RUGBY will be one of the first train stations to let customers skip the queues thanks to new mobile ticketing.
Travel company Trainline announced that commuters along the Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston route will be able to use a smartphone-based digital ticketing system, mTicketing, from the end of September.
Customers will be able to buy tickets via Trainline’s mobile app and skip queues by presenting their smartphone at new automatic ticket gates.
But fears this may lead to the station subway’s pedestrian route being blocked, and non-passengers being barred from the platform, have been dismissed by the hiring of new ‘Welcome Hosts’.
Rugby Rail Users Group (RRUG) chair Stephanie Clifford welcomed the increase in ticket checking and security, and said the group’s concerns about access to the station had been allayed after talks with Virgin Trains.
She said: “The Department for Transport insisted that ticket barriers should be installed at Rugby, leading to speculation that ‘platform tickets’ might be reintroduced for non-travellers.
“But extra staff are being taken on so that access will be permitted for pedestrians and for people wanting to wave goodbye to passengers.
“We are pleased that access to the subway will remain available for those who wish to avoid the narrow and dark footpath through the Mill Road tunnel.”
Passengers can use mTicketing on all journeys between any two of the stations along the Manchester to Euston route.
Clare Gilmartin, CEO of Trainline, said: “Mobile ticketing is something the whole industry is working on to promote a more efficient experience for travellers.”