A new smartcard enabling passengers to 'pay as you go' and eventually travel on the London Underground is coming to Epsom this year, according to its MP - although the train company says it is "confused and concerned" by his claims.

MP Chris Grayling told the Epsom Guardian that Southern, the train company which runs Epsom station, has said that it will introduce its new smartcard - developed through the Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation (ITSO) and known as the Key - at the station by the end of the year.

The card enables commuters to buy annual, monthly and weekly tickets, singles and returns and travelcards electronically and swipe the card at ticket barriers.

The MP said that, while it would not introduce Oyster Card-style discounts for travellers through Epsom, it will give people using the terminus "all of its functionality".

He said: "It doesn’t stop the efforts to get Epsom into Zone 6 and in the London travelcard area so people coming out of London with Oyster Cards can use them in Epsom."

Mr Grayling said that Epsom had been selected as a "pioneer" station for the smartcard by Southern, in recognition of the campaign to get the station into Zone 6 - which this newspaper launched last May. 

He added: "By the middle of next of year we can expect to have pay-as-you-go on there as well and I’ve been told that a Transport for London (TfL) project should make it usable across the whole TfL network during the course of next year."

But a spokesman for Southern said he was "confused" by Mr Grayling’s assertion that Epsom had been chosen as a "pioneer" station because its smartcard, which was launched at Lewes station in November 2011, already operates "at most Southern stations outside of London".

He also said that he was concerned by Mr Grayling’s comments "about it being used on the Tube".

But the spokesman said that Southern is in talks with South West Trains to bring its Key, which is already available in stations such as Reigate and Redhill, to stations between Epsom and Dorking, with South West Trains deciding what is charged on that route.

Mr Grayling said he does not understand Southern’s confusion and reiterated his earlier comments when the train company’s claims were put to him.

Do you think Epsom station should be in Zone 6?  Sign the Epsom Guardian's online petition here