LOCAL MP WELCOMES STAGECOACH PLANS TO REDUCE TRAVEL COSTS BETWEEN DUMFRIES AND GALOWAY AND AYRSHIRE
Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has welcomed the news that bus company Stagecoach will be introducing a new Megarider Plus ticket covering travel throughout Dumfries and Galloway and also including journeys to Ayrshire and Arran.
Costing £32 online and £35 from the driver for a 7 day ticket it offers unlimited travel across the whole of the Ayrshire, Arran and Dumfries and Galloway network, with bigger discounts for 28 day and automatic monthly renewal tickets.
The move follows a call by Russell Brown in May for a ”level playing field” for bus fares from Stranraer to help people travelling to work out with the town, after it was revealed that the weekly cost of commuting between Stranraer and Ayr was more than THREE times higher than the cost to travel between Stranraer and Dumfries.
The local MP had been contacted by constituents in Stranraer who highlighted the higher costs as a barrier to seeking employment in Ayr, just 50 miles from Stranraer, making it a key travel to work area for residents in Wigtownshire.
A Stagecoach bus ticket allowed commuters to travel between Stranraer and Dumfries for £22.50 per week. However, until this week the cheapest way to travel between Stranraer and Ayr was to purchase ten single tickets, which costs £71.40.
Russell Brown wrote to Stagecoach to ask them to reconsider their pricing structure and to make the cost of travel between Stranraer and Ayr more affordable. The company agreed to carry out a review and have now introduced the special Megarider Plus- cutting the cost of travel between the two towns by more than half.
Russell Brown said, “I was pleased Stagecoach agreed to review their pricing structure when I raised concerns about the cost of travel between Stranraer and Ayr, and I am delighted that this has led to the halving of prices for regular travellers. It was unfair that a weekly ticket between Stranraer and Dumfries was a third of the price of the cost of travel between Stranraer and Ayr. Realistically more people will see travelling from Stranraer to Ayrshire for than travelling to Dumfries, but up until now it would have cost someone upto to £300 a month to do so. That’s a lot out of a wage packet. This may open up some new job opportunities for local people so Stagecoach is to be congratulated for making journeys between Stranraer and Ayrshire that bit more affordable. It may also make it more affordable for people travelling from Nithsdale into East Ayrshire everyday for work, which a substanial number do”
“Stranraer has some of the highest levels of unemployment in the region and the opportunities for new jobs are still relatively limited. Although this will help a little, the absolute priority still needs to be to support businesses in Wigtownshire to create and brings jobs into the local area”.