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Concessionary Fare Changes: No Charge Before 9.30 am in Greater Manchester

Peak hour restrictions lifted on buses and trams

If you know somebody with a concessionary pass, or have one yourself, Transport for Greater Manchester has lifted AM peak restrictions on buses and trams.

Continue reading “Concessionary Fare Changes: No Charge Before 9.30 am in Greater Manchester”
SHMD Daimler CVG6 front loading

Important Changes to Senior Citizens’ Passes on 01 February

£10.00 per annum charge for unlimited off-peak tram and train travel in Greater Manchester

If you are a passenger of pensionable age in Greater Manchester, there’s every chance you will be using your concessionary pass to access the City Region’s buses, trains and trams. In the weekends, you may be able to take a train, tram or bus before 9.30 am and travel by bus anywhere in England. This month, train and tram concessions are covered by your existing pass.

Continue reading “Important Changes to Senior Citizens’ Passes on 01 February”

In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good

How reduced rate travel connects people with places, and does so very well

First Greater Manchester YJ51 RAU, Ashton Bus Station
YJ51 RAU a Volvo B7TL seen on the 389 service at Ashton-under-Lyne bus station to Hyde via Ridge Hill and Yew Tree estates.

 

This week saw mixed messages for passengers on the national concessionary travel scheme. To start with, a 36 year old disabled man won £5,500 damages after it was stated his local bus operator breached the 2010 Equality Act. He was denied access to a Leeds bound bus as a woman with a pushchair refused to budge. Continue reading “In Defence of ENCTS: Why Concessionary Travel is a Social Good”

A Fare Deal for Thousands of Jobseekers

New scheme aims to help unemployed persons and newly employed people get to work

Transport for Greater Manchester’s plans aim to eliminate one significant barrier which unemployed and previously unemployed persons face when travelling to and from job interviews or workplaces. Seen here is Dennis Dart SLF WA56 OAO, loading at Oldham bus station on the 350 service to Ashton-under-Lyne via Saddleworth.

Following the success of a trial scheme, Greater Manchester’s jobseekers are set to get a fare deal. Thanks to government funding, 24,000 tickets will be made available for unemployed people attending job interviews or persons settling into their new job. This will be effective till March 2015. Continue reading “A Fare Deal for Thousands of Jobseekers”

Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #6: Concessionary Fares

The long awaited sixth part of our beginners’ guide to bus operations returns

Passengers of a certain age may remember a time when Greater Manchester’s municipal and private operations had a varying degree of concessionary fare rates. Some didn’t introduce concessionary fares till the 1960s. Continue reading “Duffers’ Guide to Bus Operations #6: Concessionary Fares”

In Other News… Stagecoach Manchester Review Their Fares

Slight fare increases come in to effect on Easter Sunday

Dennis Dart SLF, Stagecoach Manchester X739 JCS, Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester
Given their recent acquisitions – of new buses as well as territories – a fares increase, even against First Greater Manchester’s recent news was inevitable. Dennis Dart SLF X739 JCS is seen here loading at Piccadilly Gardens.

  • Single fares up 10p (5p for children);
  • Megarider up 50p to £12.50;
  • Online monthly Megarider up to £46.00 – and same price as bought-on-the-bus equivalent;
  • Night bus fares up to £3.00;
  • Stagecoach Wigan and former Bluebird routes fares unaffected.

With effect from the 31 March 2013 [Easter Sunday], Stagecoach Manchester will be adding 10p on to single fares. This move, besides covering the day-to-day running costs, probably covers their company’s recent acquisitions. Therefore, the single fare on their 346 service from Ashton-under-Lyne to Dukinfield (Albion Hotel up to Yew Tree Lane/Cheetham Hill Road) will be £2.20 (or £1.10 for under-16s). Even with increases, their maximum single fare will be cheaper than First Greater Manchester’s. Continue reading “In Other News… Stagecoach Manchester Review Their Fares”

‘Bus For Jobs’ Initiative Backed By Stagecoach, FirstGroup and Arriva

New initiative offers cheap bus fares for 800,000 jobseekers

  • Scheme to cover 70% of UK bus routes;
  • Young people in England, Wales and Scotland set to benefit.

Almost a couple of years ago, Iain Duncan-Smith reworked Norman Tebbit’s ‘Get on your bike’ quote and substituted the Chingford MP’s father’s bicycle for the bus. Shortly after suggesting this mode of transport to Merthyr Tydfil’s long term unemployed citizens, the journey time of Stagecoach Islwyn’s route to Cardiff made the left-of-centre newspapers, albeit in negative terms. Continue reading “‘Bus For Jobs’ Initiative Backed By Stagecoach, FirstGroup and Arriva”

Bus Boss Blasts Bus Service Operators’ Grant Cuts

ConDems’ fuel tax hike and BSOG cut blamed for rising fares by Stagecoach Manchester MD

  • Fares to rise by average of 6% – but lower increases for regular bus users
  • 5% jump in English bus company operating costs in 2011
  • Bus fare increases less than half the rise in annual motoring costs

Rising costs and a 74% Government hike in fuel tax on buses has forced up fares for passengers, Stagecoach confirmed today.

Fares in Greater Manchester will rise by an average of 6% from Sunday 8th April 2012. However, Stagecoach has protected regular bus users by keeping the increase in its weekly megarider ticket to 4%.

The rises compare with a 14% rise in the annual cost of motoring reported by the RAC in November 2011.

An independent survey last year found that Stagecoach offers the best value bus fares of any major bus operator in the UK, with prices up to 20% lower than other companies.

However, Stagecoach said today that the Government’s 20% cut in Bus Service Operators Grant from 1 April, combined with the planned 3p fuel duty rise, would increase fuel tax on its bus passengers in England by 74%, sucking more than £1.5milion out of the local bus network in Greater Manchester. In contrast, trains pay virtually no tax on their fuel and planes pay none at all.

Bus operators across England have also faced rising costs in other areas including increased labour, energy and insurance costs. The annual Cost Index, compiled by the Confederation of Passenger Transport before the fuel tax changes, shows operating costs in the 12 months to 31 December 2011 had already risen by 5%.

Christopher Bowles, Managing Director of Stagecoach Manchester, said: “These damaging Government cuts and tax hike, combined with rising costs, are having a direct impact on bus fares and services across England.

“We share the frustration of our passengers, many of whom are on some of the lowest incomes. Along with businesses, they are already being squeezed by higher bills and energy prices.

“We have had to take some very tough decisions, but we have worked hard to keep fares down for those who rely on the bus the most. Our bus services continue to offer a greener, smarter and better value way to travel and we will also continue to re-invest the income from fares in improvements for passengers.”

A summary of the current and new prices in Manchester are listed below:

  • Adult Dayrider: up from £3.70 to £3.90;
  • Concessionary Dayrider: £1.85 to £1.95;
  • Megarider (7 day): £11.50 to £12.00;
  • Easyrider: £5.75 to £6.00;
  • Dayrider Plus One: £5.50 to £5.80;
  • Group Dayrider: £8.00 to £8.50;
  • Single Fares: up 10p (5p for concessions);
  • Magic Bus Single Fares, 314 (Offerton – Stockport) return fares: up 20p (10p for concessions).

S.V., 28 March 2012.

System One’s Big Day Out for 2012

Popular community competition returns with bigger prize fund and potential for a bigger day out

Bus denoted in graphic does not reflect upon contemporary operations. Unfortunately. (Unless you fancy visiting the Greater Manchester Museum of Transport, of course)

For our local charities, this year is set to be a tumultuous one as funding by our councils is being slashed. The double whammy of council cutbacks and a recession (which has increased demand for their services) has made 2012 and may make subsequent years tougher than before.

The person you may see at your local charity shop or food bank may enjoy their role, but behind this exterior, he or she may be rushed off their feet. Therefore, giving up some of their time to avert hunger or sell secondhand clothes could be hard work, given that he or she may only be paid travel expenses. With 27% of charities planning to cut back on paid staff and expenditure (source: National Council for Voluntary Organisations Charity Forecast 16 report, February 2012), even the fate of the local charity shop or food bank is far from steady. Continue reading “System One’s Big Day Out for 2012”

System One’s Big Day Out: Public Vote Time

Which organisation deserves a ‘Big Day Out’ compliments of System One Travelcards? You decide (this is a follow-up article to ‘iGo to Ashton for Less These Days’).

Almost two months ago on ‘East of the M60’, we advertised the arrival of a new junior all-systems bus day saver ticket. To celebrate its introduction, System One Travelcards has allocated a £3,500 prize fund for community groups, to enable them to enjoy a ‘Big Day Out’ this summer. The shortlist of community groups and charities has been whittled down to 21, but there can only be 10 winners, one from each part of Greater Manchester. Continue reading “System One’s Big Day Out: Public Vote Time”