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Author Topic: Veterans railcard for cheaper train fares to launch on Armistice Day  (Read 824 times)
grahame
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« on: January 22, 2020, 04:00:36 am »

From the BBC

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A new railcard offering discounted train tickets for military veterans will be launched later this year, the government has said.

The railcard - to be released on Armistice Day in November - will save a third off most train fares.

It will benefit more than 830,000 veterans who do not already qualify for existing discounts, the Department for Transport said.

Serving armed forces personnel already qualify for their own railcard.

"Every part of society should honour the debt we owe those who've served our country," said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

He said allowing ex-servicemen and women to travel more easily was "the least we can do".

"This railcard will help open up opportunities to veterans, whether through employment and retraining, or by strengthening links with friends and family," he added.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2020, 05:38:37 am »

From the BBC

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A new railcard offering discounted train tickets for military veterans will be launched later this year, the government has said.

The railcard - to be released on Armistice Day in November - will save a third off most train fares.

It will benefit more than 830,000 veterans who do not already qualify for existing discounts, the Department for Transport said.

Serving armed forces personnel already qualify for their own railcard.

"Every part of society should honour the debt we owe those who've served our country," said Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

He said allowing ex-servicemen and women to travel more easily was "the least we can do".

"This railcard will help open up opportunities to veterans, whether through employment and retraining, or by strengthening links with friends and family," he added.

Nice idea.
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IndustryInsider
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2020, 06:50:00 am »

A national railcard, available to all, with additional discount for some, is an even better idea.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2020, 08:44:51 am »

Pointless - cutting fares by a third would achieve your suggestion
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2020, 08:59:51 am »

A national railcard, available to all, with additional discount for some, is an even better idea.

Pointless - cutting fares by a third would achieve your suggestion

Not pointless. A railcard becomes a loyalty card offering better fares to people who buy in - would have some 'ownership'.  Loyal customers, people who have purchase the card, will be more inclined to use rail where they have a choice.

It's not "cutting rail fares by a third" as the majority of people (around 70%?) can already qualify for a railcard or none-railcard discount from the full advertised price.

A single national railcard, perhaps with limited variation, to replace the plethora of varied terms and conditions on the existing one would help towards the stated goal of simplifying the ticketing system
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 09:05:50 am by grahame » Logged

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Thatcham Crossing
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« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2020, 09:05:25 am »

Wondering if this applies to reservists, or in my case ex-reservists? (16 years served)

Can't see it mentioned, but would be taking this up if it does for sure :-)
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2020, 10:04:52 am »

A national railcard, available to all, with additional discount for some, is an even better idea.

Pointless - cutting fares by a third would achieve your suggestion

Not pointless. A railcard becomes a loyalty card offering better fares to people who buy in - would have some 'ownership'.  Loyal customers, people who have purchase the card, will be more inclined to use rail where they have a choice.

It's not "cutting rail fares by a third" as the majority of people (around 70%?) can already qualify for a railcard or none-railcard discount from the full advertised price.

The vast majority (all?) railcards offer 1/3 off fares. If a railcard was available to everyone, a 1/3 cut across all fares does achieve the same 'discount' available to this railcard. Making people stump up to pay for it surely dissuades people from obtaining it? If you want to encourage people to use rail, an across the board cut in fares by 1/3 will do far more for this aim that asking people to buy a railcard, surely?

Quote
A single national railcard, perhaps with limited variation, to replace the plethora of varied terms and conditions on the existing one would help towards the stated goal of simplifying the ticketing system

Yes, agree there - but I think my suggestion above works far better - but will the capacity available be able to cope? I doubt it, but that's a different argument.
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grahame
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2020, 04:55:54 pm »

More snippets from Forces Network

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It is expected that the holders of the new veterans railcard will be able to use it at any time, peak or off-peak.

However, during peak times, as with existing railcards, a minimum fare of £12 would apply.

At the moment, there are only plans for discounted rail travel across England but the Government hopes to roll out a similar discount across Scotland and Wales.

Quote
The new railcard is likely to include similar standard terms and conditions as existing railcards but the veterans railcard is expected to also offer discounts to any spouse of family member so long as they are travelling with the card holder.

Quote
The new card offering discounted rail fare is the first step in the Government’s plans to do more to support those who have served their country and comes after the Government created a new Office of Veterans’ Affairs (OVA).

It is hoped the new railcard will help boost veterans’ job prospects and strengthen family bonds through cheaper travel.
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2020, 05:24:25 pm »

The vast majority (all?) railcards offer 1/3 off fares. If a railcard was available to everyone, a 1/3 cut across all fares does achieve the same 'discount' available to this railcard. Making people stump up to pay for it surely dissuades people from obtaining it? If you want to encourage people to use rail, an across the board cut in fares by 1/3 will do far more for this aim that asking people to buy a railcard, surely?

You could, for example, have a national railcard at £30 per year which gave, say, a 15% or 20% discount (perhaps 34% on the current Network Card area) that was available to all.  You could then have the same 34% discount available for all those current special customers who can currently buy a railcard, such as Seniors, Young Persons, Disabled, Forces, etc etc. etc. (and I'd add registered unemployed to that list).

So, any regular or semi-regular passengers can benefit from a 'loyalty' discount but certain specialist groups get more of a discount.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2020, 05:41:45 pm »

I forget who it is who always asks "ooze gonna pay for it" .. but if you simply cut rail fares by a third and had (say) 5 million railcard holders no longer buying cards, you're going to be £150,000,000 down. As well as loosing the loyalty element of people wanting to "get the best value from my card" ...

Back of fag packet calculation - railcard sales perhaps account for 10p per ticketed journey (that's the fee for purchase of the railcard) .
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2020, 05:58:07 pm »

I forget who it is who always asks "ooze gonna pay for it" ..

…………...I think Chris B may be able to help you with that one!  Cheesy

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bignosemac
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2020, 08:19:53 pm »

(and I'd add registered unemployed to that list)

They already have a railcard available to them. The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Gives 50% off most Standard Class fares. Available to those unemployed for 3 months, claiming either Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit, or Employment & Support Allowance, and engaged with a Jobcentre advisor. No cost to the claimant for the card.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2020, 09:20:33 pm »

(and I'd add registered unemployed to that list)

They already have a railcard available to them. The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Gives 50% off most Standard Class fares. Available to those unemployed for 3 months, claiming either Jobseekers Allowance, Universal Credit, or Employment & Support Allowance, and engaged with a Jobcentre advisor. No cost to the claimant for the card.

And that's a better solution, otherwise if you issue a card what's to stop the individual carrying on using it once they're back in work?
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brcw2
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« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2020, 10:07:23 am »

You could, for example, have a national railcard at £30 per year which gave, say, a 15% or 20% discount (perhaps 34% on the current Network Card area) that was available to all.  You could then have the same 34% discount available for all those current special customers who can currently buy a railcard, such as Seniors, Young Persons, Disabled, Forces, etc etc. etc. (and I'd add registered unemployed to that list).

So, any regular or semi-regular passengers can benefit from a 'loyalty' discount but certain specialist groups get more of a discount.

Other countries (e.g. Switzerland, Germany) appear to be able to cope with the idea of railcards available to all - at differing levels of discount in both of those places (e.g. it looks like Germany offers 25%, 50% or 100%).  There are sums to be done to make sure that it's revenue-neutral (or, ideally, gathers extra revenue) but it's possible to do so. 

No doubt if were introduced here, it would have so many restrictions and easements applied that the rules would be almost completely incomprehensible...
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stuving
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2020, 12:26:24 pm »

You could, for example, have a national railcard at £30 per year which gave, say, a 15% or 20% discount (perhaps 34% on the current Network Card area) that was available to all.  You could then have the same 34% discount available for all those current special customers who can currently buy a railcard, such as Seniors, Young Persons, Disabled, Forces, etc etc. etc. (and I'd add registered unemployed to that list).

So, any regular or semi-regular passengers can benefit from a 'loyalty' discount but certain specialist groups get more of a discount.

Other countries (e.g. Switzerland, Germany) appear to be able to cope with the idea of railcards available to all - at differing levels of discount in both of those places (e.g. it looks like Germany offers 25%, 50% or 100%).  There are sums to be done to make sure that it's revenue-neutral (or, ideally, gathers extra revenue) but it's possible to do so. 

No doubt if were introduced here, it would have so many restrictions and easements applied that the rules would be almost completely incomprehensible...

There's a detailed explanation of DB's BahnCards here - obviously the price  varies a lot depending on the discount, duration, and whether there are other restrictions. For 100% off everything it's €3,952 a year (or €6,685 in 1st class).

Bear in mind too that if fares are reduced by a large subsidy, paid by everyone whether they use railways or not, that's rather like a compulsory discount card for all - so any voluntary one on top would cost less as a result.
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