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Paperless ticket announcement can’t hide Government’s failure to introduce smart ticketing, says transport group

5 January 2016

Responding to Rail Minister Claire Perry’s comments that paperless ticketing for rail passengers could be introduced by 2017, Martin Abrams, from Campaign for Better Transport, said:

“The Government announced back in 2013 it would be introducing smart ticketing, but despite having spent £37 million of taxpayers’ money developing the scheme, it has delivered very little. Now it appears to be quietly trying to drop the project and distract passengers with this paperless ticketing comment. This is not a new scheme; the Government is simply attempting to hide its failure to implement smart ticketing technology, technology which incidentally is already available in London, Scotland and much of Europe.

"Once again it is passengers who are set to lose out. We need urgent answers from Government and train operators on why it is taking so long and costing so much to roll out simplified and flexible smart ticketing across the whole country?”

In September 2013 the Government announced the £80 million South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme to introduce smart Oyster-style ticketing across south east England and pilot a flexible, part-time season ticket on a commuter route into London. Last month the Government admitted to having spent £37.64 million on SEFT, despite no pilot having taken place and no timescale for the introduction of flexible ticketing being set. The project has now apparently been dropped.


For further information please contact Alice Ridley on 020 7566 6495 / 07984 773 468 or alice.ridley@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

  1. Claire Perry MP was quoted in an interview today (5 January) with Transport Network http://www.transport-network.co.uk/Paperless-rail-fares-coming-down-the-tracks/12415
  2. On 10 December 2015 Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon confirmed the Government’s spend on SEFT in answer to written parliamentary question from Baroness Randerson. Read his full response here.
  3. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).