Peak ScotRail fares scrapped for further three months until September

A pilot scheme scrapping peak ScotRail fares has been extended for an additional three months, Scotland's first minister has announced.

The trial was initially introduced in October 2023 and was extended to run until the end of June.

It will now remain in place until the end of September.

The price cut sees rush-hour commutes between Glasgow and Edinburgh slashed by almost half, from £28.90 to £14.90.

First Minister John Swinney made the announcement on Thursday during a visit to a Fife Expo at Edinburgh's Waverley Station, part of the Levenmouth rail link opening celebrations.

He said: "We know new rail investment can create real education, business and tourism opportunities and help breathe life into communities. This is currently most apparent with the soon-to-open £116m Levenmouth rail link.

"Bold initiatives such as our ScotRail peak fares removal pilot help build on this investment by encouraging more people to switch from the car and opt to use the train.

"By extending this pilot for a further three months, we can better understand its impacts in terms of encouraging people to choose rail. It also helps tackle inequalities by making commuting, day trips and access to leisure activities even more affordable for all.

"I would encourage passengers to use this opportunity, not just for the daily commute but to see all that Scotland has to offer - that might even include a trip on the Levenmouth rail link or a visit to the Fife Expo."

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Joanne Maguire, managing director of ScotRail, said she was "delighted" the pilot had been extended.

The Scottish Greens are calling for the scheme to be made permanent.

Mark Ruskell MSP, the party's climate and transport spokesperson, said: "The Scottish Greens fought tooth and nail to persuade the government and Transport Scotland to scrap peak rail fares and their response was to first pilot the changes, which has now proven popular with passengers and unions alike.

"Given they are now embedded in people's daily routine, and are helping to tackle both the cost of living and climate crises, it would be a spectacular own goal if Mr Swinney and the SNP were to bring back what is in effect a commuter tax.

"The change must become permanent."