Rise in ticket prices hits bus users across Norfolk and Suffolk

Bus users have been hit by an increase in ticket prices, following hot on the heels of price increases on train fares and ever-rising petrol prices for car users.

First bus services in Norfolk and Suffolk saw an average ticket increase of around 4pc come into force today.

This amounts to an increase for Norwich area services of around 75p on an adult weekly ticket, �1.50 on a 10-trip ticket, �7.40 on an adult quarterly ticket and �25.60 on a yearly ticket.

Similar rises to Great Yarmouth area services have also come in but open tickets that apply for anywhere in the First Eastern Counties network have remained the same.

A spokesman for First said: 'Due to the cut to BSOG (bus service operator grants) and rising fuel costs, we are introducing fare revisions across the majority of our ticket options. The increased fare revisions have been kept to a minimum, mindful of our commitment to making the bus the preferred travel option.'

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However, there have been some reductions for services within the outer ring road in Norwich due to 'feedback from existing passengers', the spokesman added.

This has seen prices in two-fare zones reduce from �2.30 to �2 for adults and �1.60 to �1.40 for children.

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John Peacock, co-ordinator for Norfolk Buswatch, was pleased to hear there was some good news to balance out the increases.

He said: 'It's swings and roundabouts really. Sustainability is the underpinning issue with our campaigns but any increase in fares makes matters worse when it gets people back in their cars, although the decreases should be welcomed.

'On the Dereham Road and Heigham Street routes this can be worth �1.20 so from a Norfolk Buswatch perspective that is quite a radical shift. The fare structure for coming into the city has long been a criticism of First so a lot of people will be quite pleased, but on the other hand the 10-trip fare rising from �18.50 to �20 we are not happy about as that is quite a significant increase.'

- Have the price increases caused you major problems? Contact reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or david.freezer@archant.co.uk.

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