South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has called on the Scottish Government to rule out “eye-watering” rail fare increases amid concerns that passengers could be hit with fare hikes approaching 12 per cent from January.
The contract for the new publicly-owned ScotRail states that, every January, regulated fares can increase with the rate of inflation based on the figure for the previous July.
This means Scotland’s long-suffering rail passengers would be forced to cough up for increases based on the sky-high inflation rates we are currently seeing.
The rate typically applied will be confirmed this month, but, in June, RPI was sitting at a staggering 11.8 per cent.Colin Smyth said: “The last thing south Scotland’s long-suffering rail passengers need is a record-breaking fare hike next winter, at the very time people will be struggling to heat their homes.
“This year the Scottish Government nodded through the biggest increases in a decade during a cost of living crisis – they cannot make the same mistake again.
“If the SNP continue with their signature blend of chronic mismanagement and punitive fare hikes it spells disaster for Scotland’s railways and our emissions targets.
“This will be the first fare rise since they took full control of ScotRail – they need to show what kind of a railway they want to run and rule out a rip-off rise.”