Bury North MP James Frith has slammed the decision by First to raise bus fares from January 2018, saying that complaints he has received about First bus services mean fare rises are not acceptable.

First have announced that most single, day/week/month and season tickets will increase in price from 2nd January. Managing Director of First Manchester, Phil Medlicott, justified the increases by referring to the rising costs the business faces. First closed their Bury depot earlier this year and cancelled the popular X35 express route from Ramsbottom into Manchester and have received criticism for buses not turning up or turning up late due to their failure to recruit enough drivers.

Speaking after the announcement of the fare hike, James said:

“This announcement will rightly anger many local residents, who frequently report to me their experiences of very poor services provided by First. I regularly hear about buses not turning up or turning up very late. I first reported these issues to First several months ago but no improvements have been made. To cancel vital routes like the X35, deliver a poor service on other routes and hike fares at a time when families are struggling is unacceptable and only adds to the appetite of passengers for re-regulated bus services.”

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