You will be paying 2.8 per cent more to travel by ScotRail from January

Off-peak ScotRail fare increases are pegged to 1 per cent below inflation. Picture: John Devlin
Off-peak ScotRail fare increases are pegged to 1 per cent below inflation. Picture: John Devlin
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ScotRail passengers will pay an average extra 2.8 per cent to travel from January, the train operator announced today.

It compares to an average 3.1 per cent rise across Britain, including on cross-Border operators LNER, Virgin Trains, CrossCountry and TransPennine Express.

However, ScotRail commuters will pay more, with Anytime (peak) and season tickets going up by 3.2 per cent.

Many of the company's off-peak fares will increase by 2.2 per cent under a Scottish Government price cap which does not apply to other operators.

Annual Edinburgh-Glasgow season tickets will go up by £128 to £4,084, according to research by passenger watchdog Transport Focus.

Peak return fares on the route will be 80p more expensive at £25.50, while off-peak returns are 30p more at £13.30.

North Berwick-Edinburgh annual seasons will increase by £56 to £1,860.

Those travelling between Stirling and Glasgow will pay £2,228 - an extra £68.

Other off-peak increases include Edinburgh-Dundee, up 60p to £28.90.

Confirmation of the increases from 2 January, which were announced in August, comes as ScotRail's punctuality hit a 12-year low.

Trains arriving within five minutes of time over the year to 10 November slipped to 87.3 per cent, the lowest since August 2006.

BACKGROUND: ScotRail punctuality worst for 12 years

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: “We recognise fares increases are unwelcome, particularly when performance falls short of passengers and ministerial expectations.

“The impact on passengers has been minimised by capping increases for regulated ScotRail peak fares at the level of the retail price index (RPI), and regulated off-peak fares 1 per cent lower than inflation.

"This means, in Scotland, average fares increases are lower than England and Wales."

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “85 per cent of our revenue comes from fares set by the Scottish Government, which decides how much our customers pay.

“We are investing millions of pounds to build the best railway Scotland has ever had.

The introduction of brand new electric trains, and the first of our upgraded InterCity trains connecting Scotland’s seven cities, means customers benefit from more comfortable journeys.

“The new timetable improvements in early December will deliver another milestone, and will mean faster journeys, more seats, and more services for our customers.”

READ MORE: ScotRail commuters to be hit with 3.2 per cent fares rise

Anthony Smith, chief executive of passenger watchdog Transport Focus, said: "Until day-to-day reliability returns - with fewer significant delays and cancellations - passenger trust won’t begin to recover.

“Passengers now pour over £10 billion a year into the rail industry alongside significant government investment, so the rail industry cannot be short of funding.

"When will this translate into a more reliable railway and better value for money for passengers?”

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Colin Smyth said: "Rail passengers across Scotland are already being ripped off for a failing service and are now going to be hit with fare rises that are unwanted and unnecessary.

"It is simply wrong for commuters to have to pay more for train services which are plagued by delays, cancellations and stop-skipping."

Scottish Greens transport spokesman John Finnie said: “Rail passengers in Scotland far too often suffer delayed, cancelled and overcrowded trains, so to ask them to pay a significantly increased fare for a poor service is wrong.

"While the Scottish Government’s transport spending remains focused on new roads, we will continue to see rail commuters treated as an afterthought."

Scottish Liberal Democrat transport spokesman Mike Rumbles said: "The last thing hard up passengers need is another year of rail fare rises soaring above wage increases.

"Considering the service that passengers put up with, these fare rises are far too high.

“ScotRail have promised time and time again that fare increase will pay for maintenance and improving rolling stock but for rail users it seems like the service is getting worse and worse."