Could London’s Paper Day Travelcards Soon Be Scrapped?

Bad news for those who love collecting physical mementos, gig tickets, and travel memories, because one-day trips into London may soon no longer come with a cute orange ticket to remember them by. As part of governmental funding agreements that have supported TfL in the wake of the pandemic, the transport organization is required to “develop and implement changes that will generate between £0.5-£1.0bn per year of additional revenue from 2023 (TfL)”. In pursuit of that, TfL and The Mayor are exploring the withdrawal of Day Travelcards. Ahead of making a decision, however, they’re inviting the public to weigh in with their thoughts.

If the ticketing format is withdrawn, no further Day Travelcards would be sold or accepted by TfL. The convenient orange paper tickets, so handy for those travelling in from outside of London and not wanting to risk a headache navigating the different transport options, would be no more. If, however, the Day Travelcard was phased out, TfL would still sell and accept weekly and longer-term Travelcards.

a blurry tube train, passing through
Credit: Shutterstock – photo by prochasson frederic

If the Day Travelcard is abandoned, it would also mean TfL would stop selling and accepting Group Day Travelcards, Weekend Travelcards, and London Family Travelcards.

What can you use instead of Day Travelcards?

The removal of the Day Travelcards don’t necessarily spell the end of fixed cost travel around our capital. They simply require a transition to a different payment method. Those with Oysters, or those willing to Pay As You Go, already have their fares capped at £14.90 for off-peak travel and £21.20 for anytime travel. Otherwise, travellers will have to buy individual single or return tickets.

Those who used a National Railcard to purchase discounted Day Travelcards can add their Railcard to their Oyster and still benefit from travel discounts.

Children can use a Zip card or add a Young Visitors discount to an Oyster, to enjoy reduced PAYG fares. Child rate single and return tickets would also remain available.

a london underground sign, with cars and buses visible in the background
Credit: Shutterstock – Photo by Toms Auzins

As a student I often travelled in to London from Royal Holloway – in a journey not unlike Penn Badgley’s character purportedly did in You’s fourth season. As such, I have bought many a Day Travelcard in my time. There’s now a certain amount of nostalgia attached to them. Now that I live in London, though, I haven’t bought one in years. But I know how convenient they were to me then, and likely still are to others now.

Sure, Pay-As-You-Go caps may in fact be lower than the cost of a Day Travelcard. But what of those without debit cards, or virtual payment solutions? What of those who simply want a nice orange ticket that they can hold? And what of those who want a simple upfront payment, without worrying about extra costs?

Be sure to have your say on the proposal here.