Passenger anger at bus fares hike

First Buses
First Buses

PASSENGERS have reacted with anger after Doncaster’s main bus operator increased fares by an average of five per cent.

First has put up its FirstDay Doncaster tickets to £4.50, and its weekly tickets for the borough to £17.

Other price hikes which were introduced on Monday saw the 85p and 95p fares go up to £1. The £1.30 fare is now £1.40, £1.60 is now £1.70. The £1.90, £2, £2.40 and £2.70 fares have all gone up 10p.

Fares over £3 and monthly tickets are unchanged.

The move has now prompted some passengers to reconsider whether they will catch the bus in future.

James Mason, aged 22, of Edlington, said: “I find it is often cheaper to get a taxi, and if not, I walk.

“It is already £2.40 from Edlington to Doncaster, which I think is too much.”

Kim Baillie, 27, from Wheatley, said: “It’s ridiculous. I think it is too expensive already. It costs me £1.60 from Beckett Road. I think people will stop using them and walk or take the car instead.”

Dominic Jackson, 21, from Rossington, said the increase would hit him in the pocket.

He said: “I’ve got no car so I am reliant on the buses. I think I will avoid using them unless its absolutely necessary.”

Former Doncaster Coun John Hoare, chairman of the South Yorkshire Public Transport Users’ Group, said: “Those who use the buses will be very disappointed.”

He predicted it would see more people move off the buses and into cars and said he thought the Government should pay more grants and subsidies to keep bus prices low.

Dave Alexander, regional managing director for First in the North of England, said: “It is two years since our last price change and we now need to review our fares to meet the ongoing challenge of rising costs to our business.

“In arriving at this rate of increase we have taken into account a number of current and medium-term economic factors along with the rising cost of fuel, including the reduced rate of BSOG – Fuel Duty Rebate – from April 2012.

“We appreciate nobody likes it when prices go up but we have worked hard to keep any increases to a minimum by introducing savings within our business to offset cost increases.”