Testing on ITSO upgrades to ticket gates at Huddersfield rail station is underway.
Nine upgraded tickets gates, capable of reading MCard smartcards and Concessionary cards for Young People, Scholars and 16-25 PhotoCard holders are now being trialled.
When this process is complete, passengers will be able to touch in and out with their smartcard and pass through the gates much more quickly than now.
Huddersfield is the third major West Yorkshire station, after Bradford Interchange and Leeds, to have gates that can read MCard smartcards, which people are now using to make over 1 million train and bus journeys every week in West Yorkshire.
Welcoming the development, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee Chair Councillor James Lewis said:
“We have had lots of positive feedback about the smartcards gates already in use at Bradford and Leeds and I’m pleased to say we are now close to making the quick and convenient, touch in-touch out facility available to any of the two-and-a-half million passengers who use Huddersfield Station every year who have an MCard.
“The smart ticket gates at Huddersfield station will be the latest important step in the roll-out of the MCard scheme across West Yorkshire which will also see Pay-as-You-Go Cards and online purchasing in the future.
“MCard is already the UK’s largest and most advanced smartcard scheme apart from London’s Oyster system, enabling passengers to travel where they want in West Yorkshire with a single ticket. And importantly, like Oyster, MCard covers both bus and train services making it a travel card for journeys right across the county.
“We are also looking at further options such MCard holders being able to use their smartcards to access Car Club,” added Cllr Lewis.
Transport Minister Baroness Kramer said:
“I am delighted that smart ticketing is being further rolled out in Yorkshire, as part of our ambitious rail modernisation programme to support our plan to build a stronger economy and fairer society.
“Smartcards have revolutionised travel by offering greater flexibility and ease of use for passengers. Harnessing the latest technology to offer the best possible passenger experience is vital to making our railways fit for the 21st century.”
A First TransPennine Express spokesperson added:
"I am pleased that FTPE have worked successfully in partnership with industry colleagues to deliver a scheme which will make accessing Huddersfield station and travelling by train quicker and more convenient."
MCard is the largest operation smartcard system of its kind outside London and there are already around 500,000 smartcards in use across West Yorkshire including English National Concessionary Travel Scheme passes and MCards. Smartcards make it easier and more convenient for passengers to travel, cutting out the need to issue paper tickets.
Find out more about MCard, the largest smartcard travel scheme outside London (opens in new window).
The upgraded gates at Huddersfield have been possible thanks to £153,000 of Department for Transport funding secured by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, and working in partnership with station managers First TransPennine Express and gate suppliers Cubic Transportation Systems. It is believed that this is the first deployment of multi supplier ITSO rail station gating in the UK.
Smart ticket gates at Huddersfield station will be another important step in the roll out of the MCard scheme across West Yorkshire which will also see Pay-as-You-Go Cards and online purchasing in the future.