Cornwall Council has welcomed the first in a series of low fare initiatives to make bus travel cheaper, easier and more attractive to new passengers.
Working together under the Transport for Cornwall (TfC) partnership, bus companies Cornwall by Kernow, Go Cornwall Bus, Stagecoach, Hopleys, OTS and Travel Cornwall have introduced a series of measures aimed at encouraging more people to jump on board:
- Passengers can now use their bus ticket on any bus covering their journey, regardless of who operates it.
- Individual Day Town Zone tickets which offer unlimited one-day travel within a defined local area have been introduced at £3 for adults and £1.50 for anyone aged 19 or under. For more information on Town Zones and tickets please visit Transport for Cornwall.
- All under-19s can now travel for half the price of an adult fare across all operators.
By joining forces to make it easier for people to access bus services the TfC partnership is paving the way for the Council’s forthcoming reduced bus fares pilot scheme, said the council.
Expected to begin in the spring, the scheme will significantly reduce the cost of bus travel in a move to encourage more people to swap their cars for public transport and help cut Cornwall’s carbon emissions.
The Council has also submitted a Bus Service Improvement Plan to the Government in response the National Bus Strategy and bid for £77m in funding over the next three years to make public transport in Cornwall easier to use, more reliable, affordable and greener.
Philip Desmonde, Cornwall’s cabinet member for transport, said: “These fares and ticketing improvements for passengers are the first step on an exciting journey for the new Transport for Cornwall partnership between the Council and transport operators. We have listened to passengers and worked with the operators to develop a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) – our vision for buses – that places customers’ needs at the heart of the network.
“Residents have told us that they want services that deliver value for money, and we are delighted that the Partnership is delivering this. Our Bus Service Improvement Plan provides the opportunity for continued investment in buses and supports the delivery of a low-carbon Cornwall. This will help connect our communities in a way that is reliable, efficient, safe, inclusive and enjoyable.”
Martyn Alvey, Cornwall’s cabinet member for environment and climate change, said: “Road transport makes up around a quarter of all of Cornwall’s carbon emissions, so we want to encourage residents to use greener travel methods. It is fantastic news that our bus operators are helping to make public transport more accessible and convenient for as many people as possible.
“We encourage everyone to try and switch at least one of their weekly journeys to using public transport which will have a positive effect in lowering their carbon emissions and helping us to make Cornwall carbon neutral.”
As well as promoting bus travel the Council is leading a series of green travel initiatives including expanding Cornwall’s electric vehicle charge points, switching its own vehicles to low carbon models, improving cycle and footpaths and developing a green travel plan for employees.
David Sidebottom from transport user watchdog Transport Focus said: “It’s great to see Cornwall Council and operators taking steps to make it easy to hop on and off buses without having to worry about buying the wrong ticket.
“Our research has shown that Cornwall’s bus passengers wanted better value for money fares. These plans, including cheaper travel for under 19s, should drive up passenger satisfaction and encourage more people to give bus a go. These things are vital in winning passengers back and attracting new ones.”