Bus fares up in parts of Norfolk
- Credit: Archant
Bus passengers in some parts of Norfolk will face higher fares as the cost of fuel rockets as a consequence of the war in Ukraine.
Pump prices have surged to record levels since the UK joined the boycott of Russian oil. Diesel is nudging £2 a litre and there are fears prices could go even higher. The massive leap has led to calls on the government to cut VAT on fuel to soften the blow.
Holt-based Sanders Coaches, which operates services across Norwich, north Norfolk and the Broads, said it would be raising ticket prices by 6pc from Monday.
It said in a statement: "It is regrettable that we have to announce a fare increase of approximately 6pc on all our bus services. We are sure that you will have noticed the cost of fuel has risen dramatically at the pump and unfortunately this has had a massive impact on our running costs without any guarantees of how high fuel prices are going to continue to rise in the coming days."
It added the 6pc rise was "slim in comparison" to the increased costs to the business but it did not wish to hit passengers "too heavily".
A 6pc rise would see an adult return from Aylsham to Norwich go up from £6.30 to £6.70, an adult return from Norwich to Cromer up from £6.90 to £7.30 and a an adult return from Fakenham to Holt from £5.70 to £6.
Jeremy Cooper, managing director of Dereham-based Konectbus, said its fares would be rising but not because of increasing fuel prices.
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"Fuel prices are not an immediate concern to us as we have hedging in place," he said "However, as it is three years since we increased fares we will soon have to reflect the increases in CPI [Consumer Prices Index] in that time in what we charge."
King's Lynn-based Lynx said it had no plans to increase fares at present.
Simon Williams, fuel spokesman for the RAC, said it was calling on chancellor Rishi Sunak to take action, adding: "One thing he could do is reduce VAT on petrol and diesel.
"At the moment, just the VAT, which is of course called a tax on a tax, is bringing 26 pence per litre so, bringing that back to 15% would instantly cut it by about six pence per litre."