News story

Contactless payments and Oyster to make travel to and from Gatwick Airport seamless

Gatwick Airport and 5 other stations to accept pay as you go Oyster and contactless payments.

Oyster card.
  • thousands of rail customers to benefit from the convenience of new ticketing at Gatwick Airport from January 2016
  • pay as you go with Oyster and contactless payment will be accepted at Gatwick Airport and 5 other stations along the route
  • Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink passengers to benefit from government agreement with Transport for London (TfL) and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)

Passengers travelling between Gatwick Airport and London will soon be able to use pay as you go, Rail Minister Claire Perry confirmed today (Tuesday 10 November 2015), thanks to an agreement between the government, Transport for London (TfL) and the operator, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR).

Pay as you go using Oyster and Contactless payments will be introduced as new methods of payment from January 2016 for journeys between London and Gatwick Airport on Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services. Five other stations along the route - Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill and Merstham – will also benefit from the up-to-the-minute pay as you go ticket technology.

This will mean more convenience and flexibility for commuters and visitors alike, with improved value for money in many cases, and reduced crowding at stations. It will also allow seamless onward connections to London’s transport network and National Rail services.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said:

Our plan for passengers is to build a 21st century railway that provides better journeys for all, and improved ticketing is a vital part of that customer experience.

This extension of Oyster and contactless embraces some of the latest technology, making journeys easier for customers, offering them a vastly more convenient option. As we undertake the biggest rail modernisation since the Victorian era, improving London to Gatwick by rail is another step to a modern railway that strengthens the economy.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said:

By providing a quick and easy way to pay, our Oyster and contactless ticketing has transformed the way people get around our capital. We’ve already extended this on a number of key routes outside of London and it makes perfect sense for Londoners, commuters and passengers from around the world to benefit from this further link to Gatwick Airport. It’s great news that more people than ever before will be able to benefit from our pioneering modern ticketing system.

From the New Year, many customers will be able to benefit from cheaper fares. Currently, a single journey paper peak-time ticket costs £15.40 from London Terminals to Gatwick Airport (excluding Gatwick Express). With pay as you go, a rush hour trip will cost £14.00 and £8.00 off-peak.

Since contactless payments were introduced on the TfL network in September 2014, there have been more than 220 million contactless journeys made. Each day there are over one million contactless journeys on London’s transport system. One in ten contactless transactions in the UK are made on TfL’s services, making TfL one of the largest Contactless merchants worldwide.

TfL’s Director of Customer Experience, Shashi Verma, said:

Expanding Oyster and the Contactless ticketing system to Gatwick Airport is a great step forward. Nearly 25 per cent of our pay as you go customers use contactless payment already because it is so quick and easy. Already customers from 70 countries across the world are using their contactless payment cards on the capital’s transport network. We are committed to making paying for transport easier for everyone and this extension will allow travellers from across the world to quickly jump on a train to central London and start their holiday or business trip with minimum fuss.

Gatwick Express Passenger Services Director, Angie Doll, said: “We are delighted that our passengers will be able to use pay as you go to travel between Gatwick Airport and London. This is yet another example of how we are making it easier for our passengers to travel by National Rail using state-of-the-art payment technology, and one of many customer benefits we are introducing and delivering across GTR such as a new Gatwick Express train fleet, 1,400 new carriages for the Thameslink programme and a £50m investment on improving our stations.”

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, Guy Stephenson, said:

Gatwick’s passengers will welcome the introduction of Oyster and contactless payments at the airport as the most convenient way to pay for onward rail travel to London. It means a single ticketless system will link Gatwick with the whole of Greater London so passengers can benefit from seamless connections to and throughout the capital.

This technology will make journeys easier and ticketing considerably faster. Passengers with contactless bank or credit cards, for example, will simply need to touch the Oyster readers without having to queue for a ticket or even top up their Oyster card.

This announcement comes at an exciting time for rail access to Gatwick with world class improvements being introduced. Within the next five years new fleets of Gatwick Express and Thameslink trains will come in to service, Gatwick station will be re-developed and train capacity will be doubled.

Other fares include:

  • Gatwick Express single journey on pay as you go will be £19.80. The current single fare when purchased at London Gatwick or London Victoria is £19.90.
  • Redhill to London Victoria or London Bridge single journey on pay as you go will be £10.30 peak and £5.80 off-peak. The current anytime day single is £10.50.
  • East Croydon to Gatwick Airport single journey on pay as you go will be £5.20 peak and £3.00 off-peak. The current paper anytime single (excl. Thameslink only fares) is £5.20.

All existing peak and off-peak fares, advance fares, period fares, and group ticket offers from Gatwick Airport will be maintained, including the special Thameslink only fares offers. These may cost less than pay as you go and customers are advised to check online in advance.

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Published 10 November 2015