Peak time rail fares to be scrapped on ScotRail services from October

First Minister Humza Yousaf says Scotland's public transport system has to be 'more accessible, available and affordable'.

Peak-time rail fares will be scrapped on ScotRail services for six months from October.

First Minister Humza Yousaf announced the pilot programme as he set out the priorities for his premiership at Holyrood on Tuesday.

The move will see ticket prices being lowered during busier times of the day.

Yousaf said he wanted to make Scotland’s public transport system “more accessible, available and affordable”.

“As an important part of that, I can confirm today that the six-month pilot to remove peak-time fares from ScotRail services will start in October of this year,” he told MSPs.

“The evidence from this pilot – and our wider Fair Fares review – will allow us to bring forward further targeted measures, from next year onwards, to ensure that the costs of transport are more fairly shared.

“As part of our commitment to active travel, we will also increase our investment to deliver more places where people can walk, wheel and cycle safely for day-to-day journeys.

“We will double the charge point network for electric vehicles to at least 6,000, and increase the number of zero-emission buses on Scotland’s roads. And we will deliver six new major vessels to serve Scotland’s ferry network.”

Train drivers’ union ASLEF had previously called for peak rail fares to be scrapped, having described them as a “tax on workers”.

Kevin Lindsay, ASLEF Scotland organiser, said: “This announcement is a direct result of rail workers demanding this action be taken when we launched our vision for Scotland’s Railways.

“With the cost of living crisis hitting Scots hard, we urge the (Scottish) Government to explore every opportunity to accelerate the scrapping of peak fares and make the policy permanent.

“With ScotRail back in public hands it’s only right that passengers and rail workers see the benefit of public ownership as quickly as possible.”

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