Peak time rail fares in Scotland are to increase by more than three per cent next year, it has been confirmed by ScotRail. The rise will take effect from January 2013.
The announcement follows the publishing of the latest Retail Price Index (RPI), which saw a drop from 3.3 per cent to 3.1 per cent. Many rail fares can only increase in line with this.
It means that the most popular train services will all see a rise; accounting for 60 per cent of all train journeys. For business travellers, the extra cost will not be welcome.
However, operational costs are not as heavy as they once were. Many Scottish firms are in a much better position for dealing with this rise compared to rises in previous years too.
Many have restructured and reworked their financial strategies with the help of invoice discounting or factoring.
The fact that two-fifths of rail fares are also being frozen will likely urge greater off-peak travel by business users. This is one intention of the RPI matching rises, with a ScotRail spokesperson saying:
“We are pleased to have frozen fares for 40 per cent of journeys, and limited others to an inflation-only increase.”
The deputy first minister also said that trains were becoming increasingly popular in Scotland; with 83 million travellers through 2012. She said:
“Our objective is to enable passengers to find the cheapest fares possible and have earmarked a £5bn package of investment in better trains, better stations and better services.”
Peak fares for the next two years will also be limited to increasing in accordance with RPI.