By Bill Heaney
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has today called for the Scottish Government to freeze rail fares for at least the remainder of the year, rather than hitting commuters and travellers with a 4.8% rise.
The Scottish Government announced a fare freeze to great fanfare but it has only lasted six months (since January 2023), with fares now increasing by 4.8% from 3rd July. Fares increased 3.8% last year (in January 2022).
Alex Cole-Hamilton, right, said: “This week’s rail fare rises are bleak news for rail users. I am calling for fares to be frozen until at least the end of the year, providing much-needed respite for hardworking commuters and everyone travelling around the country during these trying times.
“The SNP/Green Government’s response to the cost-of-living crisis has been abject and they have just missed the all-important climate targets yet again. Control of rail fares is within their hands yet rail users are seeing price increases.
“The short-lived fare freeze lasted just six months, a flagship sale cut the price of fewer than 1% of tickets sold, and we are still months away from even a trial of the long-promised removal of peak fares.
“While nationalist ministers continue to make grandiose claims about their commitment to sustainability, their actions belie their words.
“Now that ScotRail is in public hands we need long-term ticketing solutions to encourage people to rely on rail travel, backed by trains that run on time.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats will offer a public transport system that works for all communities, for all ages, and for the climate. We want to see fares cut, new options for two/three-day a week season tickets and for the government to work with councils to explore new lines, particularly in areas that suffer from inadequate public transport links.”
Trains at local stations in Dumbarton, Balloch and Helensburgh.