Amber Rudd welcomes new rail cards halving price of travel for young people in Hastings and Rye

Today Amber Rudd MP has welcomed the announcement that this Government will be freezing rail fares in line with inflation for the sixth year in a row, unlike the Labour Government who increased rail fares above inflation by 7.5 per cent in 2009.

The Transport Secretary has also announced measures to slash fares for a generation of rail passengers, helping young people with the cost of living so that they can keep more money in their pockets. Amber welcomed the news that the Government is introducing a brand new railcard, which will halve all rail fares for 1.2 million young people including 16 and 17-year-olds in Hastings and Rye.

The railcard will give 16-17 year olds 50 per cent off all fares from September in time for the new academic year, it will be valid for season tickets and peak services. This will provide a real boost for young people and their parents in East Sussex with many saving thousands a year.

The 26-30 railcard will also be available across the country from today, benefitting an extra 3 million people with a third off their travel. These measures will give this age group in Hastings and Rye a fairer deal in their commute to work by cutting a third off their rail fares and will ensure that more young people than ever will be able to travel on railways for less.

On top of this, the Government is launching a review to transform Britain’s railways, improve services and provide better value for money for passengers.

Amber commented:

“I am delighted by today’s announcements which will provide a genuine boost for hardworking commuting families and young people in Hastings and Rye.

“Thanks to our balanced approach to the economy the Conservatives in Government have been able to invest more in the vital public services we all rely on whilst helping people with the cost of living so they can keep more of what they earn.”

--ENDS--

 

Notes to Editors

  • We are introducing a brand new 16 and 17-year-old railcard to halve rail travel for this age group, benefitting young people and their families across the country. The rail card extends half-price child rail fares to 16 and 17-year-olds – for all ticket types – benefitting 1.2 million young people.
     
  • We are rolling out an industry-led 26-30 rail card to cut a third off most rail tickets, giving this age group a fairer deal as they commute to work. This will benefit an extra 3 million young people.
     
  • Freezing regulated rail fares in line with inflation for the sixth year in a row to protect passengers’ best interests. By capping regulated fares, annual season ticket holders will have approximately £425 extra in their pockets in the five years to 2020 (BBC News, 16 August 2016, link; The Guardian, 11 August 2018, link).
     
  • Launching a review to transform Britain’s railways to improve services and provide better value for money for passengers. Our expert panel will make recommendations to improve the current franchising model in terms of reliability, delivering better services and value for money for passengers (DfT, News story, 20 September 2018, link).

Rail fares increased above inflation under Labour:

  • Rail fares rose above inflation under the last five years of Labour, and by 11 per cent in their final year in office. Rail fares rose faster than inflation between 2005 and 2009. The average annual fare rise in Labour’s last five years was 5.1 per cent. Since 2010, rail fares have risen at a lower average rate of 3.3 per cent a year (ORR, average change in price of rail fares, link).
  • Rail fares rose over inflation by 7.5 per cent in 2009 under Labour (Railways: Fare Statistics, accessed 1 January 2019, link).