Surrey or Greater London?

12 years ago...

As we all know our borough is actually in greater London, but what advantages have we gained? We are still not recognised as London. When you visit London tourists websites such as visit London, nearby places such as Richmond, twickenham and Wimbledon are included, but not Kingston or surbiton. Kingston is still one of two (I think) London borough which disent have a London underground station within our boundaries. We're probably better off being apart if Surrey again. Also our addresses still say Surrey on them? That should get changed so we have more inclusion!

Surrey or Greater London?


I must admit, I quite like the confusion and the resulting opportunity to use either!

I think you are exactly right, though. It is the lack of a tube station and any large public attraction/events that stop Kingston being included when people think of London. Richmond has got the park and Hampton Court Palace and more people seem to think of that as part of London even though some of that borough is further out of London than Kingston.

The only advantage that I can think of to being in London is public transport. Train fares to get into central London are much cheaper from Surbiton than Esher (the first station outside of zone 6).

Buses are much cheaper and better as well, because they are limited by the Oyster charges. You can get all the way from Kingston to Ealing for £1.35. If you tried to travel a similar distance from Esher to Woking on Surrey buses, you'd be into several times that amount. You'd also not get the night-buses and the 24-hour 281 service (I know night buses are horrible but they can be useful and cheap!).

Finally, black cabs back from London are possible to Surbiton as it falls within the London zonal pricing system. Once you go out of that the price rockets.

Apart from transport, there are no real advantages I can think of.

The fifty year anniversary of Kingston & Surbiton becoming part of Greater London is approaching, in 2015.

I think it's pretty dismal that not one metre of new tube / train or tram track have been created within our borough in all that time.

Given that we're on the edge of the Greater London boundary, I think that Kingston has been disadvantaged. Wimbledon has been developed as a transport hub, whilst Kingston has got nothing.

There is very little emphasis given to improving public transport infrastructure westward and southward to Kingston's natural east Surrey hinterland.

There's undoubtedly a tendency in Londonwide planning to withdraw functionality from the periphery to the core. We have lost our magistrates court, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Kingston Hospital lose key functionality to more centrally located hospitals, eg St Georges.

For 50 years, we've been seen as a cash cow, our unfairly high rates / council taxes subsidising the rest of London, getting relatively little back in return. Just look at how much each of us will be surcharged for the Olympics, Crossrail, the Lea Valley Park.

And that's before we get to Boris Johnson's love of wasteful vanity projects. He came here 4 years ago promising to redress the Outer London imbalance, but his actions haven't matched his words. Instead, he's gone on to waste our money in headline grabbing vanity projects such as
* the single £1.3 Million new bus,
* the badly run bike hire scheme that costs £9000 per bike, or
* the £60 Million cable car.
All good for his publicity, but no good for us plebs who live out in the 'burbs.

So, on balance, I think Kingston would do better withrawing from Greater London - we have never gained enough from it, and as Boris has shown, we'll always get overlooked.

As a regular commuter into central London and long-time resident of Surbiton - I would like to know when Surbiton and Kingston for that matter will be correctly re-zoned geographically back to London zone 5?

Again we peripheral Londoners of Kingston Borough are being 'taken for a ride' (no pun intended) At present, there are some 25 railway stations within Greater London (residing quite happily in zone 5) that are further away in terms of distance from their central London termini than either Surbiton or Kingston are with respect to Waterloo.

I believe our local MP Edward Davy has been on the case and has had discussions with 'Bo Jo' regarding this zonal anomaly.

Does anyone have any further information?


Surbiton is too much of a cash cow for them to do this. Moving one of the busiest London stations into zone 5 holds no benefit for SWT. I reckon they'd be more likely to move the other stations out into zone 6!

The only reason I can think that they do it is that Surbiton is right on the edge of greater London and these other stations that are in zone 5 have other, further out stations that are still within greater London. This hardly makes it fair, though!

North London has long been favoured over South London for transport. We have no Tube in Kingston or Surbiton in the south, even though it goes way up into deepest Hertfordshire in the north. They have now actually extended the zoning to give these areas zones 7-9. I bet people living in Walton & Weybridge in the south would appreciate the savings that brings.

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