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Villagers' bus fares to change

PUBLISHED: 18:09 04 June 2009 | UPDATED: 14:06 03 July 2010

The new First Bus YarLow Zone.

The new First Bus YarLow Zone.

WINNERS and losers are set to emerge among bus passengers this weekend as they navigate a new price and zone structure.

Bosses at First are introducing a new YarLow zone from Sunday aimed at making it easier to travel longer distances and to simplify the system.

WINNERS and losers are set to emerge among bus passengers this weekend as they navigate a new price and zone structure.

Bosses at First are introducing a new YarLow zone from Sunday aimed at making it easier to travel longer distances and to simplify the system.

But as part of the changes previous zones will be scrapped and new trimmed town zones introduced, shunting Martham, Hemsby, Winterton, Ormesby, Scratby and Hopton into “YarLow” - and a new pricing structure.

For Ormesby and Scratby there will be introduction of a £4.80 return fare, and new family tickets and 10-ticket packages offering cheap journeys will also be introduced.

Critics however say the overhaul makes people in the northern parishes pay for longer trips they have no intention of taking with a Hemsby to Yarmouth commuter having to pay £18 a week for a ticket that used to cost £12 under the previous arrangement - a 50pc increase.

One traveller who uses the service daily from Hemsby to Yarmouth described the increase as “astronomical and completely unjustifiable,” adding that the shake-up benefited holidaymakers at the expense of loyal locals who had no need to travel beyond Yarmouth.

But revenue and marketing manager Gussy Alamein from First said the changes were the result of passenger demand to simplify travel outside the current zones and make their money go further: “What there is currently is a Great Yarmouth zone and a Lowestoft zone - from Sunday there is going to be one big combined zone and then two town zones.

“It gives people more flexibility of where they want to travel and better value for money. A small amount of people may be affected by the changes adversely but there are greater travel opportunities. We want to give as great a service as possible to our passengers. We have listened to people's comments.

“We do not make big changes without having passenger feedback.”

Changes said to help passengers are 10-trip tickets which work out at £2 a hop, and the family two plus two ticket which allows unlimited travel across the whole YarLow zone for £12, or £7 on a one plus two.

The cost of season tickets in the remaining town zone remains the same.

For more information visit www.firstgroup.com


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