Sir George joined the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), Age UK and older people’s campaigner Baroness Joan Bakewell at an event to celebrate the success of Senior Railcards.
"As a former Secretary of State for Transport, and as a Senior Rail Card holder, I welcome this event to raise the profile of the Card"
More people than ever aged 60 or over own the Railcard which was launched in 1975 and offers an third off the cost of most standard and first class train tickets on the National Rail network.
New research by ATOC shows that over the last six years:
- the number of people using a Senior Railcard has increased up by almost 50%, to hit a record 1.1million last year
- journeys made with the Railcard have risen by 74%, to more than 25million in 2012
- the average distance travelled with a Senior Railcard is now 71 miles, 15% further than in 2006
Around one third of the Railcard holders say they use it to visit friends and relatives and one out of 10 for a day out.
The celebration, held at the House of Commons on Wednesday, also heard from Rail Minister Simon Burns MP, Transport Select Committee Chair Louise Ellman MP, and ATOC Chief Executive Michael Roberts.
Speaking after the event, Sir George Young said:
“I know that many people in North West Hampshire value their Senior Railcard. That’s why I was delighted to show my support for the Railcard and congratulate ATOC and train companies on their record breaking year.”
Older people’s campaigner Baroness Joan Bakewell said:
“As a Senior Railcard holder, I know it can make all the difference to encourage the over 60s to get out and about to visit friends, family and attractions across the country. With over 25 million journeys made using the Railcard last year, I’m clearly not alone - it’s great to be one of the million Senior Railcard holders who are making the most of the great deals on train fares it offers.”
Michael Roberts, ATOC Chief Executive, said:
“I was delighted Sir George was able to join us to celebrate the success of Senior Railcards. Train companies are committed to responding to passengers’ needs and will continue to work closely with Sir George and older people’s campaign groups to make rail travel even more accessible for the over 60s.”