BOTH Warrington MPs have spoken out about the ‘worrying’ price hike which has seen bus fares shoot up by up to 65 per cent in the town.
Warrington North MP Helen Jones said she has been contacted by a number of people who are ‘desperately worried’ about how they will struggle to cope after Network Warrington decided to increase fares on services across the borough from Sunday, August 17.
She said: “People cannot afford these increases when wages are being held down.
“I know that there are people working hard to put the bus company back on its feet but the council, as sole shareholder, now needs to strengthen the board and insist that they explore other sources of finance.
“The Government has reduced Warrington's transport funding over and over again and we receive far less per head than London and the South-East.
“This long-term problem needs to be addressed if we are to invest in public transport. This rise in fares is very worrying.”
Warrington South MP David Mowat added: “The increases vary from nil to over 50 percent and are clearly very much more than inflation on average.
“Warrington is one of the few towns to own and manage its own bus service and it may be that the time has come to consider whether we should consider combining our company with other larger organizations to obtain economies of scale.
“The council should seriously review this option and publish the results. The only important criteria are the quality and cost of services in Warrington for Warrington residents."
Under the new price shake-up, there is no longer be a separate town and network ticket but instead there will be one Touch and Go! ticket which will allow travel across all bus services.
Other changes included a price increase to day rover fares, special tickets including Breezer and Westy Way and on-bus fares.