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New 16-17 railcard now on sale

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A new railcard offering 16 and 17-year olds half price fares is now on sale.

The card, which costs £30 a year, is aimed at sixth form and college students and those entering the working world, the Department for Transport said.

However, it is only valid for one year or until the holder’s 18th birthday, whichever comes first.

The government forecasts the new card will save up to 1.2 million teenagers £186 every year.

It’s available to buy here from today but it can only be used from 2 September.

Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris, said: “The brand-new Saver means that a generation of rail passengers can now benefit from cheaper fares, keeping money in their pocket and helping them get to school, college and work.”

The launch comes as the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) confirmed that over 327,000 people are now saving a third off their journeys after purchasing the 26-30 Railcard, saving an average of £19 per month since it launched in January.

David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges said: “This rail discount for 16 and 17-year olds is a huge step in the right direction and will help to alleviate the financial pressures facing young people and their families across the country.

“Many from disadvantaged backgrounds find themselves making difficult choices about their future based on how much their journey to college will cost, increasing the pressures of staying in education.

“Travel costs should never be a barrier to education. It will give a much needed helping hand to thousands who rely on rail travel to access education and training.”

The new card is valid across England, Wales and services into Scotland.

Rail fares on the rise

The launch of the railcard comes as it was revealed last week that regulated rail fares will rise by 2.8 per cent in January next year, in line with July’s retail price index (RPI) figure.

Some commuters could see their fares rise by £165, according to the Campaign for Better Transport.

Regulated fares account for around 45 per cent of ticket sales. The rest, including things like advance and peak long-distance tickets, can be increased at train companies’ discretion.

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