TfW Class 769 at Cardiff Queen Street (Photo  TfW)

UK: Tickets for local rail journeys wholly within in the South Wales Metro area will be made available for purchase from 90 convenience shops from January 24.

Transport for Wales says it is the first train operating company to offer ticket sales through Payzone’s instore devices, using SilverRail’s ticket retailing technology. The printed barcode tickets are the essentially same as those purchased on mobile phones but issued on paper. The rollout follows a trial involving an initial five shops.

‘This is an exciting pilot that gives customers additional choices about how and where their purchase their rail tickets’, explained TfW’s Commercial & Customer Experience Director David O’Leary. ‘Rail customers will be able to buy their tickets in their local convenience store and it also gives customers the added choice of purchasing with cash, especially if their local station does not have a ticket office or only has a self-service machine that accepts cards only.’

Noel Goulty, Head of Transport & Ticketing at Payzone, said ‘this strategic partnership with SilverRail will deliver a fully accredited system on behalf of Transport for Wales, which is exclusive to Payzone and allows passengers to buy rail tickets whilst popping into their corner shop for some essentials. We are committed to innovating in this space to become the default high street network for cash ticketing.’

SilverRail said 20% of tickets were bought using cash before the pandemic. ‘We believe it is very important that rail retailing remains inclusive by allowing all types of travellers — from those who are confident with mobile ticketing to those who are less digitally adept — to be able to book rail journeys using cash or through more modern payment methods’, said the company’s UK head David Pitt.