please empty your brain below

That's a very thoughtful gesture by TfL - almost like it's run by normal people or something.
Peak and off-peak fares being what they are, I tend to ignore it. There are days when I can miss the morning peak or the evening peak, but it's never both and 1 peak + 1 off-peak still hits the daily cap on my commute.
I thought you had an annual travelcard
I regularly touch in at 6.34am and have always received the off peak fare. I'd always wondered why so thank you!
Off-peak start times vary at National Rail stations. At East Croydon it is 0925. At my local station it is 0927.
With TfL having to scrimp and save every penny right now, I wouldn't be at all surprised if these grace periods disappear.
There’s no grace period on the Cycle Hire though, your first free 30 minutes really is exactly 30 mins, to the second.
I suspect it is less to do with the people at TfL being "nice" as such, and more about them not wanting to have to deal with all the customer contacts afterwards complaining...
I don't know about the times programmed into the barriers at my (non London) local station, but the ticket machine won't sell off peak tickets before 0930, or Network card tickets before 1000, which is a bit of a problem when trying to catch the trains that leave at 0931 and 1001.
Meh. Just yesterday, this info could have made my rush through overcrowded tube tunnels that little bit less frantic.
From what I can tell, the evening peak period only applies to journeys finishing outside Zone 1. If you make a journey from a Zone 2 station say to a Zone 1 station you are charged an off peak fare all day after 0930 or thereabouts.

Journeys entirely within Zone 1 are charged at the same fare all day every day.
In contrast, Southeastern's notorious TVMs will gleefully sell you a peak paper ticket at ANY off-peak time. Let's hope they go the same way as the unlamented Connex when the new franchise is awarded.
On GWR at my station off peak starts at 09.30, but if a train is running late there are announcements that off peak tickets are not valid on it when it arrives after 09.30.

They go by the time it should leave rather than the actual time even though your ticket has alreadygot you through the barrier.

Do other ToCs interpret the peak and off-peak boundary like this or a particular GWR meanness?
@RayL: How did you find out about the different off-peak start times at different National Rail stations? Was it just trial and error or are the times published somewhere?
Back in the days of cardboard travelcards, there would be a small crowd waiting by the ticket machine at the local underground station. Around 09.25 we would fall silent, listening for the click from the ticket machine as it changed from peak to off peak, Ah the days of Electro mechanical.
I suspect the bank holiday and other overnight charging start/finish times are also not quite as billed. I've rolled home in that 4am to 5am time slot expecting to be charged the normal fare but evidently not
Wonder if Southeastern allows Freedom Passes at 09:27? Must try that some time, when I'm late for work -- I'm normally heading in an hour or so before that.
A grace period caters for slight glitches in either the customer's or TfL's timepieces, and probably saves a lot of annoyance and disputes.

However, it loses this value if it becomes widely known. The existence of a tolerance on road speed limits is often suspected, but never officially confirmed, for this reason. Freedom of Information is very good and important in most cases, but in this case I see it as slightly unfortunate.

The wording on the National Rail website for tickets with timing restrictions is "Not valid on trains timed to depart before..." (or after) which, on the face of it, seems to use the scheduled rather than actual departure time to determine the restriction. So sadly, GWR appear to be correct - in contrast to most bus operators, who will give the benefit to the passenger.
I suspect that buses use the actual time (rather than the scheduled time) for concessions, because that is so much easier. For bus ticket machines (or indeed bus passengers) to be fully informed about the timetable would be tricky, given the way bus timetables can be altered freely by the bus company (outside London, anyway) at any time, and buses can be switched onto different routes.
Today i will leave the office three minutes earlier
@ Malcolm

Traditionally, buses used actual time at the end of the morning peak and timetable time at the start of the evening peak, thereby ensuring that passengers were not financially disadvantaged by any late running services.
The "Not valid on trains timed to depart before..." " restriction seems to be the only practical way of managing it on the trains, as how is a ticket inspector further down the line to know whether the train was on time when the passenger boarded?
@timbo again

An inspector on the train should be aware that it has been running late.

Similarly, an inspector at a gateline should be able to look at the arrivals board or to obtain live and historic train running information because is freely available (even to the public) at sites such as Real Time Trains.
@Gerry - "should", yes. "Would" - probably not.
For National Rail, the off peak times are:
A: strict
B: based on the timetable
C: potentially unique to the ticket

There is no "off peak time" for an individual station. In some circumstances, it is even possible for several different off peak tickets between two stations, from a combination of Single, Return, Day Return and operator-specific tickets, to all have different peak time periods and restrictions.

And then you can have addtional restrictions on top of that from railcards, with either minimum fares before a particular time or just flat out no travel before 10am on a weekday (except for from certain stations on a specific list of services on the website- that's the Network Rail Card there).

There even used to be a situation where off-peak tickets bought with a 16-25 railcard were valid at all times on Virgin Trains (west coast).

Advance tickets, of course, have no peak or off peak. Or Super Off Peak.
@M 10:37 a.m
At East Croydon the morning off-peak time of 0925 is preceded by a steady build-up of people from about 0910. By 0924 and 59 seconds the whole area from the gateline to the entrances is often packed. There is sometimes a PA announcement. At 0925 the crowd surges through the gates like air escaping from a balloon.

Unlike the experience on GWR mentioned above, if, say, the 0923 Portsmouth/Bognor train is running 3 minutes late then there is nothing to prevent an agile passenger catching it.

How did I find that it was 0927 at my local station? By trying my Freedom Pass until it worked.
Reminded me that councils also sometimes give a 3 minute grace period before issuing a parking ticket when you overstay at a paid for bay, as people's time might not be the same as a parking attendant's.

Also recently Westminster introduced a minimum 10 minute purchase period when parking as they were losing £££s to bank fees when people were booking short term parking sessions. In other words, they were paying more on the bank fees than revenue they were getting in.

TfL must be paying more fees when people use their own bank cards than top-up oyster which for me only gets the money from the bank for every £20 I spend.

I digress.
Groundbreaking! The world has turned around for me.
I must have saved thousands of pounds by using the 16-25 railcard to get discounted off peak tickets for peak travel! (Sadly no longer eligible, not even for the new 26-30 railcard)

I imagine TfL like many large organisations has done a deal with the card companies to pay a percentage of the total transaction value rather than a flat fee per transaction. It's only small concerns that get stung by the "per transaction" fee that means they don't like small card payments. The card companies also probably want to encourage more card usage in general as it gives them more clout.

(have we strayed off-topic here?)

dg writes: Yeah, save it for tomorrow.
Another excellent piece of work by DG :-#) [that's a moustache]
Is there any official word on OSI during the peak period.

For example, tapping in at 15.59 at Farringdon, tapping out of the Thameslink St Pancras Gate at 16.10, then tapping into LU King's Cross St Pancras at say 16.20 before tapping out at the end of the journey. Will this be charged at off peak rate?

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