BUS fares on a First York route from a village to York’s Nestlé factory have doubled at a stroke.

Passengers travelling from New Earswick to the confectionery business in Haxby Road are now paying £2 for a single fare, compared to just £1 until last month.

The 100 per cent hike emerged when a villager, Maggie Laidlaw, contacted The Press. She said she had previously paid £1 to go from New Earswick shops to Nestlé, where she worked, but was told by a driver it was going up to £2 because the route was classified as ‘medium’ distance, even though she thought it was only a mile or so.

She said the increase could cost her up to £10 more per week to travel to and from work.

She also said she had telephoned First York four times, trying to get an answer as to what distance it classed as short, medium and a long journeys, but all to no avail.

A First spokesman confirmed that the fare on the journey had doubled and said the split between the £1.20 fare and the £2 fare was approximately based on the mile point - "ie, any travel under a mile is classed as £1.20 and over a mile is £2".

He said: “In this case the distance from the bus stop at New Earswick Shops to Nestle is 1.2 miles, hence a fare of £2. In terms of single fares, some have increased whilst others have reduced.”

He said First had simplified its range of on-bus single fares to three - £1.20, £2 and £2.50 and had also reviewed a number of single fares so they reflected the actual length of journey and were in line with similar distance journeys across the city.

He said he was very sorry Ms Laidlaw had not had a satisfactory response to her queries and First would do its best to address any concerns she had.

“We review our fares on an annual basis to both meet changing costs in the business but also to ensure we can continue to offer the best value for money for customers,” he said. “We work hard to keep any increases to a minimum, but our fares do need to reflect above-inflation cost changes in the industry.”