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Negotiating Ticket Barriers On The London Underground

Author: Bob Handford

Get Through The Ticket Barriers Like A Local First Time

The short clip below demonstrates the ticket barriers on London’s Underground network. You will have to negotiate a set of ticket barriers both on entering the Underground system and when you exit.
Very similar barriers are also in place at London’s railway stations.

If you have an Oyster Card just swipe your card over the yellow pad on top of the ticket barrier.
If you have a Travelcard on a card or have bought a single ticket then insert it into the barrier (and don’t forget to pick it up again, you’ll need it to get out at the end of your journey!)

There is also a display on top of the machine. For Oyster cards this will show at the end of your journey how much your Oyster has been charged.

Children under 11 travel free on the London Underground and are not issued with tickets.
For such children you will need to go through a manned gate, not one of the automatic barriers.

If you have a wheelchair, pushchair or have big luggage then there is a special wide gate, (see end of video clip below)

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  • Jame Ballantyne

    Hi I was thinking of visiting the v and a museum with my wife daughter and two granddaughters during half term . To avoid the congestion charge our plan was to drive form Ashford in Kent to Mottingham and take the train from there to Charing cross. taking the tube onward to south Ken. but having seen the complex rail and tube fares I have decide not to bother. For the first 21 years of my life I lived and worked in London later commuting in form Kent. What was wrong with the old systems. You bought a ticket at your home station, got to London bought a ticket on the tube no silly cards no zones. it worked what was a matter with it????? it was simple it worked.

  • Cal Rietzel

    We are planning to use the tube/Cruise train to go from London to Harwich on a Monday morning in June, 2014, to catch a cruise. We are staying at a hotel close to the Earl’s court station.
    We understand that we need to go to the Liverpool Street Station to access the Cruise train to Harwich.
    Which route (tube line and specific station) would be best to use between Earl’s court Station and Liverpool Street Station so that the least amount of stairs, and use of lifts when present , would be encountered.
    It does appear that the Liverpool Station will require us to use stairs. How many stairs are there to climb?
    From the tube map I have, it appears that by taking the District Line from Earl’s Court Station to either
    the Blackfriars Station;
    Tower Hill station;
    or Monument Station
    and at one of those transferring to the Circle line to Liverpool Station
    are the options available. Is that a good assumption ?
    Thank you for your comments

    • Bob

      I know Earls Court Underground well but not Liverpool Street
      There is a lift down to the Earls Court District Line platform.
      The obvious route is as you describe changing at Tower Hill where the changeover is from the same platform.
      I have only used Liverpool Street Station a few times and not for aperiod. From memory I think you have to cross over the line at Liverpool Street bridging the line using steps up about 18 feet and down the other side and then a few other steps.
      But things may have changed.

      • Cal Rietzel

        Thanks for your reply-
        I just received a ‘wheelchair’ guide to the tube. On that it doesn’t show the tower hill station as an option. leaving only the Westminster or blackfriars stations ; of those two, which might be better,or are either on the same platform?

        • Bob

          I think I’ve lost the plot here a little.
          I’m assuming we’re talking about the best station to interchange from District to Circle Line.
          In this respect it doesn’t matter where you interchange between Gloucester Road and Tower Hill as both trains leave from the same platform.
          I would have thought crowding will be the biggest problem with a wheelchair and/or the gap between the train and the platform on some stations.

          The level of detail you are looking at means that you are probably best phoning the LU Customer Service Centre on +44 (0)845 330 9880 that specialise in this kind of planning

  • Sibylle Moss

    Hi Bob
    My son (age 7) and I will be travelling to London in October. We will be going from Euston to Watford station. Presumably I can use my Oyster Card for this and he can come along on the ride for free?

    Thanks! Brilliant side, by the way. Love it.

    • Bob

      Euston to Watford Junction is free on the Overground services for under 11’s

  • Ken

    We arrive at Heathrow Terminal 3 about noon on 10 Sep. Rented flat is on Castletown Road close to West Kensington tube. I understand that many tube stations like West Kensington have steps. We are determined to take the tube but have luggage (we are in our 60’s and can’t haul heavy luggage up stairs). My plan is to stay on Piccadilly line to Earls Court tube station (which appears to have access without stairs) then hail a Black Cab for short ride to Castletown (or even walk the 1.2km). Does this sound like a good plan?

    • Bob

      The black cab from Earls Court sounds the best idea. At Earls Court make for the Exhibition Hall end of the station for the cab where the traffic is going in the right direction.

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