Government plans rail travel smartcards

The government has announced plans to introduce smartcards in all major UK cities in a bid to cut the cost of providing tickets for rail travel.

The government has announced plans to introduce smartcards in all major UK cities in a bid to cut the cost of providing tickets for rail travel.

The Department of Transport published a white paper on the future of railways, which contains plans to bring in smartcards like London's Oyster Cards and give passengers the option of buying long-distance tickets via their mobile phones. Barcodes will be received on mobile phones, which will be scanned at ticket gates.

The department hopes the £500m annual cost of providing paper tickets will be reduced by these schemes.

The report said, "Smartcards will be usable in all major cities and inter-city fares will be purchasable on mobile phones. This will cut queues at ticket offices and free staff to assist passengers and enhance their sense of security."

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