VETERANS in the Borders can now get a third off train journeys following the release of a veterans railcard.

Up to 830,000 former servicemen and women across the UK will be eligible for the card, which allows the holder and a companion to get the discount.

To be eligible for the card, the owner must have served for at least one day in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces (Regular or Reserve) or have been a Merchant Mariner and seen duty on legally defined military operations.

Borders MP John Lamont says he is glad the UK Government could make the card come to fruition so quickly.

He said: “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to all generations of veterans, and this new railcard is part of marking their contribution to defending our way of life.

“This will help cut the cost of travel for younger veterans travelling to work, or when travelling recreationally with their family.

“It’s really important that governments at all levels do what they can to help veterans return to civilian life after their service.”

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The card, which lasts for a year, is currently available for £21, while a three-year card can be purchased for £61.

Those prices will be available if the card is bought before March 31, 2021, after which the cards will be for sale at £30 and £70 respectively.

The card will be valid on all train journeys from November 5.

Holders who are accompanied by a maximum of four children can get up to 60 per cent off the prices of the youngsters' tickets.

The Royal British Legion's director general, Charles Byrne, said: “Every day our Armed Forces community provide an incredible service in so many ways and it’s right their unique contribution is recognised.

“We welcome the introduction of measures such as the new Veterans Railcard that will allow veterans and their families to enjoy discounted rail fares.

“At a time when many veterans are facing significant financial hardship, we hope as many as possible will be able to enjoy the benefits this card will bring when travelling by train.”

The veterans railcard comes just days after it was announced that NHS Borders staff would get reduced bus fare prices throughout winter.

Captain Tom Moore, who has been involved in fundraising activities throughout the pandemic, was the recipient of the first card.

A minimum fare of £12 applies to all journeys before 10am, excluding public holidays and during July and August.

To check whether you are eligible for a card, click here.