Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale pledges all Scotland smartcard

Scottish Labour is poised to set out its proposals to create a single smartcard covering all Scotland’s transport services, if it wins power from the Scottish National Party (SNP) in the Scottish parliament elections.

It also wants bus services to be regulated to protect unprofitable routes, but has not given any details.

Full details of its proposals are expected shortly, when it launches its manifesto for the Holyrood election on 5 May.

Scottish Labour says its plans would be compulsory, apply to all transport operators and would be rolled out within the first year of a Scottish Labour government.

People would be able to use contactless credit or debit cards to pay for travel by the end of the next parliament, it said.

The Scottish government announced plans for an integrated Saltire Card in 2012, but it has not yet been introduced.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale says the Scottish transport system is a “patchwork of services” which had left many areas “with no decent provision.”

She says: “That's why we will legislate for an integrated transport system with regulated bus services and one smart ticket that can take you across Scotland.

“People should be able to travel the length and breadth of our country with one card in their pocket. In 2012, we were told this wasn't far off, but in 2016 we're still waiting.

“London has had a single smartcard for 13 years and has recently started taking payments using contactless credit and debit cards. The technology exists – all we need is the political will to deliver it.”