News & Features

30th Anniversary of the Disabled Persons Railcard

2011 marked the 30th anniversary of the Disabled Persons Railcard. Hailing back to the days of British Rail and the 1981 International Year of Disabled People, a specific Railcard for disabled people was first launched in the autumn of that year, many many moons ago!

We wanted to find out what has changed in terms of rail travel over this period and what difference having a Disabled Persons Railcard makes.

We know that over 130,000 people currently hold a Disabled Persons Railcard, making a whopping 3.5 million train journeys last year and all having a saved 1/3 off of the fare. But we wanted to hear from our Railcard holders on a more individual basis and find out something a bit more personal.

We asked people to write in and tell us 'Why you love your Railcard'? and were so impressed by the great response from so many Railcard holders that we thought what better way of using these unique stories than to tie them in to the 30th anniversary celebrations of 2011 as well as the Railcard posters and leaflets in stations nationwide.

So read on below to discover more about the Disabled Persons Railcard and the people who use them. To start us off,  we present you with what Phillipa had to say about her Railcard, whilst she enjoys her newfound stardom as one of the faces on the station adverts:

  I have had my Railcard for six years now and mainly use it for leisure travel. I have mobility problems, including balance and co-ordination, so can be very wibbly-wobbly at times. As rail travel is much smoother than other modes of transport, it eases my mobility problems at the end of my journey – these can be worse when travelling by car or bus.

When I think back to my times as an able-bodied commuter in the 80s with the old slam-door trains, I am amazed at how much train travel has changed! For one, there’s no way I could have completed my daily Canterbury to London Bridge journey as a disabled person.

Trains are now far more accessible, with designated wheelchair space, disabled seating and disabled toilets – fantastic progress!

Living on disability benefits is not easy but I save so much on train travel, I have the funds to go to the theatre, galleries, exhibitions, a little more often. I would also like to explore more of beautiful Britain.

Since moving to Hove I use my railcard even more to catch up with old friends, colleagues and neighbours in London, my Railcard offers me the freedom to explore, the freedom to keep in touch with loved ones and the freedom to make life as exciting as it can be.

It really is the best thing since Intercity trains!


But don't just take her word for it. There are also more testimonials to read through if you have time:

Heather Street

Jayne Knight

Alyssa Walsh

Gene Lewis

Stuart Ross

Joanne Hobson

Marc Roberts

Margaret Cater

Sharon de Ste Croix

Helen Downing

Jake Yardley

Trevor Williams

Phil Friend

David Sindall

Sir Bert Massie

Harriet Bell

Michael Passmore

Angela Rundle

Andy Valentine

Graham Ross

Maryam Hashemi

Paul Toovey

Jo Smith-Kearney

Lynda Jopson

Released at:
12:00 16/09/2011


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