Tram, bus and car park costs up

BUS and tram fares and the cost of parking are going up next month in Sheffield.

The first change, from tomorrow (Friday, April 1), will see children paying 50p instead of 40p for their concessionary rates on all buses in South Yorkshire.

Then, from April 11, Stagecoach is increasing the cost of some bus and tram fares, with the cost of a single tram journey going up by 10p.

And for travellers who choose to go by car, the council is preparing to increase some street parking fees from April 18, with a doubling of the cost of parking in some suburbs.

The rise in children’s concessionary bus fares is the first in eight years and will still be the lowest in the metropolitan areas of England outside London, said South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority.

Further 10p rises are due to come into effect in April 2012 and April 2013.

Mick Jameson, who chairs the authority, said: “We are all under pressure to find savings as a result of the national financial situation and so reluctantly we have to bring in this fare change.”

Since the 40p fare was introduced in 2003, numbers of child passengers on buses in South Yorkshire has risen by 9%.

Supertram passengers making single journeys will pay £1.50 instead of £1.40 and £2.10 instead of £2. A Sheffield tram and bus Dayrider ticket will go up from £3.50 to £3.70 and a Stagecoach Explorer from £5 to £5.20.

But most fares, including the weekly Megarider bus and tram tickets, are being frozen at a time when motoring costs had shot up last year by 9.8%, said the company.

Supertram general manager Glenn Stocks said: “While the cost of travelling by car continues to rocket, we are freezing the price of the multi-journey tickets used by most of our fare-paying customers.

“We will be making some small increases to day and single fares, as a result of rising costs in areas such as fuel, energy and pensions.

“However, we have been able to protect prices for passengers who rely on our services the most.”

No rises are in the pipeline at Sheffield’s biggest bus operator, First.

Deputy managing director Brandon Jones said: “We did not put up our fares in January, unlike in previous years, and are continuing with our fare freeze.

“We are also considering further promotional fares as part of efforts to increase customers and grow the market.”

Meanwhile, the council is rolling out the details of higher car parking fees that it signalled as part of its budget savings.

The biggest increases are in suburban areas covered by permit parking. Charges are doubling from April 18. Drivers will pay 40p for an hour and 80p for two hours in Broomhill and in the Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale area.

Off-street tariffs will stay as they are with the exception of the Wicker, where charges will go up to 40p per hour for the first two hours.

In the city centre, most on-street parking charges are going up by 5p or 10p, but not until June. It will cost £1.70 instead of £1.65 to park for an hour on the street in the inner zone, £2.10 instead of £2 for two hours in the outer zone.

Council head of transport and highways, John Bann, said: “An increase in parking charges across the city was approved with the budget. The increase to on-street parking in permit parking zones is the first increase since 2007.

“In Sharrow Vale and Broomhill motorists can still take advantage of 15 minutes’ free parking and we are looking to extend this further to all other areas in the peripheral parking zone.”