Scotland politics

ScotRail fares decision 'before year-end'

scotrail Image copyright PA

The Scottish government has promised a decision on rail fares before the end of the year.

In the rest of the UK, train fares will go up by an average of 2.3%.

Regulated ScotRail fares are currently capped at the level of the Retail Price Index (RPI). Off-peak regulated fares are capped at 1% below RPI.

Scottish Labour has called for ScotRail fares to be frozen, an idea First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said could be considered.

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: "No final decision has been taken on next year's fares in Scotland and we are looking at options before the end of the year.

"We want to see a vibrant, growing industry with more seats and services than ever before and that is why we have taken action to help keep fares down."

She added: "In terms of calls for a fares freeze, as the First Minister stated in Parliament recently, we will consider any fully-costed options that might enable us to reduce costs to passengers while still delivering our ambitious infrastructure programme.

"Scotland's railways are offering an ever-more attractive travel option and, through our £5bn package of rail investment, we want to see a continued shift from road to rail."

Much of the Scottish government is on holiday for St Andrew's Day.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf has tweeted: "To confirm, as FM previously said - we are continuing to consider fare rates in Scotland and no final decision has been taken for next year."

Scottish Labour Transport spokesman Neil Bibby said: "This news makes it even more important that SNP ministers back Labour's plan for a fare freeze in 2017.

"After months of disruption on the rail network, passengers in Scotland deserve a break. People are fed up with overcrowded, delayed and expensive trains and it would be insulting to ask passengers to pay more for the service they are currently receiving."

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