Stagecoach announces bus fare rise
Government fuel tax hike and rising prices forces Stagecoach to increase bus fares
RISING costs and a Government fuel tax hike has forced Stagecoach to announce an increase in its bus fares this week.
From Easter Sunday, fares in Devon and Somerset will rise by an average of five percent, Stagecoach confirmed on Monday.
However, the company has protected both the �1 child off-peak ‘add on’ day ticket and the �2 NiteRider ticket.
This rise compares with a 14 percent increase in the annual cost of motoring, reported last November by the RAC.
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Stagecoach said the Government’s 20 percent cut in Bus Service Operators Grant from April 1, combined with the planned 3p fuel duty rise, would increase fuel tax on its passengers by 74 percent, while trains pay virtually no tax on fuel and planes none at all.
Michelle Hargreaves, managing director of Stagecoach South West, said: “These damaging Government cuts and tax hike, combined with rising costs, are having a direct impact on bus fares and services across England.
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“We share the frustration of our passengers, many of whom are on some of the lowest incomes. Along with businesses, they are already being squeezed by higher bills and energy prices.
“We have had to take some very tough decisions, but we have worked hard to keep fares down for those who rely on the bus the most.
“Our bus services continue to offer a greener, smarter and better value way to travel and we will also continue to re-invest the income from fares in improvements for passengers.”
The cost of Exeter and Exmouth Megarider seven-day tickets rise by 50p from �12.50 and �9.50 respectively.
A Megarider Gold rises from �23 to �25.
*Around 2.5 million passengers travel on Stagecoach’s 7,700 buses every day on a network stretching from south-west England to Scotland.