Rail concessions now restricted

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DISCOUNTED rail travel will no longer be available during the evening peak period for passengers with a Strathclyde concessionary travel card from 20 May.

The restriction will cover travel on ScotRail services in Strathclyde between 1630 and 1800 Monday to Friday.

The decision was agreed by the Concession Joint Committee (which operates on behalf of 12 west of Scotland member councils) and followed discussions with ScotRail on options that would help reduce the cost of the scheme. Statistics show that 83% of rail concession is currently outside the daily commuting period.

The committee also agreed that the concessionary fares would be held at current levels - 80p single or £1.20 return for journeys up to 10 miles, and with a 50% discount for longer journeys within the Scheme area.

A Joint Committee spokesperson said: “The decision to restrict the use of concessionary rail travel during peak commuting periods was not an easy one but is necessary.

“Every public organisation is working within tight budgets at the moment.

“We have a duty to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure the long term viability of the scheme, where the costs continue to rise.

“We believe it is a valuable local supplement to the national bus scheme and remains the most beneficial local scheme within Scotland.

“It is also worth noting that despite rail fares increasing by around 6% in the current financial year, the concessionary fare remains the same.”

ScotRail has agreed to implement the evening peak restriction which now makes it consistent with other rail concessions in Scotland.

A ScotRail spokesperson said: “It is important that we highlight the change to our customers so they can plan accordingly.

“Subway travel is unaffected by the change. Restrictions do not apply on National Public Holidays. Nor do they apply to those with proof of a hospital appointment, holders of a disabled concession card, those who hold a valid ferry card or those travelling to/from Maybole, Girvan and Barrhill on DIRECT services.