Are our fares fair, asks bus operator First

February 06 2014

Bus users in Keynsham, Saltford and surrounding areas are being asked for their views on the fares charged by First.

Bus users in Keynsham, Saltford and surrounding areas are being asked for their views on the fares charged by First.

The consultation was launched by the company on February 1, and  follows a review of ticket prices on buses across Bristol last year, in the inner Bristol zone.

Keynsham is on the edge of the inner zone and fares on buses travelling from the town into the city have already been reviewed, including the 42/43 service.

Bus users are being asked to comment on routes in the wider outer zone surrounding Bristol, which includes services taking passengers from Keynsham away from the city such as services 178 /178, X39 /338 /339. Saltford and surrounding villages are in the outer zone so services there will be part of the new review, too.

Bus outer zone

As part of the consultation, which is called Fairer Fares for All, people will be asked to fill in questionnaires, either on paper or online, to give their opinions on current fares. The results will then be analysed by independent transport consultants.

Paul Matthews, managing director for First in West of England, said: “We need to better understand how people use our buses, how frequently they travel and for what purpose. We would also like to know what type of tickets they’re buying at present and how they rate them in terms of value for money. All this data will then help us, and our transport consultants, determine the way forward.

“The Bristol review led to some pretty significant changes. Children and young people now get much bigger discounts on travel, while the whole structure of fares in the city changed as well.  It’s too soon to say what sort of changes we may implement in the other parts of the West of England, but holding this consultation and learning more about how people use our buses is the first stage in the process.”

The online questionnaire can be found at www.firstgroup.com/fairerfaresforall from February 1 until March 16. Paper copies are available on buses, in libraries, in council one-stop shops and in First’s travel shops.  More information on the consultation can also be found at www.fairerfares forall.co.uk.