Date lodged: 10 January 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether increases in rail fares are justified, in light of the reported decrease in ScotRail's performance.
Answered by: Humza Yousaf 18 January 2018
The Scottish Government wants to see more people take the train and recognises that prices have to be affordable and fair. Scottish Ministers ensure that 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 Retail Price Index (RPI) for regulated Peak fares and one per cent below RPI for regulated Off-Peak fares. Scotland has the lowest level of fares increase with the average regulated fares increase below the rate of inflation.
Members will be aware that ScotRail launched fares initiatives last year to provide a free week for season ticket holders and additional offers for leisure travellers. A further phase of the fares initiative, which is fully funded by the Scottish Government and ScotRail, will be launched later this month, with full details being announced shortly.
I recognise ScotRail has faced a number of challenges recently and fully expect this downward trend to be addressed immediately. This is why Alex Hynes has instigated an independent review as part of ScotRail’s recovery measures, which I very much welcome, as the sooner we can address these challenges the sooner passengers can enjoy the level of service that they desire and deserve. I will be meeting with the ScotRail Alliance team tomorrow (Friday 19 January) to discuss and hear about their plans to address poor performance.