The changes made to First West of England bus fares in and around Bristol and Bath

The number of bus users in the West of England is down by a quarter compared to pre-pandemic levels. Credit: LDRS

The price of some bus tickets across the West of England has been cut in a bid to get more people to use public transport.

A single adult ticket in Bristol and Bath now costs £2 (down from £2.20) while a return costs £3.50 (down from £4.30).

But day tickets have increased to £6 (up from £5.30).

Child tickets will now be £1 across the whole of the West of England - which includes Bristol, South Gloucestershire, and Bath and North East Somerset.

For those travelling between Bath, Bristol and other surrounding towns, the cost of single fares is being cut by almost half. West of England zone single fares will be capped at £3.70, (down from £4.50 and £6.50 for longer journeys).

First West of England zone day tickets and the Avon Rider multi-operator day ticket have dropped in price from £7.50 to £7.

The change comes following the government's £105million Bus Service Improvement Plan which was secured by the West of England Combined Authority and North Somerset Council earlier this year.

Labour Mayor of the West of England Dan Norris hopes the new fares will encourage people to use public transport and in turn help protect the service.

He said: "It’s time to get on board for new fares. My big message to local people is: please take advantage of this and take your children out for just £1.

"The more journeys you make, the more you will be helping us together to build the local bus system we both need and deserve."

He will also want to see more people using buses if he's to deliver and meet local 2030 net-zero targets.

Doug Clarinbold, Managing Director of First West of England, hopes cheaper fares will get people using public transport again, with the number of passenger down 25% compared to pre-pandemic levels.

He said: "Passenger numbers on our services are still significantly down on pre-pandemic levels and we are seeing some of our longer distance services that connect our towns and cities or serve more rural areas facing a particularly difficult time."

Some operators in Gloucestershire have already had to reduce their services, with a shortage of drivers and a decrease in passengers effecting the number of buses on the roads.

Rachel Geliamassi, Managing Director of Stagecoach West, is confident that cheaper fares will get people using public transport.

She said: "Investment is key to making buses more attractive, keeping them out of congestion, making journeys quicker and more reliable, and reducing operational costs that put pressure on fares."