Latest Rail News

26.02.16

Oyster-style ticketing to be rolled out across north ‘in two to three years’

An Oyster-style ticketing model will start being rolled out across the north in the next two to three years, Transport for the North (TfN) boss David Brown said yesterday at the Northern Powerhouse Conference.

But this will only be introduced as a first phase, he said: “It won’t be all singing, all dancing. I think Transport for London took twenty-odd years to do this – we’ve got to beat them, but not quite so fast.”

Speaking earlier in the day at the conference, attended by RTM, Lord O’Neill had asked when the north would start implementing an ‘Oyster card for the north’ in order to integrate and streamline transport ticketing.

But Brown, who had already called for an easy ticketing system in the north, made it crystal clear that the region needed something different than merely an “Oyster card for the north” – because its structures are “completely different” to those of the capital.

“We’re more akin to Scotland in this,” he said. “We’re working with them and TfL to see how we can introduce a similar view of what we’re looking for.”

It is still unclear what the ideal solution is, but Brown indicated that a plastic card similar to the Oyster system in London may be too outdated a model to implement now.

“I think in a few years’ time people won’t want another piece of plastic in their card. My children have moved on from that already: they’re paying with their watch and their phone,” the TfN boss said.

“But we’re working on the most appropriate way to do that, and I think we’ll start to see some things being rolled out in the next two to three years as a first phase.”

786 David Brown

Brown was speaking as part of a six-man panel of rail leaders representing the north of England, which included Northern Rail’s managing director, Alex Hynes.

Before Brown laid out plans for integrated ticketing, Hynes slammed the “very confusing” system of fares that passengers are subjected to currently as a result of a mix between public and private models.

The Northern MD, a big spokesperson for the benefits of privatisation in the industry, said that when the rail sector was denationalised after British Rail, it was assumed it would either remain steady or decline, but the opposite happened.

“So when the railway was privatised, all these protections were put in place, which essentially froze the British Rail pricing structure,” Hynes said.

“And then the private sector came in and started to innovate, and add cheap advance purchase fares. So what you have now is a very complicated system because you’ve got a highly regulated commercial offer and it’s very confusing to customers.

“The industry needs to get much better at taking that complexity away.”

The north’s evolution towards better and more integrated ticketing is also an element of a wider national strategy to improve and streamline smart ticketing across all franchises.

Just last month, rail minister Claire Perry MP revealed that it will become mandatory for every operator bidding to run a franchise to present plans for smart ticketing tailored to customers’ specific needs.

Comments

Michael Still   26/02/2016 at 20:11

Mr Hynes is absolutely right. The ticketing system is to complicated. Whilst in Singapore four years ago a new railway line opened. I was interested in there ticketing system. The ticket office had become a service point some one manning when available. When you went to the TVM you paided two pound for a plastic card and your journey added to it. If you wanted to do other journey the card was put back in the TVM then the journey added. If you had finished with the card it would despense your two pound back. On the TVM a map would appear on the screen, you would then tap your journey on the map. Whilst at the TVM it went a bit hay wire. So I went to service point, they said go back to TVM where it was remotely fixed. New railway teething problem. In the City was an office selling annuals etc:. Discipline very strict in Singapore so you don't see problems.

Andrew G   29/02/2016 at 22:04

Sounds like its a good idea to have a Oyster-style ticketing system to be introduced on First Transpennine Express, Arriva Northern Rail and across the North of England to have Oyster-style contactless cards and PAYG (Pay As You Go) cards as Oyster cards are now being used across Greater London.

Add your comment

 

related

rail technology magazine tv

more videos >

latest rail news

‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

19/02/2019‘Time is running out’: MSP and union leaders call for government intervention into Springburn depot

Scottish Labour and union leaders have called on the government to take the Springburn depot under public control as ministers debate the depot&r... more >
South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

19/02/2019South Western Railway strikes suspended after ‘significant breakthrough’ in guard dispute

Strike action by workers on the South Western Railway (SWR) have been suspended after a “significant breakthrough” was made in the lo... more >
MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

19/02/2019MPs make joint-pledge to back rail investment in Liverpool Manchester corridor in Parliament

More than 20 MPs from Liverpool and Manchester have signed a commitment to support rail investment in the north west. The pledge, which was ... more >

editor's comment

23/01/2018Out with the old...

Despite a few disappointing policy announcements, especially for the electrification aficionados amongst us, 2017 was, like Darren Caplan writes on page 20, a year generally marked by positive news for the rail industry. We polished off the iconic Ordsall Chord (p32), hit some solid milestones on Thameslink (p40), progressed on ambitious rolling stock orders (p16), and finally started moving forward on HS2 (p14) ‒ paving the way for a New Ye... read more >

rail industry focus

View all News

interviews

TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

22/01/2019TfN Strategic Transport Plan: not just for transport's sake

Peter Molyneux, Transport for the North’s (TfN’s) strategic roads director, has been leading on the development of the seven economic... more >
Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

22/01/2019Exclusive: Midlands Connect and WMRE talk collaboration and investment in the Midlands' railway

In the jigsaw puzzle of regional transport decision-making, there must be collaboration and compromise. Midlands Connect media lead James Bovill ... more >
Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

20/12/2018Rail Ombudsman interview: RTM sits down with CEO Kevin Grix

In November, the first ever Rail Ombudsman was established in a bid to give passengers a free independent service to allow passengers to claim co... more >

last word

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

Encouraging youngsters to be safe on the railway

This summer, Arriva Group's CrossCountry and the Scout Association joined to launch a new partnership to promote rail safety among young people. ... more > more last word articles >

'the sleepers' daily blog

Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

05/02/2019Williams Rail Review: The end of saying sorry?

Keith Williams’ ongoing Rail Review presents a golden opportunity to rebuild the industry’s weakened relationship with its users and ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >

comment

TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

05/02/2019TrackWater: Embracing data in flood prevention

Mike Harding, from Lancaster University’s Data Science Institute, introduces us to TrackWater: an innovative project between Lancaster Univ... more >
High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

05/02/2019High-speed rail cannot stand in isolation

Last year, the Scottish Government announced two feasibility studies to better understand the economic and environmental implications of options ... more >
Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

05/02/2019Flying Banana reaps the fruit of its labour

Steve Quinby, Network Rail’s head of data collection, gives us the rundown on the state-of-the-art ‘Flying Banana’ train. ... more >
Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

05/02/2019Introducing the new Passenger Assist app

Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, explains how a new app developed for the rail industry wil... more >