News story

Transport Secretary visits Gatwick Airport to launch Oyster and contactless payments

Pay as you go using Oyster and contactless has been introduced at Gatwick Airport, making journeys more convenient for rail passengers.

Transport Secretary visits Gatwick Airport to launch Oyster and contactless payments.
  • pay as you go with Oyster and contactless now available at Gatwick Airport and 5 other stations along the route — Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill and Merstham
  • Southern, Gatwick Express, and Thameslink customers will benefit from easier journeys
  • the extension has been made possible thanks to a government agreement with Transport for London (TfL) and the operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)

Passengers travelling between Gatwick Airport and London will from today (11 January 2016) be able to ‘touch in and out’ with the introduction of pay as you go using Oyster and contactless cards as new payment methods.

To mark the introduction, the Transport Secretary visited Gatwick Airport to see the first customers use the ticketing technology, which is now available for Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services from London to Gatwick Airport, and on Great Western services between Gatwick Airport and Redhill.

Transport Secretary uses Oyster card at Gatwick Airport.

Ticket facilities at 5 other stations along the route — Horley, Salfords, Earlswood, Redhill and Merstham — have also been upgraded to support pay as you go.

The new payment methods mean more convenience and flexibility for passengers and will help reduce crowding at stations. They also allow seamless connections to and from London’s transport network and National Rail services. There were nearly 17.5 million passenger journeys through Gatwick Airport rail station in 2014 to 2015, an increase of 33% since 2010 to 2011.

During the visit the Transport Secretary met with partners from Transport for London (TfL) and the operator, Govia Thameslink Railway, which both delivered the improvements.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:

The introduction of Oyster and contactless gates at Gatwick Airport station mean even more passengers get the advantage of a quick, simple, easier journey when travelling between central London and one of its major gateways.

We know that the convenience of Oyster and contactless payments are what many passengers want. By extending their use to extra stations we are building a modern railway that strengthens the economy and provides better journeys for all.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP said:

Our Oyster and contactless ticketing system has transformed the way people travel around the capital. We’ve already extended our pioneering approach to a number of key routes outside of London and it’s great news that it lands at Gatwick Airport today. Now more people than ever can enjoy our quick and easy way to pay for travel.

Oyster Pay As You Go and contactless payment now available at Gatwick Airport.

The new technology means that more passengers can save money on their journeys. A single journey paper peak-time ticket costs £15.50 from London Terminals to Gatwick Airport (excluding Gatwick Express). With pay as you go, a rush hour trip now costs £14.00 and £8.00 off-peak.

Since contactless payments were introduced on the TfL network in September 2014, there have been more than 250 million contactless journeys made. Each day there are over 1 million contactless journeys on London’s transport system. One in 10 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:

It’s great to see Oyster and the contactless ticketing system extended to Gatwick Airport — both are easier and quicker to use than paper tickets. Already customers from 80 countries across the world are using their contactless payment cards on the capital’s transport network. A quarter of our pay as you go customers now use contactless payment because it is so quick and easy. We are committed to making paying for transport easier for everyone and are working to further expand the benefits of this world-renowned ticketing system to all London airports as well as other key locations around the commuter belt.

David Brown, chief executive of The Go-Ahead Group, said:

We’re very pleased to have played our part in making this complex project a success. Working in partnership with the Department for Transport, Transport for London and Gatwick Airport Ltd has resulted in passengers having greater choice and more convenient payment options to travel between Gatwick and London which is something we know customers appreciate. The extension of Oyster and contactless to the airport brings the industry a step closer to moving away from paper tickets.

Angie Doll, Gatwick Express Passenger Service Director said:

We’re delighted that pay as you go with Oyster and contactless have now taken off from Gatwick Airport station. This now gives our passengers another way to pay for their journeys. It also paves the way for an exciting time ahead, when we introduce a brand new Gatwick Express train fleet in the spring and look forward to a superb newly designed and refurbished station.

Gatwick Airport’s Chief Executive Officer, Stewart Wingate, said:

The launch of Oyster and contactless payments at London Gatwick is a game-changer for our passengers and will help to make journeys even easier and ticketing considerably faster.

The introduction of a single ticketless system will create seamless connectivity to the Greater London transport network and this is only the beginning of the transformation of Gatwick’s rail services.

With new fleets of trains being introduced, the redevelopment of Gatwick’s train station on its way, and a doubling of train capacity coming down the line, passengers will enjoy better, faster and simpler journeys to and from the airport.

Better journeys for Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express customers with Oyster Pay As You Go and contactless payment.

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 £10.60
  • 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 and the Southern Key card, ensuring passengers have real choice about how they travel and the fare they pay. These may cost less than pay as you go and customers are advised to check online in advance.

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Published 11 January 2016