THURROCK commuters are set to benefit from a new £2.7million scheme to introduce paperless, smart card train tickets.

The new system, which will be very similar to the Oyster card system in use at stations between Grays and Fenchurch Street, will mean automatic ticket gates trigger more reliably, tickets will be easier to purchase or “top up”, with the material lasting longer. It could also mean shorter queues.

The technology is set to be rolled out at stations along the c2c line through Thurrock by January.

Transport Minister Norman Baker made the announcement last Friday after c2c proposed upgrading ticketing systems outside London from January.

c2c managing director Julian Drury said: “We’re delighted passengers on c2c will be the first to benefit from the Government’s expansion of smart ticketing.

“We will be working closely with the Department of Transport over the next few months to ensure passengers enjoy a simple and flexible ticketing system.”