Plans for contactless rail travel across northern England

Contactless card travel across West Yorkshire and the rest of the northern England could be one of the major benefits to emerge from better trans-pennine cooperation.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 20th September 2015, 9:06 am
Coun Keith Wakefield

West Yorkshire is leading talks over ways to make it easier for public transport users to travel between different parts of northern England.

Ideas on the table include allowing passengers to use bank cards with contactless payment technology to get on to trains and buses.

With technological hurdles to overcome, swifter improvements could see smartcards introduced for rail season tickets in the region.

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Simplifying journeys across the North so people find it easier to travel for work is seen as one of the key ways to improve the economy.

Coun Keith Wakefield, chairman of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee, said: “Just this week we have celebrated the re-opening of the refurbished Wakefield Kirkgate station and in the coming weeks and months we will see the completion of other major Combined Authority projects with new rail stations at Apperley Bridge, Kirkstall Forge and Low Moor and the opening of Leeds Station southern entrance.

“Transport for the North, wants to see 30 minute journey time between Leeds and Manchester and Leeds and Sheffield.

“But to maximise the impacts of these and future initiatives we also need to ensure similar journey times between our smaller centres to ensure that the benefits, in terms of business growth, new and better jobs and housing, are felt right across West Yorkshire and the City Region.”

The discussions over ticketing are part of Transport for the North (TfN), an initiative bringing northern councils together to have a bigger say on major decisions transport decisions.

TfN is looking at how to deliver schemes such as transpennine high speed rail between Leeds and Manchester.