please empty your brain below

The tube map has been a mess for ages, generally starting with the need to get the zones in (remember City and West End zones?), then downhill after that, the wheelchair circle being another.

Generally the bus stop M saga and the tube map show a lack of any kind of focus, just a load of compromises stuck together.
Another shade of grey to complicate matters. I thank goodness for my freedom pass! Happy New Year DG! and to all fellow posters! 🎉🎉
An overlap zone 3/4/5, stretching for ten miles, has been a feature of the Tube and Rail map for many years.

That's messy too, but south Londoners seem to have coped.
Your penultimate paragraph, re no savings from zone 2 - is that right? I have a zones 1&2 travelcard, as I live in zone 2 and work in zone 1. If I go to Stratford, currently, I get a bit of pay-as-you-go deducted from the Oyster balance on said travelcard, to cover the fact it's in zone 3. Surely that will no longer be the case, as my travelcard will cover the whole journey - so I will be making a saving? Or have I been hallucinating these little deductions?

dg writes: As my first table shows, there's a saving for holders of Z1/2 travelcards, and this applies whether they start from Z1 or Z2. No other travelcard holders benefit.
I work on the Tube and have assisted with proof reading recent versions of the Tube map. Amongst other things, the zone 2/3 debacle was commented on and various other suggestions I made also went by the wayside. I realise that things must be a certain way for a reason but as the old saying goes - "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Yes it is a mess, but an inevitable consequence of squeezing in overground, tram, dlr etc. At the end of the day (line?!), as a travelling city dweller who is for an integrated London Transport system, and armed with optical assistance, I accept the little devil.
Happy new year to you, dg, and to all your readers!
As timbo mentioned the combined tube and rail map has been used by south Londoners OK.
I always use the combined map and hope that the tube map will one day included the rail services as well. Many visitors to the capital get a tube map and do not know about the other services also available.
As tfl take over some of the network rail services and add them to the tube map, for me that is fine. Put all the rail services on the map.
Regarding the Tramlink zone: far from a combined zone 3/4/5 it is itself a different 'zone' insofar as a flat fare is charged on it, whereas this weird hybrid operates as part of the usual numbered zonal system.
The tram zone is similar to the red Emirates Air Line zone, which by the way DG I am disappointed to see you have made no mention of its disappearance!
what a mess. why didn't they just extend the existing zone 2 grey up to the new boundary? (ie up to the 3 stratford stations, abbey road, west ham). why create "2/3"???
Extending zone 2 might sound like a good idea, but would have meant increased fares for anyone travelling from Outer London. A zone 2/3 overlap has the benefit of being advantageous in both directions.
I'll second Alfie. I knew there was something different, and now it's so obvious! I'll look forward to these new Zone 3 fares on the cable car!
Perhaps there will be an opportunity to regularise this peculiar zone when fares are raised next, shifting Stratford to a proper Zone 2/3 border station and bringing those further towards the centre of London fully into Zone 2.

dg writes: No, for reasons I outlined above.
i fail to see how a "zone 2/3 overlap" is any better than the "old" system of having a tube station on the boundary of two zones (eg bounds green)


dg wrote: "The four original boundary stations have thereby been joined by seven additions, and what used to be an overlap line has had to be extended to an overlap region."

i don't think i'm ever going to understand this.
Oh, well, happy new year anyway!
Between Surrey Quays and Queens Road Peckham there are three(!) curves now. Moving Surrey Quays a bit north could've fixed that easily.
I blame East India, Bromley-by-Bow and Pudding Mill Lane. If these had been moved to Zone 2 proper, presumably the map could look much simpler?

I wonder if there are many journeys from outer London to these stations. Even if it were necessary to keep them in 2/3, I think a dagger would have sufficed.
"Yes it is a mess, but an inevitable consequence of squeezing in overground, tram, dlr etc."

No trams on the Tube map, as they don't go north of the river so are not relevant to Transport for Middlesex.
I'm with Mighty Mouse, the main people who benefit are those who hold a Z1-2 travelcard. I live on the aisle of Dogs and I've always even annoyed that it is cheaper for me to cross London and shop at Westfield in Shepherds Bush than it is to go up to Westfield at Stratford. Even with the Gold Card discount it wasn't nice to pay £1.20 each way. I am now a lot more likely to take a trip up to Stratford instead of going into the West End.
Shouldn't it be £6.50 for the daily cap in the "By tube from zone 2..." table? Otherwise you'd be penalised for *not* going into Zone 1!

dg writes: Ah yes, that's the one fare difference, thanks. I've amended the post in response.
The one positive is that the "unwritten rules" are unwritten no longer.
I'm being selfish, but it makes living in (Zone 3) Maryland just a little bit more annoying. The station's less than 10 min walk away from Stratford and about two mins by TfL Rail. I'll face a (small) dilemma every day commuting into Zone 1.

Are there any other stations so close to a boundary?
Still don't get why it would not be possible to extend Zone 2 at some point in the future (particularly if the change is timed to take place at a point when fares are rising anyway; just some people will have larger fare increases than others).
The most annoying fact so far other than the new zone is that on the paper map, the fold of the segments goes exactly through the East London Line section of the Overground. Once the map has been used more than once if it weren't for station names you wouldn't be able to tell a line was there. Expect a few more confused tourists out East!
"Are there any other stations so close to a boundary? "
The position of the boundary is undefined between stations, so "closeness" to a zone boundary is not a meaningful concept. However, there are plenty of stations separated by less than ten minutes walk/two minutes by rail which are in different zones, such as: Euston/Mornington Crescent,
Earls Court/West Brompton,
Chiswick Park/Turnham Green
Balham/Clapham South
We've had overlapping zones on maps before - when Ken L led the GLC and introduced Travelcard in the 80s, what is now 'Zone 1' (roughly) was divided into 'City' and 'West End', with massive overlaps. This also appeared on the (rather attractive) tickets.

While the diagonals were hard on the eyes at first, they clearly showed which stations were in both parts of 'zone 1', and bus maps (I think - no longer have any of that period) had a similar delineation.

Even so, the 'LT' clean clear design heritage, already b*gg***d up by the ungainly 'NBfL' has taken another pounding. "Well, design is expensive, you see," I can imagine the response, "and we have to save rather a lot of money..."
To be pedantic (is that still allowed...) the City and West End Zones, and their overlap, predated the Travelcard - they came in with the "Fares Fare" scheme in 1981, which was the one that was subsequently declared to be illegal. When the Travelcard was introduced in 1983, a full system of zones covering almost all of the Underground (most of those bits outside of Greater London then being excluded) was introduced for the first time, with a new Zone 1 (or Central Zone) replacing the City and West End zones that had been introduced two years earlier.

I can't remember how zones worked for buses, but there were always fewer, compared with those for the tube. (ie. zones 3a, 3b, 3c on the tube - now equivalent to the current zones 3, 4, 5 and 6, 3c having been split into two later on - were all included in one "outer zone" for buses, while zone 2 was an "inner zone".

What has been lost is how attractive the graphic design of the earlier, hand-stamped travelcards were, with a range of spirograph-type designs in the colours of the zones included.
More interesting is that the East London Overground has been reworked (to show W Croydon as a straight line) and a symbol has been added for Victoria Coach Station...
To be pedantic about your pedantic comment, Dominic, the scheme that pre-dated the Travelcard was called "Fares FAIR".
For those who would like a nostalgia trip to the era of low fares, cheap bus fares on Sundays and overlapping zones in the Central area then (shameless plug) have a look at my scans of the Fares Fair leaflet. Explains how bus zones worked back then plus the West End and City tube zones.
The key point about stations in two zones is that the system gives you a price as if the station were in whichever zone gives the cheapest price. So a zone 4 to zone 2/3 is charged as if it were zone 4 to zone 3, whereas a zone 1 to zone 2/3 is charged as if it were zone 1 to zone 2. This sounds fairly obvious when spelt out, but I suspect some people (not here) do not understand it.

In my view, the tube map is already a mess, and anything which makes it messier is welcome, as bringing forward the day when it gets a wholesale redesign.
And meanwhile, across the Channel, the Ile-de-France region (Paris and the surrounding region), they've recently done away with zones completely. All. One. Zone. :-) Much more straightforward
i think they should ditch the whole notion of zones and charge people according to the distance travelled.
@ James - actually they haven't done away with zones in Ile de France. They simply changed the price so you got all zones for the former price of two. Some outer zone ticket combinations (typically 2 zones) remain valid and are cheaper than those including the central zones.
I wouldn't be entirely surprised to see an improved version of the London Rail and Tube map emerge before too long; one might imagine that the method used on this map for the Z2/3 boundary hasn't exactly met with universal approval within the industry and wasn't the only idea put forward.

On the subject of the increasingly misleading Tube map, I wonder if the time has come for the main free handout to be a map covering all rail services in (roughly) Zones 1 and 2, with arrows pointing out to the various airports, Wembley and Wimbledon. That would deal with the vast majority of visitors to London, and probably even most outer Londoners, who know how to get around their local area but just need a map when they go up to central London.

(oh, and a Happy New Year to one and all, but particularly Paul, Dom and Rob, and DG of course...or will that get snipped as a 4c?)
The subtle distinction between Zone 2 and Zones 2/3 is even harder to see on the online version: the variation with viewing angle across an LCD screen is often greater.

The new map doesn't show sufficient attention to detail. According to the 'Explanation of zones' there aren't any stations in Z2+Z3, Z4+Z5 or Z5+Z6. It's also incorrect to state that Service Charges may apply to the 0343 number.
This is a neat take on the tube map - a version that combines the rail lines with tube lines done by some French bloke
Seems to me the 2/3 zone could more easily encircle zone 2 as a full concentric ring. That would eliminate a lot of the 'special case' workings. There are border stations all around.
Here's how to not have any zones in London...
I am sure this has been done to death, but I feel like the issue could have been solved by the edge of Zone 2 following the DLR from Stratford Int'l down, and a dagger for Pudding Mill Lane and East India ('These stations are in Zones 2 and 3'). Oh well.
I agree that having one map for zones 1 & 2, and another for all the other zones is the way to go. Come to think of it, do they need so many zones anyway?
@dave & @Andrew

As someone who lives in Forest Gate, just too far out to walk to Stratford all the time * I would be one of many spitting fury were some or all of the seven stations completely moved to Zone 2. The political hostility would be strong because the London Borough of Newham would now be divided with extra costs for internal journeys for everything from different UEL campuses to Newham Council buildings. Currently the whole of Newham is in zone 3 and the Jubilee Line/DLR are critical to get between the north, centre and south of the borough by rail. Putting parts of it completely into zone 2 would mean extra fare increases for many here for absolutely no increase in service.

I fear that long term this boundary zone is not going to last and in possibly seven to ten years time there'll be pressure to cut it back to single stations with a massive battle over which side gets the Jubilee line.

(* Maryland station is now an anomaly as it serves the north eastern part of Stratford but has different zone arrangements. There are times when crowd control at Stratford regional can be helped by encouraging local residents to use Maryland but now that's going to be more expensive for them. Perhaps the station would have been included if it were instead called "Stratford New Town".)

@Madison Another case locally is Royal Victoria whose residents can now either walk to Canning Town or pay extra on the local DLR. The poor service on the Beckton branch may be an additional factor. Some residents to the west of Plaistow may be able to save at West Ham (or Abbey Road if they're DLRing).

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