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Blind Persons' Companion Reduced Travel Costs

16th May 2010

The Highland Council and ScotRail have announced that from Sunday 23 May a scheme will commence allowing reduced cost rail travel for companions accompanying a blind person who has a Scotland Blind Persons Travel Card.

The scheme will cover all internal rail journeys for companions within the Highland Council area and to and from Aberdeen, Edinburgh or Glasgow for a single fare of 0.50p or a return fare of 1.00.

Tickets can be purchased at ScotRail staffed stations or, if boarding at an unstaffed station, on train.

Councillor David Alston, Council Budget Leader, said: "I am delighted to see this scheme being brought forward. I have been campaigning for this for some time, following approaches by constituents in the Black Isle, and I welcome ScotRail's positive response. I know that it will make a significant difference to those affected."

Highland Councillor Fraser Parr said: "This is good news for people who require travelling companions to assist them in getting around the Highlands and Scotland. It has taken a lot of effort to bring about this scheme and thanks must go to Highland Council who agreed the motion to pursue this concession and also thanks to ScotRail and especially the council officials. I sincerely hope that we receive positive feedback which will strengthen our case and encourage more people to make use of this facility in the future."

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail's managing director, said: "We welcome the introduction of this scheme. It is sure to prove as popular with our customers in the Highlands as similar initiatives elsewhere in Scotland."

The scheme will be reviewed after three months in order to ensure that the usage is in line with the projected uptake. This will allow the scheme to be further tailored if required to meet the needs of the travellers using it.


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