The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, and Transport for London (TfL) have announced that Elizabeth line pay as you go fares within Zones 1-6 will be the same as the fares on existing TfL services.
All customer service and travel information on the line will be fully integrated with TfL’s other services, with daily fare capping for Oyster and contactless applying. The announcement means that journeys on the new railway from east London stations such as Whitechapel or Canary Wharf through central London to stations in the west such as Paddington, Southall or Ealing Broadway will cost the same as an equivalent Tube journey. There had remained speculation that Crossrail fares would be higher than general tube fares, and worries that this would prevent the benefits of the additional capacity being felt.
Also, from Sunday 20 May, the current Heathrow Connect service between Heathrow Terminals 2/3, Heathrow Terminal 4 and Paddington will be transferred to TfL.
While TfL zones do not apply to these Heathrow fares, for the first time, customers will be able to use pay as you go with Oyster and contactless across the route all the way from Paddington to Heathrow. Fares will also be cheaper or in line with the current standard fares charged for Heathrow Connect. Standard zonal fares will continue to apply for journeys between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington, with special single fares applying for journeys to and from Heathrow Airport.
A journey from Canary Wharf to Heathrow Airport currently costs £13.20 using the Tube and Heathrow Connect. From May, this will fall to £12.10 (peak) and £10.10 (off-peak).
A journey from Shepherds Bush to Heathrow Airport via Ealing Broadway currently costs £12.50 using the Central line and Heathrow Connect. From May, this will fall to £7.30 (peak) and £6.00 (off-peak).
As part of the integrated service, daily fare capping for Oyster and contactless and weekly fare capping for contactless will apply, with travelcards that cover Zone 6 able to be used on services to Heathrow. For daily and weekly capping, Heathrow will be designated as ‘Zone 6’, meaning that ‘pay as you go’ customers travelling to and from the Airport from within Zones 1-6 will never pay more than the daily cap of £12.50.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “The opening of the Elizabeth Line this year will transform travel across London, with new state-of-the-art trains transporting millions of people more quickly around the capital.
“I’m delighted to announce today that the cost of travelling on the Elizabeth Line in Zones 1-6 will be the same price as a similar journey on the tube – fulfilling a key manifesto pledge to deliver truly world-class transport infrastructure which is also accessible and affordable for all Londoners.”
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “From May customers travelling to Heathrow Airport from Paddington will be able to enjoy the convenience of using Oyster or contactless as they do across the rest of the TfL network, guaranteeing the cheapest fare. Customers will also see staff at our stations at all times when trains are running to offer them assistance, and will benefit from our ‘turn-up-and-go’ service for anyone needing assistance. All travel information will also be fully integrated with our other transport services.”
Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of Business Group, London First, said: “The brand new Elizabeth Line will dramatically improve journeys across our capital and to London’s global hub at Heathrow, and ensuring fares are affordable is great news for Londoners and visitors alike. London’s businesses have worked hard to support, and help pay for, the Elizabeth line and we’re counting the days until it opens its doors.”
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow’s Chief Executive said: “The opening of the Elizabeth line will help make travel to the airport more accessible and sustainable for millions of passengers and colleagues. This service, along with new rail connections to the south and west and HS2 through Old Oak Common, will put Heathrow at the heart of an integrated transport network, reduce traffic around the airport, and improve local air quality.”
From May, TfL Rail services will operate two trains an hour between Paddington and Heathrow using the existing Heathrow Connect trains, an identical frequency to now. A further two trains an hour will run between Paddington and Hayes & Harlington using the new Elizabeth line trains, replacing part of the Great Western inner suburban route. Testing is underway to allow TfL to introduce the new Elizabeth line trains to the airport.