Chris Grayling announces half price train tickets for teenagers and a third off fares for 26 to 30-year-olds with two new railcards, as season tickets for older people soar
- Transport Secretary Chris Grayling boasted last night that new railcards for teenagers and under-30s will cut fares for a ‘generation’
- Mr Grayling announced a new railcard for those aged 16 and 17 in a bid to take the sting out of the backlash against fare increases
- This will extend half-price child fares to up to 1.2million teenagers, saving hundreds of pounds a year for families
Millions more young rail passengers will benefit from cheaper fares as prices soar for older travellers.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling boasted last night that new railcards for teenagers and under-30s will cut fares for a ‘generation’.
But commuters will stage demonstrations at stations across the UK today in protest at surging season ticket costs.
Last night one campaign group said cheaper travel for younger passengers was ‘no substitute for fundamental reform’ of rail fares which should benefit all.
Chris Grayling (pictured) announced a new railcard for those aged 16 and 17 in a bid to take the sting out of the backlash against fare increases
Mr Grayling announced a new railcard for those aged 16 and 17 in a bid to take the sting out of the backlash against fare increases. This will extend half-price child fares to up to 1.2million teenagers, saving hundreds of pounds a year for families.
It will guarantee 50 per cent off most fares, including peak, off-peak, super off-peak and advanced tickets, as well as travelcards.
The scheme will be launched in September to coincide with the new academic year.
A new national railcard for those aged between 26 and 30 will go on sale from midday today, offering up to 4.4million young adults a discount of a third on many rail journeys – although there are no discounts on season tickets.
Some 4million people already hold a ’16 to 25′ discount railcard, and the two new railcards mean that everyone under 30 now qualifies for discounted rail travel.
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Mr Grayling said: ‘The new ’16 and 17′ and ’26 to 30′ railcards will cut fares for a generation of travellers, ensuring more young people than ever will be able to travel on our railways for less.’
Ticket prices are rising by an average of 3.1 per cent from today, which will push up the cost of many season tickets by more than £100.
Fares have risen by 36 per cent since the Tories came to power in 2010 – almost three times as quickly as wages, a report has found.
Analysis of more than 180 routes by Labour suggests that commuters are now paying £2,980 for their annual season ticket on average, up £786 from 2010.
Labour MP Graham Stringer, a member of the Commons transport committee, said: ‘This new railcard is essentially a gimmick to divert attention away from the Government’s failure to run the railways effectively.
‘There is no help here for commuters who have seen rail fares go up and the service get worse.’
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling boasted last night that new railcards for teenagers and under-30s will cut fares for a ‘generation’
Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: ‘This is a positive move for a generation being priced off the railway.
However, rail fares having gone up following a dismal year of delays, cancellations and overcrowding will leave commuters wondering what they are paying for.
‘New railcards for some age groups is no substitute for the fundamental reform of rail fares that is needed for the benefit of all passengers.’ The Government has resisted pressure from Labour and commuter groups to freeze fares.
Instead of alleviating the pressure on all passengers the Government has focused its efforts on making rail travel more affordable for younger people, including teenagers within two years of being able to vote.
It marks an attempt to attract younger voters courted by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn with the promise of a string of giveaways, including free university tuition, cancelling existing student debt and free bus travel for under-25s.
The railcards will be funded by rail operators. But the Rail Delivery Group, which represents rail companies and Network Rail, has insisted the schemes will not be subsidised by older passengers.
It said the railcards will in fact be ‘cost neutral’ because they will encourage youngsters to travel by train more frequently.
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