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Rival bus firm puts up fares

Bus operator Renown Cavendish - the main rival to Eastbourne Buses - is set to increase fares from today.

And it is introducing a charge for concessionary travel card holders during the morning rush hour due to rapidly rising fuel costs.

The company says it is the first increase since 2006 and is due to rapidly rising fuel costs. Eastbourne Buses put its fares up at Easter.

The standard Renown adult single fare within Eastbourne will go up by 10p to 1.40 but a return ticket will remain at 2.

Holders of the new County Cards, introduced as part of the Countrywide Concessionary Travel Scheme, will face a charge of 80p for journeys started before 9am on Mondays to Fridays. But the elderly and disabled holders will be able to travel free after 9am and at any time on Saturdays.

The fare on Service 11 from Eastbourne to Hailsham will increase by 20p to 2 for a single ticket and 2.30 return.

Managing director of Renown Cavendish, Christian Harmer, said, "Fares on bus services provided by Renown Cavendish have remained unchanged since services started just over two years ago.

"During that time the services have been expanded considerably but costs, particularly fuel, have risen at a rate far above general inflation.

"It is also the case that the money received for carrying County Card holders has been below the level which the company expected.

"We have done our best to contain cost increases and to some extent the growth in the use of our services has helped, but the huge increases in fuel prices over the last few months mean that a modest increase in fares is unavoidable.

"We strive to operate a reliable, regular service provided by friendly and helpful staff and will continue to make improvements to our services throughout 2008."

Child fares and the 2.50 Green Rover day ticket are unaffected and regular travellers will be rewarded as weekly tickets will be reduced to 9.

Despite Renown Cavendish's fare increases the firm is still 30p cheaper than Eastbourne Buses, which raised its fare within the town to 1.70 due to expensive fuel.

Renown has also extended its routes to cover some areas, including Old Town, Westham and Pevensey Bay, which were recently affected by Eastbourne Buses' money saving cutbacks imposed last month.

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