Transport for London have rejected plans for re-zoning Woolwich Arsenal station from Zone 4 to Zone 3/4 when Crossrail arrives. A petition had been created to do so and local politicians had been supportive.
Most stations directly north, and an equal distance from central London, are in Zone 3. The recent rezoning of Stratford from Zone 3 to Zone 2/3 offered some hope.
It’s not entirely surprising given TfL’s finances are extremely stretched. George Osborne cut £700 million from their budget in one of his last acts as Chancellor in 2015. Subsequent chancellor Philip Hammond has done little to reverse that. The fare freeze initiated by Mayor Sadiq Khan also squeezed things further.
TfL give a cost of £5 million to rezone Woolwich Arsenal including the cost of having to compensate Southeastern. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling blocking TfL from running Southeastern suburban lines means this obstacle looks set to remain.
Still use the tube?
What this does do is give some poorer passengers little reason to switch from North Greenwich tube to Crossrail is heading to major areas of employment such as Canary Wharf, the City and West End.
Even those living in Woolwich itself may stick with the bus to North Greenwich then the Jubilee Line. By doing so they save over £600 a year on Travelcard costs if heading to central London.
That isn’t great news given a recent TfL consultation into bus service changes proposes cuts to buses heading for North Greenwich.