News: Smart card for travellers to be introduced across UK by the end of 2018
Passengers travelling by railway will be able to use a pay-as-you-go smart card to take them anywhere in the United Kingdom.
The transport secretary, Chris Grayling, says that he wants all train companies to make available these Oyster-card style cards to commuters by the end of 2018.
Under the plans, Network Rail will be stripped of sole control of the UK’s network.
The news came as commuters were set to be subjected to more rail misery with strikes, described as “politically motivated” by the Government, due to start today on the Southern Railway line between London and the English Channel.
The transport secretary said that, smart ticketing is required, and particularly pay as you go smart cards on commuter routes all around the country.
He added that, the new smart cards will come in alongside changes to the compensation process which will see travellers paid out after a train is delayed for as little as 15 minutes.
A new company called ‘East West Rail’ will build a new rail route and run trains between Oxford and Cambridge, without any input from Network Rail.
The Government hopes this will incentive train companies to get repairs done quicker and possibly herald cheaper fares for hard-pressed travellers.