Commuters in Sheffield have been dealt a further blow after operator Stagecoach announced a series of fare rises, which will come into force this weekend.
The changes will be introduced from Sunday, February 3 – just four weeks after a raft of fares across South Yorkshire also increased in price.
Stagecoach said most single and return fares will rise by 10p or 20p while the cost of a Sheffield Day Rider, which allows unlimited travel on Stagecoach buses in the city, a will rise from £4 to £4.20.
A weekly Day Rider, allowing seven days travel on Stagecoach bus services, will also rise from £14 to £14.50, while a 28-day pass will set passengers back £56 – up £2.
In a statement, Stagecoach said it worked ‘very hard to keep fares as low as possible’, adding: “They still represent great value compared to the costs of running a car.”
The fare rise comes after Travelmaster, which is co-owned by the region’s public transport operators, announced a series of fare rises, including CityWide Day tickets, which are valid on all bus and tram services in Sheffield.
Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts said the cost of public transport was a ‘real problem’ in the city.
He said: “I think there is a real problem but it’s not just the immediate fare rise. It’s a history over the last few decades of well above inflation fare rises while services have deteriorated all the time.
“If you think back to the 80s there were far more buses, there were far more punctual whereas now it’s totally different. There's no wonder people aren’t using public transport anymore.”
The bus fare changes will come into force on Sunday.
A report in August found that ‘unreliable and expensive’ public transport in Sheffield was leading to job seekers having to think twice about employment opportunities.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) called for a redesign of the Government’s transport, housing and economic policy, after its research revealed public transport was 'holding back' low-income families from achieving a better standard of living.
Transport was consistently highlighted as a 'significant barrier' to work once the trade-off between the cost, reliability and speed of local public transport; and the prospect of low-wage, insecure work was considered, the study by researchers from the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University found.
Mr Betts said there was a need for a ‘change’ as to how bus services adapt to modern life.
The Star has contacted Stagecoach for a comment and is awaiting a response.