The Anonymous Widower

Manchester’s Contactless Ticketing

In Manchester yesterday, I used their new contactless ticketing.

The system appeared to be working well, but I do have reservations.

Use On The Trains

I went up to Glossop on the train. As both Glossop and Manchester Piccadilly stations have tiket barriers, why can’t I use contactless ticketing on that type of journey?


All of the barriers I saw, were the same as London’s, so they can also read contactless bank cards.

Not all stations in London have ticket barriers. You’re just expected to touch in and touch out, as you do with Manchester’s system.

Surely, the software can and will be extended!


Damage To The Terminal

Two of the four terminals I looked at were damaged; possibly by a sledgehammer or a Size 10-boot.

Are they robust enough.

Instructions For Users

I didn’t see any posters, describing how to use the system in English.

Surely, as Manchester, is receiving a lot more visitors, comprehensive instructions in several languages.

Terminal Design

I came across a couple of first time users, who were both locals and they weren’t sure, where to put their card.

I’d be interested to know, why they didn’t use London’s design of terminal.

I’ve only ever seen a technician fixing one broken terminal in London.

No Staff

I didn’t see any staff! The stop under Piccadilly had no staff there to help visitors.

What About Those With Poor Vision?

I have a friend, who is registered blind and has a guide dog. But he can see a bit and has no trouble using contactless in London, especially as the dog leads him to wide gates.

Would my friend cope in Manchester?


It’s a good start, but some details haven’t been properly thought through!

At least, I won’t need to buy a ticket in Manchester again, unless I’m using a train.


July 30, 2019 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. contactless pay as you go is only available on the trams, right? London is far ahead of anywhere else in providing a fully integrated system; it’s ideal for occasional visitors like me making a cross-modal journey from one part of London to another.

    Comment by Peter Robins | July 30, 2019 | Reply

    • It’s part of a bigger picture. I have a bus pass because of my age. Every city in the UK seems to have different rules. I was once threatened with throwing off a bus because I didn’t pick up the ticket. Most Londoner’s haven’t seen a bus ticket in the City for years!

      I was on a Manchester bus with a guy who was a bus drivers Union rep. He told me he wanted cash free buses as it dramatically cut assaults on staff.

      You certainly very rarely hear of assaults on transport staff in London.

      Comment by AnonW | July 30, 2019 | Reply

      • the Dutch have a nationwide cash-free system now. Frequent travellers have a pre-paid Chipkaart system, like an Oystercard only nationwide, and occasional travellers can buy on the bus with a contactless or PIN debit/credit card. You can no longer pay the driver in cash. Seems inevitable this sort of system will spread to other countries.

        Comment by Peter Robins | August 3, 2019

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