THE pilot removing peak rail fares on Scotland’s network has been extended to the end of September.

Clacks MSP Keith Brown welcomed the move, saying commuters will continue to make “significant savings” on daily travel costs.

The SNP representative said: “The removal of peak fares was first applied last October for a six-month trial and this second extension means that the Scottish Government have removed peak fares from ScotRail’s pricing structure for a full year.

“For my constituents it will mean that, for example, a return ticket from Alloa or Dunblane to Edinburgh or Glasgow at peak times - which last year would have cost around £18 - are still something like a third cheaper, which represents a massive yearly saving.

“Making public transport more accessible and more affordable is key to building a wealthier, greener and fairer Scotland and I am delighted that the SNP is delivering that for my constituents.”

Calls for peak rail fares to be permanently scrapped were made earlier this month by Scottish Greens representative Mark Ruskell.

The Mid Scotland and Fife representative said at the time: “The removal of peak rail fares, and the shift to off-peak fares all day, has already supported thousands of people in Clackmannanshire through the cost of living crisis.

“By making the scheme permanent we can ensure that even more people are able to feel its benefits and change their long-standing habits.”

He added that there was “no way” to tackle the climate crisis without a drastic reduction on the number of cars on the roads.

“One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that public transport and greener travel are affordable and attractive choices for travellers”, he explained.

During the newly extended period, all off-peak fares and products that are set and controlled by ScotRail will be valid for travel all day.

Joanne Maguire, ScotRail managing director, said: “The removal of peak fares trial has been a hugely exciting opportunity for Scotland’s railway to encourage more people across the country to choose rail travel.

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has decided to extend the trial, and it gives even more people the opportunity to take advantage of more affordable journeys.

“Everyone at ScotRail is working hard to deliver the best possible journey experience for our customers and encourage people to make travelling by train their mode of transport.”