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Passengers can travel all day on ScotRail services with off-peak fares from today



A first of its kind in the UK, the trial is introducing cheaper and simpler fares, encouraging people to travel by rail instead of car.

The Scottish Government-funded project kicked off with Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop MSP and Scotland’s Railway Managing Director Alex Hynes visiting Glasgow Queen Street station this morning.

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, customers will not see any change in those areas.

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

On the Borders Railway an Anytime Day Return from Tweedbank to Edinburgh Waverley costs £20 last week but from today Monday October 2 the same ticket will cost £13.30.

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.

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It is expected that the trial will encourage more people to use ScotRail services, with cheaper fares during the peak periods attracting more people to consider travelling by rail. Customers are advised to plan their journey using the ScotRail website, app, or social media channels.

ScotRail expects that some trains will be busier and will be monitoring services daily. To help customers make informed decisions about their journey, the operator has listed the busiest services on its website.

The ambitious project 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.

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Minister for Transport, Fiona Hyslop MSP, said: “Today marks the start of our unique pilot which is making rail fares simpler and cheaper as we seek to encourage more people to use public transport.

“This approach reflects our Programme for Government commitment to encourage a shift towards sustainable transport.

“We recognise there is much to be done in encouraging people back to rail if we are to achieve our net zero targets.

“With simpler fares, which are valid all day, plus great savings to be made up and down the country, there’s never been a better time to choose the train.”

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Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Railway Managing Director, said: ““This is a fantastic day for rail travel in Scotland and a hugely exciting opportunity for Scotland’s Railway to get more people to leave the car behind and use our trains.

“We have worked tirelessly to get ready for this six-month trial, and everyone at ScotRail is looking forward to welcoming more customers across the country.

“Some of our services may be busier, and we will monitor this on a daily basis to make sure we can provide people with the information on how best to complete their journey.

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

Not all passengers will save money however. For the duration of the trial, the Super Off-Peak Day Return ticket has been withdrawn and customers will not be able to purchase these during this time.

Last week a Super Off-Peak Day Return ticket from Tweedbank to Edinburgh cost £10.70 but the same journey this week will cost £13.30.

ScotRail say that they are doing this to provide a clear message that tickets no longer have time restrictions on when you can travel.

NOTE: If you have already bought a Super Off-Peak Day Return ticket for travel during the trial, this ticket will still be honoured, although the time restrictions of this ticket will still apply

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