53 train stations to benefit from tap-in tap-out rollout
Passengers across the South East of England will benefit from 'Pay As You Go' technology by the end of December 2023
- £20 million of government funding marks the first phase of the government’s commitment to extend Pay As You Go to a further 200 stations in the South East
- the department is also working with Great British Railways transition team (GBRTT) to agree Pay As You Go pilots in the Greater Manchester and the West Midlands by the end of the year
- both form part of the government’s plan to make fares and ticketing simpler and more convenient for passengers
Passengers across the South East from Shepperton to Shoeburyness will benefit from simpler, more flexible and better value train travel as the next 53 stations set to introduce tap-in tap-out ticketing by the end of the year are confirmed.
Thanks to £20 million funding from the government, the 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. Today’s (4 July 2023) announcement, in partnership with Transport for London (TfL), 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.
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 across the network. In just the last few months the government has been getting on with this reform, such as announcing the headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR) and extended single-leg pricing across all of LNER’s network.
By encouraging more people to use our railways through simpler and more convenient ticketing, the government is helping to not only bring our railways into the 21st Century but enable more people to travel for work and pleasure, in turn helping to deliver on our priority to grow the economy.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman 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."
Pay As You Go is widely used across London and the surrounding area with TfL 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 department is continuing its work with the GBR 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.
Transport for Greater Manchester just last week announced further details about a pilot scheme to be agreed by the end of this year, subject to final government agreement and funding, for Manchester’s first contactless payment system on its rail network.
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at TfL 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."
Pay As You Go ticketing will be available at all of these stations by the end of December 2023 with individual openings dependent on the amount of existing technology at the stations. Further information on when each station will be introducing this will be available at each station.
Full list of stations that will have Pay As You Go technology by the end of this year:
- Ashford (Surrey)
- Bat & Ball
- Bricket Wood
- Denham Golf Club
- Dunton Green
- East Tilbury
- Gerrards Cross
- Hemel Hempstead
- High Wycombe
- How Wood
- Kempton Park
- Kings Langley
- Leighton Buzzard
- Park Street
- Seer Green & Jordans
- Shoreham (Kent)
- Southend Central
- Southend East
- St Albans Abbey
- Thorpe Bay
- Tilbury Town
- Upper Halliford
- Virginia Water
- Watford North
- West Horndon
- Windsor & Eton Riverside