Ministry of Defence
Government fulfils promise to veterans with new railcard
- Also published by:
- Cabinet Office
Military veterans to get cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends.
- new railcard, available from Armistice Day this year, will help boost veterans’ job prospects and strengthen family bonds through cheaper travel
- over 830,000 eligible for a third off their fares, saving veterans and their families hundreds of pounds a year
- discount forms part of government’s new veterans strategy to support former servicemen and women
Military veterans will get cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends, with a new railcard on sale from Armistice Day, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced yesterday (22 January 2020).
Available from Armistice Day this year, the railcard will extend discounted train travel to the more than 830,000 veterans not covered by existing discounts.
Joined by veterans at St Pancras railway station, the Transport Secretary and the Minister for the Cabinet Office underlined the government’s commitment to supporting former service personnel and recognised their service to the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps yesterday said:
Every part of society should honour the debt we owe those who’ve served our country. I’m proud that the Department for Transport, together with other government colleagues and the rail industry, is doing its bit.
This railcard will help open up opportunities to veterans, whether through employment and retraining, or by strengthening links with friends and family. I believe that enabling former service personnel to travel more easily is the least we can do.
The money-saving announcement, delivering on a manifesto commitment, forms part of the government’s veterans strategy.
This action plan, which was also launched yesterday, outlines what government is doing to deliver more for our veterans and sets out holistic support for those who served, in areas including community and relationships, employment and skills, health and wellbeing, finance and debt, housing, and contact with the law.
The strategy will be coordinated by the recently-established Office for Veterans Affairs.
Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Dowden, who represents the Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) in Cabinet yesterday said:
The Office for Veterans’ Affairs was set up to get things done for our veterans. I am pleased to see that the OVA is already able to show it is achieving just this, working with the Department for Transport to deliver this railcard.
Our new action plan will help to make the UK the best place in the world for veterans. The Office for Veterans’ Affairs will drive the plan from the heart of government, working to help veterans on jobs, housing and health, through better data and a more joined up approach.
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer yesterday said:
Discounted train travel is a fantastic way to recognise those who have served this country, and the speed at which plans have been worked up shows how seriously we are taking our commitments to make the UK the best country in the world to be a veteran.
The railcard is only the start though, and I’m clear we need to do more to look after the people who so selflessly put their lives on the line to look after us.
Now the action plan has been published, I look forward to continuing to drive forward this issue across government and the services we offer.
The government also released its response for the consultation into the veterans strategy, which includes an action plan on how the Office for Veterans’ Affairs will coordinate departments to help veterans over the next 2 years.
Public responses to the consultation underlined the need for a more coordinated approach to veterans support. Other key findings include a call to promote a positive perception of veterans and a need to increase awareness of the support already offered from across central and local government.
Rail media enquiries
Media enquiries 020 7944 3021
Out of hours media enquiries 020 7944 4292
Switchboard 0300 330 3000
Latest News from
Ministry of Defence
More Afghan interpreters who risked their lives supporting British troops to begin new lives in the UK21/09/2020 15:15:15
Dozens more Afghan interpreters who supported British Armed Forces on the frontline in Helmand Province will be able to move to the UK as part of an expanded relocation scheme announced by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Home Secretary Priti Patel.
All ranks common room opens at RAD Benson21/09/2020 10:15:00
A new all ranks Common Room has officially opened at RAF Benson, enhancing the lived experience of RAF personnel and their families.
Royal Marines accommodation in Lympstone reaches milestone17/09/2020 15:15:15
The Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) project to build new accommodation for personnel at the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines (CTCRM) in Devon has celebrated a major milestone.
UK Space Agency: Government backs UK companies tackling dangerous 'space junk'17/09/2020 11:24:00
Seven UK companies have been awarded a share of over £1 million to help track debris in space.
RAF looks to the future on Battle of Britain Day16/09/2020 13:15:00
On the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain a special day of events was hosted at RAF Waddington, the home of the RAF’s intelligence gathering assets, showcasing how the RAF are ready to meet the challenges of today, and the emerging threats of tomorrow.
Innovation call for urban drone technology15/09/2020 13:25:00
The Ministry of Defence is seeking new ways to assist military drone operators in urban environments in a new funding competition.
Defence Secretary announces investment in strategic Omani port14/09/2020 12:15:00
The Defence Secretary has announced a further £23.8 million investment in the UK logistics hub at Duqm port
Chief of Defence Intelligence comments on threats the UK will face in coming decades14/09/2020 11:10:00
Lieutenant-General Jim Hockenhull looks to the future, outlining the changing character of the threat and the role of UK Defence
UK leads multi-national task group of warships above the Arctic Circle in demonstration of freedom of navigation11/09/2020 10:15:00
The Royal Navy has led a multi-national task group of warships and aircraft into the High North for the first time in more than twenty years on an operation to demonstrate freedom of navigation above the Arctic Circle.