Oyster holds the pearl for Surrey’s commuters

OYSTER-style ticketing that can be used on all public transport should be rolled out across Surrey, according to the county council.

The authority wants the company winning the next South Western rail contract to introduce a smart system that also allows passengers to pay for bus journeys.

It comes after FirstGroup and Stagecoach, which currently runs South West Trains, were shortlisted to operate the franchise from next year. Surrey’s call forms part of the council’s response to a Department for Transport consultation on the matter.

Other improvements the authority wants to help tackle a potential 40% rise in passenger demand by 2043 include a new track layout at Woking – known as grade separation – to boost capacity.

Surrey has already thrown its weight behind the capacity-boosting Crossrail 2 project and put forward a case for the proposed railway to be extended to Dorking and Woking.

Mike Goodman, Cabinet Member for Environment & Planning, said: “Oyster-style technology is the way forward, making travel simpler and easier for passengers using different types of transport. But with rail passenger demand soaring and Surrey’s economy packing a £37 billion annual financial punch, we also need investment in infrastructure and extra capacity.

“That is why we are pushing for new stations, a better link from the county to Heathrow, and Crossrail 2 – which would also bring benefits across the South East.”

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