Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport & Rural Affairs Colin Smyth has criticised the SNP for their “reckless” decision to hike rail fares.

A 3.8% increase to rail fares came into effect this week, with daily and season ticket prices rising across the south of Scotland on ScotRail services. The latest rise from 24 January is the highest in a decade with peak prices rocketing by an eye watering 38 per cent since the start of 2012

The Scottish Government is also pressing ahead with the rise earlier than the UK government, who are waiting until March to hit passengers in England with the same extortionate increase. This means services from Lockerbie station on the West Coast Mainline on Avanti and Transpennine Express on the West Coast Mainline and East Coast Mainline services such as LNER won’t increase for another two months

Colin Smyth said: “It is wildly reckless to hit passengers with this brutal rip-off fare rise while a cost of living crisis rages on.

“South Scotland’s passengers will be forced to cough up extra money, months before the rest of the UK because of the SNP’s decision to plough ahead with this increase.

“Slapping passengers with the biggest hike in a decade, months before ScotRail is taken into public hands is an utterly shameful start.

“The latest hike means peak prices on ScotRail services have risen by an eye watering 38% since 2012 and come at a time that services are being axed compared to pre-pandemic levels and ticket offices are having their hours slashed. It’s not as much ScotRail under this Government but ScotFail.

“If the SNP are happy to let fares spiral and routes be decimated, then their takeover will mean little more than a fresh coat of paint.

“We need to show some real ambition for the future of ScotRail, so that we can finally put passengers first and build the green, affordable railway service we need.”

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