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Change of heart on bus fare price rise after pressure from councillor

By The Cornishman  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

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BUS FARES due to rise by around 35 per cent last weekend have been altered following pressure from a Cornwall councillor.

Sue James, of St Just in Penwith, wrote to the First group's headquarters in Plymouth before Christmas after the company's plans to increase ticket prices came to light.

From Sunday fares between Pendeen and Penzance were set to rise by up to £2, with a return journey costing travellers £7.50 – previously £5.50.

But she has been told by the operator that a return fare will instead go up by 50p, and will be usable for up to five days instead of just one. A single journey is now reportedly cheaper than before.

Alex Carter, director for First South West, told Councillor James: "I am pleased to confirm we have reviewed the proposed revisions to fares between Pendeen or St Just and Penzance, and from Sunday, when the changes are introduced. These will now be £4 single (a reduction of 30p on the current fare) and £6 return (an increase of 50p, but now valid for five days rather than just on the day of issue as is the case currently)."

Mrs James said it was good news: "Hopefully this will help local people continue to use the bus service. I am really pleased that he has listened to what people have told me and has taken swift action on fares."

However, while the proposed price hikes have been scrapped, the service from Penzance to St Just and Pendeen that was changed at the end of 2013 remains. Residents voiced concern and sent a petition to First after the route saw its buses stop halfway into Pendeen, leaving some with a longer walk to the bus stop, reduced disability access and a longer journey time.

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