Fife rail fares: rising tickets prices but services not improving – MSP hits out

A Fife MSP has questioned why train fares are going up instead of services in the Kingdom improving.
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Claire Baker hit out after the Scottish Government’s announcement that commuters face an 8.7% hike in ticket prices from April. Transport Scotland confirmed the increase earlier this month, but also said the peak fares removal pilot was being extended by three months until June. It’s the second big price increase - rail fares went up 4.8% in July.

Ms Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “This latest price increase really calls into question what value we are getting from the Scottish Government taking control of ScotRail. While on one hand the pilot removal of rail fares is being extended, on the other passengers are being hit with the second price hike in under a year. In the face of our climate ambitions and the midst of a cost of living crisis it really beggars believe that the Scottish Government is pricing people off the railways.

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“We need to be seeing more people choose public transport over private cars but the ever increasing cost of rail travel will do nothing to address that. The cost of living means people are needing to make more and more savings on their outgoings and for many the cost of rail travel is simply unaffordable. “She said there were still problems facing commuters across the Kingdom.

Kirkcaldy Rail station signage (Pic: Scott Louden)Kirkcaldy Rail station signage (Pic: Scott Louden)
Kirkcaldy Rail station signage (Pic: Scott Louden)

“On local services we are still seeing overcrowding and disruption but year on year passengers are being asked to pay more for the same poor services – its just not acceptable. I will be questioning the Scottish Government on what basis they can justify this price hike.”

Ministers said the ticket rise was needed “to ensure rail services are sustainable in the longer term and that budgets align with the overall funding available.”

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Transport said: “We know that any increase is unwelcome for passengers, therefore we have kept the rise as low as possible to maintain the attractiveness and affordability of rail as a travel option. We continue to look at ways to encourage greater rail use.”