Train fares too expensive for Falkirk?

Commuters look set to part with even more cash for their train journeys in the new year.

Scotrail increase fares every January with prices likely to rise by a further six per cent in 2012.

This means the cost of a season ticket to travel from Falkirk to Glasgow would increase by £110 for an annual pass and for those that pay monthly, the fare will rise by £120 per year.

Regulated train prices, which include singles, day returns and season passes, are determined by a formula, the Retail Price Index rate of inflation, which is currently five per cent, plus one per cent.

In England, fares will be increased by the inflation rate of five per cent plus an additional three per cent.

There had been fears Scotrail, which operate 95 per cent of train services in Scotland, could raise fares by as much as 13 per cent had the company opted for the new flex system given the go-ahead by the Government. The pricing scheme allows operators to use the current accepted pricing methods plus an additional five per cent.

Some English rail companies look likely to implement the system although none that travel from Scotland have confirmed they will use it.

Currently, a return journey from Falkirk High to Glasgow Queen Street costs £12.30 for peak travel and a journey from Camelon to Stirling will set back travellers £5.70.

Director of Transform Scotland, which campaigns for better public transport, Colin Hoden, said the cost of train journeys could put commuters off using environmentally-friendly public transport.

He said: “These unfair price hikes send all the wrong signals to travellers. Frankly, we’re at a loss to understand why the Government has chosen to increase rail fares when it claims that it wants to encourage people to use public transport and to discourage them from using cars.”

The Falkirk Herald went to Larbert Train Station to ask commuters what they think of current train fares and if the proposed rises would put them off using the public service.