PASSENGERS have criticised a series of bus price hikes due to start hitting their wallets from tomorrow.
Oxford Bus Company said years of price freezing was behind its “regrettable” decision to raise fares 15 per cent in some cases. Stagecoach also announced price rises.
But commuters have branded the cost of using public transport in Oxford unreasonable.
Weekly, monthly, 13-week, annual, any-five-day and pay-monthly charges will go up for both adult and child tickets on Oxford Bus Company’s Cityzone and South Oxfordshire services.
Cityzone covers much of greater Oxford, from Kidlington, to Kennington, Botley, Wheatley, Garsington and Blackbird Leys.
Abingdon route prices will also go up.
It said the money would help fund 19 new hybrid buses in a bid to bolster its green credentials and cut fuel bills. But service users have complained.
Commuter Richard Malloy, 52, a chef from Forest Hill, said: “Wages aren’t going up, so why are the bus prices rising? There’s no reason for it.”
And student Joe Mowczan, 20, of Harcourt Hill, added: “I’m at university, but when my friends and family come to visit they comment on how expensive the bus prices are. Oxford’s prices are more expensive than London, it’s really bad.”
Oxford Bus Company operations director Phil Southall said: “No-one likes to pay more and we haven’t made the changes lightly. However, our costs are constantly rising, the Government’s 18 per cent increase in the fuel tax bus companies pay is now having a big impact. Other business costs and expenses are rising too.
“In the past we’ve managed to go for several years without an increase but regrettably we can’t absorb the extra costs we face any longer.
“We appreciate that in recent years times have been difficult, leading to a strain on personal and family budgets.
“These fare changes will ensure that we can continue to provide an excellent value, high-quality service into the future.
“The park-and-ride key products, X90 and airline prices will not increase at this time.”
Stagecoach spokesman Robyn North said: “SmartZone fares will increase from Sunday.
“We are experiencing the same cost increases as other transport operators so we are continually reviewing our prices and fares. “The four-week, 13-week and one-year tickets will increase, but the one week, any-five-days and multi-trip tickets will stay at the same price.”
SOME OF THE INCREASES
Oxford Bus Company price hikes to the Cityzone:
- One week: from £13 to £14
- Four weeks: from £39 to £45
- 13 weeks: from £104 to £120
- One year: from £338 to £390
Oxford Bus Company price hikes to the South Oxfordshire Zone:
- One week: from £18 to £20
- Four weeks: from £54 to £60
- 13 weeks: from £144 to £160
- One year: from £468 to £520
For a full list of Oxford Bus Company changes, visit tinyurl.com/bzczhdz
Stagecoach price hikes to the SmartZone:
- One week: no change at £15
- Four weeks: from £45 to £50
- 13 weeks: from £120 to £128
- One year: from £390 to £420
For a full list of Stagecoach changes, visit tinyurl.com/ahn3ex8