Earlier in the year we announced plans to extend half price rail fares to 16 and 17-year-olds through a new railcard. The new railcard will be launched towards the end of August, ready for the new academic year. We know that many local authorities already deliver discount schemes for young people, and this new railcard is designed to complement those existing schemes. Given the ongoing engagement many of you have with train operating companies on those local products and offers, we wanted to ensure that you were well informed about the new railcard, and the Q&A below should provide some useful information:
- Who will be eligible for the new Railcard?
The new railcard can be purchased by all 16 and 17 year olds.
- How much will the railcard cost?
It will cost £30 per year.
- How long will the railcard be valid?
The railcard will be valid for one year or until the holder’s 18th birthday, whichever is earliest.
- Which services can the railcard be used on?
The railcard will be valid on services provided by DfT-franchised train operating companies. Conversations with devolved administrations about acceptance of the railcard on franchises they manage are ongoing.
- Can the railcard be used for season tickets?
Yes – the railcard will be valid on singles, returns and season tickets. It is designed to enable 16 and 17 year olds to access the same half price child fares that they could access until they were 16.
- How does this railcard differ from the existing 16-25 Railcard?
This railcard will provide a different level of discount to the existing 16-25 railcard, which is aimed at leisure travel. The 16-25 railcard has a minimum fare of £12 for journeys starting between 4.30am and 10am on week days and is therefore less useful for travel to and from education or training. There will be few restrictions associated with the 16-17 railcard, with railcard-holders eligible for half price fares, including on season tickets, and with no minimum fares.
- Why have you introduced this new railcard?
Young people are required to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday, but they only have access to half price child rail fares until their 16th birthday. This new railcard is designed to bridge that gap and provide an additional support for young people.