Off-peak train fares all day from October

Wednesday September 13th 2023

Borders Railway - Eskbank Station

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

A six-month trial that will introduce cheaper and simpler fares on ScotRail services will get underway from Monday 2nd October.

The Scottish Government-funded project, encouraging people to travel by rail instead of car, will allow customers to travel all day on off-peak fares until the end of March 2024.

The trial will see massive savings across the country, with fares on the main route between Edinburgh and Glasgow coming down from £28.90 to £14.90. Examples of some of the other savings on routes in and out of the main cities include:

Inverkeithing – Edinburgh (£11.10 to £6.50)
Perth – Dundee (£14.40 to £9.90)
Glasgow – Stirling (£16.10 to £9.60)
Inverurie – Aberdeen (£11.10 to £8.90)
Inverness – Elgin (£22.00 to £14.40)

There are some routes where no off-peak fare exists because the same price is available at any time of the day, and as such, rail users will not see any change in those areas.

From next week, you can check the ScotRail website, or the app, to see off-peak fares for their route during the six-month period.

One of the most significant impacts of the pandemic was to radically change the commuter market, with a significant drop in the number of people travelling during the traditional peak times. That market is only 70 per cent of what it was before the pandemic.

It is expected that the trial will encourage more people to use ScotRail services, with cheaper fares early in the day attracting more people to consider travelling by rail.

ScotRail expects that some trains will be busier and will be monitoring services daily. The rail operator will be communicating with rail users throughout the trial to let them know the best way to make their journey.

The ambitious project, which is a first of its kind in the UK rail industry, will support the Scottish Government’s ambition to achieve net zero, providing more people with the opportunity to use trains as their primary form of transport.

Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Railway Managing Director, said:

“This is a hugely exciting opportunity for Scotland’s Railway to encourage more people across the country to choose rail travel instead of using the car.

“Everyone at ScotRail is working hard to make sure that this six-month trial will be a success, and we will be monitoring our services and stations daily to see where we have any significant increases in customer journeys.

“We know that cost and simplicity is a critical factor for people when they choose how to travel, and we are looking forward to delivering this fantastic fare reduction for our customers.”

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