Wed. May 18th, 2022

NATS Secretary has faced a call to ensure that ScotRail passengers always get the lowest fares.

These demands came weeks before the Scottish government unveiled the service in April, after years of anger over performance and price.

The SNP Minister has faced a call to ensure that train passengers always get the lowest fares.


The SNP Minister has faced a call to ensure that train passengers always get the lowest fares.Credit: Getty

Labor and Liberal Democrats say they support the Holyrood public petition launched by railroad activist and consumer rights expert George Eckton.

It urges the Scottish Parliament to urge ministers to “a requirement of future rail contracts is, of course, to provide customers with information on the lowest fares”.

Current customers can use split tickets or purchase off-season tickets to get a much lower rate than the first time. But activists complain of a lack of transparency and information for customers.

Last night, Eckton said, “If fares are as cheap as possible, more people will be able to save more cash by using public transport.

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“And to me it seems to be the right thing to do. For a public service delivered directly by the Scottish Minister soon to inform the public of the lowest rates.”

Transport spokesperson for the Scottish Labor Party, Neil Bibby, said:

“It’s bad enough that passengers have to deal with soaring fares that soar far more than their wages, and it adds an insult to injuries they can’t even expect to get the best deal.”

Scottish Lib Dem Transportation Spokesperson Jill Reilly said:

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Concerns have been raised about the lack of awareness of “split ticketing” and the chaotic fee structure that allows people to buy “when” tickets for off-peak or peak seasons with little information on when they apply.

Eckton cites a recent case last year when a round-trip ticket from Aberdeen to Kilmarnock cost £134.40.

However, the splits from Aberdeen to Glasgow and Glasgow to Kilmarnock cost £94.40. And he said many people are unaware that splitting the fare can be cheaper if you’re traveling across Strathclyde or SPT borders.

Glasgow’s Mr Eckton pointed out that the move would impose new obligations on public institutions brought in by the SNP Minister to consider the impact of the policy on Scottish consumers.

“It seems timely to change the way tickets are sold,” he said.

In January, Scotland was hit by the biggest rail rate hike in nearly a decade, with Transport Scotland raising it by 3.8%, which it claims was necessary to “recover lost rail revenues during the pandemic.”

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The Scottish Government and its agency Transport Scotland are currently conducting a “Fare Rate Review,” a post-power-sharing deal between the Greens and the SNP, to address the fact that driving can be cheaper than public transport.

A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “We want more people to opt for train travel on our publicly controlled and operated railroads, so it’s important that people know how to get the best fares.”

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