Fury after First Bus increases ticket price on theme park route
BUS company First has been accused of cashing in on summertime visitors to Alton Towers by hiking up fares on a route serving the theme park.
Local passengers fear they are being unfairly penalised because thousands of people use the service to travel to the theme park.
First bosses deny they are cashing in on Alton Towers' trade and maintain that running such a regular service in a rural area would not be viable without the tourists.
But a campaign fighting the additional charge has been launched by Sam Hale, a member of the UK Youth Parliament, who has taken the case up with community leaders.
The Painsley Catholic College student, aged 16, said: "I have heard a lot of complaints about this charge.
"People are concerned that prices are already over the top and that increase has been aimed specifically at this route."
"I do not see why we should be penalised for living in a tourism area. The people using the buses are the most vulnerable, without their own transport.
He said: "They should be putting on another bus instead of increasing the fare. You could understand them putting up fares by 25p, but not £1."
Cheadle and Checkley county councillor Mike Maryon said he had received a flood of complaints.
First's commercial director, Paul De Santis, maintained the increase was reasonable on a route covering a significant distance.
He said: "It is wrong of passengers to think they are suffering because of Alton Towers. It is because there are so many people using it, that makes it worthwhile."
Tean resident Margaret McGarry, who is a frequent passenger, said: "I think we are lucky to have such a regular service."
A spokesman for Alton Towers said they were not aware of complaints.
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