The SNP has hailed the better deal that rail passengers in Scotland are getting as it was announced that passengers in England face an inflation-busting average 4.1% rise in regulated rail fares from January.
In Scotland the price increase for regulated peak tickets is capped at the rate of inflation (3.1%) while off-peak fares are being frozen, giving passengers north of the border a significantly better deal at a time when people’s finances are tight.
Asked in an interview on BBC Breakfast this morning why the rest of the UK was not following Scotland’s example by capping rail fares at the rate of inflation, UK Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin falsely claimed that this was because of lower investment in Scotland’s railways.
In fact, Scotland’s rail network is seeing a massive £5 billion investment package between now and 2019 that will deliver improvements and support jobs across the country.
Commenting, SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald who sits on the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee said:
“Passengers in Scotland are getting a significantly better deal than their counterparts south of the border, thanks to action by the SNP Government.
“We have recognised that in these difficult financial times, inflation-busting fare increases are the last thing that people need and have acted accordingly to protect passengers in Scotland.
“That better deal for passengers is coming on top of a massive investment of £5 billion in Scotland’s rail network – despite Patrick McLoughlin’s bizarre claim to the contrary today.
“It is scarcely any wonder that we are seeing record passenger numbers on Scotland’s railways as a result.
“Perhaps instead of looking for excuses, the Westminster Government would be better off simply following Scotland’s example and delivering a better deal for passengers.”