Just the ticket for easy travel in Wiltshire

Wiltshire Times: Paul Matthews Paul Matthews

Simpler fares and greater discounts for children and students will be introduced on all First buses in Wiltshire next month.

Following a six-week public consultation the bus operator, which manages routes across Bristol, Bath and into north and west Wiltshire, has revealed its new fare structure.

Single fares will now be based purely on the distance travelled, with all one-way tickets costing £1.50-£5.50. Return fares have been removed, with a new ‘West of England’ all-day ticket available for £7. Weekly, monthly and annual tickets will also be available.

The new structure would mean a journey less than three miles will be £1.50, from three to six miles £2.50, six to nine miles £3.50, nine to 12 miles £4.50, and anything over 12 miles £5.50.

First West of England managing director Paul Matthews, said: “We have tried to ensure that as many people as possible benefit, but accept that there will be a small number of people who may see their fares increase.

“This is especially so where flat fares are introduced as these have to be set at an average point. Flat fares are however very easy to understand, and once implemented people – be they permanent residents or visitors to the area – will instantly know how much the journey will cost.”

Other changes will see all children aged five to 15 receive an automatic 50 per cent discount, where they currently get anything between 25 and 35 per cent.

Young people aged 16 to 21 will get a 30 per cent discount if they use a First ID card on their journey. These will be free for anyone at school or in full-time education, or will cost £10 per year for those in employment. Under-fives will continue to travel for free.

New family tickets will also be available for £14.

Mr Matthews said: “Enc-ouraging young people to use public transport is important to us as it helps engender long-term patterns of behaviour.”

First Bus are drawing up the new fares for all bus routes in the country, with further information to be made available soon.

The new fares will come into effect on July 6.

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