More rail passengers in East Anglia switching to Smart Cards

Thursday, 16 November 2017

More train passengers than ever are swapping their paper tickets for plastic Smart Cards in East Anglia.

More than 11% of Greater Anglia passengers signed up in June for a Smart Card instead of using conventional paper tickets – more than any other train operator.

Greater Anglia was one of the first train operators in the country to launch Smart Cards in 2016. Since then, 22% of passengers have signed up and Greater Anglia has one of the highest uptake figures in the country.

Smart Card season tickets are stronger than traditional paper tickets and much quicker and easier to use as customers simply touch the Smart Card on the reader at ticket gates.

It also removes the need to queue at the ticket office to buy a season ticket as they can be bought online at Once the card arrives, the season ticket is loaded onto the Smart Card by presenting it at the ticket gate or a ticket machine and is ready for use.

Smart Cards are available for commuters using Greater Anglia services between Norwich, Diss, Stowmarket, Ipswich, Manningtree, Colchester, Chelmsford, Shenfield, Stratford and London Liverpool Street and all intermediate journeys, and Cambridge and Southend Victoria lines to Liverpool Street and all intermediate journeys.

Customers travelling from branch lines including Southminster, Braintree, Sudbury, Clacton, Walton and Harwich line can now also swap their season ticket for a Smart Card.

Upgrading to a Smart Card is free and can be done when the season ticket is renewed, or an existing paper ticket can be swapped for a Smart Card if the season ticket has at least 30 days left to run.

Andy Camp, Greater Anglia’s Commercial Director, said: “We are pleased to be leading the way with Smart Cards, working with our partners at the Department for Transport, in pioneering more convenient and integrated ticket products for rail commuters travelling with Greater Anglia.”

“We are committed to offering our customers great value fares and trying to make their lives a little easier.”

Greater Anglia customer, Andrew Goffin, who commutes from Clacton-on-Sea to Norwich or Liverpool Street praised the Smart Cards.

He said: “Switching to a Smart card has made travelling much easier – it’s simple to use at the barriers. I just tap in and out at stations and the card is much more durable than a paper ticket.”

Greater Anglia was the first train operator in the UK to launch Smart Card season tickets as part of the SEFT (South East Flexible Ticketing) scheme early in 2016. The Department for Transport funded programme is aimed at accelerating the deployment of season tickets on smart cards across the south-east, the largest commuter market in the UK, to make journeys across the region more seamless and integrated.