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‘Double whammy’ for travellers

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By Fiona Reid
Lockerbie and Lochmaben
‘Double whammy’ for travellers

TRAIN passengers using Lockerbie station are set for a ‘double whammy’ with prices.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has highlighted two issues facing the Mid Annandale stop.

He explained that fares will increase in line with English rises, and also revealed the station is not covered by ScotRail’s plans to scrap peak time fares.

Although Lockerbie is a ScotRail owned station, the company don’t run trains from the station. The only services are those provided by Avanti Westcoast and Transpennine Express through the two cross border franchises regulated by the UK Government.

Rail fares set by the UK Government in England, including the two franchises, will rise by up to 5.9 per cent in March, affecting Lockerbie passengers

Meanwhile, peak fares on ScotRail are to be suspended for six months by the Scottish Government in a bid to make train travel more affordable – but Lockerbie passengers will not benefit as the funding only goes to those services regulated by the Scottish Government, which excludes Transpennine Express and Avanti West Coast.

Commenting yesterday, Colin Smyth said: “Rail passengers travelling from Lockerbie are facing a double whammy of rising costs this spring: sky rocketing rail fares due to the UK Government increasing fares in England while at the same time, they won’t benefit from the plans to scrap peak time travel in Scotland because that is focused only on ScotRail services by the Scottish Government.

“People across the country are facing a cost of living crisis and once again passengers from Lockerbie are being treated as second class.

“Passengers are already dealing with near constant delays and short term cancellations, and from the spring, costs will go through the roof.”

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