Key to a smarter way to travel for South Cambs rail passengers

Susan van de Ven from the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group.

Susan van de Ven from the Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group. - Credit: Archant

Rail season ticket holders from Foxton, Shepreth and Meldreth have been granted a new smartcard to make it easier to travel on journeys to and from London as well as stations in between.

The ‘key’ cards – which already exist for journeys from London up to Royston – have been designed using the latest technology which makes them easier to charge up and replace.

David Innis, commercial director for Govia Thameslink Railway – which operates Great Northern and Thameslink – said: “There are great benefits to using the key.

“Once passengers have it, they can buy tickets online and then load them up simply by touching one of our new ticket gate card readers, or they can buy tickets to upload to the smartcard at one of our ticket machines.

“And if anyone loses a card, it can be instantly cancelled and a replacement issued with the same ticket pre-loaded.”

The smartcard is supported by a recently-updated online ticketing system and updated app which is designed to make the ticket buying process easier.

The cards were extended for travel from Southern and Gatwick Express to Thameslink and much of Great Northern in September.

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Next year, the company hopes to extend it even further north for passengers travelling between London to Cambridge, Ely and King’s Lynn.

Susan van de Ven, member of Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton Rail User Group, said: “We have been campaigning for many years for ticket machines on both platforms at all stations, as one component of better universal access to services. This is a helpful step.

“There are no plans to reduce booking office hours at Meldreth station but we need more support for the rail user group to protect this in the longer term.”

The key cards can be requested free online and posted to homes – passengers can then buy tickets using their card so there is no need to queue at a ticket office to buy or collect.

Passengers will be able to check the status of their tickets on the key and journey history either online, through the app, or by touching them onto ticket machines at railway stations.

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