Not for the first time do I suggest that First ScotRail’s fares system presents a minefield to the unwary. Not for the first time do I suggest that our MSPs, Transport Scotland and Passenger Focus should take action over the level of charging by First ScotRail.
I’ve just booked return tickets Stonehaven-Edinburgh for this Thursday. For this weekly journey, I always travel East Coast both ways, with single fares first class in each direction of £14.85 (using a Railcard). For this I get a meal at my seat, refreshments and wine.
For once, I have to return by First ScotRail, and you might imagine my astonishment when the booking clerk said that the First ScotRail single first-class fare would be £38.60.
So I’m travelling home second class with First ScotRail for £13.65.
The ScotRail journey will give me plenty of time to reflect on the fact that for almost the same money, East Coast provides hot meals at a first-class seat, refreshments and a glass of wine, while at my First ScotRail second-class seat, there isn’t even a socket into which I can plug my laptop.