Confusion over bus fare increase

Hop Oast Park and Ride
Hop Oast Park and Ride

Confusion has arisen over an increase in fares on Horsham’s Park and Ride bus routes.

Early morning travellers were left puzzled when operators Metrobus posted notices that park-and-ride fares had been frozen - then found they were asked to pay extra when boarding for their journey to Horsham from Hop Oast on no 23 and 98 buses.

Metrobus managing director Martin Harris said: “Regrettably, there has been some confusion.

“Our Horsham Park and Ride fares are frozen as our posters stated. These include our one day tickets after 9am Mondays to Fridays and any time at weekends, and our period tickets of up to 12 weeks that are valid at any time.

“Customers who travel before 9am on a week day, and who don’t have a season ticket, need to pay the normal single fare on the bus to get to Horsham - as opposed to a Park and Ride fare.

“It is this ticket price that has gone up by 10 pence to help contribute to rising costs.

“We understand how this might be confusing for those getting on the bus at the Park and Ride site and very much apologise for that. In future, we’ll choose our words more carefully. In fact, as soon as we realised the potential for confusion we took down the posters.

“For those who travel regularly on the Park and Ride, the cheapest way to travel is with a season ticket as the prices have been frozen. Keeping pre-paid prices low is a deliberate policy to keep buses moving by minimising delays caused by paying in cash.”

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council said: “It is not the case that the council sets the charges for the Park and Ride fares in Horsham. The parking is actually free and the charge is for the bus fare which is the responsibility of Metrobus who operate the scheme.”

The regular bus fare increase comes at the same time as the district council has announced plans to increase charges in Horsham town centre car parks. Hourly rates at The Forum, London Road and Denne Road are all due to be increased along with season tickets for Swan Walk and The Forum.