A MOVE to slash bus ticket prices in Barnsley has been welcomed by bosses in the town - just weeks after transport providers were condemned for planning to take advantage of lockdown restrictions easing by hiking up fares.
A discount of up to 25 per cent will be applied to all adult TravelMaster tickets - from today until September 27 - after South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis announced an eight-week summer reduction.
It comes after public transport firms including Stagecoach and First performed a U-turn on their plans to lift fares in June following criticism from Dan, who is also Barnsley Central’s MP.
TravelMaster said they have put plans to apply the five per cent price rise to their range of products on hold, but may introduce price changes later this year.
Dan said: “I’m really pleased to be able to announce this significant discount.
“We have already made journeys much cheaper for 21 and under with our Zoom passes, now it’s time for everyone else to enjoy cheaper bus and tram tickets.
“I hope everyone takes advantage of this discount over the summer, whether that’s to get to work, see family and friends or to visit some of the fantastic sights this area has to offer.
“A well-used public transport network is key to getting us out of our cars.
“This has been a tough time for all of us, so I hope this discount makes everyone’s lives that bit easier and gets us back on public transport.”
The 25 per cent discount equates to around £4 off weekly tickets and £16 off monthly passes.
Dan added: “It was immensely frustrating that last month the operators decided that they now wished to be treated like any other business, and hike fares by five per cent.
“They tried to dress this up as being about ‘ensuring value for money for taxpayers’ - it was a smash-and-grab move designed to make a profit out of the pockets of the travelling public.
“Under pressure from us, they backed down and announced that the planned fare rises will not go ahead - for now.
“It’s a promise they must keep until we are completely out of the woods.”
Coun Sir Steve Houghton, leader of Barnsley Council, added: “We have an ambition to make the borough accessible to everyone.
“Affordable public transport allows people to visit places across the borough like our parks, local high streets and the town centre.
“More importantly, it opens up employment opportunities for people right across Barnsley and the South Yorkshire region.
“The discounted tickets are a great way to encourage people to get back on public transport safely, and I hope it provides some financial support to families as we move forward through the pandemic.”