Confirmed programme launch excludes one million people
Arriving at the end of this year, a railcard geared towards travellers aged 26-30 will provide up to 34% off all advance tickets and walk up fares. The programme, named the “millennial railcard,” extends most existing 16-25 railcard privileges to people up to age 30. Whilst this discount hopes to enable more young travellers to explore the UK, the timing excludes nearly one million citizens who were meant to benefit. According to the Telegraph, the railcard was “…promised by the chancellor in his budget in November 2017.” However, “…around one million people who were in the target age range when Philip Hammond made his announcement about the card will be too old to qualify.”
4 million still eligible for discount railcard
According to an announcement on the National Rail website, 4 million travellers can take advantage of the 34% discount. Enrolment costs £30 for the year, and is handled on www.26-30railcard.co.uk. The programme hopes to save nearly £600million a year on rail travel. It’s also worth mentioning that the discount is rolling out as a digital download for the Railcard app. “Once downloaded customers can then start travelling (and saving) straight away, with no need to wait for the post. If their phone runs out of battery or gets lost it can be swapped to another mobile device (National Rail).”
Going beyond other rail discount programmes
Although the UK isn’t the only country to offer reduced tickets to young people, others tend to cap around 28. For example, SNCF in France offers a Carte Jeune, available to travellers under 28. Similarly, B Rail in Belgium, heavily reduces fares for those under 26. It seems the UK acknowledges the hardship “millennials” face when sorting out financial independence. Either way, it’s a great initiative. It also comes at a good time when London continues to increase restrictions in the Congestion Charge zone.