Paperless rail fares coming down the tracks


Plans for all UK rail passengers to 'tap-on, tap-off' using paperless ticketing are now firmly under way, following a series of meetings between the Government and key stakeholders.

The Department for Transport met with the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), representing Network Rail and the train operating companies, and the UK Cards Association over 2015.

Claire Perry (pictured) has 'challenged industry' over ticketing system

A date of early 2017 has been mooted for the wider roll out of the system, however Transport Network sources played down the possibility of such early implementation.

Rail minister, Claire Perry MP told Transport Network: 'I have challenged the industry to modernise and simplify the ticketing system, and contactless payments have an important role to play in this'.

The three bodies are committed to developing the infrastructure needed for all travellers to buy their journeys in advance on-line, using their home computers or mobile phones, and then store the details onto their debit or credit cards.

These will then be recognised at automated gatelines, upgraded to the same standard as those at London tube stations.

A spokesman for the UK Cards Association attributed the move to the 'great success of contactless ticketing in London'. RDG managing director of customer experience, Jacqueline Starr, said: The rail industry understands the importance of modernising train tickets'.

Some operators already have partial solutions. Virgin Trains, for example, will email tickets, which still have to be printed out and accompanied by ID; and offers an app for saving 'm-tickets', which still need to be shown to staff. But the new scheme aims to be more advanced and universal, removing, for example, the need to queue to print out tickets at stations.

Marin Abrams, from Campaign for Better Transport, said: 'The Government announced back in 2013 it would be introducing smart ticketing, but despite having spent £37m of taxpayers’ money developing the scheme, it has delivered very little.

'Now it appears to be quietly trying to drop the project and distract passengers with this paperless ticketing comment. This is not a new scheme; the Government is simply attempting to hide its failure to implement smart ticketing technology, technology which incidentally is already available in London, Scotland and much of Europe. Once again it is passengers who are set to lose out. We need urgent answers from Government and train operators on why it is taking so long and costing so much to roll out simplified and flexible smart ticketing across the whole country?'

Mr Abrams highlighted that in September 2013 the Government announced the £80m South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme to introduce smart Oyster-style ticketing across south east England and pilot a flexible, part-time season ticket on a commuter route into London.

Last month the Government admitted to having spent £37.64 million on SEFT, Mr Abrams said, 'despite no pilot having taken place and no timescale for the introduction of flexible ticketing being set, the project has now apparently been dropped'.


Also see

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Definitive Map Manager

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
This role is based within the Highways Service at Cambridgeshire County Council and provides an unusual and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
A great opportunity for someone looking to start or develop a career in Highways Engineering including the... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Head of Strategic Transport

Cheshire East Council
£64,000 - £75,000 + benefits
We’re committed to “working for a brighter future together” – and we expect you to be too! Cheshire
Recuriter: Cheshire East Council

Regeneration Manager

Mole Valley District Council
£52,895 - £57,143 FTE
This is a great career opportunity to specialise in town centre regeneration and repositioning. Dorking, Surrey
Recuriter: Mole Valley District Council

Technical Services Officer (Mechanical)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£36,876 - £38,813
This is an exciting and challenging time for Kirklees and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Road and Footway Asset Engineer

Kent County Council
£28,925 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the Road and Footway Asset Team as an Asset Engineer. Kent
Recuriter: Kent County Council

Head of Waste

Lincolnshire County Council
£65,651 - £70,725
As Head of Waste, you will be commercially focussed and forward-thinking. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director

Reading Borough Council
Up to £92k
It’s the ideal time to take the lead on our modernisation agenda, and deliver growth in the trading of our front line services. Reading, Berkshire
Recuriter: Reading Borough Council

Assistant Director – Highways

Lincolnshire County Council
£82,264 - £107,878
Come and lead the future agenda for our highways services. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council