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Bristol could get 'Oyster card'

28 April 09 09:10 GMT

Public transport users in Bristol could use a smart card to use on train and bus services in the near future.

A plan for pre-payment cards, similar to London's Oyster Card, has won cross-party support from the city's council.

The council is to carry out a feasibility study into the idea later this year. Cardiff already runs a smart card scheme.

Green Party councillor Charlie Bolton said the proposals "will make it easier for people to travel around".

"It's true that ticketing is one of the difficulties people have, just in terms of getting from one part of the transport system to another."

Public transport smart cards work by passengers touching their cards against a sensor when they access trains and buses.

Proponents of the concept have said that it speeds up passenger entry, cuts delays and simplifies matters for locals and visitors alike.

The idea for a Bristol "Oyster Card" was first floated in 1998, but technical issues and the cost of introducing such a scheme have raised obstacles to it.

The city council is to work with the West of England Partnership to put in a bid for government cash to help with set-up costs.

The Conservative group leader on Bristol City Council, Richard Eddy, said he supported the plans but thought the delays in bringing the plans on track were "not acceptable".

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