Railcard For Military Veterans

From the UK Department for Transport

You may have heard the Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, announcing there is to be a railcard for military veterans to provide discounted rail travel to veterans and their families.

Veterans are Individuals aged 16 and over who have served at least one day in the UK Armed Forces. This includes those of us who were conscripted to undertake our National Service.

Snowflakes may not know that National Service was a standardised form of peacetime conscription. All able-bodied men between the ages of 18 and 30 were called up. They initially served for 18 months. But in 1950, during the Korean War (1950-53), this was increased to two years. Between 1949 – when the National Service Act came into force – and 1963 – when the last National Serviceman was demobbed – more than 2 million men were conscripted to the British Army, Royal Navy or Royal Air Force.

UK Armed Forces veterans residing in Great Britain will be referred to as veterans throughout this report. Retirement age veterans are aged 65 and over.

“‘At the age of seventeen I received through the post an official letter inviting me, well, not exactly inviting, but summonsing me to register for National Service”. Private Gordon Kell, Royal Army Medical Corps, 1952-54

“Our military personnel are rightly valued throughout their service in HM armed forces. They make sacrifices and put themselves in danger to protect and serve our country. It is only right that we continue to show how much we value their efforts once they leave the armed forces too.

“In our manifesto we promised to introduce a railcard for veterans. I am delighted to announce that we will make it available from 11 November this year (2020). This railcard will extend discounted train travel to the more than 830,000 veterans not covered by existing discounts.

“We expect our service personnel to live and work all over the country, moving wherever they are needed to serve our great country. This often leads to service families, and former service families, living far away from friends and family and the communities they grew up in.

“Therefore, I believe it is important that our veterans have access to this railcard, supporting their access to vital work prospects and retraining opportunities, and making it easier for former members of the armed forces to stay in touch with friends and relatives.

“This railcard will also allow their family to travel with them, potentially saving military families hundreds of pounds a year. I am sure that you will agree with me that this is a welcome measure, alongside a much wider set of commitments which are being announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office today in the government’s consultation response to last year’s consultation on the Strategy for our Veterans.

“This new railcard is one of the first parts of this government’s commitment to make the UK the best place to be a veteran anywhere in the world. My department is pleased to be supporting this ambition through this new railcard”.

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