Metrolink fares are set to rise

Rochdale Observer - - NEWS - Char­ @ccox­men

COUN­CIL bosses are poised to ap­prove plans to raise Metrolink ticket prices by an av­er­age of 5.93 per cent from Jan­uary 2018.

If given the green light, it would be the first seg­ment of a three-year ‘phased’ price rise, in line with the re­sults of a pub­lic fare sur­vey.

Child fares would be half-price, with off-peak or week­end tick­ets for 16 to 18-year-olds also slashed by 50pc.

The cost of ‘quick is­sues’ spe­cial event tick­ets – like those for foot­ball matches – will also go up from £3 to £4.

The cash is needed so that Trans­port for Greater Manch­ester can cover its op­er­at­ing costs and debts ac­crued from the ex­pan­sion after a price freeze since Jan­uary 2014.

The hike has been cal­cu­lated as 1.33pc on top of Re­tail Price In­dex plus 1pc for each of the three years.

Fares will then be rounded to the near­est 20p.

It brings to an end the fare freeze, which be­gan in Jan­uary 2014 to make amends for on­go­ing works on the net­work in­clud­ing the Sec­ond City Cross­ing.

But that re­prieve for pas­sen­gers has cost trans­port bosses £61m and now they need to bal­ance the books.

On the half-price child tick­ets, Andy Burn­ham, Greater Manch­ester mayor, said: “I am com­mit­ted to putting young peo­ple at the heart of my man­i­festo and a key part of that was to open up op­por­tu­ni­ties for 16 to 18-year-olds in Greater Manch­ester.

“There is still a way to go but half-price travel on our Metrolink, to­gether with half-price bus travel, are steps in the right di­rec­tion.

“I re­main ab­so­lutely com­mit­ted to the in­tro­duc­tion of free travel for all 16 to 18-year-olds and will con­tinue work­ing to­wards that ul­ti­mate goal – en­sur­ing young peo­ple can more eas­ily ac­cess jobs, train­ing, ed­u­ca­tion and all the other op­por­tu­ni­ties that Greater Manch­ester of­fers.”

From 2021, fare changes will re­vert to RPI plus 1pc.

Back in 2014, the av­er­age ticket price went up by 4.2pc.

●●Metrolink pas­sen­gers are fac­ing av­er­age ticket price rises of 5.93 per cent

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