Oyster style ticketing on the cards for Bookham, Cobham, and Oxhsott
By Tom Van Klaveren firstname.lastname@example.org
UPGRADE: Could Oyster style ticketing be coming to Bookham?
This week Surrey County Council revealed it will be encouraging the next operator of the South Western rail contract to bring in the contactless payment system.
The new contract, which includes control of the stations at Bookham, Oxshott and Cobham and Stoke d’Abernon, is due to begin next year.
Last year the Government announced a public consultation on what was needed to tackle issues with overcrowding and a predicted rise in the number of passengers on the line, which runs from Surrey to London, as well as Dorset and Hampshire.
If the council’s plans are implemented, customers at the Surrey stations would be able to use an Oyster-like smart system that would also allow them to pay for bus journeys.
Mike Goodman, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for environment and planning, said: “Oyster-style technology is the way forward, making travel simpler and easier for passengers using different types of transport.
“But with rail passenger demand soaring and Surrey’s economy packing a £37 billion annualfinancial punch, we also need investment in infrastructure and extra capacity.
“This is why we are pushing for new stations, a better link from the county to Heathrow and Crossrail 2 that would also bring benefits across the South East.”
The announcement comes after Stagecoach, which currently runs South West Trains, and FirstGroup, were shortlisted to operate the franchise from next year.
The county council’s statement has been issued as part of their response to the Department for Transport consultation about the awarding of the franchise.
The council is keen to expand the county’s transport capacity as much as possible and has already put forward a case for the Crossrail 2 project to be extended as far as Dorking.
As well as Crossrail and an Oyster-like ticketing system, the council has listed a number of other suggestions aimed at tackling a potential 40 per cent rise in passenger demand by 2043.
These proposals include two new stations in Guildford and a new track layout at Woking, as well as improving links to London from Camberley, Bagshot and Frimley.