Possible end to paper tickets in South East?

Horizon22

Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
Joined
8 Sep 2019
Messages
4,358
Location
London
An article on the Telegraph / in the Sunday Telegraph suggest there are plans afoot to roll out contactless payments and “integrate it into London’s Oyster card regime” They also mention £2bn of savings are required, a “tough settlement” for the railway and that it may be a preemptive action to prevent opposition to the closure of ticket offices.

The DfT has launched a tender to select a company to run the rollout although I can’t yet see the link.

Source here (behind paywall) https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2021/10/17/paper-rail-tickets-shredded-across-south-east/
Ministers are preparing to scrap paper rail tickets across south-east England by rolling out contactless payments that will be integrated into London’s Oyster card regime.

Transport officials want to expand pay-as-you-go smartcards in what is understood to be a preemptive strike against trade union opposition to the closure of thousands of ticket offices.

The Department for Transport has launched a tender to select a company to run the rollout of ticketless fares at stations across the Home Counties, according to a government filing.


Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, pledged earlier this year to “simplify the current confusing mass of tickets” and bring an end to paper ticket queues.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
11,430
This has been coming for a while so it really isn't a surprise that it is now being taken forward.

Great for commuters - not so much for people who take advantage of the flexibility in the current ticketing arrangements.

The government's ticketing fetish rates its head again.
I dont think you should underestimate just how much demand there is / was for this from people who make simple out and back journeys from home to work in the London area.

On my personal basis, it will push the cost of rail travel up a lot.
 
Last edited:

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
58,028
Location
Yorkshire
This has been coming for a while so it really isn't a surprise that it is now being taken forward.

Great for commuters - not so much for people who take advantage of the flexibility in the current ticketing arrangements.
There is very little detail.

If they get rid of paper tickets and replace them with smart cards/contactless and leave people not knowing how much they will be charged, this would be unacceptable.

However replacing paper tickets with proper e-tickets, as commonly used in most of the UK (with the South East, Scotland, Merseyside, Wales etc being left behind due to the poor attitude of some operators/organisations) is not a problem providing there are some means to print these e-tickets onto paper for people who don't have any other option.

However I do not believe they will be able to completely ditch paper tickets, though it could be done like London Underground where there is a huge premium to be paid.
 

Horizon22

Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
Joined
8 Sep 2019
Messages
4,358
Location
London
There’s a lot of people I know just outside the current Oyster / contactless boundaries who would jump at this and have seen it as “a long time coming”. Many people are quite happy to have simple peak / off-peak fares (and maybe with super off-peak too). It would essentially signal the end of travel cards in this area.

What you don’t want though is a messy bunch of m-tickets or specific ITSO “Key” type approaches. It needs to be genuinely integrated.

If someone can find the tender link it might be helpful.
 

Class800

Member
Joined
5 Feb 2020
Messages
1,162
Location
West Country
Without knowing much detail yet, one question that comes to mind would be what would happen with through tickets from this area to other areas that have paper tickets?
 
Joined
5 Sep 2020
Messages
36
Location
Berkshire
The full article:
End of the line signalled for paper train tickets
By Oliver Gill

The Sunday Telegraph - Money & Business
17 Oct 2021
The Government plans to roll out system across the South East which will work with London’s Oyster cards

MINISTERS are preparing to scrap paper rail tickets across south-east England by rolling out contactless payments that will be integrated into London’s Oyster card regime.

Transport officials want to expand pay-as-you-go smartcards in what is understood to be a preemptive strike against trade union opposition to the closure of thousands of ticket offices.

The Department for Transport has launched a tender to select a company to run the rollout of ticketless fares at stations across the Home Counties, according to a Government filing.

Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary, pledged earlier this year to “simplify the current confusing mass of tickets” and bring an end to paper ticket queues.

Mr Shapps is under pressure to find large savings after handing subsidies to rail operators in excess of £10bn during the pandemic.

Industry leaders have been warned that the Department for Transport does not enjoy protected status in the eyes of the Treasury ahead of Rishi Sunak’s spending review. They were told to expect a “tough settlement” during a conference call between officials and industry leaders last week.

Some £2bn of annual savings need to be identified by the rail industry to balance the books after the pandemic accelerated a shift towards home working, dramatically cutting the number of daily commuters. Roughly a fifth of the savings will need to come from job cuts, with ticket offices expected to bear the brunt. Thousands of redundancies are planned, with only driver positions expected to be unaffected.

However, union leaders have vowed to oppose the cuts. Rail workers are in the middle of a two-year pay freeze, but bosses at the RMT believe that Nicola Sturgeon has opened the door to increases over the next year.

The SNP leader offered rail workers a 4.7pc rise last week in an attempt to break the deadlock in a dispute that risks transport chaos during next month’s Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow.

RMT chiefs are holding out for a better deal, despite the inflation-busting offer being better than that offered to doctors and nurses and at odds with a public sector pay freeze elsewhere.

A spokesman for the Government said: “Our Plan for Rail makes clear our intention to grow contactless ticketing across the network, making journeys quicker and more convenient for passengers.”

Separately, the deputy chairman of a parliamentary committee that monitors government spending has written to the head of the National Audit Office to raise concerns about inflation-busting pay increases at the nationalised rail operator.

The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that bosses at the parent of the LNER and Northern rail lines had been awarded a near 6pc pay rise last year.

Conservative MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-brown, deputy chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, wrote to Gareth Davies, comptroller and auditor general, to investigate the £1.3bn taxpayer subsidy that was handed to the state-owned operator. He said: “This wholly owned company is very little known outside railway circles … deserves a little more scrutiny.”
 

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
11,430
If they get rid of paper tickets and replace them with smart cards/contactless and leave people not knowing how much they will be charged, this would be unacceptable.
As 'Horizon22' has just posted, I think you underestimate just how much demand there is from people living just outside the Contactless area for it to be extended.

Is it the case that loads of people travelling in London don't know what they will be charged? That is what the Single Fare Finder is for.

I agree that we are being slightly speculative in the absence of detail, particularly in the light of most of the article being carping on other matters, but there have been previous discussion papers on both the extension of PAYG to a wider area from DfT and adopting a general fare structure closer to this model from RDG.

Neither you nor I may like this but I suspect they will probably get the majority of travellers on side and upset a reasonable minority, depending on their travel patterns.
 

Ianno87

Veteran Member
Joined
3 May 2015
Messages
15,216
If they get rid of paper tickets and replace them with smart cards/contactless and leave people not knowing how much they will be charged, this would be unacceptable.

I wonder how many current Oyster/Contactless users actually don't know/care/bother to work out what their fare actually is. The benefit to passengers is ease of payment, not making it cheap.

(Like how ticketless travel on DLR dropped considerably on introduction of Oyster - simply by making Fare payment easy)

Is it the case that loads of people travelling in London don't know what they will be charged? That is what the Single Fare Finder is for.

The information is there. But I suspect relatively few people bother to regularly check in the level of detail most of this forum would.
 

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
11,430

MARKET ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Expanding Pay As You Go on Rail in the South East

Department for Transport

Publication reference: 2021/S 000-019844
Publication date: 13 August 2021

F01: Prior information notice

Prior information only

Section one: Contracting authority
Section I: Contracting authority
one.1) Name and addressesI.1) Name and addresses
Department for Transport

London

Email
railpayasyougo@dft.gov.uk

Country
United Kingdom

NUTS code
UK - United Kingdom

Internet address(es)
Main address

one.3) CommunicationI.3) Communication
Additional information can be obtained from the above-mentioned address

one.4) Type of the contracting authorityI.4) Type of the contracting authority
National or federal Agency/Office

one.5) Main activityI.5) Main activity
General public services

Section two: ObjectSection II: Object
two.1) Scope of the procurementII.1) Scope of the procurement
two.1.1) TitleII.1.1) Title
MARKET ENGAGEMENT ACTIVITY - Expanding Pay As You Go on Rail in the South East

Reference number
TROP0016

two.1.2) Main CPV codeII.1.2) Main CPV code
34980000 - Transport tickets
two.1.3) Type of contractII.1.3) Type of contract
Supplies

two.1.4) Short descriptionII.1.4) Short description
The Rail Strategy and Services Group's Passenger Services Directorate within the Department for Transport ("DfT") is developing plans for the expansion of Pay As You Go (PAYG) rail ticketing in the South East of England, following publication of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

The DfT is looking to engage with suppliers to understand market capability to deliver a full contactless EMV based PAYG solution that will seamlessly integrate with the existing Transport for London (TfL) PAYG system.

The DfT will be presenting to interested suppliers on 7 September 2021 to outline the requirements and potential challenges in meeting the DfT's policy objectives. Interested suppliers can register at the Jaggaer Portal link above and will be invited to attend the presentation in-person at a central London location. If new COVID restrictions are introduced preventing in-person, the DfT will move the session to online. The deadline for registration is 5pm BST 2nd September 2021. Attendees will also be invited to complete a questionnaire after the event. Suppliers who are registered but unable to attend will be able to access the presentation materials and a summary of questions and answers after the event.

This notice is not a call for competition and responses to this market engagement event will be used to inform the DfT's decisions on market capability to deliver the project. This event is in relation to expansion of PAYG in the South East of England only. Engagement on the wider reforms to ticketing and retail outlined in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail will follow at a future date.

two.1.6) Information about lotsII.1.6) Information about lots
This contract is divided into lots: No

two.2) DescriptionII.2) Description
two.2.2) Additional CPV code(s)II.2.2) Additional CPV code(s)
30123100 - Ticket-validation machines
34980000 - Transport tickets
two.2.3) Place of performanceII.2.3) Place of performance
NUTS codes
UK - United Kingdom
two.2.4) Description of the procurementII.2.4) Description of the procurement
The Rail Strategy and Services Group's Passenger Services Directorate within the Department for Transport ("DfT") is developing plans for the expansion of Pay As You Go (PAYG) rail ticketing in the South East of England, following publication of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail.

The DfT is looking to engage with suppliers to understand market capability to deliver a full contactless EMV based PAYG solution that will seamlessly integrate with the existing Transport for London (TfL) PAYG system.

The DfT will be presenting to interested suppliers on 7 September 2021 to outline the requirements and potential challenges in meeting the DfT's policy objectives. Interested suppliers can register at the Jaggaer Portal link above and will be invited to attend the presentation in-person at a central London location. If new COVID restrictions are introduced preventing in-person, the DfT will move the session to online. The deadline for registration is 5pm BST 2nd September 2021. Attendees will also be invited to complete a questionnaire after the event. Suppliers who are registered but unable to attend will be able to access the presentation materials and a summary of questions and answers after the event.

This notice is not a call for competition and responses to this market engagement event will be used to inform the DfT's decisions on market capability to deliver the project. This event is in relation to expansion of PAYG in the South East of England only. Engagement on the wider reforms to ticketing and retail outlined in the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail will follow at a future date.

Next Steps

Suppliers who are interested in attending the Market Engagement Event are asked to express their interest via the DfT Jaggaer Portal and complete the PQQ by 2nd September 2021, 17.00. The project is titled ‘Expanding Pay As You Go on Rail in the South East.’ If you are interested in attending this event please register on the DfT Jaggaer page https://dft.app.jaggaer.com/web/login.html.

Any issues, please contact the Helpdesk - details which can also be found on the website.

two.3) Estimated date of publication of contract noticeII.3) Estimated date of publication of contract notice
16 August 2021

Section four. ProcedureSection IV. Procedure
four.1) DescriptionIV.1) Description
four.1.8) Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)IV.1.8) Information about the Government Procurement Agreement (GPA)
The procurement is covered by the Government Procurement Agreement: Yes
 

Sleepy

Established Member
Joined
15 Feb 2009
Messages
1,234
Location
East Anglia
Elephant in the room - railcards with contactless won't be easy ? Tfl would like to retire Oyster cards, don't think they'll exactly welcome an Oyster plus scheme for Network area.
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
58,028
Location
Yorkshire
As 'Horizon22' has just posted, I think you underestimate just how much demand there is from people living just outside the Contactless area for it to be extended.
I am not underestimating that.

But the idea of making ease of payment a bigger priority over knowing the cost, for journeys just outside the current PAYG area into London is a very different prospect to doing so for a journey from Dover to Milton Keynes, or Southampton to Colchester.

At present there are too many unknowns, so I will reserve judgement.
Is it the case that loads of people travelling in London don't know what they will be charged? That is what the Single Fare Finder is for.
I suspect a lot of people are not entirely sure how much they will be charged, but most fares within the London area are reasonable enough that most people don't need to worry.

In order for similar lack of worry to be applied across the South East, the fares would have to be considerably cheaper than they are today. But is that proposed? Until we see the detail, we should take a cautious approach before we accept this as good news.

I agree that we are being slightly speculative in the absence of detail, particularly in the light of most of the article being carping on other matters, but there have been previous discussion papers on both the extension of PAYG to a wider area from DfT and adopting a general fare structure closer to this model from RDG.

Neither you nor I may like this but I suspect they will probably get the majority of travellers on side and upset a reasonable minority, depending on their travel patterns.
Without knowing the pricing structure, it is impossible to say.

Elephant in the room - railcards with contactless won't be easy ? Tfl would like to retire Oyster cards, don't think they'll exactly welcome an Oyster plus scheme for Network area.
Indeed; I suspect they will 'find a way' to enable discounts with contactless.
 

MarlowDonkey

Member
Joined
4 Apr 2013
Messages
1,082
Indeed; I suspect they will 'find a way' to enable discounts with contactless.
I would have thought it just needs a mechanism of registering a contactless card or cards against the discount Railcard

How easy that woud be to do in practice and whether it would run into legal complications is another matter. For leisure travellers, the absence of Railcard discounts is a disincentive to using contactless,
 

Horizon22

Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
Joined
8 Sep 2019
Messages
4,358
Location
London
Indeed; I suspect they will 'find a way' to enable discounts with contactless.

I certainly hope so, any railcards or even staff discounts are quite important to many including things like staff discounts.
 

LNW-GW Joint

Veteran Member
Joined
22 Feb 2011
Messages
16,765
Location
Mold, Clwyd
Presumably the "South East of England" means the Network South East area and set of London commuter TOCs?
Or is it just a smaller zone extending the current Oyster area (the "Home Counties" is mentioned)?

The Telegraph piece confuses by mixing a cocktail of unrelated ingredients like Williams-Shapps, ticket office closures, pay increases and the upcoming budget/spending review, as well as the previous commitment to abandon paper tickets.
 
Last edited:

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
11,430
Presumably the "South East of England" means the Network South East area and set of London commuter TOCs?
Or is it just a smaller zone extending the current Oyster area?
The original PAYG consultation (of which the findings have never been shared) considered two options - one out to about 40 miles (eg Reading) and another 60 (eg Oxford) but wherever the boundary is set there will always be people wanting it to extended further. However, there remain practical issues about that.

I think it is difficult (although maybe I am overthinking it because it is only single fares that really differ) - is it reasonable to have a different (and potentially very inconsistent) fare structure west and east of somewhere like Salisbury or Southampton if that became the boundary? At least on the east and south side the coast forms a boundary.


Closed consultation
Pay-as-you-go on rail

Summary
Proposals on extending the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) on rail.

This consultation ran from
9:30am on 7 February 2019 to 11:45pm on 1 May 2019

Consultation description
Seeks views proposals on extending extending the pay-as-you-go on rail and possible changes to fares.

We are consulting on:

* what a PAYG travel area is, and how it would work in general
* where a PAYG travel area could cover
* the changes to fares that could be made within the area
 
Last edited:

Wallsendmag

Established Member
Joined
11 Dec 2014
Messages
3,482
Location
Wallsend or somewhere on the ECML
I always use the example of getting on a train in Inverness after tapping your contactless card and getting off at Kings Cross to find out how much you've just been charged. Contactless has its place but not for long distance journeys
 
Last edited:

Class800

Member
Joined
5 Feb 2020
Messages
1,162
Location
West Country
I am not in favour of the idea, but if it were to proceed, it would seem simplest to operationalise based on fixed criteria - such as the Network South East area, i.e. current Network railcard zone
 

JonathanH

Veteran Member
Joined
29 May 2011
Messages
11,430
I am not in favour of the idea, but if it were to proceed, it would seem simplest to operationalise based on fixed criteria - such as the Network South East area, i.e. current Network railcard zone
Yes, although even then Worcester and Exeter, maybe even Weymouth and Kings Lynn are too far out.

I always use the example of getting on a train in Inverness after tappin gyour contactless card and getting off at Kings Cross to find out how much you've just been charged. Contactless has its place but not for long distance journeys
I agree but I also note that the further it is extended, the further users expect it to apply. Maybe not Inverness however. I think we can accept that people have a different mindset about longer distance journeys driven by the availability of advance fares and how they think about plane flights, although being able to travel on spec still has its place.
 

MotCO

Established Member
Joined
25 Aug 2014
Messages
2,629
Indeed; I suspect they will 'find a way' to enable discounts with contactless.

However, in a household where there are people entitled to a discount and some who are not, how can you easily tell from an Oyster card which is which? Cue lots of people caught out using the wrong card.
 

Starmill

Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Events Co-ordinator
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
19,045
Location
Manchester
Presumably the "South East of England" means the Network South East area and set of London commuter TOCs?
Or is it just a smaller zone extending the current Oyster area (the "Home Counties" is mentioned)?

The Telegraph piece confuses by mixing a cocktail of unrelated ingredients like Williams-Shapps, ticket office closures, pay increases and the upcoming budget/spending review, as well as the previous commitment to abandon paper tickets.
Indeed. Oliver Gill isn't a railway expert. They've just received a tip, and written it up as quickly as possible because that's what they're paid to do really. Shoving in other recent developments is par for the course and are probably cut from other unrelated recent articles on rail.
 

Horizon22

Established Member
Associate Staff
Jobs & Careers
Joined
8 Sep 2019
Messages
4,358
Location
London
I always use the example of getting on a train in Inverness after tapping your contactless card and getting off at Kings Cross to find out how much you've just been charged. Contactless has its place but not for long distance journeys

As long as there is some sort of way to find out the cost before you use something (that doesn't require someone looking at say a single fare finder), that would be beneficial. It might be that a TVM or similar could give you that option. The futher away you get from the destination, the more complicated the journey will getr (time of day, peak, route etc.) so yes it's not easy to do. Even in the South-East there's various routes that are cheaper than others (yet both are direct) so it would be interesting to work out how that could practically work.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
76,289
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I would have thought it just needs a mechanism of registering a contactless card or cards against the discount Railcard

How easy that woud be to do in practice and whether it would run into legal complications is another matter. For leisure travellers, the absence of Railcard discounts is a disincentive to using contactless,

There are two obvious ways. One is to allow the registration of the Railcard against the contactless account (people shouldn't be using other peoples' payment cards anyway), the other is that you make the Railcard itself the payment card and connect it to a payment card in the back end account.

The retail limit for contactless payments has no effect on PAYG transit systems.

Indeed, furthermore there is not (and long has not been) any limit on phone payments (except at a few retailers and TOCs who set their terminals up wrongly) because these are considered to be verified transactions, as they are as secure as a card PIN, indeed in some ways more secure because there is no scope to "snoop" it or copy the magstripe.
 

MikeWh

Established Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
15 Jun 2010
Messages
6,924
Location
Crayford
There are two obvious ways. One is to allow the registration of the Railcard against the contactless account (people shouldn't be using other peoples' payment cards anyway), the other is that you make the Railcard itself the payment card and connect it to a payment card in the back end account.
This is way too simplistic. They need to find a way to link multiple cards to one railcard. They need to be able to do this on an ad-hoc basis because the F&F and Network railcards do not limit who the potential passengers can be aside from the registered card holder(s). And which bank will provide an account to a six month old baby so that the parents can make use of the F&F discount?
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
76,289
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
This is way too simplistic. They need to find a way to link multiple cards to one railcard. They need to be able to do this on an ad-hoc basis because the F&F and Network railcards do not limit who the potential passengers can be aside from the registered card holder(s). And which bank will provide an account to a six month old baby so that the parents can make use of the F&F discount?

Or they change the terms. London has shown that trying to design a new system to work with a fares model that was designed for paper doesn't work so well.

Or you keep e-tickets alongside PAYG, and if you want to use anything more complex than a single person Railcard discount you just do that. It isn't feasible to abolish paper tickets, really (if you include e-tickets under that banner) - the only way London has really managed it is by offering a vast swathe of children entirely free travel, which a railway asked to cut costs is hardly going to do.

We need to be careful here not to go down the typical RailUK Forums rabbit warren of how we will handle the situation of a blind, deaf, dumb, wheelchair user, holding a Disabled, 16-25, Network and Family Railcard, and wishing to pay cash using only 5p coins saved in their piggy bank over a 10 year period. The reality is that if you deal with the majority who would use contactless, then providing for the much smaller number of people who can't is going to be vastly cheaper and might require just one ticket window in a major station rather than a row of them.
 

lancededcena

Member
Joined
28 Aug 2013
Messages
86
Location
Colchester, Essex
Theres just so many questions that will be brought up if we were to switch to a fully contactless PAYG system in such a large scale.
  • How would railcards and special tickets be handled?
  • How would child tickets work, would they get a child ticket smartcard or have the ability to link up to their phone (if they have one or a debit card)?
  • How would discounts such as GroupSave actually work?
  • How would rovers\rangers be incorporated to the system? Would there be a cap on the South East area just like London or is it uncapped?
I'm usually all up for smart cards and contactless, but they will need to examine every possibility before radically overhauling the ticketing system for a large area.
 

Fawkes Cat

Established Member
Joined
8 May 2017
Messages
1,664
Theres just so many questions that will be brought up if we were to switch to a fully contactless PAYG system in such a large scale.
  • How would railcards and special tickets be handled?
  • How would child tickets work, would they get a child ticket smartcard or have the ability to link up to their phone (if they have one or a debit card)?
  • How would discounts such as GroupSave actually work?
  • How would rovers\rangers be incorporated to the system? Would there be a cap on the South East area just like London or is it uncapped?
I'm usually all up for smart cards and contactless, but they will need to examine every possibility before radically overhauling the ticketing system for a large area.
One solution would be ‘get rid of them’.

To do that for everything difficult (child tickets for example) would probably meet so much opposition that a solution would have to be found. But is it realistic to think that there would be substantial pushback if GroupSave and rovers/rangers disappeared?
 

Top