Speculation growing about potential rail price increase

By Democrat reporter

BBC Scotland is reporting that the cost of most peak time train tickets in Scotland is set to increase by 1.6% from January next year.

This is despite frequent complaints from Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and the Lochside commuters about the reliability of the service over the past two years.

The move would see the price of an Edinburgh to Glasgow season ticket go up £67 to £4,267.

However, Transport Scotland said it is in “the process of considering the options regarding future fares and tickets” in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

This means next year’s price increase could be paused.

Rail fares usually increase every January but the hike is linked to the previous July’s Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation.

Dumbarton Central Station, where the service has been much criticised.

The Office for National Statistics has announced the RPI rate for July was 1.6%.

This means tickets, such as standard day return tickets in the Edinburgh commuter area or all fares in the Strathclyde area, would increase by 1.6% in January.

Off-peak regulated fares are capped at 1% below RPI so would go up by 0.6%.

There has been speculation that the UK’s national and devolved governments could seek to delay the 2021 rise given the effects of coronavirus and record-low passenger numbers.

Passenger watchdog Transport Focus has called for a major shake-up of rail fares to encourage passengers back to the railways following the collapse in demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chief executive Anthony Smith said a system that fits “the way we live and travel now” is needed, including flexible season tickets, carnet-style tickets and “better value for money fares across the board”.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said it was considering the options for future fares and tickets as part of wider “recovery work in the rail industry” in the wake of the pandemic.

He added: “The Scottish government is committed to ensuring that rail fares are affordable for passengers and taxpayers across Scotland.

“We have taken action to keep fares down and ScotRail fare are still on average, 20% cheaper than those across the rest of the UK.”

One comment

  1. In truth the rail network needs billions spent on it. There is no alternative. Everything else is tinkering at the edges.

    Look at Dumbarton Central Station. When was it built. Ditto Dumbarton East. When was it built. When was the line built, and therein lies a problem. Yes Dumbarton Station is a historic Victorian legacy from the 1800s and something of historic significance, but the line infrastructure overall needs real money spent on it to deliver twenty first centrally in travel. There is only so far you can upgrade.

    In England they are however spending real money on train infrastructure with spending on the first phases of HS2 already forecast at £158 billion and rising. Not bad investment if you can get it. Ditto the £20 billion or so being spent on London’s Crossrail.

    But that is there, and we are here, and we cannot even get the money to sort the A83 at then Rest and Be Thankful. But no surprise because we’ve got the trillion pound Trident on our doorstep.

    Ah well, mustn’t grumble as I thank my lucky stars about our Union Dividend. We all remember that as our chancellor of the exchequer currently argues to restrict the indexation of the old age pension.

    Message to Jackie. Ever wondered why the Labour Party in Scotland are languishing as a minority interest party. Just think if you saw the light, jettisoned the attachment to the Union Dividend fallacy. Labour is unelectable in England. That will not change either now or later.

    Time to realign our country. We should all be on the same side.

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