Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is calling for a level playing field for bus fares from Stranraer after it was revealed that the weekly cost of commuting to Ayr was more than three times higher than the cost to Dumfries.
The local MP has been contacted by constituents in Stranraer who have 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.
At present a weekly Stagecoach bus ticket, that allows commuters to travel between Stranraer and Dumfries costs £22.50. However, the cheapest way to travel between Stranraer and Ayr is to purchase ten single tickets, which costs £71.40.
Russell Brown has now written to Stagecoach to ask them to reconsider their pricing structure and to make the cost of travel between Stranraer amd Ayr more affordable.
He said: “It is great that Stagecoach provides a weekly ticket between Stranraer and Dumfries at just £22.50 but realistically very few people are likely to travel between the two towns for employment on a daily basis. In contrast, Ayr is an important travel to work area for people living in the Stranraer because it is just over 50 miles away. However, the cheapest way to travel between Stranraer and Ayr appears to be if you buy ten single tickets, which comes to over £70. That’s more than three times higher than the cost of travel between Stranraer and Dumfries and would take nearly £300 out of someone’s monthly wage packet. This makes it prohibitive for many people seeking work in Ayr.”
“Stranraer has some of the highest levels of unemployment in the region and the opportunities for new jobs are relatively limited. The priority is to support businesses in Wigtownshire to create jobs in the local community but we should also do all we can to help those seeking work nearby. I have therefore written to Stagecoach to ask them to consider reviewing their ticketing scheme for travel between Stranraer and Ayr. All people are asking for is a level playing field, to make travelling to work affordable.”