SWSAL from 2011


In April 2011, SWSAL, hosted by Plymouth City Council, submitted a comprehensive LSTF bid in Tranche 1 for “ITSO based ticketing throughout all South West England”. The bid for £2.98million was approved in July 2011 and is now being implemented for completion by March 2013. The three core complementary scheme packages of the bid are:

  • Delivering the roll out of ITSO compliant ticket machines and required support services across all registered bus services in SW England by the end of 2012/13.
  • Delivering Europe’s first open access regional ITSO HOPS Card Management System (CMS) Package, and England’s first Region wide E-money platform for transport ticketing.
  • Support smart ticketing adoption within community based organisations in SW England, and assist other English local authorities in meeting DfT smart card based policy deadlines. This includes a rail based element in respect of a proposed pilot on the Falmouth Branch-line.

The South West Regional HOPS is now progressively being used by SWSAL Members.

SWSAL, during the Autum of 2011, completed an OJEU Framework Agreement for the Supply and Maintenance of ITSO ETMs and software for use by all of its Members, with Corvia Ltd (Ticketer).

SWSAL from 2008 to 2010 – formerly SWSCB (South West SmartCard Board)


In June 2008 it was agreed at a Regional Conference of South West Local Authorities, Bus Operators and other core regional Stakeholders to set up the South West SmartCard Board (SWSCB) to promote the procurement and delivery of efficiencies in Smart Ticketing throughout the Region. The South West SmartCard Board Directors included representatives from unitary and county Local Authorities other TCA and ATCO representatives, representatives from the Bus Operators including CPT and other core Stakeholders including South West RDA, GOSW, Forum for the Future, Passenger Focus, SWPTI and the University of Plymouth, the Centre for Sustainable Transport. The SWSCB was hosted by the University of Plymouth.

The SWSCB then agreed to commission work to assess the opportunities for a Regional ITSO Smart Card Back Office System (HOPS). This would unlock the opportunity within the South West to benefit from a range of Smart Card applications for Public Transport enabling the region to deliver the Department for Transport’s vision for Smart and Integrated Ticketing. This study, funded by the South West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership (SWIEP), was completed in April 2009 and produced the UK’s first interactive Business Case Model for quantifying both the financial cost benefit of investing in a shared Smart Card system as well as the environmental benefits associated with carbon and emissions reduction, modal exchange and quality of life indicators.

In Autumn 2009 the SWSCB with additional funding from the SWIEP, formerly the RIEP, produced a tender specification for an OJEU Procurement Framework Agreement for the HOPS and to prepare the legal documentation for the creation of a formal legal partnership between the public and the private sectors in the South West to host and manage the project delivery.

In March 2010, the SWSCB agreed to establish, with support from the RIEP, ‘South West Smart Applications Ltd’ – a not for profit Company limited by guarantee. The Company was created to provide a more stable long-term governance platform for the delivery of partnership based smartcard projects within the South West Region.

South West Smart Applications Ltd was incorporated in March 2010. The University of Plymouth will continue to host the Company as it did for SWSCB. The Board of the Company is made up of four Local Authority and four Passenger Transport Directors to ensure an equitable approach to partnership, and is chaired by Andrew Seedhouse. Associate members (non voting) of the Company include all the original core stakeholders of the SWSCB.

SWSAL was launched at a major regional event on 8th October 2010 attended by Rt Hon Norman Baker MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport. At this event, attended by over 120 representatives, including Chief Executives and Leaders of the Local Authorities, Portfolio holders and Senior LA staff, as well as MD’s of the Bus Companies, the Minister launched:

  • A £1.85 million South West Improvement and Efficiency Partnership funded grant scheme to assist Local Authorities and Bus Operators to become early adopters of ITSO based Smart Ticketing schemes.
  • The Department for Transport funded Regional ITSO Back Office System (HOPS), operated by the West of England Partnership (WEP).
  • A £100k Consultancy Advice Program for Local Authorities and Operators to assist them to go ‘live’.
  • A comprehensive Users Guide for Local Authorities and Operators to assist them with implementing ITSO based Smart Ticketing using the HOPS and navigating the ITSO maze