From January 2016, passengers travelling between London and Gatwick Airport will be able to use Oyster cards and contactless payments. This covers Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services.
Oyster Card at five other stations
Five other stations along the route – Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill and Merstham, will also benefit from the up-to-the-minute pay as you go ticket technology.
This new payment option is thanks to an agreement between the government, Transport for London (TfL) and the operator, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).
From the New Year, many customers will be able to benefit from cheaper fares. Currently, a single journey paper peak-time ticket costs £15.40 from London Terminals to Gatwick Airport (excluding Gatwick Express). With pay as you go, a rush hour trip will cost £14.00 and £8.00 off-peak.
Rail Minister, Claire Perry, said: “Our plan for passengers is to build a 21st century railway that provides better journeys for all, and improved ticketing is a vital part of that customer experience.
“This extension of Oyster and contactless embraces some of the latest technology, making journeys easier for customers, offering them a vastly more convenient option. As we undertake the biggest rail modernisation since the Victorian era, improving London to Gatwick by rail is another step to a modern railway that strengthens the economy.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “By providing a quick and easy way to pay, our Oyster and contactless ticketing has transformed the way people get around our capital. We’ve already extended this on a number of key routes outside of London and it makes perfect sense for Londoners, commuters and passengers from around the world to benefit from this further link to Gatwick Airport. It’s great news that more people than ever before will be able to benefit from our pioneering modern ticketing system.”
One million contactless journeys a day
There have been more than 220 million contactless journeys made since contactless payments were introduced on the TfL network in September 2014. Each day there are over one million contactless journeys on London’s transport system. One in ten contactless transactions in the UK are made on TfL’s services, making TfL one of the largest contactless merchants worldwide.
TfL’s Director of Customer Experience, Shashi Verma, said: “Expanding Oyster and the Contactless ticketing system to Gatwick Airport is a great step forward. Nearly 25 per cent of our pay as you go customers use contactless payment already because it is so quick and easy. Already customers from 70 countries across the world are using their contactless payment cards on the capital’s transport network.”
Gatwick Express Passenger Services Director, Angie Doll, said: “We are delighted that our passengers will be able to use pay as you go to travel between Gatwick Airport and London.”
Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, Guy Stephenson, said: “It means a single ticketless system will link Gatwick with the whole of Greater London so passengers can benefit from seamless connections to and throughout the capital.
“This technology will make journeys easier and ticketing considerably faster. Passengers with contactless bank or credit cards, for example, will simply need to touch the Oyster readers without having to queue for a ticket or even top up their Oyster card.”