Passengers fare fears

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Bus passengers in Sheffield fear they will struggle to pay fare rises of up to 13 per cent when they come in.

Operator First is to increase its £1.50 and £2 fares in Sheffield by 20p at the end of the month.

Other tickets will cost 10p more and weekly pass costs are to rise by 50p.

Bosses have also unveiled new child day and week tickets – costing £2 and £5 and available to college students – as part of the changes which they say will save families money.

Many fares, such as the £1 single fare and South Yorkshire-wide tickets, have been frozen.

But David Binns, aged 54, who currently pays £2 to get to Sheffield city centre from his home in Jordanthorpe, said: “I think it’s ridiculous.

“It will cause me problems because I can’t walk very far, I haven’t gota car and the only way I can get into town is by bus. It’s bad enough paying £4 there and back.

“I have to come into town for appointments with Wiseability when they tell me to, otherwise my payments stop.

“It’s not that great a service for the price you pay.”

Kath Fry, aged 67, of Broomhill, uses a pensioners’ pass to travel free.

She said: “The idea of buses is to get cars off the road, so it is sad prices are going up.

“It makes a difference to people who live on the edges of Sheffield and have to come in by bus.”

Tina Woodward, of Heeley, said: “I don’t use the bus much because I walk to town.

“I think it is good value for money, but if you live further it could be different.”

First has said changes equate to an average price rise of 3 per cent, and any changes have been kept to a ‘minimum’.

The increases have been introduced independently by the firm to meet rising business costs.

Coun Ian Auckland, Sheffield’s Liberal Democrat spokesman for Transport, said: “Once again bus-users are being asked to pay a higher charge for a worse service.

“This latest increase will leave number of people using our local service dwindling.”