Smart Ticketing

M6 – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 10th December 2015.

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Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West 9:30 am, 10th December 2015

What progress his Department has made on collecting and interpreting data gathered by smart ticketing schemes.

Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

What progress his Department has made on implementing smart ticketing schemes.

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We are making good progress on implementing smart ticketing across transport modes and across England. On railways, some train operators are already using smartcard and barcode technology; all our major cities have smart ticketing schemes; and we have committed £150 million to support the vision of “Oyster for the north”.

Photo of Chris Green Chris Green Conservative, Bolton West

I thank the Minister for that answer. Devolution to Greater Manchester includes plans to introduce a multimodal smart ticketing scheme. Will she assure me that from the outset travel data will be collected and interpreted so that further improvements can be made to Greater Manchester’s public transport system?

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

My hon. Friend is right to point out the importance of gathering data and how great it is that this devolution agenda is working for passengers in Manchester. I agree with him about the importance of data and I will certainly make my views known to Transport for Greater Manchester, which is responsible for introducing these schemes.

Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Conservative, Gillingham and Rainham

The Minister will know that I have raised the issue of automatic refunds before and campaigned for their introduction in Kent, so that my constituents can benefit from refunds when their trains are delayed by a few minutes instead of the current 30 minutes. When will this scheme be introduced nationally?

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

First, I commend my hon. Friend for consistently promoting the interests of his travelling constituents. He may be aware that from next February, c2c, which runs trains throughout his neighbouring county in south Essex, is introducing an automatic compensation system, which will provide compensation after two minutes of delay for those customers who are registered and signed up to its system. That is exactly the sort of scheme I want to see nationally, so we will closely monitor the roll-out of this programme to see whether it can be rolled out across other franchises.

Photo of Peter Kyle Peter Kyle Labour, Hove

Flexible ticketing was announced in 2013 and was wildly popular in the south-east when it was trialled in 2014, but there are rumours that it is being kicked into the long grass. Will the Minister scotch those rumours for long-suffering commuters in the south-east by announcing the date for its roll-out?

Photo of Claire Perry Claire Perry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The hon. Gentleman is right to point out that the south-east flexible ticketing scheme, to which the Government have committed £80 million, is being implemented. We are currently looking at the best way to roll that out across the train operating companies. It has already gone live on Southern, Govia Thameslink

Railway and indeed on c2c, and we are talking to Southeastern about the right date to introduce it. I would be happy to meet him to work on this together.