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First Bus' planned fare hikes altered after pressure from Cornwall councillor

By CMJoshBarrie  |  Posted: January 04, 2014

First

First Bus has changed plans

Comments (3)

BUS FARES due to rise by around 35 per cent yesterday have been altered following pressure from a Cornwall councillor.

Cllr Sue James, of St Just in Penwith, wrote to the First Bus headquarters in Plymouth before Christmas after the company's plans to increase ticket prices came to light.

From Sunday fares between Pendeen and Penzance were set to rise by up to £2, with a return journey costing travellers £7.50 – previously £5.50.

Now Cllr James has been informed by the operator that a return will instead go up by 50p, and will be usable for up to five days instead of just one. A single journey is reportedly set to be cheaper than before.

Alex Carter, director for First South West, told Cllr James: "I am pleased to confirm we have reviewed the proposed revisions to fares between Pendeen or St Just and Penzance, and from Sunday when the changes are introduced, these will now be £4 single (a reduction of 30p on the current fare) and £6 return (an increase of 50p, but now will be valid for five days rather than just on the day of issue as is the case currently)."

Cllr James said it was good news: "Hopefully this will help local people continue to use the bus service. I am really pleased that he has listened to what people have told me and has taken swift action on fares."

However, although the previously proposed price hikes have been scrapped, the service from Penzance to St Just and Pendeen that was changed at the end of 2013 remains.

Residents voiced concern and sent a petition to First after the route saw its buses stop halfway into Pendeen, leaving some with a longer walk to the bus stop, reduced disability access and a longer journey time.

But following First's U-turn on fares, Cllr James said she remains hopeful about the route alterations.

"I continue to be optimistic that the people at Portheras Cross end of Pendeen will soon have some kind of bus service back," she said.

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3 comments

  • iavngreg  |  January 08 2014, 3:25PM

    It's great that they've decided to backpedal on that, but the fares are still extortionate. We are continually pressured to use public transport instead of our cars, but is's cheaper, and quicker for me to drive. It's just not worth it.

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  • Gwiwer57  |  January 07 2014, 9:00AM

    A good start. However £4 one way is still an extortionate amount for such a relatively short trip and a £5.50 return isn't available until after 9.30 so workers and students end up buying two singles at £8 a day and with a 50% cut in service with it. If you live in parts of Pendeen you no longer have any sort of bus service within a reasonable walking distance. Not so long ago there were three buses an hour from Penzance to St. Just - one direct, one via Pendeen and one via Sancreed. A few (non-First) buses still run the Sancreed route but that's still almost a 67% cut in service. And First wonder why their buses run with so few fare-paying passengers and suggest more cuts are coming. This is no way to serve the populations of one of the poorest areas in the country and while First have to turn a profit (for London, not Cornwall) Cornwall Council are not immune from blame having massively cut the amount they pay First for pensioner's free travel and cut out all support for essential but unprofitable rural buses. I hope their executives enjoy their handsome pay rises and expenses-paid cars.

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  • Grenville  |  January 06 2014, 9:30PM

    Nice one Sue well done

    |   1

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