West Midlands bus fares to be increased

Bus fares in the West Midlands are to rise, with the cost of a one-way bus journey to hit the £2 mark for the first time, it was announced today.

National Express West Midlands bus

A 10p rise will come into effect on National Express West Midlands services from January 2. Daysaver and Travelcard fares are also set to go up.

The company, which runs the majority of the region’s buses, blamed soaring fuel prices and other business costs for the increase.

However, it said the rise will allow it to support the introduction of “smartcards” in 2013, which will let passengers pre-pay for their travel and potentially allow it to offer savings.

Daysavers will also rise by 10p from £3.80 to £3.90 for adults and from £2.60 to £2.70 for children, and Travelcards by 50p a week from £15.

Monthly Travelcards valid across the West Midlands will go up from £54 to £55.50 or from £48 to £49.50 if bought by direct debit.

Travelcards for the Black Country will go up from £13.50 to £14 for weekly passes or from £47.50 to £49 for monthly ones or £42 to £43.50 for those bought by direct debit. All other fares will stay the same.

Peter Coates, managing director for National Express West Midlands said: “We have kept the increase to a minimum, with the average change in line with inflation. The price rise will allow us to continue our significant investment into the region’s bus network and meet rising business costs such as fuel.”

Wolverhampton councillor Ian Claymore hit out at the increase. He said: “This will clobber working people who rely on the buses.

“National Express is a private company that puts its interests before the public. We should seriously consider bringing bus services back under the control of local authorities so that the interests of the fare-paying public come first.”

Comments for: "West Midlands bus fares to be increased"

Andy C

It's a good thing the Green Bus runs past my house. They charge a reasonable fare, the drivers speak English and they actually turn up on time.

james

Yeah but the green bus offers a 20 min service and they have also increased their fare by a massive 50% from £1.00 to £1.50... even though they are cheaper, with 20 min service is it worth waiting in the cold, snowing or rainy weather!

Andy C

Well it is worth it if you know what time the bus is due. I just go out in time for it and perhaps wait 5 minutes.

PerryFamily

The Green Bus is brilliant. The drivers are nice and the buses are clean. They charge £1.50 and National Express charge £2. The Green Bus every time for us!

james

yeah that's great but only on 1 route!

Steve Shields.

I'ts cheaper to travel by taxi ! Door to door !

Dave

I thought most taxi companies had a standard minimum fare they charge - usually around £3.50.

I would pay almost the same in two days if I got the taxi to & from work (roughly £10 each eay) than I would in a month with my bus pas which is £42 (to be increased to £43.50)

jason

Stopped using the buses a long time as it was too expensive, and this latest price rises will see a lot more people not using buses unless it a real emergency.It will work out cheap to get to wolverhampton centre by taxi then by bus!

Stacey wolves

I think that's absolutely disgusting £2.00 to catch the bus so basically if there is two of you it's probably cheaper or about the same price to get a taxi for a one way journey!!! The buses are never on time, drivers often rude and the state that some of the buses are in is a disgrace! Where are all the profits going??? Over £40 a month for a bus pass!!! How can this be justified!

Peter

It is too high, I agree. Diamond do some good saver ticeks if they run by you? When I was in London the bus one-way was on £1.35 by Oyster smart card. If people stop using Travel West Midlands they would soon stop and listen - although they make a lot of money from taxpayers subsidies.

Kate

I second what Peter says. I almost exclusively catch diamond buses now. Better service, cheaper prices (daysavers are currently priced at £3.70, not sure if they are set to go up), and most of the time they are more reliable than Travel West Midlands. Now if only they ran slightly later into the evening and on more routes we'd be sorted.

Cath

Kate buy a Nbus daysaver it costs £4 and you can get on any bus except the Green bus. The Nbus ticket is not adertised enough and Travel West Midlands cover less and less areas every year.

Le

Peter's right; I live in London and it costs £1.35 (flat fare - any distance) on a bus in London an Oyster Card. £2.00 for a single bus fare (1 mile from parents' house to Dudley) is a complete rip off!

I think I'll carry on with what I do when I buy my train tickets from London to Birmingham online. State that I'll coming home on a Saturday and buy a Bus Plus ticket with my ticket for £2.70 (any bus network, anywhere, any time of the stated day)

And as for the metro....biggest rip off going; more expensive mile for mile then the tube!

basher

dont agree with you regarding rubbish on bus,s.its you the travelling public who put it there,ie; food cartons,cans,bottles,fag ends, spit, not to mention the appaling vandalism,window etching,grafitti and generally doing any damage that comes to mind.

bobwolf101

It states in the article that the fare rise is to help in the cost implementation of Smartcards. So scrap the smartcards! And keep the fares as they are.

Personally speaking I don't use buses but others do!

james

Smart cards and electronic oap and disabled pass - its just a way of tracking us

Sam H

great picture isnt it people? Bus prices are rising because of costs yet they have replaced those old buses with brand new ones... Why not keep that money and keep the cost the same? Economy going down the pan

Martin

The majority of services in the Bilston area and some other parts of Wolverhampton are operated by older Buses. Birmingham, Coventry, Sandwell and Walsall have received large numbers of Brand new buses. The older vehicles displaced by these new ones are often transferred to Wolverhampton.

james

totally agree, the old buses where fine, they buy new fleets, all at the same time, and then they all start failing at the same time, so more new buses,

wolvo

too expensive especially for someone on benefits and looking for work, especially in the winter. andy c, your remark about drivers language skills, is irrelevant to the cost of bus fares.

snoddy

It has everything to do with it how do they read the signs or are you saying they should have interpreters

Spinklesmagix

People on benefits can/do claim their fairs/travel back off the jobcenter, when they take their tickets into them when looking for work as proof of job search.

Unlike me who work and on a low income.

Jonah

The simple answer is to do what I have done and boycott this rip off greedy bus company.

james

totally agree time to stand up - everyone should if they can, use the bus 1 less journey per week and see how that hits nxwm

Matt

I had the misfortune of using the bus twice a day for 4 years and was studiously ignored by all drivers during that time, as I'm sure most passengers are. National Express treat customers like cattle and, unfortunately, have a monopoly on the market meaning they can constantly hike prices. My direct debit payments went up by 10% a year on average when I had a travel pass, well outstripping inflation. The Chancellor deferred then scrapped the fuel tax hike, so that's not a viable excuse either. Terrible company and I feel for those forced to rely on the dismal service.

sarah

Their job is to drive you to your destination, not to have a chat with everyone that comes on.

Matt

So it's fine to blank customers in any other industry? No-one expects a protracted conversation, just polite, professional courtesy, like returning a greeting, or acknowledging a customer's presence. Barely happened to me over 4 years, and when it did it was the same guy, who seemed decent. A rarity.

Anon

Drivers are not allowed to speak to passengers as they can get into trouble for it

james

But don't get into trouble when they don't run there bus on time! they may as well re-do the timetables in crayon - or rather than time just put maybe some buses between these hours!

KT

I agree with Matt you are treated like cattle only cattle by animal legislation are allowed a certain space, most drivers must have a competion to see how many people they can cram on a bus. { national express }not very good service either no explanation when buses are missed out or late. and taxis are cheaper if you have a family.must be the best incentive to learn to drive ever if you can afford it. politicians encourage us to use it they so obviously never ever use it do they .

Pete

No wonder people dont use public transport, they are never going to get people to use bus services and leave their cars at home, they are pesistantly late, expensive and in my opinion not worth the hassle if you got to get connections at other stops, I'm sticking to my car !!!!

driver

no doubt the drivers will get it in the neck as per. Buses are never on time right think b4 u speak we are being watch like big brother under cover passengers moniterin our driveing traffic log systems witch clock how fast we go how hard we turn and how hard we break. Time tables witch would would be more suited for the bullet train. As for buses being dirty dont be dirty sods and take ur rubbish with u. Until u have done the job and trod the egg shells that we do everyday then u moan about the busses being late

dave

lets hope your driving is better than your spelling...

james

What would be the point, most of the drivers don't even speak to you! they just hide in the little cab!

Bus User 1

I'm sorry but National Express are one of the cheapest operators in the country, if you think £2 is expensive you should try arriva, first or stage coach. And yes green bus may be cheaper, but how many routes do they actually have, and this week they increased their £1 flat fare to £1.50 The main reason ? the cost of petrol, plus national express have lots more buses than the green bus do, so that comes into the tiny 10p price increase and i'd like to see you get a taxi every day for the same amount a monthly bus pass would cost and if you went to any of their travel shops you can get a packk of 5 daysavers for £3.50 each.

And for people on benefits who are looking for work, you may want to look at the work wise website. You can get free travel. and next year green bus prices are likely to increase too, so even if it is cheaper now it won't be for long. Last year prices went up more, this year the company has kept them as low as they possibly could. Centro set the maximum a bus company can charge so Diamond, Arriva Midlands and others in the network west midlands area will also do the same.

National Express is the biggest and thats the only reason people moan about prices.

Neswulf

Sadly, for Wolverhampton, WorkWise only covers selected wards:

Bilston East, Bilston North, Blakenhall, East Park, Ettingshall, Graiseley, Heath Town, Spring Vale and St Peter's - though worth looking into if you live in these areas.

The whole of Dudley, Sandwell & Walsall are covered. Selected wards in Birmingham.

Neswulf

I have family members who are out of work at the moment, and they often choose to walk in all weather because of the cost at the moment - let alone when another 10p is added per journey. £2.00 for a one way ticket (even if it's just a few stops) is ridiculous. As stated, there are now cases where it is cheaper to get a taxi from A to B.

The smarcards if they come into effect (like the Oyster Card) would be beneficial. You get pretty good discounts.

From what I can remember the last time I went to London I think a single fare was around £2.20. I was advised by my friend to get an Oyster Card as we were travelling a lot by public transport - I think it dropped to something like £1.60 or £1.70 for the bus fare.

If a similar scheme can be used in the West Midlands than great - I just hope the people who pay monthly can benefit too!

G Bennett

This attitude from Councillors always amuses me!

What a great idea, we can handover public transport so they can run that into the ground, make a loss and freeze staff pay.

Councillors should really think about sorting out the things they are already in charge of before making a grab at public transport i.e. the pothole ridden roads, the vacuum that is the city centre and the care received by our elderly.

Councillor Claymore also forgot to point out how the taxpayer funded £700 a day consultants, £1.3million union reps or tripled expenses account were in the public interest!

Start doing your job properly before you start applying for others.

Ross

I've lived and worked in Nottingham and North Yorkshire. Both local firms there are cheaper, have more modern, cleaner vehicles, run to time, have friendly and polite drivers and even - shock of shocks - give change. National Express don't half make it look difficult.

Garry

I can travel to Birmingham and back on the train after 6.30pm for £2 so why dont the buses introduce a flat £1 fare after 6.30pm to encourage folk to use the bus......we all knew the price hike was going to happen so its not a suprise but to charge £2 all day just seems a bit daft...bring in a reduced off peak fare!!

Matt

Pretty sure there used to be a cheaper evening fare, but it was scrapped. National Express know they have a captive market, so presumably the thinking was that if people have to use the bus they may as well be forced to pay full price regardless of when they travel.

Bus User 1

This is good for anyone on benefits http://www.networkwestmidlands.com/workwise/WorkWise_Home.aspx

k, Walsall.

I travel from Walsall to Wolverhampton daily and bus route is deplorable, I have no objection to prices having to be increased and it is still much cheaper to do a monthly bus pass on line, but object to having to wait for buses that are never on time and frequently don't turn up, perhaps these things should also be looked at and therefore more people would use public transport if services were more reliable.

Claire

It's disgusting that they are putting the bus fare up again! £2 for a single journey?! So you're saving only 10p by buying a daysaver?! Absolutely pathetic. If they want people to use the buses more then they should LOWER the prices, not rise them. More and more people aren't bothering with buses unless absolutely necessary because of the prices. Look at unemployed people? How are they meant to afford these bus prices when we're expected to go up to 90 minutes travel to find work. I find it utterly astounding they wish to up the prices again already. I have no choice but use the buses. It's just crazy! It's cheaper to get the train sometimes than buses!

james

Its a race to the bottom now, not the top, my big question is if nxwm was to go bust! who then operates the buses as they operate 7/10 services or close to that - the regulators have allowed NXWM to get too large and have too many routes

james

National express have always beaten the drum when it comes to routes and prices, and are far to large in the west midlands area and need to be reduced in size and services offered to others!

Also National express service are getting worse, not just a few min's late but sometime don't even turn up, the regulator need to get a grip and make sure these private company's do what they are surpost to do run service on time and not massively over crouding on buses - example 126 service! because they are late or service missed - bus company's should be fined for this!

Bus User 1

the 126 runs accross the main routes in the west midlands for traffic problems, as does the 79 and 529, late buses is expected as there are always traffic jams, the only way to stop it is to put bus lanes in but that would cost too much money. The 126 has been diverted today due to a major crash on birmingham new road there's no way national express could change this

james

yes that maybe true, but they offer a timetable and they should keep to more or less these time, or its misleading the public, - 126 sometime does not turn up at all or they go passed not-in-service! but i guess the fare paying passengers are paying for that bus to travel empty - delays are not 1 or 2 mins late iv'e waited 40 mins for a 126, what are the inspectors doing, probably the same as the drivers, drinking tea,

1 driver of bus route 81, arrive 10 mins before it was due out, driver gets out! goes to their canteen and then come back 5 mins late! that's not down to traffic, or crashes its down to being bone idle!

Helen

Its a disgrace putting bus fares up to £2!!!! you wouldn't mind if the bus were on time and clean, half the buses are knackered..... I was made redundant in July, and finding it really hard to get work, how do the expect people to pay these sort of prices..... This country is one BIG joke!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

staff

I love how people moan about the fares going up, yet they hardly moan when their bus is vandalised!!!. that 10p increase per passenger covers: fuel, insurance, wages, wear and tear, road tax, and other things besides so i dont really think a 10p increase is all that bad. NXWM are among the cheapest in the country too, an example is on the 126 from Wolverhampton to Birmingham it is currently £1.90 for a single so how much do you think Arriva, First or Stagecoach would charge for that same journey because it wouldn't be that cheap. Something else to bear in mind is the people who evade paying the fare or use out of date travelcards who we are not allowed to confront. if we confront these people then we can get in serious trouble and even lose our jobs so before people start moaning about 10p being added to their fare try thinking of some of the things just mentioned and if after all that you are still not happy then dont use the bus and find another way.

Sprinklesmagix

I agree with some of the points you have made, but on the other hand whilst a single trip from Wholverhampton to Birmingh will be costing £2.00 it dosent help the ones who are short hops and paying the same.

I gave up on public transport last year and have since started riding a bike (more healthy and cheap in costs). If there were more cycle lanes Im sure more people would take this option of travel due to fuel costs and road tax.

Cllr Richard Whitehouse

I concur with Cllr Ian Claymore's comments. Moreover, why doesn't National Express bring back the evening saver even if its only for the festive season? They managed to last year. It would assist in keeping drunk drivers off the road!

tina

i dont know about fare rise i think the services need sorting first they are crap

Holly

My husband is a bus driver and has been for 35 years.A trolley bus driver to start with i have seen the changes over the years.Young children used to look up to a bus driver and ask a driver for help just like a police officer.My husband loved being a driver but cant wait to get out.These days all you see is earphones and trousers hanging round your backside using the bus service as a freebee.Take a look around in your office and ask yourself what would you say if all day everyday people verbally abused you because you had not done your job fo the day or lit up a joint in your office.Ask a simple question and get told to f***off.As for the buses being cattle trucks have you ever seen yourselves getting on the bus.You dont have the manners to wait for people to get off you cant even be polite enough to take out your earphones and look bemused when the driver does acknowledge you.You are responsible for taking off your rubbish even though it clearly states please do not eat on the vehicle.You dont ask before you put your money in to see if change is given yet it is clearly stated.You dont read the notices that state please do not stand in the gangway or only 2 pushchairs allowed even though it is all CLEARLY stated.The school children using these services dont even pay there fare.The dossers that get on dont pay there fare just take the driver for a mug with there outdated tickets.Ask yourself when you get on the bus why the driver looks fed up.Because unknown to you theyare on camera all through there duty,they are monitored all through there duty on a fitted traffic device how fast they are drving how sharp they press the brakes how qucikly the bus turns and to what degree it leans.Then when it is all processed they are called in for a disciplinary procedure and sacked.Do you have big brother in your office ? And as for the old buses Wolverhampton were the buget money saving garage.All the rubbish buses came from all over the country to save money hence why we have only just seen new buses on various routes.These buses are in service from 3-30 AM.They finish service at 1-30AM.Are you getting the picture that they never get a break.As for running times they have never changed.So when your asked on a 126 to get from Coseley to Wolverhampton in 12 MINUTES ask yourself is that realistic! Is it legal.The answer NO not on and old bus and not at the bus drivers expense.There licence is more precious then speeding.They are providing you a service getting up from 2-30 in the morning not seeing there family.Yes it is part of the job but being screamed at is not.It is not the drivers fault it is the pencil pushers who try and save the money who dont go out to the real world and see it how it is.The times need changing and the passengers attitudes need to change too because they are appalling. As for Centro with there ridiculous surveys winding people up as to what you think of local bus services.What about why are your children smashing up the bus shelters .Do the mothers with children know it was the other passengers that requested less pushchairs on the buses ? Noone forces you to catch the bus it is your choice.The Diamond buses were taken off because they never turned up as there drivers were sleeping on the back of the bus so the tender was given back to National Express.The Green bus only runs because they lost the contracts to the schools so dont penalise National Express just because they are a big company.Go to London and Manchester and pay the prices there.You dont know how lucky you are !

Not True

How many routes run from 3;30am till 1:30am? Probably very few. As for 2 pushchairs your lucky to get 1. If over 2 are we expected to leave our little children in the cold to wait sometimes an hour for the next bus? The service the company offers is a disgrace.

Bus User 1

nobody says no more than 2, the sticker says no more than 2 "Unfolded" buggies, you can always fold pushchairs up like you had to years ago, national express has 100% easy access buses, when i was younger my mom had to fold the push chair all the time. You don't know how lucky you are. Your just plain ungrateful like the rest of the pram faces of the region.

Sprinklesmagix

Well said :)

west brom bus driver

youre spot on holly with your comments,ive done over25 years driving bus,s from mini to bendy,s at various depots and the travelling public or scum as they are known have never had an high regard for the men and women drivers who go out of their way by doing that little bit extra to make sure passengers get to their destination.when i started on the bus,s it was west midlands travel, managed by a dedicated team who had the travelling public,and staff members from all depts backing and working with them to create a worthwile industry to work in

Matt

Your customers - whose fares pay your wages, lest you need reminding - are "scum"? That ignorant comment beggars belief. I agree with some of the more general comments above about SOME people having a disregard for seemingly everyone in society, and by extension those in the service industry, but that's a wider and complex issue. To tar all customers - regardless of age, ethnic background and occupation - with the same brush is nothing short of outrageously moronic. I'd recommend you move to a career in a new industry. Plus, if disrespect and hostility are all you transmit yourself and you view your customers with such outright disdain it probably goes some way to explaining why you receive such seemingly hostile treatment in return.

Sarey

I always used to catch the bus into town at the weekend as I hate driving & parking in town centres, however that has now changed.

Its far cheaper to put up with the traffic & pay for parking than it is to pay bus fare for myself, my partner & our 2 children.

west midlands driver

west mids travel fuel there buses up at nite at each depot they dont pay hiked fuel prices like everyday car usesers so how they can say its due to fuel prices its a load of bull also west midlands travel are makeing money hand over fist as for polite bus drivers try doing our job and put up with the abuse we have to take of customers and school kids which we can not act on buses are dirty because of ppl just dumping there crap on them

JohnB

I use the green bus on a regular basis, and yes they have just increased their fares to £1.50 but they are reliable, friendly and they do give change. They do a a ticket you can buy for the whole week for £10 and use any of their buses as many times as you want. Agree again they don't have many routes but their model is right!

Bus User 1

National express do a pass for £13.50 a week which u can use anywhere in the black country.

james

maybe on the 558 what about there 125 route they did for about 2 weeks - that was good while it lasted, amazing how these company's can pick and choose when and what they do, yet more poor regulation!

£10 weekly ticket is good but if you only have 1 bus service its no really worth it - maybe in birmingham as they operate some other routes but wolves end just 1

NXWM weekley is about 15 quid and they have hundred's of services

Happy traveller

Well done west mids bus`s (national express).

Don`t mind the rise at all. have used the bus`s all my working life (27 yrs), my children have always used them for school.

since being taken over, the service has improved, the modern new bus`s with cctv are so much cleaner, safer.

the drivers are pleasent & friendly.

Have only been late for work twice in recent memory due to late running bus.

also nice to see drivers challenging those who think they can get on a bus without paying, they just switch the engine off and call for assistance, which then gets a majority of the passengers to stand up to these fare dodgers & i`ve seen the miscreants leave the bus, rather quickly!

Well done & keep up the good work!

Matt

Blistering satire.

JohnB

The green bus and smaller companies who don't operate as many routes are the way forward. I, as many other bus users generally only use the one bus service for work. The green bus is on my route so I buy a £10 ticket (used to be £8!) that lasts me the week - brilliant value that suits me!

ANNIE B

The cost of bus fares has risen from 35p maximum single fare in January 2000 to £2.00 in January 2013, an increase of 6 fold or 500%; Now fuel in January 2000 was 67p/litre, in January 2013 likely cost £1.30/litre, an increase of about 100%; So who's conning who? I know the 2000 figures as I moved house that year and used the nearby bus route every day, I also run a business and still have all the fuel receipts; National Express (NE) will blame everything but themselves for the rises, (the fact is fuel is cheaper now than it was 12 months ago) and anyone who keeps tabs on the No1 route (the old 501) can see NO 'investment' has been forwarded our way for 10 years odd; They will counter by saying 'new' buses are to be placed on that route in 2013, but I will believe that when I see it, even if they are, give it a few months before they are on Brumscum routes; I constantly ask NE/Centro what company cars they run for their staff and how often they use the bus network, but no one answers (I believe they have many hundreds of cars for office based staff!); NE make a healthy return of 25% of turnover, massive if you think that accounting tricks would have mitigated tax liability in the first place! What get's me is how NE and Centro give precedence to Brumscumland services, even suggesting a 'cable-car' service,(cost £100m), between New St ( refurbed at a cost approaching £500m) and the new East Side Station (another £500m),via Moor St , yet Wolverhampton could have a brand new, 8 platform station on Carvers site for £150m, yet no lobbying is done by the Brumscum biased Quangos; Time to ditch ALL brumscum based organisations (including the fuzz) and set up our own bus company for the BlackCountry etc etc; It is the only way we will get our fair share; ps contact the Boundaries Commission TODAY to stop the tri-section of Historic WEDNESFIELD, if they can destroy that historic heritage, no place of locality will be safe;