Fare deals on offer for Borderers

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It is unfortunate that Transport Scotland’s press release on rail fares for the new Borders railway should highlight the most expensive fares (ordinary single tickets at £9.10 from Galashiels to Edinburgh).

Scottish Borders Council leader David Parker is right to draw attention to the fact that there are many concessionary rail tickets not available to bus travellers.

Judging by rail fares on existing journeys of similar length such as Edinburgh-Stirling or EdinburghMarkinch, the off-peak day return fare from Galashiels to Edinburgh will be about £12. This will be valid after 9.15am on weekdays if you avoid returning between 4.30-6pm. It is also valid all day on Saturdays and Sundays.

Two children can accompany each adult free of charge. Thus a family of four should be able travel from Galashiels to Edinburgh for £24. With a family railcard, this is reduced to less than £21. The present cost of a comparable journey on the X95 bus for a family of four is more than £37, judging by the figures you quote. A Senior Citizen’s Railcard or Young Person’s Railcard allows a day return fare of approximately £8, though many over-60s will inevitably choose to use their bus passes. Each railcard costs about £30 per year.

What progress has been made by Scottish Borders Council on bus/rail coordination? Will it be possible to buy through bus/rail tickets between Melrose or Selkirk to Edinburgh? Has the suggestion of the Stow Station Supporters’ group for a connecting small bus from Lauder to Stow been quietly forgotten?

Alan Buchan

Fort William Road

Newtonmore