Category Archives: bus fares

Bus & Tram Discount photocard linked to benefits

If you receive Income Support, Employment and Support Allowance or Jobseeker’s Allowance, you may be eligible for a Bus & Tram Discount photocard.

Benefits and eligibility
Pay as you go at half the adult rate on buses and trams, and 50% off 7 Day and monthly (up to 6 months) Bus & Tram Passes.

To be eligible for a Bus & Tram Discount photocard you must be:

Living in a London borough and
Aged between 18 and 60 and
Receiving Income Support, Jobseeker’s Allowance*, or Employment and Support Allowance and
Getting no other free or discounted travel

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Bus fare charged for 17 month old accompanied by bus pass holders.

“IN Newport recently with my husband and grandchild who is 16 months old and in a pushchair, we were going to visit my daughter in Maindee. We went to catch a green bus, number 8c.

My husband gave the driver our bus passes, but was told we would have to pay for the child.

When I asked him why we had to pay as we have never paid for him on any other bus service as he is a baby, the bus driver said he had worked on the buses for 17 years and a child has to pay because we were riding free.

I know a child has to be under five not to pay. We have taken our grandson on many bus rides and the driver has never asked us to pay for him.

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Bus fares increase in Huddersfield

Bus fares are going up in Huddersfield with the cheapest single fare rising from 80p to £1.

The prices are to rise on most single journey and return fares at the end of the month.

But bus operator First has maintained a price freeze on all day, week, month and annual prices for both local travel and West Yorkshire wide travel.

They will stay the same as current levels as part of a fare review to come into effect from Sunday. March 30.

As part of the current review, some single and return fares will increase to meet rising costs. First says it has worked hard to keep these to a minimum and the increase is less than 1.5% overall, well below the rate of inflation (CPI 1.9%, RPI 2.8%).

In the summer of 2013, First introduced a new £12 weekly ticket which allowed unlimited travel for seven days.and bus chiefs claim that this, along with better service delivery, has helped lead to a five percent increase in passenger numbers across West Yorkshire.

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North Yorkshire: bus pass holders offering fare contributions not practicable

IT is not possible for bus pass holders to pay a voluntary contribution towards their fares in a bid to save threatened services, councillors heard today (Thursday, December 19).

North Yorkshire County Council is grappling with the issue of where to bring down the axe on subsidised bus services across the region, as it reduces its bus subsidy by 25 per cent, equivalent to £1.1m a year, following Government cuts.

It spends £4.4m a year subsidising 20 per cent of journeys that are not commercially viable. North Yorkshire is particularly badly affected with a population spread over a large area and a large elderly population.
In a statement sent to the meeting, County Councillor David Jeffels said there seemed to be “quite considerable support from older generations to make contributions”.

However, chairman of the meeting, Robert Packham, said that, legally, the council was unable to come to an arrangement where people could pay towards the cost as it was Government policy to provide free bus passes for older people.

“What people seem to be saying is not that people are willing to pay the fare, but a contribution, and the amount of contribution is usually about 50p to £1. We can’t put in a scheme for people to pay a contribution – it’s just not possible,” he said.

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More passengers on South Yorkshire buses before cheaper tickets introduced

Bus bosses are boasting of booming business – after achieving passenger growth of five per cent in the last three months.

Sheffield Bus Partnership, involving operators First and Stagecoach, and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, say that the increase comes after years of decline.

Fare paying passengers have grown more steeply, with a 14 per cent increase in three months, offset by a slight decline in pensioners and other people with free passes catching the bus.

Sheffield Bus Partnership said there had been ‘big improvements in punctuality and a huge fall in complaints’.

David Young, SYPTE interim deputy director general, said: “This is terrific news, showing that passengers can see the difference the partnership has made and are coming back to the buses.”

It’s all change for passengers as cheaper tickets are introduced on public transport.

A one-day travel ticket SYConnect Day will offer unlimited travel on buses and trams in South Yorkshire for £6.

The cost of TravelMaster Day tickets – which are also valid on train services throughout the day – is being reduced by eight per cent from £7.80 to £7.20.

The new tickets will be available from Sunday. But South Yorkshire Day Tripper and CitySwitcha60 tickets will be withdrawn after Saturday.
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Bus travel in Wales at its lowest since launch of free passes

Bus travel in Wales has slumped to its lowest since the Welsh Government launched free bus passes for over-60s and disabled people, new statistics reveal.

The fall of 6.9% in Welsh passenger journeys last year was more than twice the fall in either England or Scotland.

The decline coincided with the first stage of the Welsh Government’s 25% cut to bus funding – a deeper overall cut than in England and Scotland.

Statistics from the Department for Transport in London also reveal that Welsh bus fares increased by 6.9% last year – more than twice the rate of general inflation and outstripping fares increases in England and Scotland.

Campaigners warned of more people being forced into “transport poverty”, and urged the Welsh Government to reverse its policy of cutting bus funding from £33m in 2011-12 to just £25m this year.

The Welsh Government declined to comment on the statistics or explain how the bus situation could affect its policies on social inclusion, reducing carbon emissions, improving access to education, promoting public health and stimulating the economy
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Our comment: 6.9% increase in fares seems to have had a clear effect, so in fact the increase has brought no additional income to bus operators, as more people can no longer afford the fares.

NE Lincolnshire Council increases pre 9.30am bus fare

Currently it is 30p and NELC subsidises travel for those with bus passes, but from April 1 they hope the extra money gained by charging would create an extra £47,000.

Council leader Chris Shaw said: “There is still a 70p saving for people using a bus pass so it is still worth it and the extra money is needed.”

The use of colourful banners in Cleethorpes instead of illuminations in the summer months would also save an extra £15,000.

Councillor Shaw continued: “The question is do we really need them on when a good efficiency saving could be made?

“The illuminations have little effect in the summer and using colourful banners instead will save money and bring something new.”

Increasing the amount of energy-efficient street lighting in the borough will also save £175,000 over the next year when orange low-pressure sodium lamps are replaced with white LEDs.

Although cuts are a large part of any budget, deciding what should not be done is also as important.

It was found that the removal of unnecessary signs and other street furniture could cost £120,000 and based on this, anything that does not need removing will be left as long as it is safe.

Councillor Ray Oxby said: “It is not cost-effective or appropriate at this time for us to consider this.”

And Councillor Peter Wheatley added: “When something is worn out and not needed, it will not be replaced. If something is falling down or if there is a safety aspect we will remove it, but if not it will stay.”

The seriousness of budget setting was also made clear in last night’s Regeneration and Environment Scrutiny Panel – the second of six panel meetings to discuss specific aspects of the overall budget.

Councillor Wheatley added: “We cannot leave any stone unturned in this budget.

“Talking about statutory and non-statutory services like a cow that can be slaughtered is not the way to look at this budget. We have a duty of care.”

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Our comment: Difficult to make an issue of this with the squeeze on local authority budgets.

Proposal for bus pass users £1 bus fare before 9.30am in Dorset

A PROPOSAL for those with concessionary bus passes to pay a flat rate £1 bus fare before 9.30am has been welcomed by Bridport town councillors.

The Western Area Transport Action Group (WAYTAG) suggested the compromise in response to Dorset County Council’s announcement that keeping free pre-9.30am travel will cost West Dorset £46,000 a year.

As part of the consultation process the town council said it supported paying the cost and keeping the free early morning travel. But at a plans committee meeting councillors welcomed WAYTAG’s compromise – saying it was a good idea if they could get bus companies to agree.

Coun Gillian Summers said**: “I support Waytag’s suggestion. I think it is an excellent way forward. The rest of the country has always operated the scheme that concessions didn’t start before 9.30am.”

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**Coun Summers not quite right in what she says, many local authrorities allow travel before 9.30 am with bus pass, and a 50p fare exists elsewhere for early travel

Bristol Mayor signs bus fare cut petition

Bristol’s elected mayor has signed a petition calling on FirstBus to reduce bus fares in the city.

On his Twitter account, George Ferguson said “the more pressure to twist FirstBus arm to reduce fares the better!”.

More than 500 people have signed the e-petition on the government website.

FirstBus said it was “aware of the petition” and that it “respected the right of users in the region to voice their concerns in this way”.

A company spokeswoman said FirstBus was committed to restricting fare reviews to once a year, and had taken steps to freeze or reduce as many fares as possible.

“Changes in the wider economy – including cuts by central and local government to things like concessionary fare reimbursement levels and the bus service operator’s grant, have also taken their toll but despite this we do everything we can to keep fares as low as possible,” she added.
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driver admitted he had used concessionary fare cards to inflate the number of people travelling on the bus

A GREENOCK man has been banned from driving buses for a year in the wake of a concessionary fare cards scam.

Terence Stinson, 54, of Grieve Road, was put off the road by the Traffic Commissioner for Scotland.

Earlier this year he was fined £500 at Greenock Sheriff Court for being part of a scheme to defraud Transport Scotland.

Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken has now held a conduct hearing to consider Mr Stinson’s entitlement to continue driving passenger-carrying vehicles under his ‘vocational licence’.

She heard evidence from Mr Stinson that he was working for Scottish Travel and Wilson’s Coaches when he committed the offences.

The driver admitted he had used concessionary fare cards to inflate the number of people travelling on the bus and make it look busier.

He told Ms Aitken he had been trying to impress his employer and keep himself and other drivers in a job, and indicated there was no personal financial gain to the activity.
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Wales sees slump in fare-paying bus users

Concerns that Welsh bus fares may be increasingly unaffordable have been voiced after official statistics showing a large decline in fare-paying passengers.

The decline contrasts with growth in fare-paying rail passengers in Wales, and growing use of free bus journeys under the concessionary fares scheme.

Total bus passenger journeys in Wales fell from 125 million in 2008-09 to 117 million in 2009-10 and 113 million in 2010-11. The decline in farepayers was even steeper because free concessionary journeys (which are included in the totals) continued to grow and are estimated to have reached a record 50.2 million in 2011-12 (40% of the total).

It will be some time yet before official statistics show the impact on passengers of recent Welsh bus fare increases, but there is speculation that concessionary passengers could outnumber fare-payers in 2012. Many operators increased fares in response to the Welsh Government’s announcement of a 25% reduction in Bus Service Operators’ Grant. The WG deferred this for at least six months in late March, which operators said was too late to prevent fares increasing (PT029).

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Scottish Government’s policy of free travel for the over-60s could force bus companies to raise fares and cut services

Travel providers have warned that they cannot afford to continue funding the shortfall in the scheme.

They now want the age of eligibility to be increased to 65.
Bus operators warn of fare hikes over free travel

George Mair, a spokesman for the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said: “If the government proceeds on the basis that I’ve outlined, then the likelihood is that operators will see their revenue from concessionary reimbursement dropping and they’ll have to look at other means by which they can pull that back.

“That could include increasing fares again, looking at the services that they provide across Scotland.”

However, the Scottish Government insisted it had not changed its level of commitment to the programme.

Transport Minister Keith Brown MSP commented: “There’s no question that fuel prices are adding towards bus fares and services being cut back, but for our
part we’ve not changed the level of commitment.

Read more on STV website