Weston-super-Mare fare change from 17 July
Bus operator First West of England is changing its fares in Weston-super-Mare from Sunday 17 July.
The combination of passenger numbers at around 70% of pre-pandemic levels and significant increases in wages and other costs means current fares are unsustainable.
As a result, from 17 July, First’s Weston-super-Mare Zone fares will change, with a single ticket increasing from £1.60 to £2.00, a 2-Trip ticket from £2.40 to £3.20, a Day ticket from £2.70 to £3.30 and week ticket from £11.00 to £12.00. Fares across the rest of First’s Weston-super-Mare ticket range will also increase.
To limit the increases for a significant number of customers, a new fare will be introduced for single and 2-Trip journeys on the western sections of services in the town. The new ‘Weston Inner’ fare will be £1.70 for a single journey and £3.00 for making 2 journeys in a day on First’s 2-Trip ticket. More than 80% of Day tickets are currently used no more than twice, making this 2-Trip ticket the best value option for most customers. The new Weston Inner fares will be available for services 3, 7, 126, X1 and X5.
Doug Claringbold, Managing Director of First West of England, said “It is always difficult to increase fares, particularly at this time when people are facing significant challenges with the cost of living. However, we have faced issues with our Weston-super-Mare services struggling to cover their costs for some time, and this has been exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic on patronage levels and now, by significant increases in our costs. As a result, to give our Weston-super-Mare services the best possible chance of a sustainable future and avoid service cuts in the town after the government’s Bus Recovery Grant funding for operators ends on 4 October, we need to be honest about the level of fares needed”.
“Fares in the town are – and will remain – significantly lower than elsewhere in our network. We have significantly increased our wages to recognise the great work that our drivers and support staff do, which will help us run services more reliably by retaining and recruit more staff in the face of industry-wide shortages. We are also facing high levels of inflation on our other costs, such as fuel and spare parts. Unfortunately, this means we have to make these changes”.
A full list of the new fares and route maps showing the stops for which the Weston Inner fare applies for services 3, 7, 126, X1 and X5 can be found here www.firstbus.co.uk/westonfares