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I am going to be using the Piccadilly line a lot next year, going all the way from Hounslow Zone 4 to the other side Turnpike Lane zone 3. The travelcard is pretty hefty (£164) if i get zone 1-4. The zone 2-4 is a bit nicer at around £95. On single fare finder it mentions 'Avoiding Zone 1 via Turnham Green, Gunnersbury and Highbury & Islington' OR 'Avoiding Zone 1 via Earl's Court, West Brompton (or Kensington Olympia), Willesden Junction and Highbury & Islington'

What does this mean? I want to avoid zone one. Do I need to get off at Turnham Green and tap at a pink oyster card? What happens from there, is there another tube that bypasses zone 1 that will magically appear at Turnham green?

Forgive me if I sound stupid but I had never heard of avoiding zone 1 and i can't see how it's possible from Turnham green seeing as it only offers piccadilly and district line (which doesn't go to Turnpike Lane at all)

Here are some screenshots that may help.alternative fares

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  • A better check would be more expensive. Just by tapping the pink one, spend some time (and take next train), so it would be enough to discourage most of people to do it. I assume if staffs sees increasingly strange behaviour around the reader, they may add targeted controls. Public transportation is just to have low share of people with wrong or no ticket. Commented Jul 9 at 14:16
  • Just touching a Pink Reader at Turnham Green will not get the cheaper fare, you would need to touch it at one of the other interchanges too. Commented Jul 9 at 14:59
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    @mattfreake There is, in fact, no pink readers at Turnham Green, though your point on one needing to touch all pink readers listed in the page stands.
    – B.Liu
    Commented Jul 9 at 22:18
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    @Zainab, welcome to Travel.SE. Given your goal is to save money on transport costs, would having a qualifying railcard and travelling off-peak (using PAYG) be an option for you? I ask so because I noticed you quoted a discounted Travelcard fare available to 18+ or Apprentice photocard holders, the majority of which would also be eligible to buy a 16-25/26-30 Railcard. A Z1-4 trip costs £2.10 off-peak for railcard holders, and you can fit 45 of them within £95 (cost of a discounted Z2-4 Travelcard).
    – B.Liu
    Commented Jul 9 at 22:48

3 Answers 3

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They suggest you take the District line from Turnham Green to Gunnersbury, and then the Overground from there.

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  • Thank you for replying!! That makes sense - I hadn't realised the district line was there too
    – Zainab
    Commented Jul 10 at 16:20
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it mentioned 'Avoiding Zone 1 via Turnham Green, Gunnersbury and Highbury & Islington' OR 'Avoiding Zone 1 via Earl's Court, West Brompton (or Kensington Olympia), Willesden Junction and Highbury & Islington' My question is - what does this mean?

All the "normal" Underground lines like the Piccadilly Line run through Zone 1, so if you want to get from one side of London (Hounslow West/East/Central in the West) to the other side (Turnpike Lane in the North) the most direct routes will run through Zone 1 and you will charged the higher fare.

The Overground, DLR and Tramlink give connections that avoid Zone 1, so you can often take a more indirect, slower route, which will be cheaper.

The text you quote even tells you what they are in your case. You would either need to:

  • travel to Turnham Green (by Piccadilly Line/District Line).
  • travel back to Gunnersbury (District Line)
  • travel to Highbury & Islington (Overground)
  • travel to Finsbury Park (Victoria Line)
  • travel to Turnpike Lane (Piccadilly Line)

OR

  • travel to Earl's Court (Piccadilly Line)
  • travel to West Brompton/Kensington Olympia (District Line)
  • travel to Highbury & Islington via Willesden Junction (Overground)
  • travel to Finsbury Park (Victoria Line)
  • travel to Turnpike Lane (Piccadilly Line)

On either route you would need to tap on Pink Readers on the way, to prove that you weren't taking the direct route via Zone 1.

Both these routes would obviously take you longer, but would be cheaper.

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    Thanks! I understand now - at first I hadn't realised district line went through Turnham green but I've now been able to create a journey that avoids zone 1 completley and miraculously turns out to be faster! Will have to do a test run to make sure though .
    – Zainab
    Commented Jul 10 at 16:20
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    One bus+Overground option would be the 237 bus from Hounslow bus station to Gunnersbury station (21 mins), Overground to Gospel Oak (27 mins), Overground to Haringey Green Lanes (9 mins) and 29 bus to Turnpike Lane tube station. Commented Jul 11 at 18:26
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Another option for avoiding Zone 1 is to take a bus. Buses don't have zones, so any Travelcard will allow you to use any bus. You can still use the Underground or Overground for the parts of the journey in zones 2-4. On the Piccadilly line that means using a bus between (at least) Earl's Court and Caledonian Road.

The TfL journey planner is not so great at 'find me journeys including tube but excluding the tube in zone 1', but looking at the spider maps the 112 goes from Ealing Broadway to Finchley, the 232 from Neasden to Turnpike Lane, and many others. It'll offer bus-only journeys (eg E8 to Ealing Broadway, 112 to Neasden, 232 to Turnpike Lake). It would need a bit of experimentation with the journey planner to join routes like those together with a tube journey in Z2-4.

If there was a viable bus-only route, you could cut costs with a Bus and Tram Pass (£24.70 per week) rather than a Travelcard.

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