Hartlepool MP Mike Hill welcomes new 16-17 Saver railcard but says it is 'long overdue'
A new railcard offering half price travel to teenagers is long overdue, says Hartlepool’s MP.
Mike Hill welcomed the new 16-17 Saver which went on sale on Tuesday, August 20, and guarantees half-price travel for young people in England and Wales.
It is designed to help college students and apprentices get to where they need to be cheaper and is forecast to save users around £186 a year.
Responding to the announcement, Mr Hill said: “For young people trying to access the world of work or further education training, travel costs can be a significant impediment, therefore I welcome this long overdue initiative.
“When you consider the fact that apprenticeship rates are a paltry £3.90 per hour and the so called National Living Wage for under 18s is a mere £4.35 per hour it’s no wonder that mobility is an issue.
“Hopefully the Saver will go some way to alleviating the high cost of travel and attract more people into Hartlepool to access our colleges as well as fostering better job prospects for our own young people.
“This in no way tackles the issue of low pay for teenage learners and workers, but is at least a step in the right direction.”
The Saver railcard costs £30 and will be valid across England, Wales and services into Scotland, from Monday, September 2.
Robert Nisbet, director of nations and regions at industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: "Switching to a new college is a time of great change and brings new independence for young people.
"This new 16-17 Saver will offer real money saving benefits to 1.2 million 16 to 17-year-olds and their families.
"Working together, the rail industry is committed to enabling more people to benefit from train travel."
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris added: "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."
He added the government has also launched an independently-led review looking at fares reforms for all passengers.