Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

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SouthLondonDaddy
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Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:08 am

Does anyone know if a child aged 5-10 needs to pay on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? E.g. East Croydon - Balham - Victoria, Wimbledon - Waterloo, Richmond - Waterloo, etc?


According to the TFL website ( https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-disco ... -photocard and http://content.tfl.gov.uk/free-travel-a ... ng-map.pdf ) it seems the child would need a 5-10 zip Oyster card in order to travel free on these routes (the second link is a map of the exact routes).

However, there is no mention of this on the websites of the railway operators.
South Western's website has nothing at all on this; its site lets you buy a ticket for a 5-15 child (who pays child fares but doesn't travel free), but gives no option for a 5-10. You can't even add the Zip Oyster as a special railcard.

Southern's website https://www.southernrailway.com/help-an ... qs/tickets says that children aged 5-16 pay child fares; nothing else, no mention of the zip card. Its website is the same - no option to choose a 5-10 child when buying a ticket.

Note that, according to the map on TFL's website (the 2nd link), in theory the child would need this zipcard even when travelling with an adult; there are very few routes on which a 5-10 child can travel free without this card (e.g. Clapham Junction to Watford Junction).
 
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:37 am

I forgot to mention that I tried to contact the train companies, but haven't heard back yet
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sid_seal
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby sid_seal » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:23 am

I have always worked by the assumption that they do need the Zip Oyster but never checked with the companies. That said, they tend to turn a blind eye and I have seen children travelling without and not being challenged.
The reason why you can't add the Zip Oyster when booking online is the same why you can't add your own Oyster - they have different fares from the standard tickets, and it's usually cheaper to use Oyster PAYG (or zips!).
So unless you are in a rush I would get the Zips - they are free (at least they were a few years ago) and they will save you some hassle!
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muddyboots
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby muddyboots » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:13 pm

From internet:
Children under 11 can travel free on the tube, DLR, Overground and TfL rail services when accompanied by an adult using pay as you go or with a valid ticket (up to four children can travel per adult). If children are traveling alone they'll need a 5-10 Zip Oyster Photocard in order to travel for free

So I always assumed as long as you travel in London on rail it’s OK.
I’ve never bought tickets for my kids when in London and local rail services.
When further out, yes.
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SouthLondonDaddy
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby SouthLondonDaddy » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:18 pm

@muddyboots, the point is that the Southern and Southwestern rail lines (those most likely to be used by users of this forum) are not part of TFL rail. So a 5-10 child can travel free on those lines only with a zip photocard, even if travelling with an adult. That's my understanding. And of course that's the theory - maybe this isn't really enforced.

The annoying thing is that the train operators make no mention of this - if you look up their websites you'd think a 5-10 child must always pay, but it's not true. It's also a bit annoying that some stations which are in the Oyster zone (e.g. Epsom) are not covered by the zip card. I bet lots of people travelling to/from there with kids have never realised.
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muddyboots
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby muddyboots » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:22 pm

Yes you are right, I checked this after my post. They do suggest that 5-10 need to pay, so it’s out of order not to make it clear that in zones they can travel free with a zip card.
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Goldhawk
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby Goldhawk » Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:47 am

[font]https://www.southernrailway.com/help-an ... tless-payg
 Here's the bit from the Southern website

5-10 year olds either pay or need the zip card but enforcement is patchy

It's a leftover from when trains north of the river allowed kids to travel for free but those South charged[/font]

 
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BVK
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby BVK » Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:37 am

Hi!

I was wondering this so I spoke to TFL and the train companies directly - as my parents used to sell Oyster cards when they had their Newsagents and they said my son definitely doesn’t need to pay for any London travel now he’s over 5, but he does need the Zip Oyster card and to make sure he touches in and out whenever travelling on tubes or trains whether with an adult or not, but it isn’t necessary on buses if he’s with an adult. I double checked this because the train guard at the station told me once he should have a paid child ticket but he didn’t tell me off or enforce it or anything!

So, they are good to travel for free as long as they touch in and out with a Zip Oyster on any London (up to Zone 6) buses, overground trains or tubes, this includes Southern, SWR etc. The TFL operator I spoke to questioned what the train guard was talking about and even double checked with her manager. But, just in case, she said to me at the time to put a small amount of PAYG credit on the Zip Oyster if I was worried. but she assured me that they would never deduct it even on an overground train journey as long as you stay within Zones 1-6, and she was right - he still has the same credit on his oyster which he’s had for over a year now and we use the SWR or Southern trains every day!

Hope that helps!
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Goldhawk
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby Goldhawk » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:05 am

"If your child is under 11, they can travel free:
  • On buses and trams
  • On Tube, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and some National Rail services when travelling with an adult who is using pay as you go, or has a valid ticket (excluding Group Day Travelcards). Up to four children per adult"
 [font]https://tfl.gov.uk/travel-information/v ... his-page-4

If you are with your 5-10 child they don't need to have or use a Zip apart from on the Overground Train.  If they travel alone they need to use a Zip for the tube.  They don't need it for the bus [/font]
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nycmommy
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Re: Do children 5-10 travel free on South Western and Southern Rail London routes? (5-10 zip Oyster photocards)

Postby nycmommy » Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:50 am

My daughter uses the Zip card, while they don't really enforce it (if you forget it, the staff at the rail stations are totally fine). I always found it easier to have it, plus you can use it on all other transport. It's especially good as they get a little older and can go through the gates themselves with the card, so you don't have to faff trying to get both of you and all your stuff through before the gates close. 
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