Call for integrated ‘smart ticketing’ systems

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New investment in smart ticketing as part of cities’ devolution deals and infrastructure funding commitments could have a transformational impact on transport across the entire North of England, but only if individual cities’ schemes are designed with future integration in mind.

Those are the views of EY director Nathan Marsh. The infrastructure specialist, who has helped to plan and deliver smart ticketing projects in major UK cities like Manchester and Birmingham, believes that smart ticketing schemes have the potential to make individual cities’ transport networks simpler and more accessible, increase the number and length of journeys made by individuals, and boost efficiency and revenues for operators.

Manchester and Sheffield’s respective devolution deals, which were agreed in 2014, include the opportunity to introduce smart ticketing systems, and similar schemes could be introduced as more cities agree new devolved powers.

He said: “If we really want to create a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ where cities and regions use their combined strength to increase economic competitiveness, it’s critical that the North’s transport network is integrated. The Transport for the North organisation and the leaders behind the One North report are making great strides in this area.

“The long-term vision for Northern cities should be to connect existing smart ticketing schemes to create a single scheme for the entire North, ” he added.