Rail passengers in Dumfries and Galloway set to be hit by soaring ticket prices

Train ticket prices are skyrocketing after a recent decision by the Scottish Government to raise travel prices.

Transport Scotland has confirmed the fare increase in a bid to recoup rail revenue lost during the pandemic.

And that means an increase of over £200 for commuters buying season tickets for Dumfries in Glasgow.

Last year the cost was £4,672 and now, with the 3.8% increase, it will be £4,848, an increase of £220.

The season ticket for passengers traveling from Dumfries to Annan will drop from £52 to £1,452 this year.

The move was described as ‘brutal’ by South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth.

He said: “The latest rise from January 24 is the highest in a decade with peak prices soaring 38% since the start of 2012.

“The Scottish government is also pushing ahead with the hike earlier than the UK government, which is waiting until March to hit passengers in England with the same exorbitant hike.

“This means that services from Lockerbie Station on the West Coast Mainline on Avanti and Transpennine Express on the West Coast Mainline and East Coast Mainline services such as LNER will not increase not for two months.

“It is extremely unwise to hit passengers with this brutal rip off fare increase while a cost of living crisis rages on.

“Passengers in the south of Scotland will be forced to shell out extra money, months ahead of the rest of the UK due to the SNP government’s decision to go ahead with this increase.

“It’s not so much ScotRail under this government as ScotFail.

“We need to show real ambition for the future of ScotRail, so that we can finally put passengers first and build the green and affordable rail service we need.”

The Scottish Government insists it has backed rail franchises throughout the pandemic with over £1bn, including over £450m in emergency measures agreements, but has stressed that this level of funding is not sustainable in the long term.

Graeme Dey said before he left office as transport minister that the government knew any price hikes would be unpopular.

“For more than a decade, the Scottish Government has limited rate increases ensuring that they are in line with the RPI, or even lower in the case of off-peak rates.

“Scottish rail fares remain, on average, 20% lower than the rest of Britain.

“We know that any increase is unwelcome for passengers. However, the changes we are implementing this year are essential to our broader recovery plans.

“We have challenged ScotRail to develop solid plans to increase revenue while seeking to identify efficiency savings that help put rail services on a sustainable footing. It is only right that we implement proposals, such as this increase, where they make sense given changing passenger travel habits.

“However, we know there is a lot of work to be done to encourage people to get back on track if we are to achieve our net zero goals.

“That’s why we asked ScotRail to identify ways to encourage increased demand at the right time, in the right place, as we continue to recover from the pandemic.

“Work is also continuing on the review of Transport Scotland’s fair fares.”

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