MP welcomes cheap travel for military veterans

James Grundy MP
James Grundy MP

A plan to introduce cheaper rail travel for ex-servicemen and women has been welcomed by a borough MP.

Military veterans will soon be able to enjoy cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends, the government announced yesterday.

The plans have been lauded by Leigh MP James Grundy, who said: “I’m delighted that the Government is pushing ahead with its promise to ensure that veterans are looked after and would urge those who served in the armed forces across Leigh to take up the offer of applying for this new railcard.”

The new railcard, on sale from Armistice Day, has been announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. It will mean that the more than 830,000 veterans not covered by existing discounts will be able to enjoy discounted travel.

The money-saving announcement, which was part of the Conservative manifesto, forms part of the government’s veterans strategy.

An action plan launched alongside the railcard announcement, 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 well-being, 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 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.”

Johnny Mercer, a former Royal Marine and now Minister for Defence People and Veterans, 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.”