DAVID JENKINS reports on the rapid changes in technology that are replacing traditional ticket machines and transactions involving coins and banknotes across large parts of the country

Bold advertising for contactless on Carousel Buses 218 (GF10 OXF), an Alexander Dennis Enviro400-bodied Scania N230UD, at High Wycombe.

Forty years ago, bus operators had simple choices for ticketing. Perhaps three or four main suppliers of ticket machines, and some paper or printing firms for the tickets to go in them, or to be sold in an office.

These days, there is a much wider choice. Almost every bus still has a physical ticket machine on board, even if – as in London – no cash is actually taken. And there are still four main suppliers operating in the UK. But fewer customers require a paper ticket from the machine, with options such as smartcards and mobile phones gaining ground.

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