The Highland Conservative Councillors’ Transport spokesperson has publicly questioned why Caledonian Sleeper services have been left out of the nationwide roll out of the 26-30 Railcard.
Announced by Chancellor Phillip Hammond in the 2017 budget, the railcard offers a third-off standard fares on the national rail network for passengers aged 26-30. The initial trial was oversubscribed by millennials, with significant queues on the Rail Delivery Group’s website offering 10,000 cards nationally. The trial was deemed to be a success and the national roll out was approved in January this year.
Speaking at Inverness Station, Cllr Struan Mackie said he was deeply disappointed by decision, “It is regrettable that the Caledonian Sleeper will not be accepting the 26-30 card, which was specifically designed to be a national scheme. I am very concerned that by not accepting the discount it will have an adverse effect particularly in Highland, where the Sleeper has two terminus and the highest concentration of station stops.
“For young people looking to travel up to the Highlands and for locals looking to visit the U.K Capital, not having access to this discount for bunked services is, in my opinion, is a backwards step. The company does accept the schemes ‘sister card’ for 18-25year olds, which seems strange.”
“The Sleeper and Eurostar are now the only service operators who depart from a British station not to accept the 26-30 card in this way and that is a terrible message to send to young people.”
“I am in communication with the Department for Transport and Transport Scotland to seek a resolution to the matter and I am hoping that we can remove this anomaly and see the card being accepted on the Caledonian Sleeper”.
Notes to Editors
The Caledonian Sleeper is the only domestic train operator to not accept the card on all of its services, with bunked accommodation being totally exempt from the Department for Transport discount. Serco Caledonian Sleeper and Eurostar are the only UK based railways not accepting the card (Link Below).
Cllr Struan Mackie is the Highland Conservative Group’s Transport Spokesperson and represents the Thurso and Northwest Caithness ward in the Highland Council.