A new Government initiative is set to bring cheaper rail travel to Cumbrian military veterans.

The Government is introducing a Veterans' Railcard, to be made available to 830,000 veterans who served in the Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Air Force or Royal Marines who are not otherwise eligible for existing railcards.

This new railcard will be introduced on November 5, and will be on sale at an introductory price of £21 until March 2021.

Introducing the new scheme today, transport secretary Grant Shapps presented Captain Sir Tom Moore with the very first Veterans' Railcard.

The card will provide up to a third off all peak and off-peak fares, as well as discounted travel for adult companions and children.

MPs across Cumbria welcomed the new initiative. Carlisle's MP, John Stevenson said: “Those who have serviced our country in the military will always have our gratitude.

"The travel card is a small way of showing our apprehension for their service and is well deserved.”

Neil Hudson, MP for Penrith and The Border said: “This initiative is absolutely fantastic and in a small but significant way the Veterans’ Railcard acknowledges the huge debt we all owe our veterans who have done so much to keep us and our country safe.”

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, who last month met with veterans minister Johnny Mercer to discuss opportunities for veterans in his constituency, also welcomed the news.

“I welcomed the veteran rail card when it was first announced and I am delighted that from November 5, veterans in my constituency of Workington will be able to benefit from reduced price travel.

"We owe our veterans a huge debt for the service that they have given to our country. Veterans are a huge asset to communities and businesses.

"I do hope this cut- price travel will assist them with their travel costs whether that be for work or socially.”

Copeland MP Trudy Harrison added: “It is absolutely right that we support and give back to our brave and selfless veterans and this new railcard will be a huge step towards tackling loneliness by helping veterans to stay connected with friends and family, as well as allowing them to explore new skills and training opportunities.”

And Barrow and Furness MP Simon Fell said: “This rail card is a small measure of thanks to veterans for all they have done to serve and protect our country over the years.”

The Government's transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “We have an eternal debt of honour to those who have served our country, and this railcard is part of marking our gratitude.

"For veterans looking to re-enter the world of work and connect with friends and family, it will cut the cost of travel to open up new opportunities.

“I am also delighted to present Sir Captain Tom Moore with the very first railcard.

"Through his service and his inspirational fundraising, he has shown the selflessness and indomitable spirit of all those who have served.”

After receiving the first railcard today, Captain Moore said: "This is a wonderful occasion to accept the first veterans’ railcard.

“It is a rare opportunity to show thanks and gratitude to veterans and this rail card is a necessary recognition and investment in veterans, giving them the ability to re-connect and combat loneliness, something that we promote and support at The Captain Tom Foundation.”