Smart ticketing is just one of the areas of focus in the Strategic Transport Plan (STP) and Investment Programme launched by Transport for the North (TfN).
The ambitious strategy outlines how “decades of underinvestment” can be rebalanced, with approximately £70 billion to be spent up to 2050, contributing towards an extra £100 billion in economic growth for the economy in the North, creating almost one million jobs in the process.
Within the STP, TfN outline how businesses will be connected, how goods will be moved, and how people can get around easier on the major road network and the railways.
One of the aims for investment is to push integrated and smart travel, which has been a long-held target of TfN.
The STP states that “the Integrated and Smart Travel programme is an ambitious, four year programme to make it easier to find out about and pay for public transport across the North, including the introduction of contactless.”
Contactless payments on transport are becoming much more popular, with areas of Scotland already rolling this out.
TfN say they will use emerging technologies to deliver modern payment methods and mobile travel information throughout the region.
Customers will therefore find public transport is easier to use, pay for, and easier to access through personalised travel information.
In turn, operators and local transport authorities will benefit from smarter use of data and customer information; confidence in revenue reimbursement; and being at the forefront of innovation.
At its heart is the drive to build a more efficient transport network, as well as a familiar travel experience throughout the North of England.
Smart ticketing will be delivered in three phases: smartcard on rail (2018-19); customer information, collaboration and innovation (2019); account-based travel (2020 onwards).
TfN’s Board will meet on 7 February to consider the plan and subject to approval, the plans will be officially launched on 11 February.