Operators defend fare increases

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UK bus operators have defended fare increases, while media outlets point out rises are above inflation.

First Cymru revised some fares at the beginning of this year, affecting all standard single and return fares and many day, week, month and annual tickets.

Kevin Hart of First Cymru, said: “We understand this will not be welcome news, but we need to revise our fares to ensure they adequately cover the cost of operating buses in this part of the world.”

Hart explained the rising fuel costs and the reduction in BSOG in April have led to the increases.

However, First Cymru has introduced a New Year Price Drop on services 44 and 400, which it competes with Edwards. The promotion runs until February 4.

The Guardian newspaper stated UK bus passengers faced fare rises in excess of inflation, with some areas seeing a 20% rise for an annual ticket, while single tickets have increased by 22%.

The paper claims customers in the Midlands are among the hardest hit, with Arriva adding £100 (20%) to the cost of an annual saver ticket covering the region and 40p (22%) for a single on the Cannock to Walsall service. Arriva Midlands’ MD, Bob Hind, said: “No one likes to increase prices, especially at such a difficult time, but, as everyone knows from their domestic bills, costs are steadily rising.”