Harpenden and Radlett rail passengers able to use barcode readers at stations

E-tickets open gates with new barcode readers

E-tickets open gates with new barcode readers - Credit: Govia Thameslink Railway

Rail passengers can scan eTickets at Harpenden and Radlett stations after barcode readers were installed.

The Thameslink network's parent company Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) this month completes a two-year project which allows passengers to use eTickets at 60 stations bought via their OnTrack apps or websites, and displayed on their smartphones or printed out at home.

St Albans station is already part of the scheme.

Barcode eTicket sales have increased in the UK from 25 per cent of UK rail ticket revenues pre-COVID to 33 per cent now, as passengers realise the benefits of non-contact travel.

Barcode e-tickets are now available at more stations in Hertfordshire

Barcode e-tickets are now available at more stations in Hertfordshire, including Harpenden and Radlett. - Credit: Govia Thameslink Railway / www.peteralvey.com

Season ticket holders looking for similar COVID-safe benefits are urged to use the free Key smartcard, which is now available over the ticket office counters and not just by ordering it online, a process taking up to five days.

Thameslink and Great Northern customer services director Jenny Saunders said: “These eTickets and the Key smartcard are simple to use and save our customers time queuing for tickets at the station.

"They also minimise contact, helping everyone to socially distance and travel in confidence.”

Opening the ticket gates with a barcode e-ticket

Opening the ticket gates with a barcode e-ticket - Credit: Govia Thameslink Railway

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These improvements are part of the ongoing national Barcode Programme that the Rail Delivery Group has been delivering with train operators, enabling passengers to use barcode eTickets on more journeys across Britain.

Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions for the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Investment in smart ticketing across the network has made train travel quicker and easier as people can get their ticket straight to their phone without stopping at ticket offices or ticket machines.

“To make the most of smart tickets rail companies now want to work with government to rewrite outdated rail fares regulations to enable new types of ticket that better reflect the way people will work and travel in future.”

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services.

GTR stations with barcode readers where passengers can use e-tickets are as follows:

  • 15 major stations: Brighton, Gatwick Airport, East Croydon, London Bridge, London Victoria, London Blackfriars, City Thameslink, St Pancras International, London King's Cross, King's Lynn, Stevenage, Bedford, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, and St Albans.
  • 12 stations on the south coast: Chichester, Bognor Regis, Barnham, Littlehampton, Angmering, Worthing, Lancing, Shoreham-by-Sea, Portslade, Eastbourne, Lewes and Falmer.
  • 19 others recent additions: Hassocks, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, Three Bridges, Horsham, Crawley, Dorking, Leatherhead, Ashtead, East Grinstead, Oxted, Huntingdon, St Neots, Sandy, Royston, Letchworth, Hitchin, Leagrave and Flitwick.
  • and the latest added this month: Horley, Redhill, Reigate, Merstham, Hertford North, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Potters Bar, Harpenden, Radlett, Hove, Polegate, Bexhill and Epsom.