Captain Sir Tom Moore has been presented with the very first Veterans Railcard by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.
The new Veterans Railcard which was announced earlier this year, will be available to an estimated 830,000 veterans from the 5th of November 2020. At an introductory price of just £21 until the 31st March 2021, the railcard will enable the holder to get up to a third off rail travel.
The card will also provide discounted travel for adult companions and children. The colours of the new railcard have been chosen to pay tribute to the Royal Navy, RAF and Army.
Tom Moore served in World War II and became famous for his incredible fundraising efforts, he was presented with the first card at his home in Bedfordshire. A Great Western intercity train and a Class 66 locomotive have been named after him.
Grant Shapps, 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. Delivering this Manifesto promise will improve lives for veterans and their families across the United Kingdom.
“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.”
Captain Sir Tom Moore, Captain Tom Foundation, said: “This is a wonderful occasion to accept the first Veterans railcard.
“It is a rare opportunity to show thanks and gratitude to Veterans and this railcard 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.”
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Johnny Mercer said: “Providing discounted rail travel is a fantastic way to underline the debt of gratitude we owe to those who have served.
“For younger veterans, it will also help boost employment prospects, allowing more flexibility in their travel to work or job interviews.”
Charles Byrne, Director General of The Royal British Legion said: “Every day our Armed Forces community provide an incredible service in so many ways and it’s right their unique contribution is recognised.
“We welcome the introduction of measures such as the new Veterans Rail Card that will allow veterans and their families to enjoy discounted rail fares.
“At a time when many veterans are facing significant financial hardship, we hope as many as possible will be able to enjoy the benefits this card will bring when travelling by train.”
Help for Heroes CEO, Melanie Waters said: “We are pleased that the Government will make good on its promise to introduce a railcard for veterans and extend discounted train travel to former service personnel in England.
“The pandemic is having a lasting impact on veterans and their families both financially and socially, and its introduction will come at a welcome time.”
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