While foreign visitors may well find Scottish rail fares to be puzzling (your report, 15 August) they are no less so for those of us in the south of the country.
The single fare from Carlisle to Perth is £74.50. The single fare from Carlisle to Glasgow is £23.40 and that from Glasgow to Perth is £15.60, a combined fare of £39, saving £35.50.
Similarly, a ticket from Carlisle to Mallaig costs £98.50 but can be bought for £56.30 in a similar manner, saving £42.20.
Another example is the journey to Inverness where the corresponding sums are £105 and £63, a saving of £42.
As our esteemed visitors from the US might say, “Do the math.”
Dumfries and Galloway
So rail fares are “among the highest in the UK in relation to distance covered”? and “Scottish transport leaves tourists bewildered”).
No surprise there for those of us condemned to use First ScotRail.
In the decade the company has held the franchise for Scotland’s rail services, we poor passengers have had to shell out eye-watering levels of cash to travel in poor-quality trains never designed for long-distance service – not just premier routes such as Aberdeen/Inverness to Glasgow/Edinburgh but trains to Galloway, the West Highands and the far north.
In the same period, First ScotRail has steadfastly turned its back on any overhaul of its fares system.
Thus we travellers are forced to battle a fares system that remains baffling in its arcane complexity.
The only way to buy a train ticket in this country without feeling bewildered and ripped off is to go to a station and talk to a human being – ideally one with a good attitude. There is no point going online.