Railcard for Under 31s Coming Down the Line?

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Goods news for cash-conscious under 31s could be on the way in the form of a new railcard – so long as it’s not delayed by leaves on the line.

If there’s one thing all commuters can agree on, it’s the necessity of an eye-rolling ‘tut’ when your train’s been delayed and that the price you paid for your ticket was far too expensive. Even those who are obsessively careful with their money have a hard time saving when it comes to railway costs, which rise annually with the tedious inevitably of an unloved season.

Now, the consumer website Money Saving Expert (MSE) claims to have seen official documents confirming the rollout of a new railcard for 26 to 30 year olds. The documents were published by the Rail Delivery Group, who own National Rail.

According to MSE, the trial will take place on the Greater Anglia line, which covers Essex, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, with a total of 10,000 railcards available to those aged between 26 and 30. The 26-30 railcard will also by digital-only, and therefore only available as a smartphone app.

It’s believed the pilot scheme will rollout in December 2017, with the plan that it ‘goes national in 2018.’

However, neither Greater Anglia railway or the Rail Delivery group were willing to confirm the railcard trials, saying:

‘We can’t comment on this at the moment, but we are always carrying out research and working with the train companies to develop new offers that make leisure travel easier, and better value for money.’

A case, it seems, of never believing anything until it’s officially denied.

Railcards are currently available for those aged between 16 and 25. These cards slash railway travel costs by a third – ideal for festival-goers, students and anyone with a particular interest in the 9:07 from Oxford to Paddington. Once you hit 26, you then have to wait 34 years before you’re eligible for another railcard: the over-60s senior railcard.

Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at the Money Saving Expert site, welcomed the move to lower rail fares for the under 31s. he said:

‘This is a trial. We still don’t have full details and a national rollout hasn’t yet been officially confirmed, so it’s early days. But on the face of it, this is great news for passengers who are a little too long in the tooth for the 16-25 Railcard. If the trial’s successful, it’ll mean you’ll now be able to benefit from discounted fares until your 31st birthday.’

Under the new proposals, 26-30 year olds will have to pay £30 to receive the digital-only ‘railcard’ and start receiving the benefits of one-third off train tickets. As you’d expect, and as with other railcards, there are restrictions in place during peak rail times – over-capacity is already a burden on commuters, after all. But for those looking for cheaper off-peak tickets, a national railcard for cash-conscious millennials is bound to be welcome.

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