City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Train Fares To Rise 6% in 2012


By edg - Posted on 20 December 2011

Trains pass through Princes Street Gardens

Train fares are set to rise from the 2nd January 2012 by 6%, more than the rate of inflation. Inflation was 5.2% in November. Train companies can increase regulated fares by Retail Price Index +1%.

Perusing the train ticket prices, it means that an off-peak day return ticket from Edinburgh Waverley to Glasgow Queen Street will now cost £12.10 rather than £11.40.

The same journey between Edinburgh and Glasgow Queen Street returning on a different day, using two off-peak tickets, looks like it will cost £12 (or £18.80 if you travel First Class) each way as opposed to the current £11.40 each way.

There are still some cheap singles to be had for early birds looking to save a few quid. For example, the 6.24am from Edinburgh to Glasgow Central on 11 January is only £7.50. There's other early trains coming back from Glasgow to Edinburgh at the same price.

Note that there are no Scotrail train services on 1st January 2012.

Advance tickets offer early bird savings

While tickets will be more expensive you can still save quite a bit by buying in advance. For example, you can currently buy a single from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross for £14.40 on the 6.30pm train on 31 January. There's a smattering of £18.55 fares, and lots of £29.20 fares.

While some of these are great deals, you don't have the same flexibility as you would with some other tickets - you have to travel on a specific train. There is also usually a limited number of discounted tickets.

Why do train tickets need to rise?

If you think that train tickets are too expensive already then you are not alone. Especially since people are supposed to be travelling more by public transport rather than private car for environmental reasons.

A Scotrail spokesperson said: “We are committed to meeting customer demand for high quality punctual services."

“This approach enables us to continue to invest in service improvements while ensuring that rail travel remains value for money.”

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Edg is right that train fares are currently far too high - but what is the answer?   I suppose Government subsidy is the only option, but in our present economic state this is an improbable option.   So we are left with the alternative of booking really early for a journey and so securing the best price, or dramatically reducing our requirement to travel.   It does look,however, that the high fares are aimed at business people who can expect a refund while the rest of us simply have to avoid travelling  if we cannot secure a reasonably priced fare..