Passengers are set to miss out on planned 'smart' payment cards for travelling on trains and buses in Cumbria.

Cards similar to the popular Oyster – which can be used while travelling in London and allow passengers to make a single contactless payment for journeys – had been mooted for the county and across the north of England.

Transport for the North had hoped to see the technology rolled out but, at a TfN board meeting on Thursday, it was revealed that the Integrated and Smart Travel (IST) programme has now been scrapped due to funding cuts.

Regional leaders at the meeting said: “'Levelling up' as an idea is in disarray after the Department for Transport announced plans to cut funding to the integrated smart travel programme as part of a 40 per cent cost-cutting exercise.”

Jeremy Acklam, the integrated and Smart Travel director, was also disappointed.

He said: “It's sad to see us having to wind down this programme.”

A report prepared ahead of Thursday's meeting said: "Specifically, the £33m requested for the year ahead would have delivered contactless payment on rail, light rail and buses in partner geographies across the North – a key element in providing travellers with the confidence to use public transport as we recover from the pandemic."

The meeting was attended by Councillor Keith Little, Cumbria County Council cabinet member for highways and transport.

He said: “Let's remember that, despite this, there is still ongoing investment in our walking and cycling infrastructure in Cumbria.

"It still underlines the county council’s commitment to supporting active travel, which has a number of benefits to everyone’s health and wellbeing, and reduces the traffic and congestion on the highway network.”

Many operators run buses and trains across Cumbria, including Stagecoach, while there are also rail links with Northern, TransPennine Express and ScotRail.