Rail fares to rise by 1.9 per cent for most passengers

Many rail passengers will be hit with a 1.9 per cent fares rise in January but ScotRail passengers travelling off-peak will have to pay only half that increase.

Off-peak ScotRail travellers, like those at Glasgow Central Station, will see fares pegged at 1 per cent below inflation to encourage train travel. Photo: John Devlin

The hikes were confirmed by today’s announcement of the July retail price index (RPI) inflation rate of 1.9 per cent, which is used to base fare changes on.

“Regulated” peak fares on ScotRail, such as Anytime and season tickets, will go up by 1.9 per cent, Transport Scotland said.

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This compares to a 1 per cent rise this year.

Regulated off-peak fares, like off-peak singles and returns, will increase by 0.9 per cent, or 1 per cent below inflation.

They were frozen in January because RPI was 1 per cent last year.

The increases mean that anytime day returns between Edinburgh and Glasgow will increase by about 40p to around £23.70, while off-peak day returns go up by about 10p to around £12.70.

ScotRail said changes to other tickets, including first class, advance and flexipass fares, would be announced in due course.

By contrast, all regulated tickets on cross-Border and other English operators, which are set by the UK Government, will go up by 1.9 per cent.

These include Virgin Trains’ east and west coast services, CrossCountry and TransPennine Express.

A spokesman for Transport Scotland, which controls the ScotRail franchise, said: “The Scottish Government wants to see more people take the train, particularly during off-peak periods when there is more capacity on the network, and recognises that prices have to be affordable and fair.

“Scottish Ministers ensure fares are kept below certain thresholds by regulating the maximum permitted annual increase for selected fares, including Anytime and season tickets, to the level of the RPI for regulated peak fares, and 1 per cent below RPI for regulated off-peak fares.

“Because the Scottish Government have set regulated off-peak fares at 1 per cent below RPI, Scotland’s rail passengers will continue to benefit from regulated off-peak fares typically lower than the rest of the UK.”