Transport for Wales (TfW) has started the installation of new ticket vending machines and operating smartcards across the Wales and Borders network routes in the UK.

This technology is expected to increase safety measures to limit the spread of Covid-19.

TfW has installed modern ticket machines that feature improved Welsh Language components and raised pictograms to aid visually impaired people at 20 stations, including Cardiff Central and Penarth.

Some stations such as Tir-Phil and Hengoed have been equipped with ticket retail facilities for the first time.

The smartcards can be used at the Cardiff – Shrewsbury, Wrexham – Bidston and Swansea – Milford Haven routes, among 20 other routes.

The railway operator has planned to roll out 238 machines at 143 railway stations across the network.

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TfW CEO James Price said: “Improving the customer experience is one of our top priorities and installing new, modern ticket machines and providing smartcards is an essential step forward.

“We are transforming transport across our Wales and Borders network, that work involves physical transformation but also utilising technology and introducing the most modern and efficient measures for us to operate our services.

“We are facing many challenges as a result of Covid-19 and providing contactless options improves the safety of colleagues and staff and will really help with our social distancing measures.”

Last September, TfW revealed a £194m ($241m) investment plan to upgrade 247 stations.

Under the plan, TfW will upgrade shelters, install CCTV, construct cycle storage and improved passenger information, as well as provide free Wi-Fi at all stations in the next 15 years.