Post 16 student railcard - what they don't tell you!
If anyone is thinking of college post GCSE's read on. You might want to rethink the cost & effort of any rail travel.
After a year of sending my daughter to college (15mins on the train v 45mins in the car so train is a no-brainer), after putting up with countless train cancelations & delays (not to mention all the road closures due to HS2 works where we live in Lichfield) my patience has run out. I've travelled hundreds of extra miles & wasted hours I don't have to get my daughter to college on time and now I'm re-applying for her student railcard & realising the true implications of our choice. She turns 18 in October so obviously the 16-17 railcard runs out After that, instead of 50% off all travel she'll only get 1/3 off. We knew this was coming so, although not happy, we begrudgingly accepted it.
HOWEVER - I've just discovered the 17-25 railcard won't work for most college journeys as the discount involves a minimum spend of £12 at peak times! The full price rail fair is £9.50 return. That's well over £1,000 just to finish her course. I'm fuming and also wondering how many kids will be dropping out this year because parents can't afford to send them? It feels like you are lured into a post 16 education choice with the promise of student rail discounts only to have the rug pulled out from under you as your child starts their final year! Why would they give a discount to 16 & 17 year olds on the basis they are students & not extend it to those who turn 18 while still studying?!! 😡
To make matters worse, my daughter has been told to go in 4 days this year instead of the previous 3. Some students are moving from 2 days to 4 this year. Something else they don't tell you when you sign up for college - they don't give you a timetable until a few days before they start. I do get why this is (esp in the final year) but it wreaks havoc with any jobs these kids have or any transport planning you need to factor in as a parent.
And they say they want to get cars off the roads & encourage public transport use. Honestly, it's beyond a joke! 🤬
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