Passengers could one day make journeys on buses and trains using an all-Wales travel card similar to the Oyster Card scheme in London.

Mark Drakeford told the Senedd the Welsh Government would explore the possibility of a smart card scheme being introduced nationwide. 

Such a card would let people use various forms of public transport via a single method of payment, rather than buying separate tickets for each leg of their journeys.

South Wales East MS Natasha Asghar told the Senedd such a scheme was practical and would make public transport use more equitable.

"A person could board a bus from their home in Newport to the railway station and then use the same card on the train to Swansea and get the bus from Swansea station, for example, to Swansea University," she said.

Conservative MS Asghar said she had a "passion" for the project and had met with Paragon ID, the firm behind the Oyster Card scheme in London.

The National Wales: Natasha Asghar, Welsh Conservative MS for the South Wales East region. Picture: Senedd.tvNatasha Asghar, Welsh Conservative MS for the South Wales East region. Picture: Senedd.tv

"During our discussion it became apparent that much of the technology for an all-Wales travel card is already in place, and all that is required to bring this about is for the Welsh Government to work with stakeholders and provide the investment," she added.

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A smart card scheme would ensure more "seamless" journeys for residents and commuters, and encourage tourism, Asghar told the Senedd.

The first minister was supportive of the idea and said he had also met a group proposing such a "Welsh card" for public transport use nationwide.

"In principle, I think there is a great deal that is worth exploring in the ideas that [Asghar] has set out," he said. "I don't think it would be right for me to commit to a particular solution promoted by a particular company or groups of companies, but she asks me whether I will commit to exploring the possibility of a card that would improve transport connectivity across Wales, and I'm very happy to give that commitment."  

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