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New Year Fares Rise "Slap in the face for Scottish commuters hit by rail fare rise return to work " - Cortes

2 January 2020

Scottish commuters returning to work after the Christmas and New Year break, will be hit by an inflation-busting 2.4 per cent increase in rail fares while their own income flatlines.

The rise is in Scotland is lower than July’s RPI rate of 2.8 per cent, which England’s fair risese are based on, but still higher than CPI for the same month which was only 2 per cent. According to ONS data released in December 2019, real terms take home pay is still lower than before the 2008 recession, with average pay rising only 1.5 per cent in the last period, leaving commuters out of pocket.

For example, an annual season ticket from Glasgow to Edinburgh is expected to rise by £114 to £4,198.

TSSA General Secretary Manuel Cortes said “Millions of Scottish commuters are being dealt a slap in the face by inflation-busting fare rises while their own wages stagnate. It’s sadly just what we’ve come to expect from this Tory government, and the SNP who lack the courage to truly do anything different.

“Transport Secretary Michael Matheson took the right first step when he called time on Abellio’s ScotRail franchise. But refranchising in 2022 isn’t the answer. Only public ownership of the railways can address the sky-high prices and poor services endured by passengers.

“Instead of investing in our railways, Westminster’s Tory government is more interested in undermining transport workforce by slashing workers’ rights across public transport.

“All the SNP are offering rail travellers is half measures. They know Abellio isn’t fit to run Scotland’s railways. But all they’re offering is half measures – letting Abellio stay put till 2022 – and big for the franchise again then! They should tell Abellio to leave now and never come back.

“Today’s back to work fare hike should be a wake-up call to everyone about what to expect from the SNP government and their Tory backers.”

Ends
Notes to editors:
ONS data on average incomes: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/bulletins/averageweeklyearningsingreatbritain/december2019

Details on ScotRail’s fare rises
https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/here-s-how-much-more-you-ll-pay-for-rail-fares-in-january-but-smaller-rise-on-scotrail-1-4983326

 

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