Military veterans across Cumbria will soon benefit from cut-price rail travel, thanks to a new Government initiative.
The news came as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today presented Captain Sir Tom Moore, who served in World War II and won the nation’s heart with his incredible fundraising efforts, with the very first Veterans’ Railcard.
Aimed at supporting veterans after their service, the card will provide up to a third off all peak and off-peak fares, as well as discounted travel for adult companions and children. It also forms part of the Government’s commitment to make the country the best place to be a veteran.
The card pays tribute to the Royal Navy, RAF and Army, using the colours featured on the veterans’ flag. An estimated 830,000 veterans, who are not eligible for existing railcards, will now be able to get up to a third off rail travel from 5 November this year. It will be on sale at an introductory price of £21 until 31 March 2021.
Welcoming the new railcard, Dr Neil Hudson, the MP for Penrith and The Border said: “This initiative is absolutely fantastic and in a small but significant way the Veterans’ Railcard acknowledges the huge debt we all owe our veterans who have done so much to keep us and our country safe.”
Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell echoed Dr Hudson’s words.
He said: “This rail card is a small measure of thanks to veterans for all they have done to serve and protect our country over the years.”
Copeland MP Trudy Harrison added: “It is absolutely right that we support and give back to our brave and selfless veterans and this new railcard will be a huge step towards tackling loneliness by helping veterans to stay connected with friends and family, as well as allowing them to explore new skills and training opportunities.”
Workington MP Mark Jenkinson also welcomed the news.
He said: “I welcomed the veteran rail card when it was first announced and I am delighted that from 5th November, veterans in my constituency of Workington will be able to benefit from reduced price travel. We owe our veterans a huge debt for the service that they have given to our country. Veterans are a huge asset to communities and businesses. I do hope this cut- price travel will assist them with their travel costs whether that be for work or socially.”
Carlisle MP, John Stevenson said: “Those who have serviced our country in the military will always have our gratitude. The travel card is a small way of showing our apprehension for their service and is well deserved”
Grant Shapps, UK Transport Secretary, said: “We have an eternal debt of honour to those who have served our country, and this railcard is part of marking our gratitude. For veterans looking to re-enter the world of work and connect with friends and family, it will cut the cost of travel to open up new opportunities.
“I am also delighted to present Sir Captain Tom Moore with the very first railcard. Through his service and his inspirational fundraising, he has shown the selflessness and indomitable spirit of all those who have served.”
Funded by the UK Government, the new Veterans’ Railcard will help open up opportunities for former service personnel, helping veterans with employment and retraining as well as strengthening links to friends and family.
Captain Sir Tom Moore, Captain Tom Foundation, said: “This is a wonderful occasion to accept the first veterans’ rail card.
“It is a rare opportunity to show thanks and gratitude to veterans and this rail card is a necessary recognition and investment in veterans, giving them the ability to re-connect and combat loneliness, something that we promote and support at The Captain Tom Foundation.”