Carson calls on Scottish Government to "get real" when it comes to rail services

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has warned the Scottish Government must “get real” in its drive to encourage more people onto public transport.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 2:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 2:20 pm
Finlay Carson believes rail users are paying more for less
Finlay Carson believes rail users are paying more for less

RMT union analysis revealed that since the start of 2012, regulated peak fares in Scotland have increased by a massive 38 per cent.

In comparison over the same time period, the average cost of petrol has risen by just 8.6 per cent.

With rail fares having just taken another 3.8 per cent hike, Mr Carson says passengers are now paying more for less, especially as services face being cut back.

He said: “How can the Scottish Government honestly expect to get people to use public transport when it is reducing services and making passengers pay through the nose for it.

“The Scottish Government already knows there has been a massive dip in rail passenger numbers yet it is doing nothing to halt this either by improving services and reducing fares – not increasing them.

“They really have to get real if they are serious about encouraging people to use public transport again – why would anyone consider going by train if the costs are continually going up and up?”

Mr Carson also thinks the fares hike and reduction in services raises serious questions about climate change targets.

He said: “The cabinet secretary for Net Zero, Transport and Energy, went to great lengths outlining the commitment towards improving transport infrastructure with a range of measures.

“Now we are seeing rail fares going up, ticket office cuts and, crucially, a reduced rail timetable; where is the sense in all of that?”