A fare rise on buses across Leeds is to go ahead, despite opposition from students.
As of January 2 next year, fares on First Buses in Leeds will see an average increase of 7 per cent, with £1 single tickets rising by 10p.
The Union’s Community Officer Ben Fisher, has confirmed that the Headingley to Parkinson Steps bus route, mostly used by students, will be exempt from the rises. The route had been a focal point of campaigns during the leadership elections in March.
Alongside this fare freeze, the newly established Liberty Dock to Parkinson Steps route will also remain at £1 per single ticket.
Speaking to Leeds Student, Fisher stated that he was “really pleased” with the frozen fares for University routes, but added “it’s a shame that the other routes have been increased.”
A petition launched by the chair of the Leeds Labour Student Committee, Jonathan Pryor, is calling for a reversal of the price rises, arguing that First’s decision comes at “the wrong time […] when the cost of living is increasing and incomes are falling.”
Speaking to this paper, Pryor said that he was “shocked” at the fare rises, stating that “the real problem is that First operates in an unregulated market and can charge whatever they like.”
“The Union should keep fighting to keep all fares at £1. Students don’t live in a bubble where they only travel from Headingley to the Parkinson Steps.”
Fabian Hamilton, MP for North East Leeds, echoed Pryor’s concerns, criticising First’s “virtual monopoly” for causing “misery” in the city.
In a statement, First justified their price rises by pointing to “rising costs to businesses.”
Words: Max Bruges
Photo: Leo Garbutt