The c2c rail network which connects London and Essex is set to go ticketless by the end of the year.

The transport provider is to launch a pilot scheme which will allow travellers to use credit or debit cards to “pay as you go”, or smart tickets - digital tickets which are loaded onto smart cards or stored on mobile phones.

Announcing the scheme, Sir James Duddridge, Conservative MP for Rochford and Southend East in Essex, said the move could put an end to time-consuming queues at ticket machines.

c2c says it has no plans to remove ticket machines. 

A spokesperson said: "The government is committed to rolling out contactless pay-as-you-go and barcode-enabled ticketing across the UK rail network and we're really pleased our customers will benefit from this project.

"This will offer more smart ticketing options and will help customers travel more flexibly and conveniently as well as supporting the wider economic recovery of the region through easier access to rail travel.

"We will announce exact timings of the launch of barcode and pay-as-you-go in due course."