A SIX-MONTH trial scrapping peak ScotRail fares to encourage people to travel by train instead of car will launch next week.

The Scottish Government-funded project will allow customers to travel all day on off-peak fares from Monday October 2 until the end of March 2024.

ScotRail said the trial will see huge savings across the country, with fares on the main route between Edinburgh and Glasgow coming down from £28.90 to £14.90.

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The fare from Perth to Dundee will drop from £14.40 to £9.90 and the ticket price from Glasgow to Stirling will fall from £16.10 to £9.60.

The nationalised rail operator said the project, said to be the first of its kind in the UK rail industry, will support the Scottish Government’s ambition to achieve net-zero, providing more people with the opportunity to use trains as their primary form of transport.

Alex Hynes, Scotland’s Railway managing director, said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for Scotland’s Railway to encourage more people across the country to choose rail travel instead of using the car.

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“Everyone at ScotRail is working hard to make sure that this six-month trial will be a success, and we will be monitoring our services and stations daily to see where we have any significant increases in customer journeys.

“We know that cost and simplicity is a critical factor for people when they choose how to travel, and we are looking forward to delivering this fantastic fare reduction for our customers.”

First Minister Humza Yousaf previously said the Government has budgeted “around £15 million” for the six-month pilot.

There are some routes where no off-peak fare exists

This is because the same price is available at any time of the day, and as such customers will not see any change in those areas.

ScotRail said the pandemic resulted in a radical change in the commuter market, with a significant drop in the number of people travelling by train during the traditional peak times.

That market is only 70% of what it was before Covid.

From the week starting September 18, customers can check the ScotRail website or app to see off-peak fares for their route during the six-month period.

The company expects some trains will be busier during the pilot and will be monitoring services daily.