First set to introduce bus fare hike this weekend
BUS fares will increase by up to 25 pence on Sunday following the introduction of an annual price hike by transport operator First.
The price of most tickets will rise in North Somerset, South Gloucestershire and Bath & North East Somerset but remain unchanged in Bristol.
First says fares have been increased to reflect a rise in its operating costs, including the growing price of fuel.
Most single and return tickets will go up by between 5p and 25p but some have been frozen. The cost of some season tickets will also rise.
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First said the operating costs faced by the company had changed in the past year. It said fuel continued to be one of its biggest expenses, with other pressures on the industry also taking their toll.
Marc Reddy, the firm's regional commercial and business growth director, said: "We understand it that no one likes it when fares go up and we have done everything we can to keep any increases to the absolute minimum.
"We are also committed to only reviewing fares once a year, the last time being a year ago.
"Fare reviews are necessary because they ensure that the price of travel adequately reflects the amount it costs for us to run the buses, while also ensuring that we make enough profit to be able to be able to invest in our networks, staff and the vehicles we operate.
"We believe that our season tickets continue to offer good value for money, allowing customers to enjoy unlimited travel within specific areas for relatively little.
"These products are ideal for those people who travel a lot by bus and who wish to make the greatest saving on travel costs.
"To help people enjoy the biggest savings on bus travel we also give people the option to pay for annual bus tickets by direct debit and similarly offer discounts for companies who wish to sign up to our corporate travel club in order to access cheaper travel options for their own employees.
"For those who travel infrequently the various FirstDay tickets which we sell offer excellent value for money allowing people to travel widely in a given area – enjoying all the bus has to offer – for often not much more than a standard return ticket. For those who simply want to make a single or return journey though these fares are also available on bus."
In Bath & North East Somerset, North Somerset and parts of South Gloucestershire, nine adult single fares and two adult return fares have been frozen at current prices, while one adult peak return fare has been reduced.
In Somerset, two adult single fares are being held while two adult peak return fares are being reduced.
In Weston-super-Mare, the FirstMonth and FirstYear tickets will remain unchanged at £64 and £690 respectively.
However, the cost of buying a FirstDay ticket from the town will rise to £4.20 and the price of purchasing a FirstWeek pass there will go up to £18.