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Friday, 21 December, 2001, 08:53 GMT
Rail firm plans fares hike
Train at station
Some passengers will pay up to 1 extra
Rail passengers are facing a rise in prices in the new year as new fares are introduced on some of Scotland's busiest routes.

ScotRail has said that it will increase peak rate fares on some of the country's most popular routes.

The biggest increase will be for passengers between Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow, who will see the price of a peak time single ticket rise by 23%.

The price comes in a same week in which figures released by the Strategic Rail Authority showed the punctuality of ScotRail services has dropped by 8% in the last year.

Rail passenger
ScotRail wants to boost off-peak sales

The rail operator is adding 1 to the price of a peak time single between Glasgow and Edinburgh and Stirling and Edinburgh.

Other routes will see a 3% rise.

However, most return, season and offpeak tickets will remain unchanged.

Highland railcards, which give 50% off fares, will be increased from 5 to 7.50 a year, the first rise in three years.

A new 29 apex return ticket will be introduced between Edinburgh or Glasgow and Kyle of Lochalsh or Wick and Thurso, which is 43% cheaper than the current 51 return.

Fare dodgers

The increases do not affect local services in the Glasgow area, where Strathclyde Passenger Transport raised fares by 4.5% in May.

ScotRail, which operates 95% of passenger services in Scotland, said the increases are needed to discourage fare dodgers and boost the number of passengers buying return fares or travelling outwith peak times.

The Rail Passengers Committee for Scotland said the increases are generally modest compared with some train operators south of the border.

The new prices will take effect from 6 January 2002.

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 ON THIS STORY
Alan Mackay reports
"The accusation of fare dodging has its origins in the recent fiasco over ScotRail's new turbostar fleet."
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