First to reduce fares for children and young people following consultation
The cost of bus travel for young people in the West of England is coming down.
Following a major consultation with bus users – and non users – regarding the cost of bus travel earlier this year, First has announced that fares will change on 6 July.
Children (5 and 15 years) and young people (16 to 21 years) in Bath and North East Somerset will benefit considerably, becoming entitled to significant discounts on all fares (50% for children, 30% for young people).
Adult bus users will also benefit.
Flat fares will be introduced in Bath (and also Weston-super-Mare) while fares for travel on regional services will be changed with the amount charged linked to the distance travelled.
To help families, First will also introduce a Bath Family FirstDay ticket, priced at £8, and a Weston-super-Mare Family FirstDay ticket, priced at £7.40. These tickets will offer unlimited travel for one day in the relevant area for up to five people (maximum two adults or young people).
These changes follow the analysis of nearly 2,000 questionnaires returned over a six week public consultation that was held by First across the West of England earlier this year.
Talking about what’s happening Paul Matthews, Managing Director, First West of England, says: "The announcement of these results brings to an end the discussions that we have been having over the cost of bus travel in the West of England and follow on from the successful implementation of the Bristol fare review last autumn. We have worked hard to ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the changes with children and young people set to benefit the most in an attempt to encourage a new generation of bus users.
“Flat fares are incredibly easy to understand, and rolling them out in Bath and Weston-super-Mare will remove one of the barriers that some people face when considering whether or not to use the bus. Once implemented people will instantly know how much the journey will cost.”
Cllr Caroline Roberts, Bath & North East Somerset Council's Cabinet Member for Transport, said: "We welcome this announcement from First which should encourage even more people to get on board the bus and help to tackle congestion so that more people can get around Bath and North East Somerset. We're pleased that First has listened to people's comments and acted upon them to deliver the kind of service they've asked for."
In response to the announcement, Brian Allinson, Chair of the West of England Joint Transport Board, says: "This package of changes is hugely welcomed and on behalf of everyone in the area I'd like to thank First for the time and effort they have put in to gathering views and making the changes. First have listened and reacted, now we all need respond by welcoming the changes and using the bus more.
For more information about the changes, log onto: www.fairerfaresforall.co.uk (the website will be updated to reflect the changes shortly)