Railway stations upgraded in West Yorkshire for MCard smartcard travel top up

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Commuters who use smartcards to travel across West Yorkshire railways will now be able to top up at dozens of different stations.

Transport chiefs have upgraded ticket vending machines at 38 railway stations for passengers to top up their monthly and weekly MCard smartcards.

In Wakefield, Wakefield Kirkgate, Castleford, Fitzwilliam, Moorthorpe, Normanton, Sandal and Agbrigg and South Elmsall stations have all been upgraded.

And in Calderdale, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden hubs have been improved, as well as Batley railway station in North Kirklees.

The project was carried out by West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), in partnership with Northern Rail.

Coun Keith Wakefield, chairman of WYCA’s Transport Committee, said: “MCard is already making bus and train travel more convenient for people across West Yorkshire and because it can be used on any company’s services can help people save money and avoid having to wait for the ‘right’ bus to come along.

“Making MCard more convenient by enabling passengers to top up at stations across the West Yorkshire rail network is just the latest development in West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s smart travel scheme.”

MCards can be used for pre-paid travel on bus and rail service across West Yorkshire.

It is the largest travel smartcard system outside London with around 100,000 users.

The upgraded machines will have the MCard logo and can be used to top up Pink MCards with bus and rail weekly or monthly tickets, covering Zones 1-3, 1-4, 1-5 or 2-5.

They can also be used to add weekly or monthly Bus & Rail tickets to 16-18 PhotoCards, Scholars PhotoCards, 16-25/Mature MCards and Young Person’s PhotoCards.

Northern Rail’s ticket machines are made by two different suppliers which means the process for topping up a smartcard differs slightly.

Commuters will be able to follow simple instructions on the screen when topping up.

Richard Allan, commercial director for Northern Rail said: “This latest upgrade will make it quicker and easier for our customers in West Yorkshire to travel seamlessly around the rail network. Smart innovation such as this is another part of our ambition to modernise the way we sell travel to our customers.”

Around 95 per cent of West Yorkshire’s buses have smartcards readers and there are smart ticket gates at Leeds and Huddersfield stations, as well as Bradford Interchange.

The full list of upgraded stations include:

Bradford - Apperley Bridge, Ben Rhydding, Bingley, Bradford Forster Square, Bradford Interchange, Burley in Wharfedale, Crossflatts, Frizinghall, Ilkley, Keighley, Menston, Saltaire, Shipley, Steeton and Silsden.

Calderdale - Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden.

Kirklees - Batley, Slaithwaite.

Leeds - Burley Park, Crossgates, East Garforth, Garforth, Guiseley, Headingley, Horsforth, Leeds, New Pudsey, Woodlesford.

Wakefield - Castleford, Fitzwilliam, Moorthorpe, Normanton, Sandal and Agbrigg, South Elmsall, Wakefield Kirkgate.