Premium Train Travel more Expensive in Scotland

by Emily DUNBAR on November 18, 2009

With the global economy forcing people to re-think the ways that they commute and travel, trains have regained popularity in the United Kingdom.  People are looking for any way to save money and many are also concerned about the environmental impact of using cars.  Those who use trains for their primary transport were happy after a recent announcement in Scotland revealed a rail operator’s plans to reduce or freeze most of the fares.  First ScotRail announced that it planned to freeze or reduce about seventy percent of its fares starting in January of 2010.

Some fares will remain frozen while others will be reduced slightly.  Standard season tickets, fares from Strathclyde and off peak returns will all remain frozen according to the report.  However, while this announcement is good for some, not all fares will remain the same.  Unregulated fares like anytime returns, first class tickets, off peak day returns, and fares that do not originate in Strathclyde will rise an average of three percent.  Groups representing train passengers said that the frozen fares were a good thing but that a three percent rise would be difficult to handle for some passengers.  They also said that it may be unfair to increase the rates of customers who are already paying a premium for their ticket.

One watchdog group, Passenger Focus, was very unhappy that the three percent increase represented a larger hike than inflation.  Rail carriers cited the struggling economy as the main reason for the increase.  Passengers in Scotland have been hit with increased fares for two consecutive years as last year fares went up an average of six percent.

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