SCOTRAIL has blamed “IT issues in certain areas” after commuters were forced to pay full price when they tried to take advantage of its new Kids for a Quid deal.

The beleaguered operator scrapped its popular Kids Go Free scheme earlier this week and now charges £1 for under-16s.

But angry passengers trying to use the new discount were told they would have to pay full price as the changes weren’t yet on the system.

One wrote on Twitter: “It’s bad enough losing the Kids Go Free without having to pay full fare because none of the machines are set up with the £1 fare yet.”

Rail bosses admitted problems on a “handful of routes” meant the machines carried by ticket examiners did not list the updated scheme.

But they insisted this would be fixed across Scotland within 48 hours.

Scottish Labour transport spokesman Colin Smyth MSP hit out at the operator and renewed calls to take train services back into public hands.

He said: “ScotRail has gone from bad to worse to shocking.

“Not content with ripping off passengers with fare rises, it can’t even sort out its replacement for the scrapped Kids Go Free scheme.

“All this makes it even more incredible that the SNP voted with the Tories to prop up this failed privatisation.”

The latest upset comes just days after annual fare increases attracted criticism at a time when ScotRail is struggling with cancellations and delays.

Peak fares in Scotland were hiked by 3.2 per cent earlier this week in line with inflation, with the rise in off-peak tickets capped at 2.2%.

This means the annual cost of a Glasgow to Edinburgh season ticket has gone up by £128, to £4,084.

Meanwhile, commuters will have to shell out an extra £68 for a Glasgow to Stirling season ticket, taking it to £2,228.

Unions have criticised the rise, insisting travellers are “sick to the back teeth of a rail service that is not working”.

Mick Hogg of the RMT union said passengers are getting ripped off by crowded trains and cancelled services, and called on the Scottish Government to freeze the fares.

But Transport Secretary Michael Matheson warned this could cost the taxpayer an estimated £58 million annually.

He also pointed out average fare hikes are lower in Scotland than in the rest of the UK due to the decision to cap off-peak tickets.

A ScotRail spokesman said: “The Kids for a Quid scheme has been in operation since January 2.

“There may be some IT issues in certain areas, but they will be resolved where identified, and the fare is in place.”