The Department for Transport has launches a consultation on developing a strategy for integrated and smart ticketing across England. The consultation will close on 28 October 2009.

We are delighted that Louise Barnett, Head of Ticketing Technology Branch at DfT is confirmed as giving the keynote speech at this conference. Louise is in charge of smart card standards at the Department and is leading a team dealing with smart ticketing and the Department's relationship with ITSO.

Smartcards are now an established technology in transport ticketing. However, technology does not stand still and there have been recent developments that may well have a part to play in the future of transport ticketing and payments. Some of the most interesting developments are around using bank cards to pay directly for travel - which could effectively remove the need for tickets for some journeys - and around mobile telephones, which are becoming even more ubiquitous and ever more powerful.

With smart ticketing now included in rail franchise requirements, and an existing mature scheme in London, a significant amount of England's public transport could soon be smart enabled and it would be reasonable to expect more schemes to follow.

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Tim O'Toole CBE

Former CEO, FirstGroup