Bus tickets set for new year price hike

Bus passengers will be paying more with a tickets price hike next month.
Bus passengers will be paying more with a tickets price hike next month.

fares on many bus services across South Yorkshire are set to increase from next month.

Ticket prices on First buses will rise by an average of 5 per cent from Monday, January 2.

The company has blamed the fare hike on soaring fuel costs, as well as a planned rise in fuel duty.

Some single fares will be rising by 20p, while First’s weekly Sheffield pass will be £1 more expensive.

Dave Alexander, First regional managing director, said the firm had not put up prices for more than two years and was reviewing fares to ‘meet the ongoing challenge of rising costs’.

Bus passengers told The Star fares are now becoming too expensive - while others said they understood why prices have to rise.

Natasha Mudiwa, aged 24, from Sharrow, uses the bus three times a week to travel to the Northern General Hospital, where she works as a nurse.

She said: “They’ve got to put fares up. It’s annoying, but it’s one of those things.

“There’s a recession and fuel is going up so something’s got to give. You’ve still got to get the bus, it’s a fact of life.”

Full-time dad-of-two Andy Smith, 41, from Firth Park, said he thought bus services were poor compared to the cost of fares.

“Most of the time buses are late or delayed, or don’t turn up,” said Andy, who uses the bus to go shopping in Sheffield city centre.

“It costs the best part of £4 now just to get in and out of town. It encourages me to do more of my shopping online.”

Margaret Crawford, 51, from Fulwood, a nurse at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s Jessop maternity wing, said she thought passengers would find higher fares harder to afford.

“Fares are going up whereas wages haven’t, so it’s going to hit people quite hard,” she said.

And 51-year-old college student Brian Kerrigan, from Firth Park, said First’s bus fares were too high compared to rival firm Stagecoach.

Brian, who is taking a course in NHS work studies at Sheffield City College, said: “I can get a Stagecoach bus for 50p a time, which is pretty decent. We’re in a recession and people are finding it hard to survive.”

First say its fuel costs are expected to rise by about 30 per cent next year.

The company claims that even with the proposed fare changes, it will only recover about 35 per cent of the total amount of the fuel cost increase.

The increase means a £1.30 single ticket will cost £1.40, while a £1.90 single will rise to £2.10. Fares above £3 will not change.

A First South Yorkshire day ticket will go up 20p to £5, while a Sheffield day ticket will be 30p more expensive at £4.60.

Visit www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/south_yorkshire/travel_news/news_initiatives/?item=3981 to see a breakdown of the new fares.