A week after the UK Government launched the national consultation on smart ticketing, the Department for Transport (DfT) has granted a £13.4m contract to Tyne & Wear Metro for a ticketing system revamp.

The money will be used as part of the metro’s £14.9m scheme to replace its 225 existing ticket machines at 60 stations.

The new smart card-ready machines will accept cash as well as cards.

The scheme includes the installation of gating on the metro at 13 key stations to cut ticketless travel and increase the level of revenue collections.

The remaining funds for the scheme will be provided by the metro’s operator Nexus which can now go ahead with awarding contracts for the work.

Work is expected to begin in October 2009 and finish by the end of 2012.

The scheme forms phase 1 of the metro’s £300m decade-long reinvigoration programme.