Fuel duty blamed for Peterborough bus fares hike

Stagecoach has announced a rise in ticket prices across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough ET
Stagecoach has announced a rise in ticket prices across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire. Photo: Rowland Hobson/Peterborough ET
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CATCHING the bus in Peterborough will cost more money after Stagecoach, which runs bus services in the city and around Cambridgeshire, announced fare increases by an average of five per cent next month.

From April 1st April, the cost of a Daysaver ticket will rise 20p from £3.50 to £3.70, while a Megarider will increase from £12 to £12.50. Single tickets for journeys in the city will also see a rise.

A spokesman for Stagecoach said they were being forced to increase prices because of the Government’s 20 per cent cut in Bus Service Operators Grant from April 1. This, combined with the planned 3p fuel duty rise, would see a big increase in fuel tax on its bus passengers in England the company said.

Andy Campbell, managing director of Stagecoach East, said the price rises were necessary to cope with the extra financial pressure on the service.

He said: “These damaging government cuts and tax hike, combined with rising costs, are having a direct impact on bus fares and services across England.

“We share the frustration of our passengers. 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.”

Councillor Peter Hiller, Peterborough City Council cabinet member for housing, neighbourhoods and planning, said the service would still be the best mode of transport for many people.

He said: “This rise will make a difference to people’s lives. No-one likes an increase, but akin to the rate of inflation, and essential to maintain an efficient service, that is the envy of many unitary authorities across the country.

“With the rise in fuel duty, which will effect the private motorist and public transport providers.

“It will still be cheaper to travel by bus, especially with the cost of parking, and it is important we try and encourage as many people as possible to travel by public transport.”

The price rise was met with a mixed response by bus passengers at Peterborough Bus Station.

Michael Jones, (40) from Paston, said: “The service is quite good at the moment and it is expensive to drive a car with petrol costing so much.

“It looks like it will be a small rise, so it is not too bad the prices are going up.”

But Sarah Hardcastle (21) of Hampton Vale said: “The fare increase will be a problem.

“Everything is getting more expensive, and it is already costing a lot to drive, and it is all adding up.”

Bus ticket price rises from 1st April 2012

• AT the moment a single ticket, for example between Welland and Queensgate, Dogsthorpe and Queensgate and Bretton (including Peterborough City Hospital) costs £1.90 for adults.

• After the price increase on April 1, the cost will increase to £2.

• A ticket from Queensgate to Yaxley costs £2.20, and this is expected to rise to £2.30.

A Dayrider ticket in the city currently costs £3.50, and will rise to £3.70 from April 1.

A Peterborough Megarider currently costs £12, and the price will rise to £12.50.

Should public transport get more protection from the impact of fuel duty?

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