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New 50% off 16-17 railcard on sale next week

young woman on train Image copyright Getty Images

A new railcard offering half-price fares for 16 and 17-year-olds, aimed at those who travel to school or college by train, goes on sale on 20 August.

The Department for Transport has announced that the 16-17 Saver card will cost £30 a year.

It can be used on standard class journeys originating in England and Wales, and is valid for season tickets.

The announcement comes on the day commuters will learn of next year's price rises for regulated fares.

These fares - which include season tickets - are pegged to July's Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation announced on Wednesday.

Independent transport watchdog, Transport Focus said: "It would be better if this card also covered the entire sixth form period. As it stands students turning 18 early in their second year of studies will lose this valuable discount."

How the 16-17 Saver will work

An estimated 1.2 million teenagers will be eligible for the new card, which will go on sale at 09:00 BST on 20 August.

The card will cost £30, can be bought online via a dedicated website, and will be valid for tickets from 2 September. It will be available as a card or in a digital format.

It can be used for discounts on journeys in England and Wales, and into Scotland, but not on ScotRail or the Caledonian Sleeper.

In many parts of the country, local authorities already subsidise fares for this age group, so it is not entirely clear how much more the new card will save holders.

The existing 16-25 Railcard offers one third off many fares, including off-peak and anytime tickets, for anyone in the age group or in full-time education. However, unlike the new card, this is primarily aimed at leisure travel.

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