Southern Rail is to install barcode scanners at Crawley and Three Bridges station as it works to increase the use of their e-tickets to help people socially distance and prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Twelve extra stations along the south coast between Chichester and Eastbourne have already had the barcode readers installed on the ticket gates for passengers to scan e-tickets bought via the Southern OnTrack app or online at southernrailway.com and displayed on their smartphones or printed out at home.
Now Crawley and Three Bridges will be among another 29 stations that will follow across the Govia Thameslink Railway network, including Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern over the coming months, in addition to the 15 major stations already fitted out with the technology.
It is expected both Crawley and Three Bridges will have the scanners installed around Spring 2021.
Barcode e-ticket sales have increased in the UK from 25% of UK rail ticket revenues pre-Covid to 33% now as passengers are discovering the non-contact travel.
Southern Rail says that e-tickets can help passengers travel with confidence and are ideal for advanced singles, peak and off-peak singles, and peak and off-peak day return tickets.
Season ticket holders looking for similar Covid-safe benefits are also being urged to use the free Key smartcard which, by December, will also be available over the ticket office counters and not just by ordering it online, a process taking up to five days.
Southern Managing Director Angie Doll said:
“Customers can already travel safe in the knowledge that our trains and stations are kept clean with a long-lasting viruscide on all touch points. Now e-tickets and our Key smartcard make it even quicker and easier to book a ticket online, speeding up the journey through the station, minimising contact and helping everyone to socially distance.”
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said:
“Making public transport more modern and accessible is a top priority in all the work that we do. The roll-out of smartphone ticketing across the Southern network makes it quicker and faster for passengers to pass through stations, simplifying their journeys and delivering a more seamless experience.”
‘Please come forward with information no matter how small’ Police appeal as E-Fit of attempted rape suspect released
Police have released an E-fit image of a man sought in connection with the attempted rape of a 17-year-old girl in Crawley.
Between 7pm and 7.15pm on Tuesday (March 9), the teenager was walking her dog along the pathway from Overdene Drive towards the tunnel that runs underneath the A23 and follows on to Quantock Close.
She turned around before the end of the tunnel and walked back along the path to Overdene Drive. As she did so, she crossed paths with a man who grabbed her and attempted to rape her.
The victim was able to break free and shout for help, causing the man to flee the scene in the direction of the tunnel. The victim is being supported by specialist officers.
The man was described as white, in his late teens to late 30s, 5’ 9” to 5’ 10”, with dark eyes, short dark coloured hair and short dark stubble. He spoke with an eastern European accent and was wearing dark clothing.
Investigating Officer Detective Inspector Allana Hughes said:
“We are appealing for anyone who recognises this man, or anyone who witnessed the sexual assault or any suspicious behaviour at this location around the time of the incident, to make contact with us.
“We would particularly like to hear from people who were in Quantock Close, The Dingle or surrounding roads around this time or anyone who may have dashcam, ring doorbell or CCTV footage which might have captured the suspect fleeing the scene.
“We have increased our patrols in the area and have been conducting house-to-house enquiries alongside investigating any potential lines of enquiry.
“Please come forward to us with any information which you think could help our investigation, no matter how small.”
Information can be passed to Sussex Police online or by calling 101 quoting Operation Stockbridge.
Alternatively, people can get in touch anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.