Pupils hit by bus fare hike

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 November 2013


A RECENT hike in bus fares left pupils struggling to get home from a Portishead school.

Teenagers from Gordano School travelling to homes in Nailsea and Wraxall were oblivious to changes to public transport services introduced earlier this month, until they were asked to pay more when they boarded their bus home.

The 66 hopper service travelling from Portishead to Nailsea and Wraxall was replaced by service X8 on November 4. Youngsters who had previously paid 70p for a journey were asked to pay up to £2.55, leaving them borrowing from fellow students to allow them to get home.

Michelle Lacey, whose son is one of the pupils affected, said: “We live in Wraxall and my son catches the bus home from Bristol Road in Portishead each day. It is not a very long journey which used to cost 70p but it is now costing £2.55. This is a ridiculous increase and we had no warning, leaving my son unable to get home on the first day until someone stepped in to lend him the extra money.”

A North Somerset Council spokesman said: “The service 66 was supported by North Somerset Council but the new service, covered by First, is not and so they set their own fares.”

The X8 also serves Portbury Village, but the axing of the 66 hopper has inconvenienced residents in other areas. Unlike the hopper, service X8 does not serve North Weston, Walton Bay, Redcliffe Bay or Cabstand. Instead, the Portishead Community Bus will extend its route to include these areas, but it only operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The changes follow the introduction of a new commuter coach service, currently offering a two-month free trial service, which provides Portishead with four journeys a day, Monday to Friday to the North Bristol area.

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