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  1. ITV Report

Minister for London urged to back extension of contactless payments to Luton, Stansted and Southend

Minister for London Jo Johnson has been urged to back the extension of Oyster and contactless payments to Luton, Stansted and Southend airports ahead of the Euro 2020 football tournament.

Tourists arriving at the airports are currently unable to pay for their onward train travel using the plastic cards, meaning many join queues to buy paper tickets.

London's deputy mayor for transport Heidi Alexander has written to Mr Johnson stating that the thousands of football fans who will use the airports to attend Euro 2020 matches at Wembley should be given the "greater flexibility and convenience" of being able to use Oyster and contactless cards.

Acceptance of the cards was extended to Gatwick airport in January 2016. Heathrow and London City airports were already included.

Ms Alexander emphasised that Transport for London has "consistently expressed support for expansion of the technology" and called on Mr Johnson to provide an update on progress "for when these crucial extensions will be rolled out".

She added that it would be a strong signal that "London is open for business in a post-Brexit Britain".

Euro 2020 will be played at venues across Europe, with London's Wembley hosting seven matches.

I have already asked DfT officials to work proactively with TfL to explore these proposals to make London shine in 2020.

Our goal is to ensure that across regional and urban commuter areas, smart ticketing can deliver the kind of pay as you go structure that is used in London, with the systems automatically charging fares at the appropriate level.

That is why we have already committed £80 million of investment to secure smart ticketing across almost all of the network by the end of this year, and we are monitoring the industry’s progress closely.

– Jo Johnson, Minister for London