Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

The way forward

Posted in Customer service, Politics by Chairman Pip on 5 September 2010

What a fantastic headline on today’s Sunday Express. “Cheap Fares Revolution”. Norman Baker, the Parliamentary Under Secretary at the DfT (and perhaps the natural successor to Lord Adonis as the railway’s champion in this government), announced plans for the implementation of a nationwide, integrated smartcard to allow travel on the entire National Rail network and all local public transport operators, whether bus, tram or metro. The intention is to base this on the Oystercard, which we all know has been fantastically successful – so successful in fact that it’s causing the upcoming tube strikes in London (LOL). Given that public transport operators are beginning the implementation of technology that complies with ITSO.

The aim is that you get one smartcard ticket which enables you to use it whether you are in Bristol on the bus, on the Tube in London or in Newcastle on the Metro. If you give people one card, they’ll have more of a psychological incentive and more confidence to make journeys.

So important does Mr Baker think this policy is, that he’s ordered his officials at the DfT to bring forward the planned date of this from 2020. We could potentially be talking two to three years for this to be introduced, at least for local public transport operators. That would suit me down to the ground, with my travelling between London and Nottingham; I’d get a Nottingham Oystercard equivilent if you could use it on the NET, but you can’t. If the government can get this to work, it could prove to be one of the great ideas it will have come up with, that will get cars off the road, people using public transport more, more investment and cheaper fares. There’s just one word for that.


“Cheap Fares Revolution”
“Smartcard plan for UK Public Transport”


One Response

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  1. Marie Chelle said, on 8 September 2010 at 1:37 am

    Thank you very much my friend, you are very kind in sharing this useful information with? others…. he details were such a blessing, thanks.

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