Labour has called for a fare freeze for rail passengers after another morning of delay and disruption on Scotland's trains.
This morning, services from Glasgow Central station were cancelled and more than one third of trains delayed. This follows days of chaos, after a single broken down train brought Scotland's transport network to a halt last Thursday.
At First Minister's Questions today, Kezia Dugdale called on the SNP to give passengers a 'break' by freezing regulated rail fares, which are due to increase by up to 1.9 per cent in January. This would see the cost of an Edinburgh-Glasgow season ticket rise by more than £71. The SNP's cap on rush hour fares has increased by over 23 per cent since 2011 - more than three times the increase in the rate of earnings.
Earlier this week the SNP Transport Minister Humza Yousaf denied that there is a 'poor service'.
The Scottish Government is responsible for setting regulated fares. Labour's call for a regulated rail fare freeze applies to the following:
- ScotRail season tickets
- ScotRail off-peak returns
- All fares in the Strathclyde area
- Standard singles, standard day returns and season tickets in the Edinburgh commuter area (from Fife Circle to Falkirk, North Berwick and Addiewell)
All other fares, such as tickets between Edinburgh and Glasgow during rush hour, are unregulated and are therefore set commercially.
The independent experts at the Scottish Parliament Information Centre say that this would cost an estimated £1.9million - that's the equivalent of two months profit for operator Abellio.
A document setting out Labour's plan in detail can be read here: http://bit.ly/Farefreeze
Speaking after First Minister's Questions, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:
"There was more delay and disruption on Scotland's rail network today, as thousands of people were left stranded while trying to get to work. This isn't a one-off. Scotland's commuters just aren't getting the service they deserve.
"People are fed up with expensive, overcrowded and unreliable trains. SNP ministers are desperate to talk tough about what action they might take in 2022, but passengers left stranded on freezing platforms need a break now.
"This January, rail fares across Scotland are due to rise once again. We don’t think that’s right. After weeks of misery, people in Scotland deserve to know there is light at the end of the tunnel with a fare freeze in 2017. The SNP should back Labour's plan."