Price rise announced for bus passengers THIS MONTH
Buses in Oxford High Street (Image: Photo: Oxford Mail)
Bus passengers are being warned the price of Oxford SmartZone tickets will be increasing later this month.
The SmartZone scheme, comprising of bus companies Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach, Thames Travel and Arriva, have confirmed prices for season ticket products will rise from April 16 by an average of 8.5 per cent, with this being the first increase since February 2022.
Oxford SmartZone offers multi-operator ticketing on bus routes operating mainly in the Oxford city area.
READ AGAIN: Park and ride combined ticket is extended
Bus operators also confirmed that prices for day tickets will be frozen at existing rates.
These tickets will remain valid for 24 hours on Stagecoach services, but will cease at the end of the operational day on Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Arriva buses. Single tickets in the scheme area remain frozen at the national £2 fare cap until further notice.
Passengers are encouraged to visit bus operator websites for full details.
In a joint statement, the Oxford SmartZone operators said: “We remain committed to delivering a great service at an affordable price for our passengers as the bus network continues to recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and have worked hard to minimize any fare increases.
“However, since the last increase in February 2022 we have seen a high level of cost inflation, as seen by the current UK rate of inflation, which has been tracking in excess of 10 per cent for many months.
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“We have also had to deal with unexpectedly challenging levels of traffic congestion in the Oxford area over the past year, which have increased our operating costs further in certain parts of the network.
“We are pleased that we have been able to keep the price changes below the rate of inflation and that we have been able to freeze the price of products such as the popular day pass.
“While increasing some fares, we have strived to ensure they continue to represent excellent value for money as part of our commitment to make bus travel accessible and affordable and are also investing very large sums in delivering a large fleet of electric vehicles to Oxford over the coming year to further improve air quality.”
Last month an offer making parking and bus travel more cost effective at Oxford’s park and rides has been extended by six months until September 30.
Passengers can continue to buy a combined ticket at a reduced price which covers both parking and return bus travel at a rate of £4 for a car with only one adult, or £5 for a car and two adults. With both options, up to three children under 16 can travel for free.
Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach said the trial, which was originally due to end on March 31, will now carry on until the end of September 2023 due to its success.
This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.
Get in touch with him by emailing: [email protected]
Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF
- ^ Oxford (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
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- ^ READ AGAIN: Latest on (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ Abingdon (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)
- ^ County (www.oxfordmail.co.uk)