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Bus passengers slam rise in bus fares

PUBLISHED: 11:31 01 November 2001 | UPDATED: 10:46 03 March 2010

BUS passengers have seen red over price hikes of up to 25 per cent.

Ipswich Buses standardised fares within the town on Monday, meaning passengers that normally pay 80p for a single fare now have to fork out £1.

BUS passengers have seen red over price hikes of up to 25 per cent.

Ipswich Buses standardised fares within the town on Monday, meaning passengers that normally pay 80p for a single fare now have to fork out £1.

An Evening Star survey has revealed that many passengers think the fare rise is disgusting, and feel the service should be made better before bosses even think about putting the prices up.

Clare Ling, 28 from the Gainsborough area of Ipswich has only just started using public transport again, and she said that she wished she did not have to bother.

She said: "I think it is wrong of them to do this.

"We rely on them and they just keep charging us more and more – it's not fair."

Although for some people the rise in fares is only a matter of pence, many are fed up because of the principle.

Mike Earthrowll, from Bantoft Terrace has a disabled person's bus pass and now finds himself paying 30p instead of 25p.

He said: "I only have to find 5p here and there but I don't think they should be putting up the charges at all for the service they give.

"It is diabolical, they are always cutting services."

Pensioner David Love from Newnham Court also felt the rise was unacceptable.

As a holder of a bus pass the rise to his fare is minimal but he said that pensioners should not be charged at all.

He said: "We should get it for free – the service is poor and the charges should not go up."

Not everyone is affected by the fare increases – existing single journeys which cost £1, have stayed the same and only about 20 per cent of passengers will see fares rise by 25 per cent.

But even those who do not have to pay any extra, feel for those that do.

Jacqueline Cassidy from the St Augustines area of town said: "They all want us to use public transport but they keep putting the prices up."

Mother and daughter Donna and Frances Ellis both said that the charges are too expensive already.

Frances is a pensioner but as she lives in Essex she said her bus pass is not valid here, so she has to pay full fare when she visits her daughter in Ipswich.

Her daughter Donna, 28, from Chantry agreed with other passengers that the service was poor.

She said: "It is a lot of money anyway for a trip into town without them putting the prices up."

Ipswich Buses managing director Malcolm Robson said half of the company's passengers would not see any increase.

He said that people could save money by buying Saver Seven tickets and that the new £1 tickets were now valid for transfers across the town.

He said: "If people want to buy their tickets in advance they can actually save money."

Although he realised many passengers would feel that the company were just trying to make extra profits he said the main objective for Ipswich Buses was investment.

He said: "Our costs do go up and we have to recoup those somehow.

"Over the past year we have spent more than £1million on new buses for Ipswich."

The company is still waiting to hear whether it will get funding from the government's Urban Bus Fund to improve services to the Whitton and Castle Hill areas of town.

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