Discussion Forum

Bus fares

Posted by Andrew Hall
Sunday, 4 February 2007

We all know train and bus fares have recently risen. A DayRover is now 5.00 (up from 4.50) a Family Dayrover is now 7.50 (6.00). These increases, whilst steep, have been well publicised and, in the case of DayRovers, are the first in many years. They're still reasonable value.

What is more insidious is the recent agreement between Metro and First Bus to abolish off peak fares. I regularly use the Keighley - Hebden Bridge bus (Service 500). Up to the recent fare increases, a single trip has been 1.50. It's now jumped to 2.45. Likewise, a trip from Hebden to Tod is now 2.00. No problem if you're over 60, where bus travel after 9.30am is free, but for the rest of us it's an undue burden and one which I think may lead to sevice withdrawals. I hope I'm wrong.

We're all allegedly being encouraged to use public transport, but sadly, we seem to be progressively coerced into using private vehicles. Does anyone care? It seems not.

From Myra James
Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Andrew, judging from the lack of response to your comment of 4th Feb,it would seem, as you suspect, that indeed no-one cares about the withdrawal of off-peak bus fares and the massive increase this represents for many travellers. Presumably the daily and weekly tickets, unchanged in the latest round of fare rises, will soon go up in price too - will the off-peak First Day ticket disappear too, I wonder? It's little wonder people prefer to use their cars - but what of those without cars and no option but to pay up? They, as usual, are disregarded.

From Jack Hughes
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

Might I point out that it is now considerably cheaper to travel by train as opposed to by bus - £1.40 return to Todmorden, and under £2 (can't remember the exact amount) return to Halifax.

Posted by Andrew Hall
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

I've written to Metro and our local West Yorks Passenger Transport Executive representative about this issue. Previous experience on similar matters have, however, resulted in a load of buck-passing and no real answers (Metro usually blame First Bus, and vice versa) - and I suspect the same will happen here.

Yes, Myra, this seems to be a subject where apathy rules. Perhaps contributors to Hebweb are mainly over 60, and get free travel, or are too wedded to their own cars to care much. Shame really, because if we had a decent, efficient and affordable public transport system, the ongoing, and increasingly tedious and repetitive discussion about car parking and clamping would be irrelevant.

From Bernie
Wednesday, 28 February 2007

I expect the weekly tickets will soon rise! I can remember only a short time ago, the 'first week' was the 'saver 7', valid for 7 days for £7, now double that- or is it more than?!

To say the budget was underspent, the Public Transport Passengers are on Overspend through no fault of their own- First & Metro as companies in partnership should work together, and provide a damn good explanation as to why this is needed!

Or then again, we could all buy Range Rovers, Audi's, BMW's, etc, with huge engines that guzzle away petrol like most do beer!

And Get clamped, and still be better off!

Well, OK I'm exagerrating, but you get the jist!

If only we were all like Johnny and lived within easy walking distance of everything you could ever need?!

Posted by Andrew Hall
Sunday, 18 March 2007

I've now heard from Metro on First Group taking the decision to remove off peak fares.

They note my comments and 'sympathise' with the points I make about differing fares and the removal of off peak fares. They then go on to talk about bus deregulation in 1986, at which time (unlike other privatisations) no regulatory authority was established to control fares. As a result, bus companies are free to set fares at whatever level they believe will deliver a commercial return. They don't have to consult with anyone - passengers, goverment, Metro etc - on this process. This includes the removal of off peak fares. So there!

Odd, that. I always thought that Metro were there to promote bus and rail travel though, amongst other things, fare subsidies (such as Rural Bus grants). I also thought it was local and central goverment policy to encourage people to leave their cars at home. It will be interesting to see whether services are slowly and stealthily withdrawn (what I understand is known as a 'boiling frog' approach), as people increasingly find they can't afford to use buses, and the bus companies consequently can't aford to run them anymore. Even now, if there is more than one person travelling, it's often far cheaper to share a taxi. And of course, whilst this is happening, Metro sit back on their £1million underspend (as mentioned elsewhere on this site). As anyone in government knows, if you don't spend your underspend before the year end, you will be deemed not to have needed it (and sometimes even berated for asking for it in the first place), and probably won't get that amount of money in the following year!

From OJ
Sunday, 18 March 2007

As well as the fare rise, I find it perturbing that at one side of the moor you've got Hebden Bridge (population about 10,000-ish I guess), and on the other side Keighley (population 50-60,000) about half an hour apart by road, yet the first bus between them leaves Hebden Bridge after 10:00! Who is the 500 any use to besides pensioners? There used to be a 500 which left Hebden Bridge before 8:00, but no more. A convenient commute to Keighley is now impossible.

And if anyone is about to say 'People shouldn't be commuting from Hebden Bridge to Keighley', don't waste your time. Unless you're going to eradicate freedom of choice, get rid of modern transportation or give all wealth back to the industrial fathers and landed gentry, commuters are a fact of life.

From Carole
Sunday, 18 March 2007

Just found this, and I care a lot about public transport as it is one of the reasons that we recently moved to this area. I was astonished at the discrepancy between rail and bus fares, especially as they seem to be grouped under the same 'Metro' banner. Personally, this means that I use the train wherever possible, and walk the two miles into Hebden rather than catch a bus. So I, for one, am one less bus service user.