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Cheaper single and return bus fares introduced

Main image: Metro Mayor Dan Norris, Rob Pymm (Commercial Director, First West of England) and Rachel Geliamassi (Managing Director, Stagecoach West) as well as the children of Holymead Primary School in Brislington. Picture West of England Combined Authority.

Passengers will benefit from new cheaper single and return fares starting later this month across West of England buses – Metro Mayor Dan Norris confirmed today (Tuesday September 20). 

All single adult tickets in Bristol will be reduced to £2 for adults while returns will cost £3.50. Children will pay a flat £1 rate across the whole of the West of England. 

The new fares will start from September 25 on the vast majority of West of England buses – before being introduced across all routes, regardless of operator, by the end of next month. 

But the price for a day rider in Bristol will increase from £5.30 to £6 in Bristol and the three-stop-hop ticket will go up from £1.50 to £2.

The Metro Mayor says the new fare package delivers on his pledge for simpler and cheaper bus fares, will help a little towards easing the cost-of-living crisis for locals, and will go a long way to addressing the big challenges on the buses at present, with passenger numbers 25 per cent down on pre-pandemic levels. 

The new fares come after an announcement by First West of England that 13 bus services across Bristol, Bath, South Gloucestershire and Somerset will be dropped from October 9 – and other routes reduced or shortened. 

First has said the cuts are a result of unprecedented driver shortages and a fall in passenger numbers since the pandemic.

Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “It’s time to get on board for new fares. I’m delighted to be able to introduce this package to immediately to offer a small helping hand to people facing a crippling cost-of-living crisis. At a time where the challenges on the buses are so huge, this is a real opportunity to create that virtuous cycle of more fare income to reinvest in our bus network which in turn will mean better buses for everyone.

“So my big message to local people is: please take advantage of this and take your children out for just £1. The more journeys you make, the more you will be helping us together to build the local bus system we both need and deserve. It’s also so very vital if we are going to meet our super ambitious local 2030 net-zero targets”.

The scheme is a joint initiative from the West of England Combined Authority, North Somerset Council and the bus operators, including Firstbus and Stagecoach West.

Managing Director of First West of England, Doug Clarinbold, said: With rising living costs, we are delighted that the West of England Authority and North Somerset Council have been able to provide operators in the region with financial support that enables significant reductions to these key West of England fares.

“Passenger numbers on our services are still significantly down on pre-pandemic levels and we are seeing some of our longer distance services that connect our towns and cities or serve more rural areas facing a particularly difficult time.

“Lower single, return and day ticket fares will help these services at a time when most things are going up in price. We hope this will encourage more people to use our services so that as we take action to increase driver numbers and improve the reliability of our services, we can accelerate the recovery in bus use across the region.”

Full fare changes:

Child fare, West of England wide (age 5-15) – from 50% (of adult fares) to £1

Child fare, West of England wide (age 5-15) (return) – from 50% (of adult fares) to £1.80

Bristol and Bath single fare – from £2.20 to £1.80.

Bristol and Bath return fare – from £4.30 to £3.50

Bristol and Bath 3-stop hop – from £1.50 to £2

Bristol Day – from £5.30 to £6

Bath Day – from £5 to £5.60

Bristol Week – from £21.50 to £23.50

Bath Week – from £21 to £22

Weston-super-Mare single – from £1.60 to £1.60

West of England, 0-3 miles – from £2.30 to £2.30

West of England, 0-3 miles (return) – from £4.40 to £3.50

West of England, 3-6 miles – from £3.30 to £3.30

West of England, 3-6 miles (return) – from £6.30 to £4

West of England, 6-9 miles – from £4.50 to £3.70

West of England, 6-9 miles (return) – from £6.50 to £5