Rail industry gives itself award for failing ticketing scheme


The rail industry’s project to roll out barcode ticketing has won an industry ‘innovation’ award, despite falling short of a key Government target.

The National Barcode Acceptance Programme, led by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), won the cross-industry partnership award at the Railway Industry Innovation Awards in June.

A non-operational barcode scanner at Vauxhall, London

The RDG said that by the end of this year the programme ‘will see barcode tickets accepted on more than 70% of travelled routes in the country (outside of London)’ and that the award ‘recognised the collaboration across the industry to achieve such widespread implementation’.

However, as previously reported on Transport Network, the Department for Transport’s November 2017 Strategic Vision for Rail, set an 'aim' that by the end of 2018 ‘barcode tickets will be accepted for travel on almost all of the network’.

Transport Network has approached the RDG for clarification as to what percentage of the network is expected to accept barcode tickets, if London is included.

Duncan Henry, the RDG’s head of ticketing, said: ‘We are honoured to receive this innovation award for a programme which is playing a key role in our strategic plan, delivering part of our commitment to customer satisfaction by upgrading technology, and allowing more passengers to use digital tickets on their mobile devices.’

The RDG said that under the programme, in addition to the 759 barriers that already accept barcode tickets, more than 800 are being upgraded. In addition, over 3,100 handheld scanning devices are being introduced.

It added that some stations, where more than half of customers are expected to use a barcode ticket, will have every gate upgraded. ‘For example, all 173 barriers at Waterloo station are being upgraded.’

A spokesperson for South Western Railway, which runs services from Waterloo, told Transport Network that it was 'looking forward to introducing barcode tickets for passengers by the end of this year', adding: 'Our guards already have the technology to read barcode tickets, as we already accept Great Western Railway barcode tickets that are valid on our network.'

As an example of how the project has improved passengers’ experience with barcode tickets, the RDG, said it had developed an audible alert to ensure that passengers know that their ticket has been scanned, ‘thus reducing confusion when using the barriers’.

Although barcode tickets will not facilitate genuinely ‘smart’ ticketing, such as the fare capping provided by smartcard systems like Transport for London’s Oyster, Mr Henry made it clear that one of the main benefits of the drive to bring in ‘smarter’ non-paper ticket formats is that it will allow the industry to track passengers’ movements.

He said: ‘Smarter ticketing such as Barcode is part of the foundation of understanding our customers and being able to provide them with simpler, faster ticketing choices, better travel products and more valued services including more useful information.’

The RDG also said that while barcode tickets have been in use on the rail network since 2008, different train operating companies developed different products and there was limited interoperability between them.

However, in 2008 smart ticketing provider Masabi said that working in conjunction with the Rail Settlement Plan (now part of the RDG), it had developed a new standard for secure barcode rail ticketing that ‘allows all mobile ticketing schemes to use a common secure barcode system, and also to be able to start accepting a single mobile ticket on a journey involving multiple rail operators’.


Also see

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Highways Maintenance Manager

Plymouth City Council
£37,107 to £41,846
We are looking for a dynamic Highways Manager to lead and co-ordinate all our maintenance activities Plymouth, Devon
Recuriter: Plymouth City Council

Head of Customs

St Helena
£55k pa, taxable in St Helena; a tax free International Supplement will also apply
Could you lead the HMCE team to efficiently implement the Customs & Excise Ordinance in border protection Saint Helena (SH)
Recuriter: St Helena

Neighbourhood Services Operations Manager

East Lindsey District Council
£30,756 - £35,229 per annum (Grade 7)
This is an exciting opportunity to oversee the delivery of the cleansing and grounds maintenance function in one of the largest Districts of the UK Manby, Louth
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council

Assistant Highways Officer (North & South Kesteven)

Lincolnshire County Council
£19,819 - £22,401
Lincolnshire County Council is looking to recruit an Assistant Highways Officer to support the Local Highways Management Team Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Chief Executive

Sutton London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
We believe that such important agendas require exemplary leadership. Sutton, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Sutton London Borough Council

Project Engineers

North Yorkshire County Council
£24,313 to £34,788, dependent upon experience.
We are looking for Project Engineers to join our Highways and Transportation service based across North Yorkshire. North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Improvement/Maintenance Managers

North Yorkshire County Council
£46,503, subject to pay award agreement
Are you an experienced professional looking for a management opportunity? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Engineering opportunities

North Yorkshire County Council
Ranging from £24,313 up to £34,788
Are you a qualified engineer starting out on your career? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Heritage Environment Officer

East Lindsey District Council
£30,756 - £35,229 per annum (Grade 7)
This is an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and motivated Heritage Environment Officer to join the Council Manby, Louth
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council

Senior Project Engineer (Highways Laboratory Services Manager)

Derbyshire County Council
Grade 13 £39,867 - £43,282 per annum
Derbyshire County Council are looking for an enthusiastic, enterprising and experienced laboratory Manager Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Head of Policy

National Parks England
£36,153 - £39,961 pa, pro rata (£28.9k for 28 hours per week)
Help us ensure that England’s National Parks remain a national treasure. London (Central), London (Greater)
Recuriter: National Parks England

Urban Traffic Control Engineer

Transport for Greater Manchester
£26,240.00 - £37,369.00 Per Annum
Have you ever thought about who runs the traffic signals in Greater Manchester? Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Transport for Greater Manchester

Environmental Health Officer/Graduate Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£32,473 - £41,657
Make it work for you. Make it your Camden.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Process Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£28,910 - £33,531
Make it work for you. Make it your Camden.  Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Parking Asset Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£28,910 - £33,531
We are seeking an Asset Officer who will be responsible for ensuring all on-street parking Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Waste Services Loader

East Lindsey District Council
£16,880 - 17,681 per annum (Grade 2)
An exciting opportunity has become available to join the Council's Waste Services department in the role of a Waste Loader Louth, Lincolnshire
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council

Food Safety Environmental Health Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£35,913 - £41,657
As an Environmental Health Officer within Environmental Health, Business and Consumer Services your focus will be food safety issues. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Deputy Head of Service – Street Services

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£52,494 - £55,569
An exciting opportunity has arisen for a Deputy Head of Service Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich


Melton Borough Council
Salary £23,866 to £33,136 per annum
We are looking for an ambitious and proactive person enthusiastic about regeneration, town centre and development projects Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire,
Recuriter: Melton Borough Council

Environmental Crime Officer

East Lindsey District Council
£19,446 - £22,401 per annum (Grade 4)
We are looking for 2 people to join our Enforcement Team to perform a new innovative role at an exciting time within the department. Manby, Louth
Recuriter: East Lindsey District Council