This MP is calling for support for students that reach 18


Over the last year one of our local MPs has raised a similar question on several occasions. She is clearly keen to support students that are relying on railway provision and that they become 18 during their educational year. As one of the Ministers explained back in February this year in a reference to the first of the railway questions “In 2019 we introduced the 16-17 Saver effectively extending half-price child fares to young people aged 16 and 17. Young people are required to continue in education, employment or training” she then goes on to state that “until the age of 18” The MP who has raised this call during the year is Caroline Lucas and she first asked this question in March

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend eligibility for the 50 per cent discount on train travel provided by the 16 to 17 saver rail card to students for the whole of the academic year in which they turn 18; and if he will make a statement.

The Minister who responded at that time was Wendy Morton. The whole of the response is here. The first person who mentioned the 16 to 17 system several years before was a Minister who responded to a question from Peter Kyle who is the next door MP to Caroline. This question took place in January 2020 and the Minister who responded at that time was Chris Heaton-Harris

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what steps he is taking to make rail travel more affordable.

Government has frozen regulated rail fares in line with inflation for the seventh year in a row. In addition, we have already cut costs for thousands of young people with the 16-17 Saver railcard, and announced our intention to establish a new ‘fares trials fund’ to explore the benefits and costs of a clearer, more flexible and fairer fares system. Fares revenue is crucial to funding day-to-day railway operations and the massive upgrade programme we are delivering, all of which benefit passengers.

Indeed Chris Heaton-Harris spoke about that provision on a number of occasions subsequently to other MPs. So coming back to the call from Caroline Lucas who did ask another question back in September 2020 and Chris Heaton-Harris referred to the 16-17 issue then. Following on from the call she made in March this year, she then raised the question again on the 8th December. Her question was answered by Huw Merriman who had become a Minister a few weeks earlier. He is also the Bexhill and Battle MP.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, if he will extend eligibility for the 50 per cent discount on train travel provided by the 16 to 17 saver rail card to students for the whole of the academic year in which they turn 18; whether he has discussed the impact on students of the different level of concessions available to students in the same academic year with the Secretary of State for Education; and if he will make a statement.

We are not currently planning to extend the eligibility for the 16-17 Saver. The 16-17 Saver is designed to provide additional support for young people who are required to remain in education and/or training until they turn 18. The 16-25 Railcard is available to those who are no longer eligible for the 16-17 Saver. Young people are eligible for half price child rail fares until they turn 16, and the 16-17 Saver provides all young people with access to those half price rail fares for a further two years. No discussions have taken place on the impact on students of the different level of concessions available to students in the same academic year.

So the latest question and answer took place last Friday again by Huw Merriman

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, pursuant to the Answer of 8 December to Question 102818 on Railways: Concessions, for what reasons he has not held discussions with stakeholders on the impact on students in year 13 of the different level of concessions available in the same academic year; if he will make it his policy to hold such discussions; and if he will make a statement.

No discussions have taken place as we have no plans to extend or change the validity of the 16-17 Saver at this time. The 16-17 Saver provides young people with access to half-price rail travel to cover the period they are required to continue in education, employment or training. On turning 18, young people can then take advantage of the 16-25 Railcard offering up to a third off most rail fares.

Perhaps we could ask Caroline and Peter Kyle to meet with Huw Merriman in Sussex where all three of them are based and discuss how students in Sussex and indeed across the whole of our Nation can achieve travelling by train if they become 18 during their financial year? I was born in April so if this was something that I was benefitting from I would have found it very hard in April when the cost of the train travelling would raise significantly.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
This entry was posted in Brighton & Hove, Education, Parliament and Democracy, Youth Issues and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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