The Herald

Passenger hits out over train fares anomaly

Cash claim for shorter trip that is more expensive


SCOTRAIL has been condemned for a “ludicrous” fares policy that sees customers pay up to £5.40 more for a return journey to Scotland’s capital from one West Dunbartons­hire station than if they had got on two stops further away.

Businessma­n Stuart Gray said he is short-changed when catching the train from the nearest station to his Clydebank home to Edinburgh Waverley.

An Anytime Day Return return from Drumry to Waverley sets him back £30.40 – but costs just £25 from Dalmuir, two stops further away from the capital.

There is no difference in price going from the same stations to Waverley if an Anytime Return, which is valid for a month, was bought.

Stuart Gray, a volunteer and member of the Scottish Railway Preservati­on Society, spotted disparitie­s after two years of travelling between Drumry and Edinburgh using his Senior Railcard.

An Anytime Day Return cost him £20.05, but another customer travelling from Dalmuir two stops further from Edinburgh was paying £16.50, £3.55 cheaper. It is the same disparity with a 16-25 Railcard. Mr Gray, 65, the owner of a family tree business in the capital, claims he should be compensate­d to the tune of over £100 for the “unfair fares” anomaly over the past two years.

The owner of Scot-Scene Ancestral Research points to the rail operator’s “price promise” of being committed to “helping you get the best value tickets through all ScotRail retail channels”.

He said: “I feel like I have been getting ripped off for years by ScotRail. There is no logic here and I just can’t get my head around it.

“Obviously I am much aggrieved at this inequity and ask what ScotRail intends to do about the situation.”

ScotRail fare bosses dismissed his claim.

They insisted he had not been overcharge­d, saying in an email to him that it is “correct pricing” saying that it was “priced on the route with the most frequent journey opportunit­ies”.

It is not the first time ScotRail has come under fire for unfair fares.

In June, Fife Council complained residents were paying “over the odds” for their commute and its deputy leader Lesley Laird said prices should be frozen.

The council raised concerns about significan­t discrepanc­ies in fares, citing ticket prices for journeys from Leuchars, Markinch and Kirkcaldy, which are higher per mile than other parts of the country.

Fares from Leuchars to Edinburgh, a 51-mile journey, cost £24.70, which is £5.60 more than those travelling the 63 miles between Girvan and Glasgow.

Nearly two weeks later it was announced commuters were to be given a free week’s rail travel to head off mounting complaints caused by cancellati­ons, overcrowdi­ng and disruption.

The £3 million package of discounted travel was to be shared among season ticket holders.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “Fares are calculated using criteria, including frequency of services, market demand and managing capacity on peak services.”

‘‘ I feel like I have been getting ripped off for years. There is no logic here

 ??  ?? STUART GRAY: Noticed disparitie­s between fares charged for journeys to Edinburgh. Picture: Jamie Simpson
STUART GRAY: Noticed disparitie­s between fares charged for journeys to Edinburgh. Picture: Jamie Simpson

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