It’s not ‘fare’ says RAGES

Rail passengers are on track for inflation busting rail fares from January.

Fares in Scotland are set to rise by 4.2 per cent – one per cent above inflation – while the cost of cross-Border tickets will go up by 6.2 per cent.

Passengers at Dunbar, which is a stop on the East Coast Main Line and regulated by the Westminster Government, are also bracing themselves for the fare hikes.

Tom Thorburn, chairman of Rail Action Group, East of Scotland (RAGES), said: “We are disappointed to say the least with this latest hike in train fares. The purse strings of individuals’ budgets are stretched enough without this additional financial burden being thrust upon them in these economic depressed times.

“Prior to this hike, we at the group received many challenges as to when we were going to see a reduction in fares like that enjoyed by our continental partners. This inflation bursting hike, albeit less in Scotland, is going to add much fuel to the argument of fairer fares for British railway passengers.

“If Britain is to make any realistic attempt in its quest to reduce our carbon footprint, then the government is going to have to invest in our railways and not load all the cost of this investment via higher fares onto the passenger who wishes to use this greener form of travel.”

MSP Iain Gray (Lab) added: “Any increase in fares above the rate of inflation risks pricing people out of using the train. Household budgets are already hard-pressed and this just makes things worse.

“The UK government has deferred a fuel duty rise to help motorists and I think there is a strong case for deferring any rise in rail fares beyond inflation. We need to make sure that trains and buses are affordable and accessible.”