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Transport Scotland cuts fares across 275,000 journeys

Fares for 275,000 rail journeys are to be cut, Transport Scotland has announced.

A new pricing structure developed with ScotRail aims to eliminate over 1,500 fare ‘anomalies’, reduce split-ticketing and make it almost always cheaper to buy one ticket rather than two separate ones for the same journey.

The Scottish Government has provided £2.28m funding, meaning fares are reduced by as much as 41% on certain routes from May 19.

Transport minister Keith Brown said: “We have always been clear on our commitment to getting more people on Scotland’s trains and a major factor in that has been ensuring affordable and easily understood fare structures.

“It became apparent that, due to historic pricing regimes in the franchise specification agreed by the previous administration in 2004, passengers had to navigate their way through a fares database to find the best deal.

“That’s not what we want. We want a fares system which is quick and easy to use and which provides the cheapest fare possible. And that is what we and ScotRail are now delivering.”

Steve Montgomery, managing director of ScotRail said: “This is another example of us putting the customer first , by tackling the fare inconsistencies that are most prevalent in Scotland. Transport Scotland’s welcome support means we have accelerated our efforts in this area, providing easier access to best value rail fares.”

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden said: “Rail fares can be bizarrely complex so it's very welcome that action is being taken to remove some of the anomalies present in the existing system.

“Passengers will especially welcome the commitment that the change will not mean that rail fares will go up, but rather that end-to-end fares will be lower than buying 'split tickets'. It's a nonsense that passengers can travel on the same train, on the same seats, but are sold tickets at different prices because of fare anomalies. It is things like this that make some people distrustful of the railway – so it's encouraging to see some of the inconsistencies in the system corrected.”

Passenger Focus chief executive Anthony Smith said: “Hard-pressed passengers in Scotland will be pleased to hear that some fares are set to become simpler, and cheaper. Passengers who had previously trawled through websites looking for unusual fare combinations will no longer need to do this. We welcome anything that leads to cheaper fares and a simpler system for passengers – something our research highlights that is important to passengers.”

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