Two cheers that the split-ticket market is finally being opened up for the ordinary passenger.

This has been a long time coming, though the question has to be asked: why are tickets and fares split in the first place ("Deal makes it easier to find cheaper rail fares", The Herald, February 20)?

The single market that exists within Scotland's rail system gives us as a nation the opportunity to simplify the current evidently unfair fares system.

Loading article content

The highly complicated nature of it, and the labyrinthine structure it possesses, puts the passenger at a constant disadvantage.

Which of us ordinary travellers has the slightest understanding of the difference between regulated and unregulated fares? All I know is that my weekly return journeys from Aberdeen to Edinburgh are cheaper by East Coast than First ScotRail – and this, thanks to one of the few services where I as a passenger have a choice of rail carrier, and therefore what I pay.

First ScotRail has held the ScotRail franchise for a decade, yet in that time, how much, if any, rationalisation of fares has taken place?

Scotland's rail system presents an ideal model for operation of a simplified fares structure. I would like to ask Transport Scotland to make this one of the conditions of the new franchise operation when that opens in March 2015. It's the least we hard-pressed passengers deserve.

Gordon Casely,

Westerton Cottage,

Crathes, Kincardineshire.

Oban has waited such a long time for a better train service. I was very pleased to hear the Transport Minister announce a substantial frequency increase from May 2014 ("Oban train service expanded", The Herald, February 20).

I hope this might be a quicker service too, removing some of the extra minutes which have been added to journey time in recent years.

The idea to have the first services of the day arriving at Glasgow and Oban by 9am is also a good one. I hope attention will now turn to doing this for the Inverness to Glasgow and Edinburgh services.

The Scottish Chambers of Commerce, among others, have long campaigned for such business trains, but it seems to be taking a long time to finalise the specification for the Highland Main Line upgrade, a Scottish Government "priority" project.

RJ Ardern,

26A Southside Road,


John Edwards hits the proverbial nail on the head in pointing out that road hauliers do not meet the full costs for using the road network (Letters, February 20).

The Rail Regulator should be encouraging freight on to the rail network and should consider reducing charges.

The important statistic in setting charges to be met by rail freight companies is the cost of carrying freight by road, rather than the full costs of the rail network.

We would all benefit if the Rail Regulator matched or undercut road freight costs.

Sandy Gemmill,

40 Warriston Gardens,