53 train stations to benefit from tap-in ticketing

Simpler tap-in tap-out ticketing is set to be introduced across 53 stations in the South East by the end of the year.

Credit: Network Rail

Passengers across the South East are to 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.

Thanks to £20 million funding from the Government, use of bank cards or smart device to tap-in to travel will be made available for tens of thousands of passengers across the South East. Customers will no longer have to worry about planning ahead to get the best prices or fumbling on their phones and wallets to find the right ticket – instead they can use their bank card or smart device to just tap in on the reader knowing they will automatically be guaranteed the best price available on the day of travelling.

Pay As You Go is already available at over 350 stations across London and the South East stretching from Reading and Gatwick Airport all the way to Shenfield and Welwyn Garden City. This announcement, in partnership with Transport for London, C2C, Southeastern, South Western Railway, London Northwestern, and Chiltern, will see the total number of tap-in-tap-out stations in England jump to over 400 by the end of the year. 

“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,” Huw Merriman, Rail Minister, said. “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.”

Pay As You Go is widely used across London and the surrounding area with Transport for London data showing that more than 75% of all Tube and rail pay as you go journeys regularly made using contactless payment cards or mobile devices, compared to 25% in 2016.

Following on from this rise in popularity, the DfT is continuing its work with the Great British Railways Transition Team to extend Pay As You Go in the Midlands and the North, as part of Trailblazer devolution deals announced earlier this year with Greater Manchester and the West Midlands.

“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,” Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at Transport for London (TfL), said. “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 (DfT), 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.”

“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,” Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said. “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.”

Full list of stations which will have pay as you go technology by the end of this year:

Basildon, West Horndon, Sevenoaks, Bletchley, Benfleet, Westcliff, Shoreham (Kent), Bricket Wood, Chalkwell, Beaconsfield, Ashford (Surrey), Cheddington, East Tilbury, Denham, Datchet, Garston, Laindon, Denham Golf Club, Egham, Hemel Hempstead, Leigh-on-Sea, Gerrards Cross, Kempton Park, How Wood, Pitsea, High Wycombe, Shepperton, Kings Langley, Shoeburyness, Seer Green & Jordans, Staines, Leighton Buzzard, Southend Central, Bat & Ball, Sunbury, Park Street, Southend East, Dunton Green, Sunnymeads, St Albans Abbey, Stanford-le-Hope, Eynsford, Upper Halliford, Tring, Thorpe Bay, Otford, Virginia Water, Watford North, Tilbury Town, Windsor & Eton Riverside, Wraysbury, Apsley, and Berkhamsted.

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