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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Rival bus companies resume battle for Carlisle passengers

Stagecoach is cutting the price of some unlimited-travel tickets to persuade commuters to leave their cars at home and take the bus.

Nigel Winter
Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach Cumbria

The offer applies to Carlisle Megarider and Megarider Plus tickets from today until August 31.

Passengers can get a 15 per cent discount on the 28-day, 13-week and 52-week tickets bought online at www.buymymegarider.com

A commuter using an annual Megarider Plus to travel from Penrith to Carlisle would save £139.

Meanwhile, Stagecoach’s rival Reays is today relaunching its 63/63A service in Carlisle from Harraby and Upperby to Morton Park/Belle Vue for one week.

Passengers can travel free if they get a Reays Travel Card, available from the company’s office in Devonshire Street or online.

Reays withdrew most of its Carlisle City Hopper network in March, following a two-year battle with Stagecoach.

If this week’s experiment is a success, the axed services could be relaunched in September.

Reays has also raised the price of the weekly-travel ticket for the two surviving City Hopper routes – the 64A from The Beeches to Asda, and the 75 from Dalston to Cotehill.

A weekly ticket, valid on both services, goes up from £12 to £19, or £14 for Travel Card holders.

Managing director Chris Reay said: “The price had to go up due to rising fuel and insurance costs.

“We are trying to encourage people to have the Travel Card so we can gather information about our customers and inform them of changes and offers.”

Stagecoach says the discounts on Megarider and Megarider Plus tickets are an extension of Stagecoach Green Week, June 3-7 – a national initiative to get car drivers to switch to buses.

The Megarider gives unlimited travel in the urban area of Carlisle while the Megarider Plus extends to Brampton, Longtown, Gretna and Penrith.

The discounts do not apply to Megarider tickets in west Cumbria.

Nigel Winter, managing director of Stagecoach in Cumbria, said: “It is a financially and environmentally sound choice to make the switch to bus travel. With an extensive network of services, it is also convenient.

“We want to encourage people to try the bus for a month, to see how much they can save and enjoy their journey.”

Regular travellers can make further savings by signing up for an ‘Ice’ card.

The scheme gives rewards for environmentally-friendly purchases.

Stagecoach is also giving passengers the chance to win free travel in Cumbria for 12 months.

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