343 Views

Bus fare increases ‘Disgraceful’ says SU President

Sussex Students’ Union President, Frida Gustafsson, has drafted an open letter to Brighton and Hove Buses following a fare increase on January 16. The fare increases were announced in December with Managing Director, Martin Harris, citing tackling congestion and investing in new, more environmentally friendly buses as the reason for the price rise. The fare increases also come alongside cutbacks for some night services.

Ms Gustafsson told The Badger: “I wrote this open letter to the Bus Company to address the various issues students have with the bus services, including the increasingly expensive fares to travel. The letter was drafted with help from students, and the issues we demand change to are issues I know students care for. It is also in line with the Students’ Union’s transport policy that was voted through by our members just last term which included a pledge to lobby bus and train companies to make bus and train services better for students and not increase ticket prices beyond the rate of inflation.

“The bus company have over the past five years increased their ticket prices way beyond the rate of inflation, and again and again fail to address significant issues highlighted by our students. I think our students deserve better than that – and I’m determined to work to get it changed.”

On Facebook, Ms Gustafsson said: “I think the significant increase in [the] price of bus tickets over the past few years is disgraceful.”

In response to the open letter Nick Hill, Head of Commercial Development at B&H, said: “I’ve been in talks with Frida since she became President of the Student Union and have made changes to our offer for students as a direct result wherever it’s been practical to do it. She asked us for more flexibility with a wider range of tickets so we brought in the 28-day ticket and now we’ve introduced two and three-day tickets as well – both were on her wish list.

“Student fares are at least 25 per cent cheaper than adult fares without any subsidy from either university – unlike many other bus services in student towns and cities.”

The letter, which has been signed by around sixty students to date, states that fares add to the costs associated with living in Brighton and are not justified by the level of service provided by B&H Buses. It claims that students are left waiting 20-30 minutes to board a bus at peak times due to a high number of passengers. The letter also accuses drivers of refusing travel to some students at night, being impatient with international students and complains about B&H’s ticket app ‘freezing’.

Addressing these issues, Nick Hill said: “We have a policy never to leave vulnerable people – without the means to pay – stranded. In other scenarios, we empower our drivers to use their common sense such as when groups of drunk revellers want to travel but are a potential safety risk either to themselves, the driver, other passengers or other road-users during the journey.”

He also added that a new, ‘better’ ticket app is to be launched in the spring and is being tested.

When asked about peak time buses being full, Mr Hill told The Badger “The student service in our city – I’m proud to say – is phenomenal… we’ve increased the frequency of the 25 daytime service by adding two more bendy buses… we’ve doubled the frequency of the 23. Of course, there might well be the occasion when something along the route – such as roadworks – has caused a problem and a service has had to be cancelled or is late. But we will follow-up any specific incidents…”

The open letter also asks that B&H buses make it easier for students to prove their student status on board. The company no longer accepts NUS cards as valid student ID and the letter asks that students be allowed to load their student number onto the Company’s app for easier and faster boarding.

With regards to student ID Mr Hill added “In the same way as a student travelling on a train with a discounted ticket would be asked to show their young person’s railcard, we ask to see the student’s ID to ensure the concessionary ticket is being legitimately used.  We don’t think this is unreasonable.”

Mr Hill also addressed the issue of bus driver behaviour saying: “I’m dismayed to hear of such incidents – not least as our drivers receive ongoing training which features good customer relations. We haven’t actually received any complaints to our Customer Services department of this nature. But if there are any specific incidents where we’ve fallen short of our standards, we’d really like to know about them – including bus number, time, date and location – so we can take action.”

Kasia Popiołek, a student at The Institute for Development Studies at Sussex, said: “they [Brighton and Hove Buses] have also cut and amended the route for the night buses to Hollingbury (where many students live), leaving us with no night bus that goes directly there. The reason was due to the bus being ‘unpopular'”. She also told The Badger that the night service cuts could entail extra expenses for her and other students living in the same area due to taxi fares and avoiding walking home late at night.

With regards to night services, Nick Hill told The Badger “The N25 bus is the most used service by students. This service has once again increased in frequency at night so now they run every seven to eight minutes until 2.00 a.m and every 10 minutes until 5.00 a.m.”.

View the open letter in full here.

Image: Wikimedia Commons: Les Chatfield.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Reply

Join the Badger Team

Apply today!

Latest Posts

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
721 views1
Campus News
721 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series
Arts
165 views
Arts
165 views

Verve Couture – Musicality, kitsch & ignition: the beginning of a series

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - June 17, 2018

Pictured: Zac Black At Proud Cabaret audiences were spellbound as if at night at the circus, yet this was not like Angela Carter’s magical realist novel; Verve…

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review
Arts
184 views
Arts
184 views

Fleabag on stage at The Old Market – review

Florence Dutton - June 11, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Last Monday at 8pm at Brighton’s The Old Market, I sat myself down in my theatre seat eagerly awaiting…

Fleabag preview
Arts
179 views
Arts
179 views

Fleabag preview

Florence Dutton - June 2, 2018

[caption id="attachment_35513" align="alignnone" width="2400"] Fleabag at Soho Theatre[/caption] Following the mass success of the Bafta award-winning BBC Series, DryWrite and Soho Theatre are about to hit the…

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome
Arts
221 views
Arts
221 views

Brighton Festival: Ezra Furman at the Dome

Georgia Grace - June 1, 2018

Having completed my final semester of university with modules on punk history and queer arts, it was fitting that I rounded off my end-of-assessment celebrations by attending…

Arts
223 views

The Tempest review

Georgia Grace - May 30, 2018

As the sun begins to set over Hove Green, tinnies of Red Stripe are cracked open, tartan blankets are strewn, and families tuck into their picnic hampers.…

A Glass Half Empty review
Arts
218 views
Arts
218 views

A Glass Half Empty review

Georgia Grace - May 27, 2018

For those of us coming to the end of another year of university study, the prospect of careers, marriages and babies may seem a long way off.…

DollyWould at The Old Market review
Arts
209 views
Arts
209 views

DollyWould at The Old Market review

Alex Hutson - May 27, 2018

Sh!t Theatre’s DollyWould is a hilarious, thoughtful and experimental performance piece. The award winning show has the Sh!t Theatre duo integrating comedy, storytelling, personal experience and music.…

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex
Campus News
332 views
Campus News
332 views

UCU Launch Petition to End the ‘Hostile Environment’ at Sussex

Billie-Jean Johnson - May 26, 2018

The Sussex branch of the University and College Union (UCU) has launched a petition calling for Vice-Chancellor Adam Tickell to end the 'hostile environment' at Sussex. The…

Arts
170 views

Shakespeare in the sun – The Tempest preview

Georgia Grace - May 24, 2018

In a world of dystopian King Lears and female Hamlets, Shakespeare’s classics are constantly being reimagined for the modern day. There’s something oddly refreshing then about the…

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
462 views
Arts
462 views

Review: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 23, 2018

What a phenomenal contrast these two films present when watched side-by-side. In essence, together they are capable of tracing inner and outer metamorphoses of their subjects. The…

Dollywould at The Old Market preview
Arts
208 views
Arts
208 views

Dollywould at The Old Market preview

Alex Hutson - May 22, 2018

From the 22nd May - 25th May 2018 DollyWould will be showing at The Old Market. An exciting new show, presented by Sh!t Theatre, who won the…

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu
Artist Focus
309 views
Artist Focus
309 views

Exhibition: Io-sono Fedilouu

Ricardo Reverón Blanco - May 16, 2018

Last week artist Fedilou made her debut exhibition in the downstairs space of Morelli Zorelli, a quaint vegan Italian restaurant in Hove, featuring a collection of intimate…

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley
Interview
215 views
Interview
215 views

Interview with Philosophy faculty and COGS director Ron Chrisley

Nikolaos Manesis - May 15, 2018

Ron Chrisley is a Reader in Philosophy, on the faculty of the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science, and is the director of COGS (Centre for Cognitive Science).…

Adam review
Arts
293 views
Arts
293 views

Adam review

Ketan Jha - May 13, 2018

If you have been a stranger to the stage this spring and decide to see one contemporary show, let it be Adam. This reviewer went in entirely…

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)
Arts
332 views
Arts
332 views

Brighton Fringe Preview: Nick Cave Double Bill at The Old Market (TOM’s Film Club)

Sophie Coppenhall - May 13, 2018

In celebration of iconic Brighton local, legendary alt-rock musician (and episodic actor) Nick Cave, TOM’s Film Club are hosting a double-bill screening of his films at The…

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review
Arts
370 views
Arts
370 views

Whimsical fairy-tale meets class war – Standard: Elite review

Georgia Grace - May 11, 2018

Meta-theatricality and interactivity are becoming all the more vogue in contemporary theatre, and in a world where the arts are becoming increasingly open and democratised, I find…

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks
Artist Focus
269 views
Artist Focus
269 views

A Year of Art Society: The Best Picks

Alex Leissle - May 9, 2018

  [gallery type="slideshow" ids="35385,35386,35387,35388,35389,35390,35391,35392,35393,35394,35395,35396,35397,35398,35399,35400,35401,35402,35403,35404,35405,35406,35407,35408,35409,35410,35411"]

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival
Books
281 views
Books
281 views

More Brit(ish) than ever: A review of Afua Hirsch at Brighton Festival

William Singh - May 9, 2018

Afua Hirsch’s 2018 book - part memoir, part polemic - provokes mixed feelings. So too did her discussion of the topic at this year’s Brighton Festival. Don’t…

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality
Science
367 views
Science
367 views

Ethnic-bioweapons: between conspiracy and reality

Luke Richards - May 8, 2018

Bioweapons exist, while ethnic-bioweapons are whispered conspiracies. Pandemics can fairly hazardous to human life, the 1918 Flu Pandemic killed 20-50 million people. A man made pandemic could…

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced
News
338 views
News
338 views

Breaking: Spring referenda results announced

Jessica Hubbard - May 4, 2018

Students have voted to support the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement, reject Prevent and adopt new Gender Equality policies. Results for the Students' Union referenda were…