Train bosses told to get ‘smart’ to reduce delays at London stations

Train operators and Network Rail were told to go the ‘smart’ route by introducing “wave and pay” technology in an attempt to cut delays and reduce overcrowding at stations across London.

 London Bridge station where delays have become commonplace because of work at the station

London Bridge station where overcrowding has become commonplace  Image by Teilo Colley/PA Wire

The plea came from Transport for London (TfL) chiefs who said the contactless system could help ticket barriers from getting “clogged up.”

It is estimated that about 300,000 commuters are now using contactless daily on London transport six months after its introduction.

TfL, in lobbying the Government to bring in more ‘smart technology’, says “wave and pay” is easier because it allows commuters to enjoy capped rates while at the same time avoiding queues to top up Oyster cards. It means they can pass through barriers much quicker than if using tickets, TfL chiefs believe.

Shashi Verma, TfL’s director of customer experience, said the longest queues at London stations occurred where people arrived from outside the capital without either Oyster or contactless passes. It is time contactless went national, she said.

The rail operators and Network Rail disclosed that they were working with both the Government and industry partners to transform how people buy their fare. A spokesman said they were committed to rolling out smart technology across the South-East which they hoped would benefit 700,000 passengers a day.

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