Labour leaders have criticised government transport policy in the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ after it was revealed that not one railway station in the North East and Cumbria has a smart card reader.

The news comes after ministers pledged to introduce “Oyster-style travel cards and simpler fares across the North” last year, but the opposition has branded the claims “a sham” after the lack of progress.

In its manifesto, the government committed itself to introducing flexible season tickets across the country, which could save commuters up to 50% on travel costs. But this initiative is dependent on the use of smart cards, and of the 710 stations fitted with smart card readers none are in the North East or Cumbria.

In January, Rail Minister Claire Perry said: “the North of England, the birthplace of the modern railway […] is once again pioneering the future of ticketing.” But Lilian Greenwood, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said that the figures “demonstrate the huge regional disparities that expose George Osborneā€™s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ rhetoric for the sham it really is.”