We continue to support the UK Government's ambition for greater service integration that attracts more people to public transport.
Across our UK businesses we have developed a range of integrated tickets and easy-to-understand travel information to help customers make through journeys. We work with industry partners to develop the industry standard PlusBus integrated ticketing products. Sales of these and related integrated products continue to rise.
We continue to play a leading role in the multi-operator travelcard and ticketing companies in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire. These provide the mechanism by which bus operators and local transport executives can work together to offer passengers seamless travel on all bus companies' services.
In Manchester, for example, the System One brand enables travel on all bus services, the Metrolink tram service and certain rail services within the Greater Manchester area. Via the Optio partnerships, we have this year coordinated timetables to improve the frequency of services and introduced a range of inter-operator tickets.
We participate in the One-Ticket initiative in the Edinburgh area. Similar initiatives in Leicester, West Yorkshire, Merseyside and Glasgow now offer through tickets from the National Rail network onto the Glasgow subway.
The amount of cycle parking facilities at our stations has increased across our rail network. In a number of places we offer passengers discounted cycle hire in partnership with local hire companies.
We are also working with car clubs and car-sharing schemes to promote and offer additional benefits at members' home stations. In Leeds and York our rail services are promoted to local car club users.
We support the UK Government's objective to develop a national strategy for smart and integrated ticketing. Government funding has enabled us to install smart card readers in Scotland and Wales and some locations in England. By November 2012 we will be able to process concessionary cards on all our ticket machines, outside London.
In addition we are investing £27m in new ticketing technology. The first phase will be fully installed by the end of this year providing us with an ITSO smart card platform. Our plans are to further deploy this technology to enable customers to 'touch in, touch out' using their bank cards. This will help reduce barriers to bus travel, reduce cash transactions and reduce boarding times. It will also enable us to offer a wide range of ticket products including the ability to cap daily and weekly fares. Looking further ahead the equipment also has the capability to accept payment by mobile phone.
First ScotRail has a fully operational smart card ticketing system for season rail tickets on its Edinburgh to Glasgow route which are also available online. Through this project we have explored other avenues in smart retail and a further ten stations with ticket gates are to have smart card readers installed this year. We are actively exploring opportunities in new retail channels such as smart phones and enhanced web retail. We intend to work in collaboration with other train operators on smart card initiatives to improve commercial efficiency and customer experience and to engage with bus, ferry and underground operators to introduce multi mode smart cards in 2012/13.
First Great Western and First Capital Connect are in discussions with other train operating companies and the Department for Transport to extend smart card ticketing to a large part of the commuter network in the South East. It is anticipated that pilot schemes will commence in 2013 with a wider rollout in early 2014. The schemes will allow for traditional products to be available on smart cards and in the longer term see the introduction of more innovative flexible products, only available on smart cards, for commuters and regular travellers.