The National Audit Office has delivered a damning verdict on the progress of smart ticketing on National Rail, accusing the Department for Transport of failing to live up to promises made only a few years ago. In a new report, it says: “The Department has paused and reconsidered its approach to the Programme, and changed its scope and objectives on a number of occasions.” The cost of setting up the back office systems to support smart ticketing was originally put at £45 million, but this rose to £54 million. Even so, the resulting systems are only being used to about 5 per cent of their capacity, and costs are continuing to rise. The DfT has conceded that the programme was ‘ambitious’ but said more than 400,000 season ticket holders now have access to paperless tickets
A fire in signalling cables at South Hampstead caused serious disruption to services at London Euston last night, and the station had to be closed for a time. Operators said the effects of the incident were felt all the way down the West Coast Main Line as far as Liverpool.
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