Customers across West Cornwall will soon be able to tap in and tap out of stations – with a new time-saving smartcard guaranteeing the best value fares.

Great Western Railway has teamed up with Cornwall Council to launch the pay-as-you-go touch smartcard, rolling payments and tickets into one.

People can register now and be ready to use their new Cornwall pay-as-you-go card as soon as the new scheme starts on November 15.

Once a customer has registered for the smartcard and linked it to their bank account, they’ll be able to tap in out and tap out on yellow card readers at stations between Penzance and Par.

The introduction of the new card, only the second pay-as-you-go scheme on the GWR network, coincides with Network Rail’s multi-million-pound investment programme in Cornwall, replacing signalling equipment with brand-new, modern technology, and puts the county at the forefront of new digital fares technology.

Plans to extend to the rest of Cornwall through to Plymouth were included in Cornwall Council’s successful bid to the Government’s Levelling Up programme for the Mid Cornwall Metro and will follow as part of that programme.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport, Richard Williams-Pears, said: “We are committed to helping our residents get the best value and give them access to the most convenient ways to make the most of public transport in Cornwall.

“Initiatives such as this and our bus fares reduction scheme under the Transport for Cornwall banner, mean that Cornwall is leading the way in making it easier for people to travel by public transport and is another step in encouraging more people to look to more sustainable ways of travel, leaving their cars at home and cutting their carbon emissions.”

GWR Head of Strategic Service Development, Matt Barnes, said: “We’re always looking at ways to make travelling with GWR a simpler, more accessible experience and believe this new pay-as-you-go smartcard will be well received by customers.

“We launched a similar scheme in Bristol last year and are excited about doing the same in Cornwall, supporting residents, visitors and local businesses. Cornwall Council has already done so much to support modal shift and sustainable travel and we are proud to be working with them on this next step.”

Peninsula Transport chairman, Cllr Andrea Davis, said: “We need to make sure passengers have easy and convenient ways to pay for travel as we move towards a more integrated transport system for the South West.

“GWR’s Cornwall pay-as-you-go smartcard should take us further on that journey. We need to encourage more people to use public transport to take pressure off the roads and reduce carbon emissions. Making payments and ticketing as easy as possible is a very important part of that process and something I’m sure passengers will find helpful.”

Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership’s Michael Parker-Bray said: “It’s great to see this hassle-free new way to travel being rolled out in Cornwall, giving passengers even more choice and convenience for their local journeys.

“To give people a sneak preview of how easy it is to use, we’re pleased to have produced a short video showing an example pay-as-you-go trip between Penryn and Truro. We’ll be promoting the video on social media to encourage as many people as possible to try this exciting new option.”

The GWR touch smartcard will be valid on GWR and CrossCountry services between Penzance and Par. The card will enable passengers to get *best value on walk-up fares for the day of travel, plus Weekly Season ticket price capping applied to end-to-end journeys between two stations over a Monday to Sunday seven-day week.

Train tickets and season tickets can also be stored on your smartcard with pay-as-you-go, except a Flexi Season ticket. GWR advises that a Flexi Season ticket is not used in combination with pay-as-you-go and customers should obtain a separate smartcard for these products.

Railcards can also be loaded on to your pay-as-you-go card, with discounts automatically applied, while a 50% child fare discount is available if you register your child.

Register for your GWR touch smartcard now and start using from Wednesday, November 15.

Register for a account or login if you already have one go to ‘Manage smartcards’ within your account and choose ‘Apply for a smartcard’ from the drop-down menu fill out the form and submit your order you should usually receive your free smartcard within five working days