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Smartphone e-tickets can now be used at 11 more stations in Sussex and Surrey
Smartphone e-tickets can now be used at 11 more stations in Sussex and Surrey

Press release -

E-tickets available at more Sussex and Surrey stations, helping Southern and Thameslink passengers socially distance

High resolution pictures are available to download at the bottom of this press release

People can now travel using Southern and Thameslink smartphone e-tickets at 11 more railway stations in Sussex and Surrey, helping people socially distance, preventing the spread of Covid-19.

Barcode readers have just been installed on ticket gates at:

  • Hassocks
  • Burgess Hill
  • Haywards Heath
  • Three Bridges
  • Horsham
  • Crawley
  • Dorking
  • Leatherhead
  • Ashtead
  • East Grinstead
  • Oxted

They allow passengers to scan e-tickets bought via the Southern OnTrack app, Thameslink OnTrack app or online at and and displayed on their smartphones or printed out at home.

Barcode e-ticket sales have increased in the UK from 25% of UK rail ticket revenues pre-Covid to 33% as people realise the benefits of non-contact travel. E-tickets can help passengers travel with confidence and are ideal for advanced singles, peak and off-peak singles, and peak and off-peak day return tickets.

Another 18 Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern stations will follow across the Govia Thameslink Railway network over the coming months, in addition to the 42 stations already fitted with the technology (see editor’s notes for a full list).

Season ticket holders looking for similar Covid-safe benefits are urged to use the free Key smartcard which is also now available over most ticket office counters and not just by ordering it online, a process that would otherwise take up to five days.

Southern Managing Director Angie Doll said: “Customers who need to travel can already do so with confidence thanks to our intensive cleaning regime and long-lasting viruscide.

“Now, by rolling out e-tickets to even more stations in Sussex and Surrey, and making our free Key smartcard available over the counter, we’re making it even quicker and easier to book tickets online, speeding our passengers’ journeys through the station, minimising contact and helping everyone to socially distance.”

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “Making public transport more modern and accessible is a top priority in all the work that we do. The roll-out of smartphone ticketing across the Southern and Thameslink network makes it quicker and faster for passengers to pass through stations, simplifying their journeys and delivering a more seamless experience.”


Editor’s notes

The Southern OnTrack app or Southern websiteThameslink OnTrack app and thameslink website will offer passengers an e-ticket if they are available on the route they want to travel.

E-tickets are available for advanced singles, peak and off-peak single tickets and peak and off-peak day returns, between any stations with a barcode reader on the ticket gates. Over the coming months, e-tickets will also become available for journeys between stations with a barcode reader on the ticket gates and stations with no gates, substantially increasing the journeys available.

  • Passengers could already use e-tickets if travelling to or from 15 major destinations on the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern network, including Brighton, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, London Bridge, London Victoria, London Blackfriars, City Thameslink, St Pancras International and Luton Airport Parkway.
  • A further 12 stations along the Southern coast were fitted with the new technology in October: Chichester, Bognor Regis, Barnham, Littlehampton, Angmering, Worthing, Lancing, Shoreham-by-Sea, Portslade, Eastbourne, Lewes and Falmer.
  • 11 in Sussex and Surrey were added this week: Hassocks, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Three Bridges, Horsham, Crawley, Dorking, Leatherhead, Ashtead, East Grinstead and Oxted.
  • An additional 18 stations will have barcode readers fitted by spring next year including, later this month, Huntingdon, St Neots, Sandy, Royston, Letchworth, Hitchin, Leagrave and Flitwick.

These improvements are part of the ongoing national Barcode Programme that the Rail Delivery Group has been delivering with train operators, enabling passengers to use barcode e-tickets on more journeys across Britain.

The Key smartcard is ideal for commuters with season tickets. Smartcards are now increasingly available from Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink ticket offices where customers can now register for a new smartcard and purchase smart tickets. Alternatively, passengers can buy smart tickets online and simply tap their smartphone to the smartcard to load it up. Smartcards have no magnetic strip to fail and they can be easily cancelled and replaced if lost. Passengers also benefit from automatic delay-repay compensation when travelling with a Key Smartcard and it can be used for pay-as-you-go journeys via keyGo.



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

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