Passengers across the South East from Shepperton to Shoeburyness will benefit from simpler, more flexible and better value train travel as 53 stations are set to introduce tap-in tap-out ticketing by the end of the year.
Among those stations are Berkhamsted, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley, Park Street, St Albans Abbey, Watford North and Apsley.
Customers will no longer have to worry about planning ahead to get the best prices or losing their paper ticket; instead they can use their bank card or smart device to tap in on the reader, knowing they will automatically be guaranteed the best price available on the day of travelling.
This follows the Transport Secretary’s commitment in his George Bradshaw address to reform and overhaul fares and ticketing across Britain’s railways, making them simpler and more flexible.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman MP said: “One of the best ways to get more people using our railways is to make journeys as simple, flexible and convenient as possible and the government’s programme for rail reform prioritises exactly that.
“By removing the stress of finding the best deal in advance or having the right ticket ready to go at the barriers, the extension of tap-in tap-out ticketing is the next step of our plan for rail reform and we’re working towards pay-as-you-go being rolled out beyond the South East through the Midlands and up to the North.”
Shashi Verma, chief technology officer at Transport for London, said: “The popularity of convenient travel via a pay-as-you-go system has seen it expand and become increasingly popular across London and the surrounding areas in recent years. We are delighted to be delivering this expansion of pay-as-you-go with contactless to a further 53 stations across the South East for the Department for Transport, helping to share our experience in smartcard ticketing with the wider rail industry. This will help those traveling by rail outside London do so more flexibly and conveniently, and support the wider UK economic recovery through easier access to rail travel.”
Jacqueline Starr, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We have long called for fares to be made easier and more flexible for our customers – our extensive fare consultation in collaboration with the independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus in 2019 overwhelmingly demonstrated the need for modernising rail fares.
“The introduction of contactless, pay-as-you-go payments is a significant step in the right direction. It eliminates the need to queue at ticket machines or pre-book paper tickets, allowing passengers to simply tap their contactless cards or devices to pay for their journey. We believe that embracing contactless technology will enhance the overall passenger experience and contribute to a more seamless journey on our network.”