Thursday, January 03, 2013

And you complain about the hike in your train fare...

As a non-driving village dweller, I have become rather reliant on my local Demand Responsive Transport service, Suffolk Links - Gipping North, which carries me from my home to Stowmarket Station and back, most days when Ros is away, and most of the time when she's at home too. Compared to the cost of a taxi, it's extremely reasonable, and I have become part of a cosy little circle over the past two years. 

However, on ringing Margaret, who organises the schedule with incredible efficiency, to organise a bus for today, I was somewhat surprised to be told that fares were going up by 20%, on the instruction of Suffolk County Council. There had been no announcement of such an increase and, upon checking the Suffolk Onboard website, there was no indication of the change at all.

In fairness, my return fare for the three mile journey to Stowmarket Station is still only £2.60, and the service is reliable, safe and friendly. Besides, I'm lucky enough to be able to afford it. However, for those who aren't as fortunate, it will come as an unpleasant surprise - in my case the additional cost will be £2.50 per week, an increase of 23.8%, and I assume that this will be reflected across the board.

It is, I suppose, typical of the utter disrespect for residents shown by the Conservatives on the County Council that there should be no attempt to inform voters of the change. Luckily, I've got my county councillor coming to a meeting next week, and he might like to come up with a justification... especially as he's up for election in May...

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