Com­muter’s anger at un­fair ticket price

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

A Stir­ling busi­ness owner – and reg­u­lar train com­muter – this week crit­i­cised ScotRail’s ticket pric­ing struc­ture.

Jo­sine Atsma, who has run Stir­ling Health Food Store, Dum­bar­ton Road, for more than seven years, uses trains from Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion, near Aucher­arder, to travel into work.

Jo­sine , who lives in Glen­de­von, added: “Re­cently, we had a ticket ma­chine in­stalled at Gle­nea­gles.

“That’s when I no­ticed that ev­ery­one trav­el­ling west­wards to Stir­ling di­rec­tion pays an un­jus­ti­fi­able high ticket price com­pared with trav­el­ling east to­wards Perth.

“Travel time to Stir­ling and Perth are both around 18 min­utes, but go­ing to Perth I would only pay £8.70 but to Stir­ling I pay £14.30.

“It gets even more bizarre, be­cause if I were to travel to Dundee from Gle­nea­gles, which takes 40 min­utes, I would pay less than to Stir­ling.

“And trav­el­ling from Gle­nea­gles to Dun­blane is also £14.30, the same as a ticket to Stir­ling.”

By road, the dis­tance be­tween Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion and Perth is 9.1 miles , whilst 18 miles di­vides Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion and Stir­ling. Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion to Dun­blane is 12 miles and Gle­nea­gles to Dundee is al­most 38 miles.

How­ever, on­line in­for­ma­tion sug­gests it can take as lit­tle as 19 min­utes to travel be­tween Stir­ling and Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion and 16 min­utes to reach Perth, by train, from Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion.

ScotRail were un­der fire ear­lier this month af­ter push­ing up ticket prices by an av­er­age 2.8 per cent, amid fierce crit­i­cism about the way trains are op­er­at­ing.

Can­cel­la­tions through­out Novem­ber and De­cem­ber breached re­quired per­for­mance tar­gets, prompt­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to de­mand ScotRail pub­lishes a plan on how it will im­prove.

ScotRail said the rise was be­low the UK av­er­age of 3.1 per cent and said it was in­vest­ing “mil­lions to build the best rail­way Scot­land has ever had”.

Ms Astma said she had con­tacted Scotrail about the pric­ing is­sue she had iden­ti­fied, adding: “I have read about peo­ple com­plain­ing about ScotRail ser­vices in the Ob­server but when you, like me, pay an un­ex­plain­able high fare, you can un­der­stand that I am even more an­noyed.

“I hope the press start in­ves­ti­gat­ing this and might prompt ScotRail to look into their pric­ing struc­ture (al­though I don’t ex­pect them to change it).

A ScotRail spokesper­son said: “When set­ting fares, we take many fac­tors into con­sid­er­a­tion – the prin­ci­pal one be­ing fare reg­u­la­tion, which im­pacts on over 80 per­cent of our busi­ness.

“There­after we look at va­ri­ety of other fac­tors, in­clud­ing mar­ket con­di­tions, ge­og­ra­phy, ser­vice of­fer­ing, and tar­get mar­kets. There is no di­rect re­la­tion­ship be­tween fares and mileage or jour­ney time. This was bro­ken down be­fore rail pri­vati­sa­tion in the mid-1990s.”

To com­ment on this story: email john. row­[email protected]­i­tymir­, or write to the Ob­server at 34 Up­per Craigs, Stir­ling, FK82DW.

Dis­crep­ancy Jo­sine Atsma took this screen shot at Gle­nea­gles Sta­tion on Fri­day

Not fair Jo­sine Atsma un­happy about ticket pric­ing on her com­mute

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