a. Geographically, it makes sense. Vauxhall (currently zone 1) is further south than Kennington, although the traditional tube map gives the impression that this is not the case.
Once you view the proportional tube map, you can immediately see that based on geography alone, there is no reason that Kennington should ever have been placed in Zone 2:
assumption that both Kennington and Oval are Zone 1 stations. Clearly, National Rail don't consider it fair to assume that either Kennington or Oval are in Zone 2. Why is that?
c. Zone 1, south of the Thames, is a much smaller zone than zone 1 north of the Thames. This is because the tube map assumes its centre around Tottenham Court Road. If the centre were instead assumed to be the river, much of the area that counts as Zone 2, south of the river, would fall into zone 1. Also, Kennington is considered central enough to make it worth including in part of it in the congestion zone. The entirety of the rest of the Congestion zone is in Zone 1.
Happily, SE11 residents, works and commuters have Cllr Caroline Pidgeon's office on their side.
Back in April 2008, when making election pledges, Caroline stated that, if elected as a GLA candidate, she would:
"also work to secure a pier at Vauxhall Cross with a river bus to take pressure off the tube and rail networks, ensuring we use river transport more. I will also continue to press TfL to rezone Kennington Tube Station so it is a boundary 1/2 station and to be more responsive to local needs."
On the Vauxhall Lib Dem blog, in February this year, she stated, "It is simply wrong that Kennington Tube Station is in Zone 2 when it is clearly central London. We will continue to make representations to the Mayor of London which will make travelling cheaper for local residents"
I can't actually imagine that the Mayor will grant these requests (especially not in these difficult economic times), but I do think it's important to note that petitions are being made on the matter.
Edit: What I love about Twitter is how quickly you can generate a response. LambethLibDems have helpfully pointed me to questions from a meeting of Southwark Council Assembly (I think) on 28th January 2009, when Cllr Pidgeon was tabled to ask as follows:
"5. QUESTION TO THE LEADER OF THE COUNCIL FROM COUNCILLOR CAROLINE
In the light of the recent increases in tube fares, can the leader reaffirm his commitment to the rezoning of Bermondsey and Kennington tube stations, which would result in significant savings for Southwark residents, and will he write to the Mayor of London urging him to consider this option?"
Edit: Additionally, on 28/1/2009 at a different meeting (is it just coincidental they're on the same day?), Cllr Pidgeon asked the Mayor two questions:
"In any review of the fare zone boundaries you may be contemplating, will you examine the case for moving Bermondsey and Kennington so that they become boundary zone 1/2 stations?" and "Are you planning a review of the fare zone boundaries for Greater London, and if so, when will you be able to report its results?"
Boris' responded (my highlights):
"London TravelWatch have identified a number of stations on the boundary of Greater London, including Epsom and Potters Bar which they believe could appropriately be included in the zonal area...
...In addition, the recent meeting between Kulveer Ranger, my Director of Transport Policy with the local MP, Ed Davey, he confirmed my strong support for this proposal to rezone Kingston and Surbiton stations. I understand that Ed is now raising the issue with South West Trains who are the primary decision makers on this.
I do not anticipate a further general review of station zoning within the London area. To maintain TfL’s revenue the losers and gainers from such a review would have to balance. This approach would be deeply unpopular with the losers in the present financial climate. However, Transport for London is always willing to consider any specific proposals for local changes on their merits."
Thanks also to edwinloo for helping me track this down. Obviously, I spend a fair amount of time Googling, but I can't always locate good results, so being given the links is very useful.
I guess that answers the question though. Boris Johnson, as usual, considers only "the losers" of North London and not "the gainers" of South London. So, erm, Ken Livingstone for Mayor anybody? ;-)