I’ve written several posts on corporate tax dodgers and greed and this week, none was more surprised to be confronted by another example of this just a minute from where I live when I got on my local bus.
Imagine my surprise when my bus ticket increased from £10 to £15 overnight. A figure so obscene and unjustified that my bus driver was angry enough to say he was disgusted and that someone should go to the local newspaper about it. In fact the rise was so disproportionate that some passengers simply did not believe the driver that the price had increased so much which resulted in arguments.
I don’t mind prices going up by 2-3% a year or even sometimes 10% but whoever heard of a bus ticket going up 50% from one day to the next. Whilst even this figure doesn’t bother me overly much as I simply claim it as a cost on by business travel, I thought it was very unfair to others in my neighbourhood who aren’t all as fortunate as myself.
This multi-journey ticket is also proportionately much cheaper than single or return tickets which are around £3.70. Can you imagine paying $6 for a bus ticket of just 2 or 3 miles…. astonishing when just a few miles away in London you can have a bus journey lasting 8 or 10 miles for just £1. Me thinks Arriva Buses are ripping off consumers.
So I went to the local newspaper who were more than interested in the story, so much so that it ended up being one of the most commented upon reports in the town this week. Incredibly the spokeswoman for the rip-off Arriva Bus company doesn’t even try to deny the 50% increase and defends it as enhancing the service.
I see it as another purely money-grabbing exercise from this multi-national conglomerate…. this one from Germany. I don’t know if they have ever been on their own buses but in the rush hour there is no room to even stand in comfort, let alone access wifi. In the quieter day time periods, most of the passengers are so old and frail, they can barely beep their free bus-pass onto the card reader, I’ve never heard one person ask about wi-fi. I have however heard lots of people complaining about the poor and now ever more expensive service.
You can see the report below!
A passenger is boycotting a bus firm after it hiked its prices by 50 per cent overnight.
Stephen Liddell, 43, has used the Arriva number 10 bus service, which goes from Woodside to Holywell Estate, for more than 10 years. For the past four years he has paid £10 for ten journeys, but when he boarded the bus yesterday he was shocked to discover that the price had risen to £15.
There was no prior warning and he said the bus driver agreed that the inflation was not justified.
He said: “I honestly think this could be the biggest ticket price rise in history. Arriva are absolutely taking the mick.
“The buses are no quicker or cleaner, and the drivers certainly aren’t getting a pay rise, so how can they actually justify this?
“The route is really popular with schoolchildren too so it seems strange that they’d increases the prices. I won’t be using the service in future because it doesn’t make any sense to – it’s cheaper for me to drive and park in town.”
Several bus routes have recently been axed in Watford, and Mr Liddell said sharp price increases will deter people from using public transport.
He said: “The bus companies have closed down several routes in Watford in the last few years – if they put the prices up 50 per cent overnight then who can blame residents for not using them. In the end, only those without alternatives will use the buses and then it will be too late to save the routes.
“The buses are always late too, and the traffic can be appalling in the busy periods; pricing out people from using the buses doesn’t seem to be a good idea to reduce congestion and help the environment.
“I also worry that many poorer people might not afford to be able to travel into town as much as they would like, which will impact on the wider community as well as their health and happiness.”
But an Arriva spokesperson, who claims they have not increased ticket prices for two years, said the price hike will “enhance” the service.
Rachel Knight said: “We are investing a significant sum of money across the Southern Counties region this year to enhance our fleet and services for our customers. As well as new vehicles, this means we can provide free wifi, USB charging points and the latest clean engines to deliver our ambitious environmental targets across Arriva and by 2020.
“We are also putting money into technology with the development of our apps, making paying on your smartphone and tracking a journey much easier. We have recently added the ability to purchase tickets online using a PayPal account, making it easier and more secure than ever before.
You can read the full report on the link below at the Watford Observer website.