Rail Minister, Andrew Jones, has launched a consultation about the possibility of rolling out pay-as-you-go services to more rail station, as part of the smart ticketing alternatives.
It is part of the government’s ambitions to make smart ticketing the rule, rather than the exception for passengers making journeys on Britain’s railways.
A 12-week consultation will gain the views of passengers, businesses and all other interested stakeholders on the potential of wider use of pay-as-you-go services on the railways, which would involve swiping in and out at the ticket barrier with either a bank card or smart card.
These have already proven to be popular alternatives to the existing paper tickets, but the government want to roll pay-as-you-go services out to even more stations in the UK and are seeking public opinion regarding the best way to do this.
Responses will inform the roll out of technology in the South East, as well as how to implement pay-as-you-go services across urban or commuter areas.
The government’s ambition is to roll out these services so that more regional and urban commuter areas benefit from the system that exists in London.
If the consultation provides the direction required, this could happen as soon as 2020.
Smart ticketing is an important policy of the government and beyond; Transport for the North (TfN) has made it a priority in its multi-billion pound Strategic Transport Plan, and contactless bus payments are being accelerated in Scotland.
Andrew Jones commented on the consultation: “We want to make rail journeys simpler and easier for passengers.
“Smart ticketing is the modern answer – offering simpler fares, fairer deals and less confusion for passengers.
“This consultation is about finding out what works for people, and we want to know how pay-as-you-go could make life easier for passengers who make hundreds of millions of journeys each year.”