Bus users are being urged to share their views on proposed changes to fares on services provided by Essex County Council.
A consultation was launched last month (May) to get the public’s opinion on a proposal for a small fare increase on non-commercial services provided by the Council.
The plans would see an approximate 5 per cent increase on fares over each of the next three years. This works out at the equivalent of 10p per ticket.
A number of responses have already been received, but there is still time to get involved both online and over the phone.
Passengers have a fortnight left to share their views on the proposals before the consultation closes on Friday, 17 June.
The proposals only affect 75 non-commercial bus services operated under contract to Essex County Council.
Fares on these services have remained the same for six years – and are now out of step with many commercial fares by as much as 25 per cent.
Cllr Eddie Johnson, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport Delivery, said: “We have a responsibility to the taxpayer to bring bus fares closer in line with commercial operators, having opted against price increases for the past six years.
“Essex County Council needs to save £1 million a week every week for the next four years. This means reviewing how we provide services and how we can increase income to support important services within our communities.
“I would urge bus users to share their views with us to help inform our decisions on future fares.”
Plans are to implement the first increase of about 5 per cent late this summer and then increase fares again in April 2017 and April 2018. After that any rise would be linked to inflation.
Increases would apply to adult and child single and return tickets, the Day Villager and 10/20 Journey multi-journey tickets.
It would not affect people who use their concessionary bus pass to travel.
You can find out which services are affected and take part in the consultation on www.essex.gov.uk/busfares
or telephone 0345 743 0430.