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Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: The new Railcard for 16-17 year olds

In his article this week Crawley MP Henry Smith talks about the new Railcard that has been introduced for 16-17 year-olds.

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In tackling the cost of living I welcome the Government introducing a new 16-17 year olds’ Railcard. This will guarantee 50 per cent off all rail travel until the cardholder’s 18th birthday, and is expected to benefit more than one million people nationwide.

Many young people rely on the trains from Crawley, Ifield and Three Bridges stations to get to school, college and work. It is vital that rail fares are affordable for young people, and I have written to Crawley secondary school and college heads to ask them to urge their students to sign up.

This Railcard will be released in time for the new school year in September, following the launch of the 26-30 Railcard in January, which saw some 11,000 cards sold on the very first day alone.

Overall, regulated rail fares have been frozen in line with inflation, meaning annual season ticket holders will have approximately £425 more in their pockets in the five years to 2020.

A few days ago I welcomed the Transport Secretary to Gatwick Airport for an announcement about the future of its railway station. Improved accessibility and swifter journeys are at the heart of a £150 million plan to upgrade the station, which will benefit tens of millions of passengers.

It is with increased access in mind that I was pleased to encourage eligible Crawley residents to sign up for the Disabled Persons Railcard. Last year more than 48,000 journeys starting in Crawley were made using the Railcard, up from just over 33,700 four years ago.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

Henry Smith

Henry Smith MP: Getting Brexit done, supporting schools and backing our NHS

In his article this week Henry Smith MP talks Brexit, education and health.

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I often receive messages from Crawley residents – those who voted Leave, and those who voted Remain – who tell me that we need to end the Brexit uncertainty and leave the European Union without delay.

The likes of Jeremy Corbyn, and other leftist party leaders such as Jo Swinson and Nicola Sturgeon, seek to prolong the uncertainty, by delaying or even stopping Brexit, which would cost the UK roughly £1 billion a month net in EU membership.

Their Surrender Bill seeks to require the Prime Minister to ‘immediately’ accept any Brexit delay sought by the EU, irrespective of conditions that may be imposed.

As Parliament is blocking the Prime Minister’s promise to the nation to take Britain out by 31st October, the only solution is a general election – which is also being blocked by the opposition out of fear of what the people will say.

While they seek to overturn the will of the people, this week in Parliament I joined the Prime Minister in the House of Commons division lobby to vote for an early election to get Brexit done.

Last week I also questioned the Education Secretary about the increase to school funding, and asked the Health & Social Care Secretary about innovative genomic medicine which will benefit cancer patients in the decade ahead.

I additionally raised the importance of ensuring that the extra cash for frontline NHS services results in enhanced GP provision and reduced waiting times.

As well as this, I led and secured a parliamentary debate calling for greater involvement of patients in the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

There is huge potential for AI to transform the lives of those living with heart and circulatory diseases, including some 11,000 people in Crawley. It is vital that those affected are included fully in discussions about the development and adoption of these new technologies.

Henry Smith MP

Crawley Constituency

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