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Park and ride fares set for increase
7:20am Friday 18th October 2013 in News
UNDER-16s will have to pay to use park and rides in Chelmsford from October 28.
After consultation, Essex County Council has decided to make children aged between five and 16 pay £1 daily, £5 weekly or £20 monthly at both Sandon and Chelmer Valley sites.
Previously, anyone under 16 could travel free of charge.
Tickets for adults have also been increased from £2.50 daily, £12.50 weekly and £47 monthly to £3, £15 and £55 respectively.
Fares on Saturdays will be £1.50 for adults and free for under-16s.
It is believed the new fares will cut running costs of the park and rides from £357,080 a year to £162,000 with work to add 250 parking spaces at Sandon starting this week.
Rodney Bass, councillor responsible for transportation, said: “Maintaining the current annual expenditure on the park and ride service in the current financial climate is simply unsustainable.
“Fares have increased in line with our proposals for the first time since 2011.
“Park and ride still gives users excellent value for money and remains a much more cost effective option than parking in the city centre, and senior citizens will continue to travel for free.
“We have also responded to demand as customers have told us they wanted additional parking and we have delivered the extra capacity they asked for.”
The alterations have been met with criticism from users of the service, who feel too much money is being asked for.
Ian Davenport, from Chelmsford, said: “I think this is extortionate. Bus fares are supposed to be a cheaper option but soon it will be cheaper to drive all the way into Chelmsford.”
Bus users who hold elderly or disabled concessionary passes will still be able to claim free travel after 9am.
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