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Transport for the North launches the first phase of smart ticketing across Yorkshire

Transport for the North (TfN) is set to launch the first phase of its Smart on Rail project, rolling out the smartcard scheme across Yorkshire lines.

The initial phase of the project, a result of a partnership between Northern, TransPennine Express and TfN, will run on rail lines between Hull, Scarborough and Malton, before its later rolled out across the network.

Customer’s tickets will be upgraded from paper to smartcard, starting with passengers buying season tickets on a smartcard at a ticket office.

As part of the project, ticket offices at northern train stations have been upgraded in preparation for smartcards, and will eventually support contactless, capped payments at gate lines across the bus, tram and rail networks.

The programme director at TfN, Alastair Richards, said: “Working in collaboration with Northern and TransPennine Express has allowed us to develop and begin delivery of a Smart on Rail project across the rail network in the north.

“The launch of the smartcard project is a vital first step in the delivery of an even more ambitious, integrated smart travel system for the whole of the north.

“We hope it is well received by customers and sets the standard for future smart innovations.”

The Department for Transport funded project is the first phase of TfN’s ‘integrated and smart travel programme’ and will deliver three phases on the next few years.

TfN says this will make it “easier for passengers to make multi-mode, multi-operator, price-capped journeys across the north,” and make it simpler to plan, pay for tickets and access better value for money.

Mark Powles, commercial director of Northern, said: “This trial is an exciting development in improving our customers’ overall experience.

“Smart tickets will modernise the way our customers buy tickets, adding greater convenience and introducing significant benefits for our season ticket holders.”

TransPennine Express’s commercial director Darren Higgins said the introduction of smart ticketing was “excellent news for customers” and encouraged season ticket holders to give it a go.

The DfT announced last year it was looking to roll out an £80m programme to introduce smart ticketing across England and Wales by 2018.

Hot topics such as smart ticketing will be amongst those discussed at TransCityRail North, the northern powerhouse rail event taking place in Manchester on 3 October 2019, in association with Transport for the North.

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