This week the Oyster card was introduced at Dartford station after a long-fought campaign.
Using an Oyster card is not only more convenient because travellers don’t have to queue and buy paper tickets, but it also means many people will be paying less for their journeys to and from London.
Around 80% of people going to London by train currently use an Oyster card and as most of the journeys from Dartford go to London, it means people now don’t have to buy two different tickets.
Getting the Oyster card for Dartford is something I have campaigned on for many years so I am delighted to see it has now finally happened.
I am also pleased to report the various train operators involved have confirmed that no fare will increase as a result of this extension but, in fact, a number of fares will be reduced.
As a commuter, I recognise the importance of the rail network in Dartford. This is the beginning of a process to improve our rail services which will include the introduction of smart card technology on the Southeastern network next year.
I don’t claim this will be a magic wand and make all our rail problems disappear, but having Oyster will make travel far more convenient for people using Dartford station and I will continue to work hard to ensure it is rolled out to more stations in the constituency.
For now though, people travelling to and from Dartford have more choice and I welcome this big step forward in improving our rail services.