Passengers travelling by rail between Gatwick and central London will be able to use ‘pay as you go’ ticket technology from the new year.
Oyster card and contactless payments will be introduced as methods of payment from January, for journeys between the airport and London on Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services.
It is hoped the scheme will reduce overcrowding at stations – a particular problem at Gatwick at peak times – and offer better value for money.
The currently single journey peak-time paper ticket costs £15.40 from London to Gatwick, excluding the Gatwick Express. With pay as you go, a rush hour trip will cost £14 and £8 off-peak, London mayor Boris Johnson announced.
He said: “By providing a quick and easy way to pay, our Oyster and contactless ticketing has transformed the way people get around our capital.
“We’ve already extended this on a number of key routes outside of London and it makes perfect sense for Londoners, commuters and passengers from around the world to benefit from this further link to Gatwick airport.”
The airport’s chief commercial officer, Guy Stephenson, added: “Gatwick’s passengers will welcome the introduction of Oyster and contactless payments at the airport as the most convenient way to pay for onward rail travel to London.
“It means a single ticketless system will link Gatwick with the whole of Greater London so passengers can benefit from seamless connections to and throughout the capital.
“This technology will make journeys easier and ticketing considerably faster. Passengers with contactless bank or credit cards, for example, will simply need to touch the Oyster readers without having to queue for a ticket or even top up their Oyster card.”