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Rail industry heralds smart-ticketing rollout to all major UK stations

Train companies are set to rollout smart tickets to thousands more passengers this month, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) has announced, meaning nine out of 10 tickets will now be available as smart tickets.

Major stations such as Waterloo, Brighton, Gatwick Airport, Edinburgh Waverley, and Glasgow Central are undergoing infrastructure improvements to allow them to offer paperless tickets.

The RDG, which represents the rail firms, said every operator in Britain now offers smart ticket options and once the installations and software updates are completed this month it expects nine in 10 tickets to be available as smart tickets.

The group said the rail industry is now working with the government to progress its proposed reforms to the fares system to allow passengers to make the most of the benefits.

The RDG has also put forward proposals which would pave the way for pay-as-you-go price caps to be introduced in its first major submission to the Williams Rail Review.

Robert Nisbet, regional director at the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Together, rail companies are going full steam ahead with smart ticketing, with passengers increasingly able to use their phones or smartcards thanks to station upgrades across the network.

“Of course, we want to go further, but realising the full benefits of new ticketing technology requires regulatory reform of the wider fares system.

“That’s why train companies are working with government to update the rules that underpin our rail fares.”

The RDG said train operators, the DfT and national and regional transport bodies such as TfN are to offer smart ticketing at almost all National Rail stations, including installing gates and ticket readers at 890 stations.

Which? managing director Alex Hayman said: “This long overdue rollout of smart ticketing across the rail network is a positive step towards making journeys simpler and improving passengers' experience.

“Last year train companies failed to resolve a quarter of a million compensation claims on time and too many people miss out on getting back the compensation they are owed for delays and cancellations.”


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