Local Labour politicians Colin Smyth MSP and Cllr Adam Wilson have called on the UK Government to intervene and stop the scandalous rail fare increases that will hit passengers using Lockerbie Train Station from 2 January 2020.
Rail fares across the UK are set to go up by an average of 2.7% from 2 January. However, commuters travelling to work in Edinburgh from Lockerbie will face a £7.50 hike for a Day Return meaning it will now cost £27.50 for a day return to the capital, an increase of 37.5% . The price of an Open Return will increase to £39.90 from the previous £31.20 fare, an increase of 27.8%.
These scandalous fare increases come as services have gone from bad to worse at Lockerbie Train Station. The busy 10.32am service to Edinburgh was axed for five months despite the train still passing through Lockerbie Station and passengers with mobility scooters have been told they will need to apply for a pass to take their scooter on new trains on a journey by journey basis for the foreseeable future rather than be able to apply for the previous annual pass.
Both Colin Smyth MSP and Councillor Adam Wilson are calling on the Secretary of State for Transport to intervene and put a stop to these scandalous rail fare increases.
Scottish Labour Transport Spokesperson and South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “The performance of Transpennine Express simply goes from bad to abysmal. This latest price hike proposed by the private company is a scandal and means commuters now face a near 40% price hike.
The UK Government regulate services between Lockerbie and Edinburgh and must urgently intervene and put a stop to passengers from Lockerbie Train Station being exploited for private profits. Local MP David Mundell should join my call in urging his Conservative Government to intervene and stop this scandalous price hike on local commuters.
This scandalous price hike backs up my call for First Group to be stripped of the Transpennine Express franchise and for the services to come under public control.”
Annandale North Councillor Adam Wilson, whose ward covers Lockerbie Train Station said, “For too long passengers at Lockerbie Train Station have had to put up with overcrowding, delays and cancellations. Many people chose to live here because the train station allows them to commute to Glasgow and Edinburgh for work.
This scandalous price hike will see local commuters pay nearly 40% just to get to work and is a kick in the teeth for passengers who have already suffered months of delays and cancellations. The UK Government must stand up for local passengers rather than the profits of private rail operators.”