The website selling new millennial railcard has crashed due to the high demand as just 10,000 went on sale to passengers aged 26-30.
Chancellor Philip Hammond first announced the arrival of the new railcard in his Autumn Budget speech, in November last year. The card will give 26-30 year olds rail card discounts, in addition to the current railcard for 18-25 year olds.
More than 45 million people across the UK could benefit from having the card, however only a minute amount of 10,000 cards are on offer as a first come first serve basis. Statistically it works out that only one in 500 people within the age range will be able to obtain a card, which is what led to the website crashing.
The National Railcards site apologised to customers through its Twitter page, explaining the company is trying to resolve the issue after high demand caused the site to crash.
Due to unprecedented demand our website is struggling. We’ll keep you posted here as soon as we resolve the issues. We’re really sorry this is happing and have our whole team on it.
— National Railcards (@_Railcards) March 13, 2018
Under frustration many passengers took to social media, slamming both the government and the website for the ordeal. Many blamed the government directly for not offering more to those that will inevitably benefit from the discount, whilst others complained about their ability to access the site.
One user criticised Hammond’s promises expressing the website was bound to crash due to the lack of cards available.
Phillip Hammond, last year. 26-30 railcard will help 4.5m save money on fares by Spring.
Spring 2018: We’re only going to sell 10,000 26-30 railcards, and the website isn’t gonna work. #railcard
— Simon Meechan (@SimonMeechan_90) March 13, 2018
The discount is limited to certain times of travel, similarly to the 18-25 railcard, which caps the discount during peak hours Monday to Friday. Discounts are also not given on season tickets, but the Rail Delivery Group said users could benefit more from weekly or monthly passes than daily discounts with the card.
Unlike the current railcard on offer to younger passengers, the new millennial card is only valid for one year at a price of £30. Users may only redeem the card if they have downloaded the app, due to the new ‘card’ being in digital form only.
An RDG spokesman said: “The trial of the 26-30 Railcard is part of the rail industry’s long-term plan to change, improve and boost communities by enabling more people to travel by train.”