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Victory in campaign to get fairer fares for young people

June 12, 2014 4:19 PM
By First Bus


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 to15 years) and young people (16 to 21 years) in Wiltshire will benefit considerably, becoming entitled to significant discounts on all fares (50% for children, 30% for young people).

Adult bus users will also benefit.

Fares for travel on all regional services will be changed, with the amount charged directly linked to the distance travelled. The latter offers parity with the changes that were introduced in Bristol's inner zone last November. In addition flat fares, covering travel in Bath's city zone and Weston-super-Mare's town zone, will also be introduced.

First's FirstDay South West ticket is being replaced by a new FirstDay West of England ticket. For £7 (adults) it will offer unlimited travel on all First West of England buses plus selected 'Buses of Somerset' services.

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.

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."

In response to the announcement, Brian Allinson, Chair of the West of England Joint Transport Board, said: "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 to respond by welcoming the changes and using the bus more."

For more information about the changes: www.fairerfaresforall.co.uk (the website will be updated to reflect the changes shortly)

To read the full press release regarding the changes see: http://www.firstgroup.com/ukbus/bristol_bath/travel_news/news_initiatives/?item=19231&conf=0

For more information about First in general, see: www.firstgroup.com/westofengland.

First is on Facebook and Twitter, at www.facebook.com/FirstWestOfEngland and www.twitter.com/FirstBSA.

For more information about First West of England, contact Karen Baxter, PR Manager, First on 0117 373 6470. Email: Karen.baxter@firstgroup.com