Government plans for a new rail card for younger travellers from September have been broadly welcomed on the day that many Lancashire rail travellers face a fares increase of 3.1 per cent.
The 16 and 17 year old card is aimed at students while the 26 to 30 “millennials’” railcard will enable discounts for off peak travellers.
But there were protests yesterday at some stations over the 3.1 per cent rise which comes after a year of rail chaos.
Blackpool-based rail sector champion for disabled travellers Stephen Brookes (inset) said: “I am very much in favour of the cards. There’s a real social value to these things. Most groups can get some kind of rail card, which if used sensibly, can off set the unacceptable rise in rail fares we have just seen.
“This young persons’ card will also bring an added voice to making sure services come up to standard as this group tend to be very vocal certainly through social media.
“However in this part of the world, it would be nice if the various rail companies such as Northern , Virgin, Transpennine, would work together to clarify what is and what is not ‘peak time’ travel when cards can typically cannot be used.
“Young disabled students still face all sorts of barriers on our transport system so if this goes some way to making it a little bit easier for them then I welcome it.”
Darren Shirley, chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Young people will welcome half price rail travel making their journey to school or college more affordable.
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 rail cards for some age groups is no substitute for the fundamental reform of rail fares that is needed for the benefit of all passengers.”