Fenland MP calls for u-turn on price hike

Stagecoach buses at Wisbech Horsefair ANL-160418-111129009
Stagecoach buses at Wisbech Horsefair ANL-160418-111129009
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Fenland MP Steve Barclay has urged a bus operator to reconsider an “unacceptable” hike in fares in the wake of growing anger over the price rises.

The MP for North East Cambridgeshire has been inundated with complaints from residents following the move by Stagecoach which has seen the cost of weekly bus passes rise by almost 100 per cent.

He said the increases have placed an “enormous strain” on families who use the bus to get their children to school.

He also said that parents have claimed they were given no prior warning that the fares would be going up.

Mr Barclay is now working on the issue with North West Norfolk MP Sir Henry Bellingham, who has also received complaints about Stagecoach from his constituents.

The pair have jointly written to the company’s regional managing director, Andy Campbell, to voice their concerns.

Mr Barclay said: “The letter requests that Stagecoach reconsider its price structures as such a sudden and dramatic change is not acceptable.”

The company has said that the changes to fares are part of its plans to introduce a new, zonal fare system across its network, and will allow investment to expand its fleet and improve efficiency for passengers.

It also insisted that passengers were made aware of the changes ahead of the Easter holiday.

Among those affected by the fare increases is Sally Wright, from Wisbech, whose grandchildren Tempany, 15, and Tanisha-Mae Parish, 12, both use Stagecoach buses to travel from the town to Marshland High School in West Walton.

Before the Easter break, a weekly ticket had cost £9.50 for each of them – but the price has now almost doubled to £18.

“It’s ridiculous,” she said. “And they never said the fare was going up.”

A Facebook campaign, Say No to Stagecoach Ticket Increase, has also been launched in a bid to encourage a boycott of the company’s services.