Scottish Labour has called on the SNP to rule out “eye-watering” rail fare increases amid concerns that passengers could be hit with fare hikes approaching 12%.

The contract for the new publicly-owned ScotRail states that, every January regulated fares can increase with the rate of inflation based on the figure for the previous July.

This means Scotland’s rail passengers would face fare increases based on current inflation rates.

The rate typically applied will be confirmed next month, but, in June, RPI was 11.8%.

This would take the price of an anytime day return between Glasgow and Edinburgh to over £30, and would increase the cost of an annual season ticket on the route by over £500 to about £4,950.

The SNP decided to go ahead with big fare hikes last January, as the cost of living crisis was starting to hit.

Scottish Labour has urged the Scottish Government to pledge that passengers will not be forced to pay the price for spiralling inflation.

Scottish Labour Transport spokesperson Neil Bibby said:  “The last thing Scotland’s long-suffering rail passengers need is a record-breaking fare hikes next winter, at the very time people will be struggling to heat their homes.

“This year the SNP nodded through the biggest increases in a decade during a cost of living crisis – they cannot make the same mistake again.

“If the SNP continue with their signature blend of chronic mismanagement and punitive fare hikes it spells disaster for Scotland’s railways and our emissions targets. 

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