A SCOTS council has announced it will scrap its discounted rail travel scheme for the elderly and disabled in a bid to save £80,000 per year.

Falkirk Council's concessionary rail scheme offers half-price train travel to residents aged 60 or over and disabled people.

It will be withdrawn from Tuesday following a decision made by the council in February to help save millions of pounds.

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Councillor Dr Craig Martin, the council's environment spokesman, said: "We are facing very tough financial decisions over the next few years and need to make £35 million of savings.

"The removal of this scheme will not be popular but given the scale of savings being made, this could help preserve other vital services.

"There are alternative railcards available from Scotrail for anyone who will be affected by the withdrawal as well as free bus travel for those who are entitled to it."

Pensioner John Clark, 77, said: "It sounds like an April Fool, but they're serious. With this decision, a lot of older people won't be able to afford to travel on the train."

People aged 60 or over can buy Scotrail's Senior Railcard for a yearly fee of £30. For disabled travellers, the Disabled Person's Railcard costs £20 for a year or £54 for three.

Both railcards give a one third discount on standard and first-class fares.

Holders of a National Entitlement Card can continue to use their card to travel free of charge.

A Falkirk Council spokesman said the withdrawal of its discounted rail travel scheme for the elderly and disabled would save an estimated £80,000 per year.