Responsibility for rail transport is largely devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The Scottish Government wants to encourage more people take the train and recognises that prices have to be affordable and fair.
In Scotland, ScotRail is operated by Abellio. The SNP Scottish Government was keen to ensure that the operator delivered a good deal for the people of Scotland. As a result of the deal, passengers and staff now enjoy a range of benefits including: advance fares starting at £5 between Scottish cities; a commitment to earnings of at least the Living Wage for all staff and subcontractors; at least 100 apprenticeships; a guarantee of no compulsory redundancies; rail staff pensions and travel rights protected; free WiFi on all trains; a new approach to cycling with more than 3,500 parking spaces and bike-hire at a number of stations; 80 new trains due to arrive at start of December 2017; and 23% more carriages across the network.
Scottish Ministers have also negotiated a maximum permitted annual increase for selected fares, including anytime and season tickets, to the level of the retail price index (RPI) for regulated peak fares and 1% below RPI for regulated off-peak fares. As a result of this deal, rail passengers in Scotland will continue to benefit from regulated off-peak fares typically lower than the rest of the UK.
The Scottish Government remain committed to investing in our rail infrastructure. By the end of 2016, we will have electrified the Edinburgh to Glasgow route and redeveloped Queen Street station and created the Edinburgh Gateway rail-tram interchange. We also plan to invest in electrifying the Stirling-Dunblane-Alloa line, the Glasgow-Edinburgh-Shotts route, complete the redevelopment of Dundee station, support shorter and more frequent journeys between Aberdeen and Inverness, improve the Highland and Aberdeen mainlines and invest in redeveloped station hubs at Aberdeen, Inverness, Perth, Stirling and Motherwell.