Thinking of transferring from your current way of travel to travel by train instead, but not sure what kind of ticket to get or where to get it from? At Ideas in Motion we’re all about making travel easier, cheaper and healthier for everyone which is why we’re here to help you get to grips with travelling by train in Southend-on-Sea.
There are two train lines operating in and out of Southend: the c2c line which serves Shoeburyness to Leigh on Sea and the Abellio Greater Anglia line which stops at Southend Victoria, Prittlewell and London Southend Airport.
Trains run regularly in both directions and can be as frequent as every 15 minutes.
Smartcard: Available for journeys within and beyond Southend, this single plastic card can hold up to five individual tickets at one time, from season tickets to travelcards, singles and returns. Full list can be viewed here. A smartcard is completely free to purchase-all that needs paying for are the tickets you upload onto it- just simply complete this online form.
Season Ticket: You can choose from an annual, a monthly/termly, weekly, or flexi-season ticket. All provide better value than a daily ticket, however annual is considered to be the biggest saver, offering 3 months’ worth of free travel. Forget about queuing for a year, just hop on and off! Monthly, weekly and annual season tickets are valid for specific time periods. A termly is a ticket that allows you to choose your own time period, anywhere between a month and a year; perfect for covering school term dates. Flexi-season, one of c2c’s newest additions, is best suited to part-time commuters, or those who don’t travel as frequently as others. This ticket comprises of 10 individual tickets loaded onto a smartcard and valid for use on any day up to 26 weeks after purchase. Flexi-season tickets are great if you aren’t a frequent commuter since they provide a 5% discount in comparison to buying individual return tickets. Further information on the Flexi-season ticket can be found here.
Daily Ticket: This can be bought either as a single or return, with the option of choosing an anytime day single/return, or the cheaper off-peak, which restricts you to travelling after 09:30am and before early evening (15:30pm-19-15) on weekdays. There are no restrictions on weekend travel.
Railcards: You can save up to a 1/3 on daily tickets if you’re aged between 16-25; over 60 travelling with at least 1 child aged between 5-15 years; travelling with family and friends; or disabled. The quickest and easiest way to purchase a railcard is online, which can be done by following the appropriate link above.
Travelling with children: Children under the age of 4 can travel for free on all C2C lines and children under 5 travel for free on Abellio lines. Children aged between 5-15 years are charged half the adult fare on both lines.
Oyster: If you’re travelling from Southend into London then an Oyster card is great for travelling around the capital in a cost effective way. As London’s smart ticketing system you can buy weekly and monthly travel cards, as well being able to pay as you go. Cards can be bought online from the TfL website, or at your local ticket station. Please note that an Oyster card can only be used within the Oyster area, and if used elsewhere you may incur a penalty fare.
Contactless: Your usual contactless bank card can be used to travel around the Oyster area and all Oyster zones; receiving similar benefits to the Oyster but without having to carry another card. To travel with your contactless bank card just use it to tap in and out on the yellow card reader at the start and end of each journey. Registration is not required unless you wish to view your journey and payment history or to apply for a refund in which case an account can be made here.
Both Oyster and contactless cards have a capping feature which provide free travel once the total cost of all your fares reaches a certain amount. The cap applied will depend on the type of transport you’ve used, which zones you’ve travelled in, the time each journey was touched in and all of the fares paid in a single day. From this the cheapest cap will be calculated and applied. Daily caps are calculated over a 24-hour period, covering all journeys started between 04:30 and 04:29 the next day.