DUMBARTON'S MSP has called for a freeze on train fares after a survey revealed that more than two thirds of Scots who use public transport every day struggle with the cost of peak train fares.

Jackie Baillie made the call after a Censuswide Scotland opinion poll found that on average, people who use public transport in Scotland are delayed twice each week, which equates to 34 minutes a week, two hours and 26 minutes a month and 29 hours and four minutes a year.

The study also revealed that Scots who use public transport would like fares to be reduced by 13 per cent, while daily commuters are calling for an 8 per cent reduction.

It also found that 59 per cent of regular travellers say they struggle to find seats on trains at the most expensive and busiest times to travel.

Ms Baillie said: “Commuters across Scotland have seen their transport costs sky rocket while the quality of their transport service has plummeted.

“In Helensburgh, Balloch and Dumbarton, the train service has been particularly poor for months, and it’s been characterised by delays and cancellations.

“When trains do show up, there are only three carriages instead of six, so commuters are crammed in like sardines on peak hour services.

“As the poll clearly demonstrates commuters are fed up – they don’t think they are getting the value for money and on current performance they are right.

"It’s about time the Transport Minister acted to protect the interests of commuters by freezing fares and urgently improving performance.”

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Censuswide Scotland conducted the research, which looked at the nation's attitude towards public transport, with a thousand participants between January 15 and 17 this year.

The study also showed that almost seven in ten Scots who use public transport (69 per cent) think it's unfair to charge more for a peak fare than off peak fare.

While over three in ten (35 per cent) believe a peak fare is a good idea to discourage unnecessary peak time travel.

Over four out of five Scots who use public transport (84 per cent) have called peak time the most uncomfortable time to travel and three out of five (62 per cent) say they never get a seat at peak times.

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Jordan Ferguson from Censuswide Scotland, said: “As the debate around Scotland’s public transport network continues, we thought it was important to understand the public opinion and attitudes towards these services.

"What this study shows is a clear concern from the public around the pricing structure at peak time."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We are committed to ensuring that rail fares are affordable for all – for fare-payers and taxpayers across Scotland.

"Overall, Scottish fares are 20 per cent lower than the GB average, and we already meet around two thirds of the cost of rail passenger services in Scotland."