THE BUS companies behind Oxford SmartZone have announced prices are set to rise this month, blaming roadworks and congestion for the decision.

Fares for four, 13 and 52-week tickets will increase on January 28 in line with inflation, by an average of three per cent.

The changes include a 99p increase for adult four week passes, a £5.01 increase for 13 week passes and a £29.01 increase for an annual season ticket.

Fares for Oxford SmartZone weekly tickets and five day and 12-trip bundles have been frozen for 2018.

The SmartZone bus companies, comprising of Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach and Thames Travel, have confirmed the prices will be held for the second year running on many products.

A joint statement from the Oxford SmartZone operators, said: “Over the past year severe road works and increased congestion in the county have impacted upon our services, which has led to an increase in our operating costs.

“Alongside this all of us have continued to invest significantly in our fleets, resulting in better technology and timetable improvements for our passengers.” 

“Despite the increase in some fares, we have ensured that they remain extremely good value for money across the board and continue to ensure bus travel is the most cost-effective way to travel in Oxfordshire.”

Oxford SmartZone is a scheme offering multi-operator ticketing on bus routes operating mainly in the Oxford City area.