ScotRail’s 28,000 Club 50 members are to be given a welcome boost after the train operator announced plans to extend their memberships for free until the end of April 2022. If you signed up for Club 50 between 17 April 2019 and 17 March 2020, you qualify for the extension.
The scheme is open to the over 50s and has proven so popular that membership soared by almost 10 per cent in 2019.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has meant members have been unable to take full advantage of their benefits since March 2020.
They’ve lost out on year-round discounts, including 20 per cent off Advance and Off-Peak tickets booked online, or a 10 per cent discount buying at the station or over the phone.
And, there’s been no opportunity to use the operator’s flat fare offers which allow Club 50 members to travel as often as they like and anywhere they like in Scotland for a discounted set price within the offer periods.
Qualifying Club 50 members won’t have to apply for their extension. Memberships will be issued automatically, and members just need to download and activate it on their Club 50 Smartcard. This ensures no-one will miss out on the chance to travel around Scotland when government guidelines say it is safe to do so.
Free memberships will be issued to qualifying members on Monday, 26 April. They will be notified by email containing instructions on how to activate their free membership.
All passengers, including Club 50 members, must continue to observe Scottish Government advice and restrictions, including where appropriate, maintaining physical distancing and wearing a face covering, while travelling with ScotRail.
Alex White, ScotRail’s Chief Operating Officer said:
“We wanted to make sure our valued Club 50 members didn’t lose out through no fault of their own due to the coronavirus pandemic which has seen them unable to access most of their fare discounts.
“So, we think it’s only right that we extend their memberships, free of charge, for another year up to the end of April 2022.
“This means they’ll be able to take advantage of regular discounts of up to 20 per cent off fares as well as travelling around Scotland with exclusive Club 50 flat fare offers. It’s our way of telling them how much they mean to us and we think it’ll be a welcome boost during this really difficult time.”
Michael Matheson, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity said:
“I welcome ScotRail’s extension of its Club 50 railcard which will provide members with an additional 12 months free membership.
“It is right that ScotRail has recognised the restrictions placed on rail travel due to COVID-19, meaning cardholders have not benefited fully from their Club 50 memberships.
“This extension will benefit passengers, while helping secure patronage and revenue to the railway, as we continue to progress through the Scottish Government’s Route Map to Recovery.”