CALLS have been issued to bus bosses to ensure prices remain affordable following a fare hike for users in Barrhead. 

Last month, McGill’s introduced a five per cent increase for customers in East Renfrewshire who use the company’s number three and 51 services. 

The company blamed an increase in staff wages and business costs for the price hikes, which came after McGill’s first “full fare review” in two years.

Passengers who buy XP day, weekly and monthly tickets will be unaffected by the new price structure.

Local politicians have heaped pressure on the Greenock-based firm and are now demanding reassurances prices will remain stable over the coming year. 

Conservative MSP Maurice Golden, who represents the town as part of his West Scotland remit, told the Barrhead News: “Local bus services are an absolutely vital lifeline for so many of our communities. 

“This price hike, while the first in two years on these routes from McGill’s, is a significant one and will leave many of our vulnerable people wondering how they are going to meet the costs. 

Barrhead News: MSP Maurice Golden MSP Maurice Golden

“I have written to McGill’s seeking reassurances that there will be no further price hikes on this route, especially in the coming year. 

“I hope they can confirm this news and support vital routes in Barrhead and across the region.”

Councillor Paul Aitken added: “It is disappointing to see a five per cent rise in bus fares.

“While I appreciate McGill’s face rising fuel prices, many users of these buses are among the least privileged members of the community and a five per cent rise in bus fares will hit them disproportionately hard.”

Barrhead News: Ralph Roberts Ralph Roberts

Ralph Roberts, McGill’s managing director, said: “Both internal costs and external factors managed by local authorities, including road works and congestion accumulate to increases in costs, which result in increases to fares. We have no further fare increases planned this year.”

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