If you live in an area with contactless payments, you’ll know they’re something of a godsend. ‘Smart ticketing’, as its sometimes called, isn’t just convenient and hassle-free: it also saves you money. Because daily and weekly travel caps are automatically applied to contactless transactions, regular travellers end up saving quite a bit of cash.
At the moment, however, ‘smart ticketing’ hasn’t been rolled out widely throughout the country. But that’s about to change. The government has announced that contactless train tickets will soon be available for a huge number of trains throughout south-east England.
Transport for London has been given £68.7 million by the government to fund the extension of the ticket-free network, with more than 230 stations set for an upgrade. Fifty-two of those will be upgraded by the end of the year, and the system will first be rolled out mostly on Chiltern, C2C and London Northwestern railway lines, according to the Evening Standard. These could include places like Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Tring, as well as the likes of Southend, Aylesbury and High Wycombe.
Contactless ticket payments, for those not in the know, enable people to pay for their journey without buying a ticket at a machine or online. Instead, travellers can simply use their bank cards and smartphones to tap in at the beginning and tap out at the end of their journeys.
Which is all pretty good news, right? The deadline for all 230 stations getting the contactless upgrade is March 2025. And now for the rest of the country...
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