Rail travellers in Welwyn Hatfield will finally be able to use Oyster and contactless payment cards for journeys to and from London.

The announcement was made by the Department for Transport after several years of campaigning to expand easy payments into parts of Hertfordshire.

MP Grant Shapps, who has battled for the move for a number of years, said: “It is fantastic to finally see Welwyn Hatfield included in the Oyster zones.”

Barriers at stations along the line will soon start to be changed to accept pay-as-you-go cards. Implementation is set to begin in the second half of 2019.

The expansion of Oyster will make train travel “so much easier for residents commuting into London as well as those travelling north to Luton,” said Mr Shapps.

“Although this is a move in the right direction, train services to and from Welwyn Hatfield still have a long way to go in improvements.

“The success in this campaign won’t stop me from continuing to push for more reliable and more frequent trains to the area.”

Stations which will accept Oyster and other contactless cardsinclude Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, Welham Green, Brookmans Park and PottersBar.