Saturday, 5 March 2016

Good news for commuters in Swanley

TFL has just announced that Swanley railway station will have Pay As You Go Contactless and Oyster card systems in order to have cheap fares for commuters going to Central London.

Thousands of rail passengers in north Kent are set for cheaper fares and more convenient journeys from Wednesday 9 March as pay as you go with contactless and Oyster is extended to Southeastern and Thameslink services to and from Swanley.

Pay as you go fares are cheaper than paper tickets and are the same regardless whether you use a contactless payment or an Oyster card. As part of the introduction, Swanley will also move into the London zones for the first time, allowing customers to now use a Zone 1-8 Travelcard to complete their journey.

The extension of pay as you go to Swanley forms part of TfL's, Southeastern's and Govia Thameslink Railway's (GTR's) wider work to make life easier for customers.

Last year, pay as you go was extended to Dartford, with around 16,000 journeys now made using pay as you go with contactless payment or Oyster cards from this station every week.

Extending pay as you go to Swanley also means that a range of concessions, such as free travel for children under 10 and veterans, will now also be available on services into London.

A standard anytime National Rail single fare from London to Swanley is currently £8.80, but from 9 March the new pay as you go peak fare will be £7.10 (saving £1.70) and £4.10 off peak (saving £4.70).

Currently, a Day Travelcard from Swanley to Zones 1-6 costs £22.40 (anytime) or £13.60 (off-peak). With pay as you go the price of daily travel within Zones 1-8 is capped at £15.20 (anytime) or £11.90 (off-peak).

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: 'Integrating the fares on this route with the wider pay as you go network makes perfect sense and ties in with our mission to make getting around our city easy for everyone, no matter where they live.

'I'm delighted that the good people of Swanley will soon have the choice of paying for travel with contactless payments and Oyster, which offer better fares and a more convenient way to travel.'

Shashi Verma, Director of Customer Experience at TfL, said: 'This is just one of the many projects we are working on across London and the south east to help make paying for transport easier for everyone.

'Pay as you go has helped to completely revolutionise travel around London since it launched, bringing cheaper, quicker travel to everyone.

'Furthermore, more than 25% of all pay as you go customers now use contactless payments because it is so convenient and easy. There's no need to top-up, you just touch in and out with your credit or debit card.'

Mike Boden, Commercial Director at Southeastern said: 'We're really pleased to be able to offer Oyster and contactless from Swanley station. The investment in this project will benefit many people and will offer more choice as to how to pay for our services.

'By offering Oyster card and contactless payment technology, we can provide a more seamless journey for commuters in Swanley who travel into the Capital.'

Stuart Cheshire, Thameslink's Passenger Service Director, said: 'Thameslink passengers at Swanley will welcome this move to further modernise our network. Moving away from paper tickets is the way forward.'

Adult National Rail only fares
Pay as you go single
Zones 1- Swanley
Zones 2 - Swanley
Zones 3 - Swanley
Zones 4 - Swanley
Zones 5 - Swanley
Zones 6 - Swanley

What I'd also like to add is that Freedom Pass users have free travel to and from Swanley station, just like Dartford Railway station as it was not part of the London Travelcard zone and is currently outside the Greater London boundary.

As TFL and Railway operators are enabling contactless payments at the railway stations, this is a step forward towards the ‘cashless society’. The use of Oyster/Contactless Payment is expanding on National Rail as we see the expansion of stations as far as Hertford East and Gatwick Airport. So in my personal view, why not expand the usage of the Oyster system to the old entire Network SouthEast?

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Image attribution
By Sunil060902 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, 

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