Bus ticket ‘situation’ hits local passengers

PASSENGERS travelling by bus between Hawick and Jedburgh are being urged to make sure they use the same company both ways before buying a return ticket – and if using separate companies there and back to buy two single tickets.

The issue came to light at last month’s Teviot and Liddesdale Area Committee meeting, at which it was heard that return tickets bought by townsfolk using the number 20 service were not being honoured by the three separate companies operating the route. And after investigation, Councillor Jock Houston (pictured) has confirmed this is the case.

Mr Houston explained that First Bus used to run nearly all of the jorneys until it opted to give some up, with Scottish Borders Council contracting Munro’s and Peter Hogg to take them over. These firms receive financial support from the local authority and, in turn, hand the fare monies over to SBC

He continued: “If First accepts the return half of a ticket sold by Munro’s or Peter Hogg, it does not get any money. If Munro’s or Peter Hogg accept the return half of a ticket sold by First, they get no money to remit to SBC.”

Mr Houston added: “It’s an unfortunate situation beyond SBC’s control, and it’s the passengers who are caught out. First charges £3 for a single to Jedburgh and £5.40 return; Munro’s charges £2.50 and £4.50. If you are a regular traveller and cannot buy return tickets, it all adds up.”