The cost of using the Park & Ride in Bath is set to go up from next month, with some tickets increasing by more than twice the rate of inflation.
From the 1st April, the cost of a weekday return ticket is to go up from £3 to £3.20, a rise of nearly 7%, whilst a ten-journey pass will increase by over 8% from £12 to £13. Weekend return tickets will remain at £2.50 per person.
The price increase has sparked renewed calls from Conservative councillors for a discounted monthly or season pass to be introduced on the Park & Rides to encourage more commuters out of their cars and onto the buses.
Following pressure by Conservative councillors, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport agreed last year to work with FirstBus on the possibility of creating a monthly or season pass as well as a ‘multi-person ticket’ to make using the Park & Rides cheaper for families and car loads of visitors to the city. However, no progress has so far been made on delivering either of these proposals.
Conservative shadow spokesman for Transport, Cllr Tim Warren, said:
“The Council should be trying to encourage more commuters and visitors to use our Park and Rides, not put them off through above-inflation price rises. The expansion of the Park and Rides will already bolster the profits of FirstBus, so the need for these fare increases seems highly questionable.
“Unfortunately, when B&NES signed the new contract to run the Park and Rides it handed over control of the fares to FirstBus, so it’s hardly surprising we’re now seeing price rises.
“At the moment, it can work out cheaper for a group of three to drive into Bath and park in the city centre for the day than use the Park and Ride. This seems to make no sense at all. We’ve called on B&NES to work with First on introducing a multi-person ticket to make the Park and Rides more attractive for car-sharers and a cheaper monthly ticket to attract more commuters. So far we’ve heard nothing on what progress has been made on these ideas. This doesn’t appear to show much effort from the Lib Dems in promoting a sustainable transport policy.”