VETERANS in Bury will soon be able to benefit from cut-price rail travel thanks to a new Government initiative.

The news came as Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today presented Captain Sir Tom Moore, who served in World War II and won the nation’s heart with his incredible fundraising efforts, with the very first Veterans’ Railcard.

Aimed at supporting veterans after their service, the card will provide up to a third off all peak and off-peak fares, as well as discounted travel for adult companions and children. It also forms part of the Government’s commitment to make the country the best place to be a veteran.

The card pays tribute to the Royal Navy, RAF and Army, using the colours featured on the veterans’ flag. An estimated 830,000 veterans, who are not eligible for existing railcards, will now be able to get up to a third off rail travel from 5 November 2020. It will be on sale at an introductory price of £21 until 31 March 2021.

Welcoming the new railcard, Christian Wakeford, the MP for Bury South said: “It’s great news that veterans across Bury will be able to benefit from reduced price travel.

"We owe them all a huge debt for the service that they have given to our country and I hope this will help not only with their travel costs but also by reducing loneliness through connecting veterans with friends and family.”

Grant Shapps, UK Transport Secretary, said: “We have an eternal debt of honour to those who have served our country, and this railcard is part of marking our gratitude. For veterans looking to re-enter the world of work and connect with friends and family, it will cut the cost of travel to open up new opportunities.

“I am also delighted to present Sir Captain Tom Moore with the very first railcard. Through his service and his inspirational fundraising, he has shown the selflessness and indomitable spirit of all those who have served.”

Funded by the UK Government, the new Veterans’ Railcard will help open up opportunities for former service personnel, helping veterans with employment and retraining as well as strengthening links to friends and family.