Parents calling for a temporary bus ticket offer for children in Hastings to be made permanent were left disappointed after the promotion ended.
Campaign group Fair Fares for Children (FFC) wanted Stagecoach to keep its £2 dayrider ticket for under-19s which expired on Sunday (April 10).
The bus company announced a new dayrider U19 ticket for £2.50 on Monday (April 11) but the campaigners are not satisfied.
FFC spokesman Anthony Bradnum welcomed Stagecoach’s recognition that child fares should go up to 18-year-olds but the 50p hike is still not affordable.
“Stagecoach’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategy says that ‘to make public transport accessible to all, it has to be affordable’,” he said.
“We say that this ticket is not affordable, and urge Stagecoach to introduce child fares which recognise the extremely difficult financial situation which many families currently find themselves in.”
The £2 promotion was introduced in January and proved so popular it was extended until after the Easter holidays.
Ordinarily it costs £2.70 for a child day return which is only available for under-16s and FFC claims families cannot afford term or yearly passes, which would save money, as the up-front cost is too much.
The new ticket would cost £500 a year per child which Mr Bradnum believes is still too expensive.
A letter urging Stagecoach to keep the £2 dayrider ticket and to take further measures to make child fares affordable to all was signed by 25 residents.
The group hand-delivered the letter to the company’s depot on Beaufort Road, St Leonards, accompanied by a cardboard bus bearing the words, ‘Fair Fares for Children’, last month.
A Stagecoach spokesman said: “As with any offer it’s limited for a period of time and the UK-wide promotion ended on April 10, when fares in the south east would have reverted to the full adult price.
“Based on the success of the promotion in the south east region we’re pleased to introduce a permanent discounted ticket from April 17.
“The new ticket will offer a third off the full price for one day’s travel in the Hastings and Battle travel zone.” Campaign to keep £2 child bus fare offer in Hastings
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