Website for new 26-30 railcard crashes within MINUTES

Website for new 26-30 railcard crashes within MINUTES

The launch of the new millennials discount railcard descended into chaos this morning amid a festival-style scramble for just 10,000 offered in a trial.

The Government has promised up to 4.5million Britons aged 26-30 will benefit from the cards, but the website crashed as people battled to get hold of them today.

The 10,000 railcards released by the Rail Delivery Group at about 7am on a ‘first come first served’ basis are enough for just one in 500 of the eligible population.

There are even concerns that the project could be kicked into the long grass, after the RDG refused to confirm the railcards will ever be fully rolled out across the UK.

Some frustrated millennials said on Twitter that the process was ‘worse than getting a Glastonbury ticket’ and ‘worse than waiting in the Ticketmaster queue’. 

Emily Thomas from London tweeted: ‘Getting a 26-30 railcard is worse than getting a Glastonbury ticket. Sort out your website to make it fair!’ 

Jay Shore said: ‘Attempting to get a 26-30 railcard was a huge waste of time… the website timed out, predictably. I only made it to the ‘Eligibility’ section of the process. Blah!’

And Jonathan Meek added: ‘Absolute shambles trying to get 26-30 railcard. Website cant cope with traffic! What did they think would happen?!’ 

Meanwhile Alice Sophie tweeted: ‘National railcard release 26-30 today… you would imagine that everyone gets one? But only 10,000 are released! This is very very unfair. Please just release them for everyone!’ 

And Josh Scully tweeted Chancellor Philip Hammond to say: ‘Following the farce of the rollout of the token gesture 26-30 Railcard, I’ll successfully be applying for a Senior Railcard by the time the site actually works. 

‘Well done, Conservatives, for botching about the only decent suggestion you’ve had for young people.’

The limit on the number of 26-30 Railcards available while the scheme is trialled has been intended to assess the impact on revenue and passenger numbers.

The card, which is aimed at leisure travellers, will cost £30 each year and save passengers a third off most fares, according to the Rail Delivery Group. 

There are no discounts on season tickets and there is a £12 minimum fare on all journeys between 4.30am and 10am, excluding weekends and public holidays.

It must be bought online and downloaded onto a smartphone. The card was previously only available to a limited number of people in East Anglia.

How the new 26-30 Railcards were promised for 4.5million Britons

What are the millennial rail cards?

The railcards will cost £30 each year and save passengers who are aged 26 to 30 – at the time of buying them – a third off most fares.

The card is aimed at leisure travellers, with no discounts on season tickets and a £12 minimum fare on all journeys between 4.30am and 10am, excluding weekends and public holidays.

There will be a limit on the number of 26-30 Railcards available while the scheme is trialled to assess the impact on revenue and passenger numbers.

It must be bought online and downloaded onto a smartphone. The card was previously only available to a limited number of people in East Anglia.

This graphic from the Autumn Budget reveals how the 26-30 Railcard will look

When was the concept launched?

Chancellor Philip Hammond said in his Budget speech in November that the railcards would give ‘4.5 million more young people a third off their rail fares’.

He tried to woo younger voters with the move, along with a cut in stamp duty for first-time buyers. The trial in East Anglia was launched in December.

Who can apply?

Britons aged 26-30 will be able to buy the discount card on a first come first served basis, the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) said.

But the website crashed today as it was overwhelmed by applications for the 10,000 launched in the first national trial. 

Nearly two hours after the 26-30 trial was launched at 7am, the National Railcards Twitter account said: ‘Due to the high volume of traffic the 26-30 Railcard website we understand some of you have been unable to access the 26-30 website. Railcards are still available to purchase. Please check back shortly.’ 

It then added: ‘We’ve had an unprecedented number of people visiting our site for the 26-30 Railcard. Please bear with us, we’ve got the whole team working on it and hope we can have it back up shortly.’ 

And an RDG spokesman said: ‘This morning, when the 26-30 railcard trial began, the National Railcard website was receiving 12 times the normal number of visitors. 

‘We were prepared for demand to be similar to that of previous trial launches. Due to the unprecedented demand we have been working with our suppliers throughout the morning to further increase the capacity on the website to create a better experience for our customers. 

‘We recommend that customers continue trying the National Railcard website, and keep an eye on @_Railcards Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.”

‘The trial of the 26-30 Railcard in East Anglia has been extended nationwide so that we can gather additional insight to inform discussions with the government about a national roll out.  

People were greeted with this screen when

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