Skip to main content

Transport: Tickets

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what assessment her Department has made of the likely effect of a multi-modal integrated ticketing system on demand management through differential pricing on congested parts of the transport infrastructure; (148995)

(2) what assessment her Department has made of the likely effect of a multi-modal integrated ticketing system on provision of information for transport operators on journeys and timings nationally;

(3) what steps the Government are taking to ensure that the national multi-modal integrated ticketing system operates consistently across different rail franchises.

We have not made a detailed assessment of the likely effect of a multi-modal integrated ticketing system on demand management or on the provision of information for transport operators.

However simple fares structures and easy access to tickets help to attract passengers to the public transport network. The Government believe that the introduction of ITSO smartcards on the railway will make it easier for passengers to buy their tickets at a time and place to suit them. It also opens up the opportunities to better integrate ticketing between transport modes.

Data from an ITSO ticketing system are expected to provide additional information on the number of passenger journeys and time of travel. This will enable operators to plan services better and allow them to introduce new deals that are better tailored to passengers' needs.

Train operators are required to comply with their passenger licences and franchise agreements which ensure that the railway set, retails and distributes fares as a single national network. These requirements are consistent across train operators.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for what reasons the Government only mandate smartcards at franchise renewal with the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation specification. (149001)

The introduction of ITSO smart media has been made compulsory by Government at rail franchise renewal as a first step in achieving a network wide application. This will encourage other operators to introduce ITSO.

The Government specify ITSO as it has been specifically designed to cope with complex ticketing structures, beyond those suitable for metropolitan areas. Secondly it is an open specification and will prevent the monopoly supply of proprietary systems. The Government believe that this will deliver the best value and service for passengers and tax payers alike.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport when she expects smartcard ticketing to be available throughout the transport network. (149002)

In developing the ITSO specification, the Department has sought to introduce a framework that will enable interoperability between schemes. The technology is now being implemented but there are currently no plans for metering throughout the transport network.