THE Nottinghamshire Better Transport (NBT) organisation is dismayed and appalled by the end of joint ticketing on the trams and Nottingham City Transport (NCT) buses in the Dispatch district.
Currently, the £3.40 Cityrider day-ticket covers NCT buses and the tram as well. But from late October or early November, that ticketing integration will end and the next best option will be the Kangaroo ticket at £3.70.
There will also be confusion on where to buy tickets because season-ticket holders, who currently purchase their tram tickets from the NCT Travel Centre in Market Square, will no longer be able to do so because NCT will refuse it sell tram tickets.
That a major European city does not have its tram network integrated with its main city bus company is complete madness.
The root cause of this is the insane obsession our government has with competition — in the belief that it reduces prices. On public transport, it does the opposite, and the 10% price-hike overnight, from £3.40 to £3.70 for passengers who use bus and tram, is a perfect example.
The £3.70 Kangaroo ticket may be good value and for many passengers is easily the best buy because it includes all public transport in Greater Nottingham. But NBT believes that for many passengers, the tram-plus-NCT ticket was spot-on for their daily travel.
We question why Nottingham City Council has not negotiated a ‘mini-Kangaroo’ at the £3.40 price to cover tram-plus-NCT. Such a ticket would not fall foul of competition laws because it would be a city council product, rather than that of the bus/tram operators.
We wonder too if NCT will reduce the price of its day ticket, given what it covers is much reduced.
How many passengers who are paying for the tram via fares or their taxes were consulted on this?
NBT raised concerns back in April that this integration could end. Other than an acknowledgement, NBT has heard absolutely nothing more until now when it is a ‘done deal’.
It may be too late now, but I am sure passengers will be telling their local councillors what they think of this unacceptable situation.
Although we know the £3.40 tram-plus-NCT ticket will soon be history, we have no news on what the new fare structure will be on the tram.
Nottinghamshire Better Transport.