Get your gold card now
One of the great things about paying for a years travel upfront in London is that as well as your travelcard being bought and paid for for the year, you can use it as a ‘Network Gold Card’ – this is like a Network Railcard but without some of the cripplingly awful conditions attached to it.
However they’re rarely mentioned on ticket machines (which is very annoying as you can’t always put it down as a Network Railcard as that has a minimum ticket value which the Gold Card doesn’t have) and they seem to have some rather bizarre and unwritten conditions.
Take Tuesday. I catch a train from East Croydon to Gatwick around 1pm. Price £3.35. Can travel any direct route from East Croydon to Gatwick. Fine.
Take Wednesday. Train from Gatwick to East Croydon around 5:30pm. Price
£3.65 – 30p more than the day before and only valid if I travel via the Thameslink service. If I wish to keep my options open and travel either by Thameslink or Southern, then I have to pay £4.55. The trains go down exactly the same track and stop at exactly the same stations.
I’m struggling to even see the logic as to why the return journey is 30p more even on Thameslink, yet alone why Southern don’t allow a cheap journey at that time. There’s no information anywhere – no attempts to explain.
Railway privatisation. What a great idea that was.