POPULAR transport service PickMeUp has hiked its prices for peak-time journeys.

The Oxford Bus Company scheme, which has been running in Oxford for almost a year, increased prices by 50 pence on Sunday.

It sent an email to passengers stating that the previous £2.50 price for all journeys was an 'introductory' offer, and that rising fuel prices and demand has necessitated changes.

Off-peak fares will remain at £2.50 within the 'Travel Zone,' while peak journeys between 7am-9.30am and 4pm-6.30pm are now £3.

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A 50 pence surcharge will also apply to off-peak journeys to and from the city centre, while journeys between 9pm and midnight on Saturdays will incur an additional £1 charge.

The email stated: "We're committed to keeping down costs and helping you get around Oxford comfortably and affordably.

"Fuel prices have increased since we started this service and, due to customer demand, we've expanded the Travel Zone and added extra minibuses to the fleet.

"To continue to bring you PickMeUp, we need to increase the cost of some journeys a little."

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It added that an additional charge, usually double the price, may apply if the passenger could have used an existing Oxford Bus Company bus to get directly from their pick-up point to their destination.

To encourage ride-sharing, PickMeUp plus-one fares have been reduced to £2, and the service's deal continues in which passengers travelling in groups of three will get the third fare free.