Over 1mn people to save hundreds, as new ‘16-17 Saver’ launches

Published on: Wednesday, 14th August 2019

The Department for Transport, together with the rail industry, has confirmed the launch of a brand new 16-17 Saver, guaranteeing half-price travel for young people in England and Wales.

Whether starting or returning to sixth-form or college, beginning an apprenticeship or entering the world of work, teenagers can start buying their discounted tickets on Monday 2 September.

It is forecast to save young people and their families an average of £186 every year and is set to boost education opportunities, communities and businesses with young people able to travel more affordably

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.

“We want to create a railway system that’s fit for the 21st century and provides a reliable, punctual journey. It’s tempting to say fares should never rise, but the truth is that if we stop investing in our railways then we’ll never see it improved.

“Through the Saver, the 26-30 Railcard, and a record £48 billion investment in the railways, we are focused on providing passengers with the frequent, reliable and affordable journeys they deserve.”

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.

The announcement means that passengers aged between 16 and 30 will now benefit from significant savings on their travel.

Available for purchase for £30 online at www.16-17saver.co.uk, the 16-17 Saver will be on sale at 9am on Tuesday 20 August. From this date, up to 1.2 million young people are eligible for the 50% discount it offers on most rail travel, including peak and Season tickets.

Robert Nisbet, Director, Nations & Regions at Rail Delivery Group said: “The launch of the 16-17 Saver, in partnership with the Department for Transport, demonstrates the rail industry’s commitment to providing the best value fares for all customers.

“There are 1.2m people aged 16 or 17 years in Great Britain – working together, we want to ensure they can access affordable rail travel with the new 16-17 Saver”.

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, today’s announcement will give a much needed helping hand to thousands who rely on rail travel to access education and training.”

The new Saver means that young people are now eligible for a child fare until their 18th birthday. It is valid across England, Wales and services into Scotland.

The root and branch review of the rail industry, led by Keith Williams, is looking at fares reform and affordability for passengers. It is intending to publish recommendations by the end of this year, with the anticipation that reforms will begin during 2020.

January 2020 will be the seventh year running the Government will have capped fares in line with inflation. Since 2014 fares have, on average, remained below the annual inflation cap.

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