Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting ECHONEWS to 80360, or email us Click here for details »
Oyster-style cards set for c2c rail line
AN OYSTER-STYLE smart card will be introduced on Southend’s c2c railway line next year.
The Echo can reveal the Government will insist on the system being introduced when it signs a new 15-year contract for the management of the line next May.
The move, which could mean one form of payment for passengers using trains and buses across south Essex, has been welcomed.
He said: “This is something I have been pushing for a long time, primarily because it is wanted by the people who use the line. An Oyster-style system will make shorter trips easier, and encourage more people to use public transport.”
The Oyster system allows travellers to buy a single card which can then be topped up, online or at railway stations, to pay for journeys.
Passengers touch the card against a digital pad at either end of their trip to pay for it.
In London, the card can be used on both Underground trains and buses, allowing people to easily link up their journeys across the capital.
As part of a successful £1.6million funding bid to improve Southend’s bus services earlier this year, Southend Council bosses pitched plans for Oyster-style smart cards in the town.
The demands for the c2c line by the Department for Transport means the two systems could be combined.
Among the bidders for the railway contract are current operator National Express, and FirstGroup, which runs the Great Western franchise.
Dutch firm Abellio, which took over the Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street line in February, is also in the running, as is Hong Kong-based MTR Corporation