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I read many contradictions as to whether one can use a Oyster card from Gatwick Airport to central London.

What is the most time-efficient way to go from Gatwick to "Old Billingsgate" (Monument tube station is nearby)? Public transportation is preferred over taxi.

  • It seems the situation has changed since you asked the question, would you consider changing the accepted answer so that the outdated one is no longer stuck on top? – Peter Green Jan 24 '18 at 16:31
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Since January 2016 you can use your Contactless or Oyster card to travel from Gatwick to London on both normal rail services, and the Gatwick Express.

The prices for single fares on normal services can be found in the Single Fare Finder, and based on it a trip from Gatwick to East Croydon costs £5.20 peak / £3.00 off peak, to London Bridge (or other southern rail terminal like Victoria) it would cost £14.20/£8.10 and across the city (Rail + Underground including travelling in Zone 1) £16.50/£10.30.

Note that based on these prices it's apparently cheaper to go from Gatwick only until East Croydon for £5.20 peak, exit the station, and re-enter to continue until Victoria or London Bridge for £5.10, as that would only cost £10.30 in total (compared to £14.20 for the trip without splitting the journey in Croydon)

Caps also apply, the daily cap is £31.00 peak and £19.30 off peak for any London zone. Apparently there is also a weekly contactless only cap of £102.20, which is actually a few pounds cheaper than a weekly rail season ticket would cost between Gatwick and London zones 1-6.

Prices on the Gatwick Express however are different, they cost £19.80 at any time, and don't count towards any of the daily and weekly caps.

Note that Gatwick was already added to the TFL rail map

Since these prices are not all available to download in PDF form, and you have to use the single fare finder, I made a small table that shows some of the possible combinations of stations to/from Gatwick Airport.

Destination                           Peak price      Off-peak price
Horley                                £1.70           £1.30
Salfords                              £2.60           £1.80
Earlswood                             £3.50           £1.90
Redhill                               £3.70           £2.00
Mertsham                              £4.20           £2.30
Zone 5,6 (including East Croydon)     £5.20           £3.00
Zone 4                                £8.30           £5.90
Zone 3 - Overground stations          £9.30           £5.90
Zone 3 - Rail stations                £9.40           £7.60
Zone 2 - Brockley or New Cross Gate   £9.80           £6.60
Zone 2 - any other station            £11.60          £8.10
Zone 1 - Rail only                    £14.20          £8.10
     (including trips across London Z1-6 on Thameslink)
Zone 1 - Rail + TFL                   £16.50          £10.30
     (including trips across London Z1-6)
Zone 1 - Rail + TFL when              £14.00          £10.30
    switching at Elephant and Castle
Zone 7 - Carpenders Park              £18.20          £11.80
Zone 8 - Watford High Street          £18.90          £12.00

Note that the prices are not completely based on zones inside London, as some trips are cheaper than others, even in the same zone.

Prices up to date as of 23/05/2017 - Prices were unchanged between Gatwick and Croydon since 2016. There were £0.10-£0.50 increases on the rest of the network. They also fixed some of the weird structures where travelling further on the Overground into Zone 1 was actually cheaper than getting off at Zone 2.

  • Blackfriars main exit is on the north side of the Thames – Mark Oct 17 '14 at 22:47
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    @Mark: the railway station sits on a bridge, with exits on both the South and North sides. The Central/District line tube station is on the North side though, as is the destination of the OP. But in case of a walk the view is much better on the South side, and the route is much more straight. – SztupY Oct 17 '14 at 23:09
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    It's worth pointing out that with these sorts of journeys (assuming some further local legs) it can be worthwhile putting away the Oyster and using ye olde paper travelcard with an extension (I believe from Coulsdon South [CDS] in this case). – Tom Hawtin - tackline Oct 21 '14 at 19:36
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    I changed my accepted answer here because of the updated prices. It had more upvotes than the previous accepted answer. – Raymond Chenon Jan 25 '18 at 14:01
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[Before January 2016]: You can get an Oyster card from the airport. However, it's not available on the trains yet. You'll have to buy a ticket at the station (there are machines on your right as you walk into the train station at the airport).

If you want to go to Monument, you'll only have to change once, and you won't need to buy a new ticket. Buy a ticket at Gatwick to Monument - it'll be a Day Single ticket. Catch the train to London Bridge, and once there, go down to the tube station (you'll see signs, so many signs) and get the Northern Line northbound on platform 1 to Bank. Bank and Monument are interlinked. From there you can walk to Old Billingsgate.

However, if you prefer a scenic walk - and it probably won't take you any longer and will save you some cash, as you can see on this map, London Bridge station is pretty close. If you buy a ticket there, you can exit the station and follow the signs to London Bridge, and walk across London Bridge. As you do so, look to your right and you'll see the famous Tower Bridge as well as the Tower of London. It's a pretty great walk.

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    you read the additional questions in my head :) – Raymond Chenon Oct 17 '14 at 12:30
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    From that site I cannot seem to find where you could use the Oyster from Gatwick. They say you can use the Oyster on busses inside London, which Gatwick is not in. – SztupY Oct 17 '14 at 13:51
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    This answer is incorrect; the closest TfL bus service to Gatwick is the 405 which terminates at Redhill, 10km to the north. – ecatmur Oct 17 '14 at 16:46
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    @SztupY: Some trains that go from Gatwick to London Bridge are Thameslink, but it looks like there are also half-hourly stopping Southern services all the way from Gatwick to LB via Redhill. They are much slower, though. – Henning Makholm Oct 18 '14 at 19:42
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    Note, Oyster is supposedly supported until Gatwick since january, although information about this is very scarce – SztupY Jan 10 '16 at 10:12
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The easiest way without changing trains is to get Thameslink to London Bridge, then walk half a mile.

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    That sounds plausible but you should note that this can't be done with an Oyster card. (And another answer now explains this in more detail.) – David Richerby Oct 17 '14 at 14:57

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