Labour is calling on train operating companies to look into extending concessionary travel for the Armed Forces to UK veterans.
The Government has fallen short and now Labour believes concessionary travel should be provided to all who have served their country.
Currently the HM Forces Railcard saves service personnel a third on rail fares. Labour is proposing this is extended to the 332,826 veterans who are on the Armed Forces Pension Scheme.
This would have no cost to the public purse as the HM Forces Railcard is a concession granted by the Association of Train Operating Companies Train Operating Companies.
In 2011-12 train operating company income was £305m more than their expenditure. Labour believes it is right that a small proportion of these profits are used to support those who serve in the name of national security.
Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said:
“This would be a meaningful move to support those who have given so much to our country. Service personnel’s struggles and sacrifices often do not end when they leave the battlefield.
“Government must work with business to ensure there is lifelong support for those who serve their nation, which is why it is right that train companies pay a small portion of their profit to extend concessions to veterans.”
Maria Eagle MP, Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary, said:
“I know that the private train operators will want to do the right thing and make travelling by train more affordable for all those who have served our country.
“If they cannot voluntarily bring forward a scheme this year then Ministers must act to make it a condition of all future rail franchises.”