Friday, 16 January 2015

Cheaper petrol, but bus fares go up!

Motorists have benefited from a recent cut in the price of petrol, now approaching £1 a litre, compared to around £1.30 a litre in August.

Many bus passengers are wondering when they will benefit. Stagecoach and First have told the Manchester Evening News that they can't cut fares because they buy their petrol in bulk in advance at set prices in order to avoid price fluctuations.

I'm sure that's true. But if the petrol being used by their buses now was bought a couple of years ago at a higher price, surely their buyers will be buying petrol at today's low prices for use on the buses in a couple of years time. If they aren't, they're not very business-minded. So lower fuel prices will trickle down to the bus companies sooner or later.

Any car owners comparing the cost of driving or taking the bus will have seen the petrol cost of a journey come down some 30% in the last few months, while bus fares have generally risen. The bus business needs to address this if it is serious about appealing to anyone who has a real choice.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer agrees and has been telling the Express and Star about it.

So, when can fare-payers expect to see some of the benefits of lower fuel prices? Bus companies, it's over to you.