West Midlands Mayor speaks out over National Express West Midlands bus fare hikes - The Solihull Observer

West Midlands Mayor speaks out over National Express West Midlands bus fare hikes

Solihull Editorial 21st Jun, 2023   0

THE MAYOR of the West Midlands has agreed to bus fare hikes across National Express West Midlands services to protect services.

The bus operator said from July 3 an all day ticket is going up 50p from £4 to £4.50 and a single ticket would rise to £2.70 – the first hike since 2017.

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said: “It goes without saying that any increase in bus fares is disappointing, especially given the face we’ve managed to keep fares frozen for six years while they rose elsewhere across the country.

“The hard truth is that without National Express implementing increases in their fare prices, then nearly half out network – particularly those routes serving schools – would be at risk of cuts.

“I cannot, and will not, allow our bus network to be decimated like this.”

He added the fare freeze announced last year is no longer a commitment that can be maintained if the current level of service is to continue across the region.

National Express West Midlands said the price rises are needed to protect the bus network in the face of rising costs.

It added costs including fuel, electricity, parts and labour have increased to 125 percent while the number of people using buses remains around 90 percent of what it was before the pandemic.

A National Express West Midlands spokesperson said: “We’re pleased that in the face of a difficult inflation environment, we’re able to protect the bus network and still have the cheapest all day ticket price of any city region in England at £4.50. Our day ticket remains cheaper than in 2017.

“We’re on our customers’ side and we will continue to work hard to ensure a reliable bus service and to help them take advantage of great value travel.”

The operator said it is reviewing whether it will participate in the Government’s forthcoming £2 fare cap scheme.

For more visit www.nxbus.co.uk/fares.


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