Northern will use five million fewer iconic, orange ‘magstripe’ train tickets this year thanks to Northern customers’ continued switch to digital alternatives.
The number of people travelling on smartcards and barcode tickets has now reached 54.8 million – up five million in the past 12 months – which represents 72.6% of all Northern customers.
Magstripe tickets are non-recyclable as they’re made from more than one material, meaning even environmentally conscious customers had no option but to dispose of them in ‘general waste’.
The five million tickets equate to five tonnes of rubbish saved from going to ‘general waste’.
But with the introduction of digital ‘Duo’ tickets earlier this month, all of Northern’s standard tickets are now available in electronic format – meaning the number of old ‘magstripe’ tickets required is significantly reduced.
The train operator has welcomed the trend – and its environment benefits – as the world gets set to mark Earth Day tomorrow (Saturday, 22 April).
Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said:
“We saw a huge surge in demand for digital ticketing post-pandemic as online ordering became ‘the norm’ across the retail and leisure sector.
“Customer behaviour has certainly changed – people enjoy the flexibility of buying their ticket ‘on the go’ and being able to store it on their mobile phone or tablet.
“The environmental benefit of five million fewer magstripe tickets going to general waste is a huge bonus and something we welcome.”
The current version of the iconic, orange ‘magstripe’ ticket was first used in 2014, when Northern was selected by the then Association of Train Operating Companies (now known as the Rail Delivery Group) to carry out a trial at stations across the North of England. They went on to become the standard ticket for all train operators and remain in use to this day.
Earth Day is an annual, global event first held in 1970. It is designed to highlight issues around the need for environmental protection. For more information, visit: www.earthday.org
Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.