Stagecoach to increase fares on some bus routes

Single bus fares on some Stagecoach routes in Sheffield are to increase by between 10p and 20p from Sunday, April 13.

Some other fares are going up, but the operator says many are being frozen, including the Sheffield ‘Megarider’ bus and tram four week, 13 week and annual tickets.

The weekly version goes up by 50p, the ‘DayRider’ ticket by 20p. Optio Day and Week tickets have been withdrawn.

Paul Lynch, managing director of Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We know fare changes are frustrating for our passengers. However, we have done our best to keep fare changes to a minimum in the face of rising costs across a number of areas of our business. We are pleased to be able to freeze fares for our most frequent customers.”

Stagecoach highlighted research by Passenger Focus, which found 75% of customers in South Yorkshire were either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with value for money - the highest level in the country and an increase on last year’s 67%.

The fare increases follow those by First, the region’s biggest bus operator, which took effect last Sunday.

Opposition Liberal Democrats in Sheffield this week urged the council to rethink its partnership with the bus operators, especially in the light of “inflation busting” fare rises and the dropping of the Optio ticket, which allowed passengers to use their tickets with different bus companies.

Coun Rob Frost, who represents the Crookes ward, where the Optio Red Ticket operated on the number 52 bus route, said: “For years bus users have been calling for simple and cheap tickets and a reliable local service.

“The council attempted to claim Optio tickets were a step forward, but passengers found them fiendishly complex and unnecessarily confusing. So it’s no surprise to see the tickets now scrapped and bus-users back to square one.

“We need a system that is fair and clear – bus passengers shouldn’t need a PhD just to understand their ticket.”