South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth has criticised a rail fare rise which will see passengers hit with a 3.2% increase in fares in January.

Regulated rail fares and season tickets will rise by 3.2% which will mean that a season ticket between Lockerbie and Edinburgh will be £5,251, an increase of £163. While a season ticket between Lockerbie and Glasgow will increase £109 to £3,529.

Passengers between Dumfries and Glasgow will see season tickets increase by £139 to £4,475.

Colin Smyth said, “Rail passengers are increasingly being plagued by cancellations, delays and often overcrowded trains on local services which are simply not frequent enough. To add insult to injury they are now being hit by yet another rip-off rail fare rise, at a time when U.K. passengers are already paying the highest prices in Europe. Passengers are simply being used as cash cows for the privatised rail firms at a time performance is at its lowest with commuters from Lockerbie forking our another £163 for a season ticket to Edinburgh and £109 for a season ticket to Glasgow.

In the short term, Scottish Labour are calling for a well deserved fare freeze for passengers in Dumfries and Galloway which sadly SNP and Tory Governments have so far refused. But ultimately we need to see an end to the failed rail privatisation and our trains brought under public ownership so they are run for passengers not profits“.