MPs are being urged to throw their support for plans for a national disocunt railcard.

Railfuture is contacting MPs urging them to sign Early Day Motion 1358 which calls on the Government to introduce a National Discount Railcard.

In late June 67 MPs had already signed.

Railfuture and Transport 2000 have campaigned for years for the introduction of the card and Railfuture has spent significant sums of our volunteers' money commissioning independent research which shows that such a card would pay for itself and increase profit and revenue for the rail industry.

Last year Transport Secretary Alistair Darling asked the industry to develop such a card but rail users are still waiting.

A report by the Railway Consultancy - commissioned by Railfuture and the RPC - estimated that nearly three million people would snap up a national railcard if it gave them a reduction of one third on off-peak fares.

It would provide cheaper rail travel for everyone not already covered by existing railcards for the young, the disabled and the elderly.

The card could revive the Government's battered transport policy and would also be in line with its social inclusion aims by making it easy for poorer people to use the train more often.

So many new passengers would be attracted that the Government could save money too, with the cost of subsidising rail travel dropping from 7.3 pence per passenger mile to 6 pence. The Government will still be paying the same but getting better value for money.

The Railway Consultancy pointed out that there would be economic gains to society every time a passenger transfers from road to rail. It is trying to identify how to quantify those benefits.

Railfuture’s National Railcard Report is available from Railfuture, Room 206, The Colourworks, 2 Abbot Street, London E8 3DS.

You can also view the report or an executive summary on the Railfuture website: