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PM hails extended forces railcard

A special rail travel discount for the Armed Forces is to be extended to cover all active volunteer reserves, Prime Minister David Cameron will announce today.

The HM Forces railcard will also cover reservists' spouses and children.

Available from next week, the railcard will give reservists a third off fares for family days out and trips to visit friends.

The railway has been supporting the country's serving troops with the forces railcard for over 30 years. It is currently used by 73,000 active members of the regular forces and mobilised reservists, and saves holders more than £143 each a year on average.

It was used to make 1.7 million rail journeys last year and is now used to make 25% more journeys a year compared to five years ago, with railcard holders now making 24 annual trips on average.

In Stirling in Scotland to celebrate Armed Forces Day, Mr Cameron said the extension was "fantastic".

He went on: " I know that the forces railcard is already a huge help to tens of thousands of hard-working troops around the country and this is a further recognition of the increasingly vital role our reserves play in our Armed Forces.

"There is a long-standing tradition of our railway supporting our Armed Forces and this is a way for them to recognise the sacrifices our forces make every day. I know the whole country will join me in recognising the debt we owe our troops this Armed Forces Day."

Michael Roberts, director general of rail industry body the Rail Delivery Group, said: "By extending the HM Forces railcard to volunteer reservists for the first time, the railway recognises their vital contribution both to our Armed Forces and to protecting the nation."

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