London Underground and TfL

15.10.18

Rail minister urged to back extension of Oyster and contactless payments at London airports

London’s deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has called for Jo Johnson to back the extension of contactless payments across London in preparation for the Euro 2020 football tournament.

In a letter to the rail minister, Alexander has urged ministers to back the extension of Oyster and contactless payments to Luton, Stansted and Southend airports and said an update was needed on when “these crucial extensions will be rolled out.”

She stated that thousands of football fans who will use the airports to attend Euro 2020 matches should be given “greater flexibility and convenience” instead of being unable to pay for train travel with plastic cards.

Gatwick, Heathrow and London City airports already accept card payments, and Alexander wrote that since pay-as-you-go systems were introduced at Gatwick in early 2016, it now accounts for a quarter of all trips from the airport.

Alexander said: “This has completely transformed the way that people travel by making it far quicker and easier to pay, as well as delivering much greater confidence and flexibility for travellers.

“Given the success of contactless payment at Gatwick, and right across the London transport network, both the mayor and I believe it is time for these same benefits are extended to those travelling to and from London from Luton Airport, Stansted Airport and Southend Airport.”

This is especially important ahead of London hosting a total of seven games in 2020 for the UEFA European Football Championships, including the semi-finals and final.

Alexander added that Johnson’s backing would deliver a strong message that “London is open for business in a post-Brexit Britain.”

In April, figures from TfL revealed that half of all London Tube and rail journeys were made using contactless or mobile devices.

The payment method was launched on buses in December 2012 and then across London Tube and rail services in September 2014.

Since its launch, over 1.7bn journeys have been made in London using contactless.

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Image credit - MoreISO

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