Scotland commences six-month fares trial

A six-month trial with no peak rail fares starts in Scotland on October 2. 

In a UK ‘first’, customers can travel at any time of the day on off-peak tickets. 

ScotRail, which is owned by the Scottish Government, said the aim is to make public transport more accessible and affordable, encouraging people to travel by train instead of getting in their cars. 

Fares between Edinburgh and Glasgow during peak times drop from £28.90 to £14.90. Savings for rush-hour commuters will range from 20% to 48%. 

Across Scotland, passengers will have a straight choice between one fully flexible, buy-anytime ticket and a cheaper Advance option.

ScotRail has reported a 30% drop in rail commuting due to lifestyle changes since the pandemic. But leisure numbers have largely recovered, especially at weekends. In some cases, they now exceed the numbers in 2019. 

The Scottish Government is providing £15 million to pay for the trial. ScotRail expects peak numbers to grow and says it will have “every carriage available” out on the network. This will include seven-car and eight-car trains on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High route, longer trains between Airdrie and Ballock, and on the Argyle line. 

Because ticket offices and ticket machines will be busier than normal, ScotRail is advising travellers to use its app instead. 

Read this article in full in RAIL issue 993 here

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