Tuesday 3 October 2023

Very Handy Andy : Fine And Dandy (2)

Disintegrated Integration

Manchester Mega-Mayor Andy Burnham has made much of his desire to have an integrated transport system like that in London. But, as we shall see, London's "system" is very far from integrated.

Yesterday, we saw that National Rail was offering a fare of £6.70 for one stop on the Elizabeth Line line between Paddington and Bond Street (it has, fbb understands, stopped being called Burberry Street!). But this is the stalwart work of the National Rail web site.

Perhaps Transport for London will have a better offer. It certainly has a more complicated set of search results which give all sorts of baffling options if you are foolish enough to ask the wrong question.

There are certainly plenty of Paddingons to consider!
The obvious is a good start, however. Thanks to TfL's misplaced enthusiasm for covering every possible option in one over-complex journey planner, you can go by bike ot walk.
The bike is an integrated failure covering 0 kilometres in 0 minutes! Well done TfL.

But, unlike National Rail, TfL does not show fares on its journey planner - you just have to know by some magic of metal telepathy.

So you might choose the bus-only option.
You might also wonder why anyone would want a two-bus journey at double the fare (?) when one bus will get you there!
Before fbb explores his second set of integrated transport questions in London, illustrating how well integrated the system is in the Capital. he would like to work out where Bond Street station is and how you get there from Selfridges.
It's a massive slab pf a department store on Oxford Street. Bond Street station is just a bit further east but not too hard to find. Selfridge's is the block between Duke Street and Orchard Street.
In case you wondered, there is no Bond Street at Bond Street underground station. New Bond Street is a  block further east.

So, back to fbb's second set of questions based on a possible integrated journey from London Bridge Station to Kings Cross and/or St Pancras (International stations?).

Here is the TfL plus National Rail map.
There is the Underground Northern Line (BLACK) and Thameslink (DASHED CHERRY RED).

Thameslink is a National Rail service only recently allowed on to the standard Underground map itself.

Again, National Rail gives the fares.
And there is our old friend £6.70 via the Northern Line.

Of course we would expect the fare on Thameslink to be the same, not only the same as on the Northern Line, but also the same (£6.70, remember) as charged on the Elizabeth Line line.

But ...
... the Thameslink line fare is only £3.70. And yes, it is the same journey which costs £6.70 on the Northern Line, delightfully integrated.

But beware. Click on the "Fare info" link ...
... don't you DARE try to use your £3.70 Thameslink ticket on the Underground.

Integration? What integration?

What The National Rail Site Doesn't Tell ...
... is that no normal London citizen would ever pay £6.70 for an Underground ride. So why is that fare shown on the Journey Planner? It must be the integration at work.

Tomorrow, fbb will fill in the bus information between London Bridge and Kings Cross, or at least try to; and we will then have full details of the integrated system in London so prized by Manchester's Mayor Burnham.

How we all look forward to your London-style system in Manchester, Andy!!

Harvest Hymn - For Real.
There are some slight differences in words in the third verse compared with the quiz.

They don't write powerful simple hymns like this any more!

 Next Andy's Integrated blog : Wednesday 4th October 


  1. "You might also wonder why anyone would want a two-bus journey at double the fare (?) when one bus will get you there!"

    FBB has forgotten the Hopper Fare. As the TfL website will tell you - "Pay as you go at adult rate on buses and trams and our Hopper fare gives you unlimited journeys for £1.75, made within one hour of touching in."

    1. Also, the £6.70 fare is only if you are paying cash at an Underground Station. By paying contactless (Oyster or credit card) it would be £2.80 in peak hours and £2.70 off-peak. Sadly the TfL Journey Planner doesn't always explain things as well as it could. If you know the answer it helps in asking the right question.

  2. Andrew Kleissner3 October 2023 at 08:19

    Yes, it's like a modern version of the old "transfer" ticket. And common on the Continent, I believe - it worked well with systems that required you to validate your ticket in a machine when boarding, thus giving the "start time". BTW Ipswich Buses still do transfer tickets (as distinct for All-day ones) - I wonder if any other company does?