Dr Luke Evans, MP for Bosworth has welcomed news that military veterans are to get cut-price train travel to help boost job prospects and bring them closer to family and friends.
The new railcard, on sale from Armistice Day, has been announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. It will mean that more than 830,000 veterans not covered by existing discounts will be able to enjoy discounted travel.
The Transport Secretary underlined the government’s commitment to supporting former service personnel and recognised their service to the country. He said: “Every part of society should honour the debt we owe those who’ve served our country. I’m proud that the Department for Transport, together with other government colleagues and the rail industry, is doing its bit.
“This railcard will help open up opportunities to veterans, whether through employment and retraining, or by strengthening links with friends and family. I believe that enabling former service personnel to travel more easily is the least we can do.”
Welcoming the announcement, Dr Evans said: “In Leicestershire we have strong military connections and a long tradition of honouring and supporting our servicemen and women, both during their service and after they leave our armed forces too.
“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 Hinckley and Bosworth to take up the offer of applying for this new railcard. I know we have a lot of former armed forces personnel locally and other veterans. I encourage them all to sign up.”
The money-saving announcement, delivering on a manifesto commitment, forms part of the government’s veterans strategy.
This action plan, which is also being launched, 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 wellbeing, finance and debt, housing, and contact with the law.
The strategy will be coordinated by the recently-established Office for Veterans Affairs . Minister for Veterans Johnny Mercer 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.”