ScotRail commuters face soaring fares for season tickets
Campaigners warn regular passengers will 'refuse to pay' if costs continue to soar.
ScotRail season ticket fares will rise by 2.8% at the start of next year - increasing costs for some commuters by more than £100.
The increase is based on July's rate of Retail Prices Index inflation (RPI), which was revealed by the Office of National Statistics on Wednesday.
The Scottish Government regulates rises in around half of fares, including season tickets on most commuter routes, some off-peak return tickets on long-distance journeys and tickets for travel around major cities at any time.
However, a cap of RPI minus 1% is used for most off-peak fare increases in Scotland.
An Edinburgh to Glasgow annual season ticket would increase by £114 to £4198 under RPI.
Rail campaign groups warned that commuters will "refuse to pay" if season ticket prices continue to be hiked.
They and union members held protests outside stations in Scotland on Wednesday morning.
'This is just corporate welfare for the greedy train companies on an industrial scale'Mick Cash
ScotRail commercial director Lesley Kane said the Scottish Government decides how much passengers pay for fares.
"Eighty-five per cent of our revenue comes from fares set by the Scottish Government, which decides how much our customers pay," she said.
"The money generated from fares is reinvested back into Scotland's railway, including £475m under Abellio in new and upgraded trains and improved punctuality, so that we can give our customers the service they expect and deserve."
The Scottish Government said fare increases were "unwelcome" but added that a freeze or cut would have consequences for public finances.
A spokeswoman said: "We are committed to ensuring that rail fares are affordable for passengers and taxpayers across Scotland.
'While any fare increase is unwelcome, calls for measures such fares cuts or a fares freeze underestimate the impact of these on the public purse'Scottish Government spokeswoman
"We have capped increases where we have influence, making fares 20% cheaper on average than in the rest of Great Britain.
"While any fare increase is unwelcome, calls for measures such fares cuts or a fares freeze underestimate the impact of these on the public purse.
"Two-thirds of the cost of running the railway is already met through Scottish Government subsidy, with the remainder through rail passenger revenues.
"Any change to rail fares could therefore have a significant impact on the taxpayer."
How fares will rise on some routes
- Tweedbank to Edinburgh: Now - £2820; 2020 - £2899 (rise of £79)
- Stonehaven to Aberdeen: Now - £1388; 2020 - £1427 (rise of £39)
- Stirling to Glasgow: Now - £2228; 2020 - £2290 (rise of £62)
- Edinburgh to Glasgow: Now - £4084; 2020 - £4198 (rise of £114)