Harrow commuters traveling to North Watford are among the many passengers set to benefit from the introduction of tap-in tap-out ticketing at 53 train stations across the South East.
The initiative, funded with £20 million from the government, marks the first phase of a commitment to extend pay-as-you-go ticketing to an additional 200 stations in the region.
With this new system, tens of thousands of passengers will have the convenience of using their bank cards or smart devices to tap in and out of their journeys. Gone are the days of worrying about pre-planning for the best fares or fumbling for the right ticket—now travelers can simply tap their bank card or smart device on the reader, knowing they will automatically be charged the best price available for their journey that day.
Pay-as-you-go ticketing has already been successfully implemented at over 350 stations across London and the South East, spanning from Reading and Gatwick Airport to Shenfield and Welwyn Garden City.
This recent announcement, in partnership with Transport for London, C2C, Southeastern, South Western Railway, London Northwestern, and Chiltern, will expand the number of tap-in tap-out stations in England to over 400 by the end of the year.
The government’s commitment to reform and overhaul fares and ticketing across the country is a significant step towards simpler and more flexible travel for passengers.
Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “We have long called for fares to be made easier and more flexible for our customers – our extensive fare consultation in collaboration with the independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus in 2019 overwhelmingly demonstrated the need for modernising rail fares.
“The introduction of contactless, Pay As You Go payments is a significant step in the right direction. It eliminates the need to queue at ticket machines or pre-book paper tickets, allowing passengers to simply tap their contactless cards or devices to pay for their journey.
“We believe that embracing contactless technology will enhance the overall passenger experience and contribute to a more seamless journey on our network.”
Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “One of the best ways to get more people using our railways is to make journeys as simple, flexible and convenient as possible and the Government’s programme for rail reform prioritises exactly that.
“By removing the stress of finding the best deal in advance or having the right ticket ready to go at the barriers, the extension of tap-in tap-out ticketing is the next step of our plan for rail reform and we’re working towards Pay As You Go being rolled out beyond the South East through the Midlands and up to the North.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at Transport for London (TfL) said: “The popularity of convenient travel via a pay as you go system has seen it expand and become increasingly popular across London and the surrounding areas in recent years.
“We are delighted to be delivering this expansion of pay as you go with contactless to a further 53 stations across the South East for the Department for Transport (DfT), helping to share our experience in smartcard ticketing with the wider rail industry.
“This will help those traveling by rail outside London do so more flexibly and conveniently, and support the wider UK economic recovery through easier access to rail travel.”
The 53 Train Stations in the South East to Introduce Tap-in Tap-out Ticketing
The following train stations in the South East will soon offer tap-in tap-out ticketing –
2. West Horndon
7. Shoreham (Kent)
8. Bricket Wood
11. Ashford (Surrey)
13. East Tilbury
18. Denham Golf Club
20. Hemel Hempstead
22. Gerrards Cross
23. Kempton Park
24. How Wood
26. High Wycombe
28. Kings Langley
30. Seer Green & Jordans
32. Leighton Buzzard
33. Southend Central
34. Bat & Ball
36. Park Street
37. Southend East
38. Dunton Green
40. St Albans Abbey
43. Upper Halliford
45. Thorpe Bay
47. Virginia Water
48. Watford North
49. Tilbury Town
50. Windsor & Eton Riverside
These stations will soon join the growing list of locations where passengers can tap in and out using their bank cards or smart devices.