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Councillor fury as First Bus drives up passenger fares

21 December 2018

Councillor Phil Burke. Our transport spokesman has hit out at planned price hikes for First Bus passengers in January 2019, amid claims of shoddy service.

Councillor Phil Burke, who represents us on the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, condemned the increases, which will hit wallets from Wednesday, 2 January 2019.

He also slammed moves which will mean people who have the First Bus MTickets App on their phones will avoid price rises on certain routes, which those without the app will have to shoulder.

"I've received upwards of 70 complaints from residents about First Bus services this year" – Councillor Phil Burke

He said “People already pay a lot of money to travel around the borough and into Manchester and as First Bus is the main provider, our residents don’t have much choice but to use them.

“Bus passengers can’t afford price rises, but it’s a particularly bitter pill to swallow when the service is so poor. I’ve received upwards of 70 complaints regarding First Bus services this year from residents all across our borough. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve raised these issues with First Bus, but all I hear from them is excuses. What we don’t see is any action.”

Issues raised include buses missing off large sections of routes

Councillor Burke highlighted a number of issues passengers have raised with him about the service, including buses missing off large sections of routes, often without letting passengers know when they board the bus, not running at all and being severely delayed.

He also condemned moves to freeze hikes of certain routes, but only for users of the app, as discriminatory towards people who don’t use smartphones.

“A lot of people in our borough, particularly older bus users, won’t necessarily have access to apps, and it can’t be right that they are being penalised for this,” he added. 

Councillor Burke will formally raise the issue at the next Transport for Greater Manchester committee meeting 

Councillor Burke is planning to raise the issue at the next meeting of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee on Thursday, 10 January 2019.

He said: “Although we can’t reverse these unacceptable increases, the very least we can expect, especially in light of these rises, is that the many issues we’ve raised about the unacceptable level of service by First Bus are tackled once and for all. It’s the least our residents should be able to expect.”