Rail fares increase level confirmed
Transport Scotland has today confirmed the fares increase it will put in place as it seeks to recover rail revenues lost throughout the pandemic.
From late January, both peak and off-peak regulated fares will increase by July 2021 RPI (3.8%). This is a necessary step away from previous years where the off-peak fares increase was lower (RPI-1).
Throughout the pandemic, the Scottish Government has supported our rail franchises with more than £1bn including over £450m in the Emergency Measures Agreements. This level of funding is not sustainable in the longer term.
As is only prudent, ScotRail has looked at ways to address the financial challenges. After lengthy consideration, Ministers agreed this fares increase proposal.
Graeme Dey, Minister for Transport said
“For over a decade the Scottish Government has kept fares increases down by ensuring they are in line with RPI, or even lower in the case of off-peak fares. Scottish rail fares remain, on average, 20% lower than across the rest of Great Britain.
“We know that any increase is unwelcome for passengers however the changes we are implementing this year are essential to our wider recovery plans.
“We challenged ScotRail to develop robust plans to increase revenue, while also seeking to identify efficiency savings that help put rail services on a sustainable footing. It is only right we implement proposals, such as this increase, where they make sense given the changes in passenger travel patterns.
“However, we know that there is much work to be done in encouraging people back to rail if we are to achieve our net zero targets. That is why we have instructed ScotRail to identify ways to encourage increased demand at the right time, in the right place, as we continue to recover from the pandemic.
“Work also continues on Transport Scotland’s Fair Fares review.”
The fares increase will come into effect on 24 January 2022.