square, therefore it is zone 3” (at least I hope not!).


It is interesting that “Banker” seems to have become a pejorative term and nobody, even those working in banks, wants to be associated with it!

Let’s not get distracted from the point. Apologies to anyone who might be mistaken for a banker! To all bankers, “Everyone hates you!” :grin:

I am making the simple point that traveling to Bank (hence Bankers) is even more unfair than traveling to Blackfriars if you are from HOP as opposed to East Putney.

As it goes, the difference in a Zone 1-3 travelcard and a Zone 1-2 travelcard is less than I expected. But it still adds up to over £250 per commuter more per year.


Ok, my statement was an oversimplification. What I should have said was I don’t think pricing should be used to manage demand (maximise revenue) where capacity is not an issue. Obviously a lot of the time capacity is an issue, so managing demand here, subject to providing alternative routes etc, is probably necessary. I’d also agree that sometimes they will do things to generate revenue, but this doesn’t mean it’s ok to do so.


But that’s where the money for investment comes from! And as for demand, have you been on the Overground during rush hour?


So with the Shoreditch example - the zone change was implemented to increase revenue, and was a condition of the financing. I would suggest it might have been fairer to base the financing on revenues from across the transport system instead.

Yes. Should I infer that you think HOP is already at capacity so perhaps it’s zone 3 status is a bid to manage demand by keeping it expensive?


No, but making it cheaper certainly won’t improve the capacity situation (hint, it will make it worse), so I jolly well hope that whoever makes these decisions is factoring in more than just the straight line distance from “the centre of London”.