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National Express Buses – Signals Big Fare Freeze!

I had an email from National Express West Midlands which outlined its bus fares policy for the coming year. Here it is for you to look at. In short there will be many public transport users who will be pleased at the company’s overall policy which is to freeze fares. They tell me “Our strategy is all about more happy passengers, and providing great value for money is key to this.

So in January we’re freezing most of our West Midlands bus fares, and cutting them for commuters and young people.

There are some impressive headlines:
• All of our cash fares will stay the same in January as they are now. This is the third year in a row that they’ve been frozen. We’ve seen good growth in sales as a result.
• Our biggest-selling product, the off-peak daysaver, will cost the same in 2020 as it did in 2014. Compare our zero percent to other cities, such as Manchester which has seen a 20% increase over that period.
• To help encourage regular commuting, we’re discounting the price of the regional weekly travelcard by 50p.
• And we’re cutting the price of the under-18s daysaver, to encourage more trips from this fast-growing part of the population.
Only one group of passengers will see a slight increase in fares; as the current discounts for paying via the app or contactless will end. Research shows that the convenience of these channels means we don’t need to make them cheaper than cash.

Overall, nine out of ten journeys will cost the same or less in January than they do today.

This is all part of our approach to grow revenue through volume growth. We’re preparing a major marketing campaign for early 2020 to capitalise on these great fares.”

I am sure that this policy will be very welcome by many groups of passengers, many of whom will already feeling the economic pinch. Lets hope that the company also continues to grow passenger numbers, as the fact is that there is a climate emergency, and traffic fumes are needed to be reduced quickly, My appeal is for the company to buy more new buses allowing newer vehicles to operate in Wolverhampton and Wednesfield.

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Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more

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