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More bus fares set for an increase

A First Manchester bus on the guided busway
A First Manchester bus on the guided busway

A second bus operator in the borough has introduced bus fare rises for 2018.

First Manchester, which runs the guided busway services in Leigh and Atherton, has increased the price of a number of single and weekly or monthly tickets.

A spokesman said: “Not all fares are changing but most singles and day/week/month and season tickets will increase in price. Many tickets bought using our mTickets phone app will continue to be cheaper than those bought from the driver and using mobile tickets helps to speed up boarding times for passengers.”

The increase will also cover the V1 and V2 Vantage services, which run along the guided busway from Leigh and Atherton to Manchester city centre and on to Manchester Royal Infirmary. A single will leap to £1.80, from £1.50. Likewise single tickets on the 582 service, which range from £1 to £2.50, will increase by 20p, Elsewhere all other single journeys, up to £3.30, have increased by 10p.

The mobile day ticket has risen from £4.20 to £4.50, while the equivalent bought from the driver will increase from £4.50 to £4.80. The night bus ticket is also now £4.40, instead of £4. An off-peak group fare changes from £9 to £9.50. The weekly mobile ticket is now £15, rather than £14, and the on-bus equivalent is £16, and not £15.

The monthly mobile ticket is pegged at £54, up from £50, and the on-bus alternative is £58, rather than £54. An annual ticket is £570 instead of £540, it has been confirmed.

Stagecoach had already confirmed a number of single fare rises in the New Year. No plans for rises have been announced by either Atherton-based Diamond North West or Jim Stones Coaches in Leigh.

And there has been controversy over a decision to increase rail fares by 30p for off-peak and peak tickets.

A Northern spokesman said: “Northern is delivering new trains, improved trains, better stations and more services to transform local rail for current and future customers in the North by 2020. Fares are an important factor in enabling the investment that will make this happen and ensure the railway continues to support our customers, communities and the regional economy.”