First bus fares set to rise by average of 3%

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

Fares on First buses in Sheffield are to go up at the end of the month.

Many single tickets are going up by 10p or 20p, the day saver will cost an extra 20p and the weekly saver an extra 50p.

Prices for a student week ticket, all South Yorkshire-wide network fares, monthly and annual tickets and the £1 ‘short hop fare’ are being frozen.

The review by Sheffield’s biggest bus operator will see the introduction of a £2 day ticket and a £5 week ticket for children.

Overall, fares across Sheffield and the rest of South Yorkshire are rising by an average 3% to help meet rising costs, says First.

South Yorkshire managing director Ben Gilligan said the company had kept any increases to a minimum.

“In some cases fares remain below the cost of previous years, for example, our Sheffield week ticket at £12 is the same price as in 2004 and both the Sheffield and Doncaster wide day tickets are cheaper than in 2009.

“We appreciate nobody likes any increase to fares but it has been necessary to review some of our prices to meet the ongoing challenge of rising costs to our business.”

The fare rises are being introduced at a time when the Sheffield Bus Partnership - the alliance of operators, councils and the transport authority - says major improvements are being made in reliability, punctuality and standard of local bus services.

But city Lib Dem transport spokesman Ian Auckland said: “Once again bus-users are being asked to pay a higher charge for a worse service. This latest increase will leave number of people using our local service dwindling. This so-called ‘bus partnership’ receives a large taxpayer subsidy but it’s becoming clearer by the day that this agreement is putting bus profits before local people.”

*Sheffield fares of £1.30, £1.40, £1.60, £1.80 are going up by 10p from March 30, fares of £1.50 and £2 by 20p;

First Day tickets are going up by 20p to £3.80, First Week tickets by 50p to £12;

Dual ‘Optio’ tickets, which allow travel with either First or Stagecoach operators on the 52 and 120 routes are being replaced by ‘network tickets’.

Weekly tickets currently cost £10.50, the replacement will cost £12.

Day tickets will cost £3.80 instead of £3.40.