Responding to the announcement of above-inflation price hikes for train users, a Glasgow MSP has called for the creation of off-peak season tickets to cut costs and reduce overcrowding on Scotland’s trains.
Research by the Scottish Greens has found that the current cost of a 12-month season ticket between Edinburgh and Glasgow (£3380) is more than the cost of a 12-month ticket that gives you unlimited travel across the whole of Germany’s 21,000 mile network (£3252/€3990). (1) After today’s announcement, the cost of this season ticket is expected to rise by £142 in January.
The Greens want the season ticket system to be made more flexible for part-time and flexible workers, cutting costs for those who don’t need to travel at peak times and providing an incentive to reduce overcrowding. The current season ticket structure does not differentiate between peak and off-peak travel and yet UK figures show that 43% of journeys (600m a year) are made using season tickets. (2)
Patrick Harvie MSP said:
“You can hop on any train in the whole of Germany for a year for less than a season ticket between Edinburgh and Glasgow. Train fares in the UK seem designed to enrage rather than encourage passengers on public transport, and every year passengers get another kick in the teeth with unfair above-inflation price rises.
“I’m calling for an off-peak season ticket to be made available for those workers who don’t need to travel at peak times but who currently pay just as much. If we can make the ticket system far clearer for passengers then we can reduce costs and overcrowding on Scotland’s trains.”
1. Figures from
DB Bahncard 100, details here: http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/prices/germany/bahncard.shtml
2. The UK Department for Transport is currently conducting a review of rail fares and ticketing: