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ScotRail slashes fares in bid to lure passengers

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ScotRail wants to encourage more passengers to choose the train

ScotRail has announced that it will follow England’s example and offer all off-peak services for half price between any two stations in Scotland from next month.

The service, now back in state control, claimed it had planned the Monday to Friday discount in January but was forced to postpone the cut because of the rise in Omicron cases.

Rail bosses say the price cut is aimed at encouraging more travellers to use trains and is offering discounted journeys until 30 June.

The 50%-off tickets will only be available to purchase online via a dedicated booking link to be published on the ScotRail website.

An off-peak return between Edinburgh and Glasgow will cost just £9.55, while customers can travel between Inverness and Aberdeen for £23.85 return. 

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The offer will be available on all off-peak tickets on valid routes. ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid will be able to be used in conjunction with this offer, which means up to four children can travel, for £1 return each, with each adult.

Questions had been asked why ScotRail did not cut fares earlier this week when the UK Department for Transport announced the prices of train tickets in England are to be cut by as much as half in April and May in a bid to ease the cost of living crisis.

Lesley Kane, ScotRail commercial director, said:  “The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people travel, and it is an absolutely priority for ScotRail to do everything we can to attract customers to Scotland’s Railway.”

Chris Gibb, chief executive, Scottish Rail Holdings, said: “This fares offer, backed by the Scottish Government, is one of several initiatives ScotRail have been working on for delivery in the coming months to encourage people back on to our trains.

“The Scottish Government appreciates this is a short term offer – that’s one of the reasons why it has committed to a fair fares review, which will consider public transport across differing modes and which will also look at affordability.

“Public ownership of ScotRail means delivering a service which listens and responds to passenger need – we will continue to work together to develop further initiatives with longer term benefits that make rail a better choice as we work towards our ambitious Net Zero targets.”

Example of new fares:

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