Rail Fares Pilot Extension Underlines Need for Fairer Pricing, says MSP

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POLITICAL OPINION- This item has been submitted on behalf of Claire Baker MSP, Scottish Labour PartyFollowing the announcement that the peak fares removal pilot is being extended by three months until September 2024, Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Claire Baker has called on the Scottish Government to set out its plan for a more permanent move to fairer rail pricing.

The MSP has also highlighted the recent 8.7% overall price increase to rail fares, asking when rail passengers would see improvements to ongoing issues of overcrowding and cancellations on services to and from Edinburgh, and urged the Scottish Government to publish information on the evaluation of the pilot.

MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Claire Baker said:

“While the extension of the pilot removal of rail fares is a welcome step, what passengers really need to see is a permanent reduction in rail fares and improvements to services so that rail travel can be a reliable and affordable transport option.

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“While anecdotally we have seen the pilot has been successful in getting more people on trains, it is frustrating that we are not able to see any detail on its on-going evaluation, including how it has impacted people on lower incomes.

“For commuters travelling from Fife, there continue to be services where capacity cannot match demand – and this is being exacerbated by cancellations and services running with a reduced number of carriages. These issues need to be addressed to make rail an attractive travel option.”

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