Decision details

Support Services Review - Senior Railcards

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Awaiting Implementation

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To present the findings of the Senior Railcards project.


That the cessation of the resale service of Senior Railcards by Breckland Council from 13 September 2013 be approved.

Reasons for the decision:



Option B – To cease the Senior Railcards resale service – was recommended for the following reasons:


Because of the changes being introduced by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), both options would mean a significant change for residents.  Customers would no longer be able to walk in to a Council Customer Service Centre, buy a railcard and walk out with it there and then.  The main benefit of option A was that residents would continue to receive the current discount level, though only for one year, and it would take considerable planning and resource to implement the temporary process.  In effect, Option A would mean the council introduced changes twice in one year that would have a negative impact on residents – once to adopt the temporary ATOC process (resulting in residents losing access to same-day railcards) and again a year later to cease selling railcards (resulting in residents losing access to the 25% discount).  The project team felt there was little merit in implementing change that would negatively impact residents twice and that a single change would be easier to implement, have less overall impact on residents and with less potential for negative publicity.  The Communications Team had been consulted and shared this view.


Option B would have the same impact as Option A (no same day option) and also mean that residents would not be able to access the discounted price during the one year transition period.  This impact was well mitigated as other means were available to residents to obtain discounted railcards from alternative sources.  In addition, the full cost of a railcard (£30) was more than covered by national average annual savings on rail travel costs (£113).  This option also avoided the need for two sets of changes and two sets of negative publicity.  Only one change would need to be implemented and publicised, and the reason (ATOC’s changes) could be made clear at that point.


Alternative options considered:

A number of options would have been considered and put forward for discussion that were no longer available due to changes to the processes for ordering and selling railcards being introduced by ATOC.  These options could have including recharging other authorities for ordering, or transferring the ordering function to another authority in the buying group.  As it stood these were no longer options, ‘do nothing’ was not an option because of ATOC’s changes and therefore only two options remained available for consideration:


Option A


Implement temporary ATOC process for one year, followed by ceasing the Senior Railcards service (see report for further details).


Option B


Cease the Senior Railcards resale service (see report for further details).


Report author: Jessica Woodhouse

Publication date: 01/08/2013

Date of decision: 30/07/2013

Decided at meeting: 30/07/2013 - Cabinet

Effective from: 09/08/2013

Accompanying Documents: