The Scottish Government’s transport body has insisted it is committed to ensuring a fair deal for rail passengers across the region following an increase in fares.
North-east MSP Liam Kerr criticised the Scottish Government after fares rose by an average of 2.4% on Thursday.
He claimed passengers were “furious” and accused ministers of abandoning the north-east’s rail network.
He added: “Communities such as Cove, Newtonhill and Laurencekirk are continuing to grow at a rapid pace yet facilities across the region remain miles behind – it’s simply not good enough or value for money.
“More must be done to encourage commuters to use public transport and help ease the congestion on our already polluted roads.
“The Scottish Government’s negligence when it comes to rail travel is just one of the reasons why many prefer to take other modes of transport.”
A spokesman for Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government’s transport department, said: “We are committed to ensuring rail fares are affordable for passengers and taxpayers by capping increases where we have influence, making fares 20% cheaper on average than in the rest of Great Britain.
“Two-thirds of the cost of running the railway is already met through Scottish Government subsidy, with the remainder through rail passenger revenues.
“Any change to rail fares could therefore have a significant impact on the taxpayer.”