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ScotRail to launch half price seat sale to encourage passenger return after Covid

By Gavin Musgrove

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ScotRail will next month slash 50 per cent off all off-peak services between any two stations in Scotland, Monday to Friday to encourage people across the country to return to rail travel.

The offer, which had been due to take place in January but was postponed due to the rise in Omicron cases, is the latest ‘Yours to Use’ initiative from the train operator to welcome customers back as it looks to recover from the impact of the pandemic.

Customers can book their discounted tickets between 9 and 15 May 2022 inclusive, with outward travel valid between 9 and 31 May 2022 inclusive.

All return travel must be complete by 30 June 2022.

The 50 per cent off tickets will only be available to purchase online via a dedicated booking link to be published on the ScotRail website.

The offer will be available on all off-peak tickets on valid routes.

ScotRail’s Kids for a Quid will be able to be used in conjunction with this offer, which means up to four children can travel, for £1 return each, with each adult.

Lesley Kane, ScotRail Commercial Director, said: “The pandemic has fundamentally changed the way people travel, and it is an absolutely priority for ScotRail to do everything we can to attract customers to Scotland’s Railway.

“We are launching this fantastic offer because Scotland’s Railway is ‘Yours to Use’. We hope this offer means more people can get out and enjoy Scotland throughout the month of May, whether for a day out or a holiday.

“Travelling by train has many advantages over other modes of transport, and it’s crucial that we not only get our pre-pandemic customers back, but also encourage more people to use the low-carbon alternative for their journeys.”

Chris Gibb, Chief Executive Officer of Scottish Rail Holdings, said: “Passengers up and down the country have been impacted by the pandemic, not least in the cost of living crisis we are currently facing. We want people to come back to rail but know that we need to make it affordable to be a truly attractive alternative to using the car.

“This fares offer, backed by the Scottish Government, is one of several initiatives ScotRail have been working on for delivery in the coming months to encourage people back on to our trains. By opening up this offer to all weekday off-peak travel across Scotland, passengers across the length and breadth of the country will be able to benefit from savings on the cost of public transport.

“The Scottish Government appreciates this is a short term offer – that’s one of the reasons why it has committed to a fair fares review, which will consider public transport across differing modes and which will also look at affordability.

"Public ownership of ScotRail means delivering a service which listens and responds to passenger need – we will continue to work together to develop further initiatives with longer term benefits that make rail a better choice as we work towards our ambitious Net Zero targets.”

ScotRail returned to public ownership for the first time in 25 years on April 1.

The train operator is now run by a company owned by the Scottish Government.

Previous operator Abellio had its franchise ended early amid criticism of the quality of the service.

More details on the half price offer can be found here

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