Bus fare rise is blamed on rising costs

Stagecoach are increasing many of their bus fares.
Stagecoach are increasing many of their bus fares.

Bus operators Stagecoach have blamed a new ticket price increase on rising costs for the industry.

As a result of rising costs, some fares across north Lancashire and Cumbria will rise by an average of 3.5 per cent from April 14.

The cost of a Weekly Megarider ticket will increase from £13.80 to £14.20.

Stagecoach said that continued rising costs – including labour, energy, fuel and insurance costs – and reduced public sector investment in bus services has resulted in the operator being forced to increase some fares.

Bus tickets up to £3 will generally increase by 5p or 10p, while tickets up to £5 will increase by 10p or 20p and those over £5 will increase by 20p or 30p.

Daily and weekly travel tickets will now cost as follows:

Bay dayrider (adult) £4.75; Bay dayrider (group) £9.90; Bay dayrider plus £6.70; Bay megarider £14.20; Bay megarider plus £20; 1 day Explorer (adult) £10.50; 1 day Explorer (child) £7.50; 1 day Explorer (concessions) £7.50; 1 day Explorer (family) £25; 1 day Explorer (group) £30; North West megarider gold 7 day £26.70.

The firm has frozen prices on its 28 day, 13 week, 52 week and Megarider Xtra tickets across Cumbria and north Lancashire.

And all online tickets are frozen, which makes a Bay Megarider £11.84 per week with Megarider Xtra.

The fare rises are lower than the 3.6 per cent increase in bus operator costs across England.

Revenue from fares also underpins continued investment in new vehicles for customers.

This month, Stagecoach Group announced record orders for £100m new buses and coaches for its operations across the UK.

Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire has invested £12m in the past five years in brand new vehicles, benefiting customers across the region.

The firm said that in many areas, local authority investment in bus services has reduced as a result of council spending cuts.

Many local authorities have also cut the budget they use to fund the free concessionary bus travel passengers scheme, putting pressure on fares and bus networks for many bus users in England.

Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria and North Lancashire, said: ”We know fare changes are frustrating for our passengers.

“That’s why we have done our best to freeze prices wherever possible and to keep fare changes to a minimum in the face of rising costs across a number of areas of our business.

“We are continuing to see reduced public sector support for bus services as local authority budgets continue to be squeezed.

“We have worked hard to keep fares down for those who rely on the bus the most.

“As the cost of motoring remains high, our bus services continue to offer a greener, smarter and better value way to travel and we are committed to re-investing income from fares in new vehicles and further improvements for passengers.”