As the Christmas Holiday comes to an end, some commuters will be able to see their train fares fall by 1/3 after the 26-30 railcard launched today, although many will see their fares rise by an average of 3.1%.
The long awaited 26-30 railcard has launched today and offers 26-30-year-olds a 1/3 reduction off most rail fares. Many commuters have though faced delays to get hold of a railcard, after the website to purchase one has a very large queue. The Railcards Twitter account recommended that people tried again later.
The 26-30 Railcard is here to stay. If you find yourself in the queue you can come back later. Like way later (tomorrow, next week, Summer), and you will still be able to get one.
— Railcards (@_Railcards) January 2, 2019
Additionally, the Government has announced today that 16-17-year-olds will be able to purchase a railcard, giving them 50% off fares. It is thought the new scheme will be launched in September.
However, rail fares for many are rising from today, with the average fare rise being 3.1% in England and Wales, and nearly 3% in Scotland. Campaigners against the fare increases have protested outside rail stations across the station. Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader has condemned the increase in rail fares as a “disgrace” as it drives people away from commuting which is counterproductive, ultimately affecting jobs in the long-run. This is also compounded by the worst punctuality seen in a decade at a 13-year low as the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) reports that nearly 15% of trains have missed its industry’s punctuality standard. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said though that the current Conservative government had made a “record investment” in rail. Despite this, Labour analysis claims that fares have risen as almost three times more than the average wage.
The younger generation looks to largely benefit from the changes, though many, especially those above 30 are set to lose out from the changes as losses continue to be met with rates of inflation.