05:00PM, Friday 04 October 2019
Passengers travelling from Maidenhead will be able to use pay-as-you-go contactless technology from January – although Oyster cards will not be accepted at the station.
For the first time, customers travelling from railway stations along the mainline from Reading to London Paddington will be able to go contactless from Thursday January 2.
Stations between Paddington and West Drayton fall within Transport for London (TfL) zones so already have contactless payment capability, but railway stations along the stretch from Iver to Reading do not.
TfL Rail, which is introducing stopping services on Elizabeth Line trains between Paddington and Reading from Sunday, December 15, is introducing the pay-as-you go option.
However, the Oyster card system used in London will not be extended beyond West Drayton due to limitations with the aging system, now more than 15 years old.
To ensure a smooth transition contactless ticketing will come into effect in line with the annual fares revision on January 2.
Between December 15 and January 2, existing ticketing arrangements will apply and TfL Rail fares will remain at the same price as the current Great Western Railway fares.
But, in line with TfL’s wider policies, children under 11 who are accompanied by an adult, as well as customers who are eligible for the Freedom Pass, will be able to travel for free to Reading on the new TfL service.
Once introduced, adult pay-as-you-go fares to and from stations between Iver and Reading are anticipated to be cheaper, or in line with, standard single and return fares along the line.
All fares will be set in line with Department for Transport policy and confirmed nearer the time.
Howard Smith, operations director for TfL Rail, said: “Starting TfL Rail services to Reading is another step towards opening London’s new railway, the Elizabeth line.
“Customers will see staff at every station, and improvements being made to stations along the route including the installation of lifts to provide step-free
access. They will also be able to enjoy the convenience of pay-as-you-go contactless payments all the way to Reading.”
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