Concerns about plans to increase park and ride charges.

quicksilverbusMotorists have expressed concerns about plans to increase Leicester’s park and ride charges.

The Leicester Mercury reports that the service (jointly run by Leicester City Council and Leicestershire County Council), has to be subsidised  because it does not have enough passengers to cover its costs.

The Mercury reported earlier this month that the councils said they could not afford to keep propping up the park and ride network, which cost them £664,000 last year.

The paper also reported that the council’s are seeking to eliminate the subsidy because their budgets have been hit by reducing grants from Whitehall.

Now, the slow growth in uses is being outpaced by rising costs.

The authorities are looking at ending the free service offered to concessionary passengers by introducing a 50p charge and adding 50p to the existing cost of using the network.

They hope to increase the income generated but more extreme options include mothballing one of the sites on the edge of the city – at Enderby, Birstall and Meynell’s Gorse off the A47.

City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby has said the increases under consideration were modest and he hoped an enhanced marketing campaign could boost patronage.

However, park and ride users yesterday said they were concerned about price increases.

The Mercury reported that Tom Clough, 55, from Desford, said he sometimes used the Meynell’s Gorse park and ride terminal to get into the city.

He said:

“I think the price is very reasonable and I choose to use it, even though I could quite easily park in town.

“If it does become more expensive, I think I and the other people who know how good the service is will still use it. But it won’t help get new customers and that’s what they need.

“It has a loyal following and I often see the same faces on the bus but not enough of them to fill it.”

Mum Angela Stewart, 36, from Anstey, uses the Birstall terminal. She said:

“I often see lots of empty spaces in the car parks. I understand why they would be reluctant to stop the service because it’s been a big commitment for years but if the price goes up it won’t attract new people and it might just push existing customers back into their cars. It’s a pity.” Andy Walsh, 40, from Enderby, said: “It’s dead handy for me to get to the nearest terminal and I can’t stress how good the service is.

“But I know people who just want the convenience of being able to drive. It’s not really won people over.

“I hope the council stick with it because numbers are growing.”

A decision on the future of the network is expected in the coming weeks

Day Ticket (No child fares)* £3.00
Older Persons’ Passes (before 0930 Mon-Fri)
For travel using an Older Persons’ Pass issued by Leicester City Council for journeys starting at Meynell’s Gorse or city centre stops ONLY
£1.50
Older Persons’ Passes (before 0930 Mon-Fri)
For travel using an Older Persons Pass issued by Leicestershire County Council or any other authority or journeys starting at Birstall or Enderby
£3.00
Older Persons’ Passes (after 0930 Mon-Fri)** Free
Disabled Persons’ Passes (before 0930 Mon-Fri)
For travel using a Disabled Persons’ Pass issued by Leicester City Council ONLY
Free
Disabled Persons’ Passes (before 0930 Mon-Fri)
For travel using a Disabled Persons’ Pass issued by Leicestershire County Council or any other authority other than Leicester City Council
£3.00
Disabled Person’s Passes (after 0930 Mon-Fri)** Free
Group Day Ticket
(for a group of up to 5 people travelling together on both journeys)
£3.50 No concessions available
Weekly Ticket £14 No concessions available
Ten Trip Ticket*** £26 No concessions available
4 Weekly Ticket £42* No concessions available
All the above fares to be purchased on-board (cash only).
Please have correct fare ready.
13 Week Ticket £130 No concessions available (Visit www.quicksilverbus.co.uk to download application form)
26 Week Ticket
£230 No concessions available (Visit www.quicksilverbus.co.uk to download application form)
52 Week Ticket £420 No concessions available (Visit www.quicksilverbus.co.uk to download application form)

 

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