Freeze train fares plea for beyond scunnered commuters, says MSP

MSP Jackie Baillie and Scotfail rail services.

By Bill Heaney

Train fares for local commuters should take their lead from the weather – and remain frozen.

Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie has called on Transport Minister, Michael Mathieson, to freeze rail fares and urgently improve train performance.

A newly launched poll, published by The Herald today, has shown that two thirds of Scots who use public transport daily struggle to afford peak time fares.

The results from Censuswide Scotland Opinion Poll, which conducted the research with 1,000 participants between 15.01.19 and 17.01.19, showed that 67% of Scots struggle to afford peak time fares.

The poll also showed that 69% think it is unfair to charge more for a peak fare than an off peak fare, and that 84% of participants have called peak time the most uncomfortable time to travel.

The study also revealed that, on average, people who use public transport in Scotland are delayed twice each week or 34 minutes per week, which averages 29 hours and 4 minutes per year.

The MSP has highlighted the particularly bad service commuters on the Balloch and Helensburgh lines have received over the last few months.

She said: ““Commuters across Scotland have seen their transport sky rocket while the quality of their transport service has plummeted.

“In Helensburgh, Balloch and Dumbarton, the train service has been particularly poor for months, and it’s been characterised by delays and cancellations.

“When trains do show up, there are only three carriages instead of six, so commuters are crammed in like sardines on peak hour services.

“As the poll clearly demonstrates commuters are fed up – they don’t think they are getting the value for money and on current performance they are right.

“It’s about time the Transport Minister acted to protect the interests of commuters by freezing fares and urgently improving performance.”

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