Friday, 13 April 2012

ATTACK ON ARRIVA BUS FARES “DISCRIMINATION” AGAINST SOUTHPORT

Lib Dems in Southport have been in the forefront of the campaign for a fairer deal on public transport locally.  At the 28 March meeting of the Southport Area Committee, Cambridge Ward’s Pat Keith raised the issue of the 40% increase in Arriva Child Bus Fares.  She successfully persuaded the councillors to unanimously back a motion calling for Arriva to rethink the massive increase.

Now my Birkdale Ward colleague Councillor Shaw has carried out an investigation which reveals that Arriva charge higher bus fares in Southport and Formby than they do in Liverpool.

“I think it’s absolutely disgraceful.  Our local Arriva bus fares are clearly excessive,” comments Simon.

“A single journey from Hillside to Southport town centre is now £2.30 for an adult, or £1.50 for a child.  In Liverpool, Arriva would only charge £2.00 adult or £1.30 for a child for the same length journey.  Why are Southport and Formby residents being discriminated against?”

Councillor Shaw points out that Arriva’s Southport buses are anyway likely to be some of the most profitable in the company.

“When I was first elected as a councillor in the 1980s I served on the Passenger Transport Committee when the buses were publicly operated by the MPTE.  The Committee used to get regular financial reports and they always showed that the Southport Division had the lowest net costs in the whole of the MPTE.”

“The simple fact is that Southport is an ideal shape to run a profitable bus company – it’s long and thin, so that you can run lots of efficient routes starting at one end of the town and ending at the other.”

“I’m convinced that Arriva are using their near-monopoly position in Southport to rake in excessive profits at the expense of local passengers.”

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