17 November 2021
James Sunderland and rail companies encourage jobseekers in the South East to take advantage of 50% off train travel

Local MP James Sunderland is joining Britain’s train companies in promoting the use of a half price rail discount card to get more jobseekers back on track and into work, as new research shows that journeys made using the card dropped by 29,700 in the South East since the start of the pandemic, meaning that thousands of jobseekers could be missing out on major savings.

The Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card gives holders a 50% discount on journeys across Britain and anyone claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit for 3-9 months (18-24 year olds) or 3-12 months (over 25s) can apply through their Work Coach and local Jobcentre Plus.

The drop reflects a national trend which has seen usage of the card drop by over a third in the months March 2020-October 2021 – with over 62% of journeys taken using the card in London and the South East. With new unemployment figures out this week which show joblessness at 179,000 in the South East, James Sunderland is working with the Rail Delivery Group and Jobcentre Plus teams to further promote the card across the rest of the country. Last year, jobseekers saved a total of £1.5m using the discount available to them.

Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of Rail Delivery Group, said:

“Over 700,000 journeys were made during the pandemic by people using the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card, including 130,200 in the South East, but with the world of work opening back up and new opportunities becoming available, we want to encourage even more people to take advantage as they look to secure new jobs. The railway is a key part of Britain’s clean and fair recovery, and this discount card is yet another way that train companies are helping the country to bounce back.”

James Sunderland, MP for the Bracknell constituency, said:

“I encourage all jobseekers in the Bracknell area who qualify to apply for, and make use of, their free Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card. Cardholders get a 50% discount on rail journeys and without it jobseekers are missing out on big savings whilst they are looking for work. This is a welcome initiative by Britain's rail companies.”