In Depth

Millennial 26-30 railcard website crashes within minutes due to demand

Nationwide trial rollout of 10,000 discount passes descends into chaos

A nationwide trial of the so-called “millennial railcard” descended into chaos this morning, with the mad scramble to secure the discount cards causing the website to crash. 

Just 10,000 of the railcards - enough for one in 500 of the eligible population - were released by the Rail Delivery Group (RDG) at about 7am, on a first-come, first-served basis.

But the sign-up site was unable to cope with the high traffic as millennials nationwide battled to secure the passes, which can be used by people aged between 26 and 30, cost £30 and offer a third off most fares in Britain.

Many likened the experience to attempting to buy  tickets to a music festival, reports the London Evening Standard. Londoner Emily Thomas tweeted: “Getting a 26-30 railcard is worse than getting a Glastonbury ticket.”

Others also tweeted their dismay.

Some people have questioned why there is a need for another trial of the card, after a trial across the Great Anglia network proved successful. 

A spokesperson for the RDG, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said: “We’re sorry to those who have been unable to buy a trial 26-30 Railcard this morning. This is due to the exceptionally high volume of traffic on the 26-30 Railcard website.”

“We are increasing the capacity on the website to better manage the high level of traffic. Railcards are still available to purchase and people should keep checking @Railcard Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.”

The new discount card was announced in Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget in November, but “received a mixed response from its target audience”, says the BBC.

Although the decision to make travel cheaper for greater numbers of young people has been widely welcomed, some have said it does not go far enough to solve the transport and economic problems affecting the UK.

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