Commuters face rise in Metrolink prices

This Is Lancashire: Commuters face rise in Metrolink prices Commuters face rise in Metrolink prices

Commuters using the Metrolink will face an average fare increase of 4.2 per cent next year.

From January, the price of an adult return ticket from Bury, Radcliffe or Whitefield stations into Manchester at peak times will rise by 20p to £6.10, an increase of 3.4 per cent.

Similarly, a peak-time journey from Prestwich to Manchester will cost £5.40 — a 10p rise.

Metrolink bosses say that the rise will help to meet operation costs, and contribute towards the £1.5 billion Greater Manchester Transport Fund, to invest in improvements and extensions.

They also say the price hike will focus on making fares simpler, more consistent and more transparent, with some journey fares rising by more than 4.2 per cent and some less than that amount.

An annual adult pass from Bury into Manchester will increase by £40 to £1,000, a rise of 4.2 per cent. However, the price of a monthly adult pass from Bury into Manchester will fall by £3, to £87.

Quarterly season tickets and four-day adult Travelcards will be withdrawn to make way for a new smart ticketing system named ‘Get Me There’, dubbed as Manchester’s answer to the Oystercard. Cllr Andrew Fender, chairman of the Transport for Greater Manchester committee, said: “At a time when local authorities are facing significant budget pressures, it is vital that Metrolink can cover its own operating costs without any burden on the public purse.

“The Retail Price Index indicates how much operating costs have changed in the past year in real terms, and fares increase by that level to meet those costs. Put simply, what cost £100 last year now costs £103.20, and that needs to be accounted for.

He added: “Metrolink is, of course, in the midst of unprecedented investment, growth and exciting change. By 2016, the network will have trebled to 60 miles in size, with 94 trams serving 93 stops across a number of new lines.

“At the same time, we are in the final stages of replacing all 32 of the original trams with brand new vehicles as part of a near-£200 million fleet investment, and we’ve opened a second, state-of-the-art depot and operational HQ in Trafford.”

Commuters can check how the price rises will affect them by visiting the Metrolink website at www.metrolink.co.uk/tickets/Pages/fares.aspx.

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