Great Northern and Thameslink passengers using Radlett, Potters Bar and Brookmans Park stations have been given greater convenience and choice today [Thursday 29 August] with the arrival of contactless pay as you go. Pay as you go with Oyster has also been extended to Radlett and Potters Bar.
Passengers now have the option of using pay as you go with contactless cards or smartphones with payment apps, in addition to the Key smartcard, KeyGo and paper tickets. Customers at Potters Bar and Radlett can also use Oyster.
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), parent company of Great Northern and Thameslink, has worked with Transport for London (TfL) and the Department for Transport to extend the system to the Hertfordshire stations. It had already been extended to Cuffley, Bayford, Hertford North and Epsom earlier this year, and there are further extensions to come.
At Potters Bar and Radlett around half of the ticket machines have been converted to allow passengers to top up their Oyster card. Passengers can also use the free TfL app for Oyster top-ups and to check their balance and journey history on the go.
Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps MP and Oliver Dowden, Paymaster General and Minister for the Cabinet Office, whose Hertsmere constituency includes both Potters Bar and Radlett, visited Radlett today to mark the arrival of the new benefits. Welcomed by station staff, they walked through the gates as the first official contactless customers.
Mr Shapps said: “I am delighted that passengers will now benefit from new contactless Pay As You Go journeys at Potters Bar, Radlett and Brookmans Park. This helps make travel cheaper, easier to purchase and means more flexible and convenient journeys for passengers on a modern transport service. Our smart ticketing roll-out is also set to benefit passengers at Luton Airport and Welwyn Garden City later this year.”
Mr Dowden said: “I’m delighted that after years of campaigning, we finally have contactless pay as you go travel in Radlett and Potters Bar. I know this will make life easier for commuters and particularly people who travel irregular hours, which more and more people are doing with the increase of part-time working and working from home.”
David Gornall, GTR’s Commercial Director, said: “We are delighted to give passengers at Radlett, Potters Bar and Brookmans Park more choice and convenience through the introduction of pay as you go.
“We have worked closely with Transport for London and the Department for Transport to realise this ambition and look forward to further expansion of pay as you go later this year.”
Shashi Verma, Chief Technology Officer at Transport for London said: “Pay as you go has helped revolutionise travel on Tube, rail and bus services across London, with around 60 per cent of all pay as you go journeys in London now made using the convenience of contactless, which means you never need to queue to top up or buy a ticket. We are delighted that more customers will be able to take advantage of pay as you go and we continue to work with the DfT and GTR on expanding it to more stations, making travel more convenient for all.”
Passengers using pay as you go with contactless or Oyster at Potters Bar and Radlett can also benefit from daily capping, which will apply for travel to, from and within Zones 1-6. Monday to Sunday weekly capping will also be available to contactless customers who travel regularly on the network.
From next year, daily and weekly price caps for contactless users will be introduced at Brookmans Park. In the meantime, any journeys to or from Brookmans Park will fall outside of price capping.
Pay as you go generally offers the cheapest single fares. However, there are some occasions where a paper single or return ticket will be cheaper, and passengers are encouraged to check fare options before travelling.
The full range of paper tickets remains available so that customers can still benefit from discounts and offers that are not available with pay as you go, such as Great Northern’s GroupSave and ‘Kids for £2’ deals. At weekends, super off-peak paper tickets, where available, will mostly be cheaper than the pay as you go fare.
There are no changes to season ticket fares from these stations.
Notes to editors
Popularity of contactless
Across London and the surrounding areas, around 60 per cent of all pay as you go journeys are now made using contactless. This is up from 25 per cent just a few years ago. Since it launched on Tube and rail services in September 2014, more than 3.1 billion journeys have been made, showing how Londoners and visitors have taken to using contactless payments as part of their daily lives.
Anyone can claim Delay Repay compensation if their Thameslink or Great Northern journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more and pay as you go users will need to provide proof of their journey. They can do this by obtaining a printed record of their journey by logging into their online account at https://account.tfl.gov.uk/ and downloading a record. For more information please visit https://www.greatnorthernrail.com/tickets/smartcards-oyster-and-plusbus/oyster
Further extension of pay as you go
Contactless pay as you go will be extended to more Thameslink and Great Northern and Thameslink stations later this year. On Great Northern, it will be extended to include Welham Green, Hatfield and Welwyn Garden City. On Thameslink, it will be extended to include St. Albans City, Harpenden and Luton Airport Parkway. These are planned to have the contactless option, now much more popular than Oyster, which will not be extended further.
For passengers making multiple journeys to, within and from London in one day, the individual journeys to or from stations north of Potters Bar and Radlett (Brookmans Park to Welwyn Garden City inclusive and St Albans to Luton Airport Parkway inclusive), will initially not be included in capping when pay as you go is introduced. This will be addressed in 2020 when new functionality becomes available. Until capping is introduced, a paper Travelcard is likely to be a better option for customers making multiple trips in one day.
Govia Thameslink Railway
Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:
- Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
- Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
- Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
- Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria