Transport firms should pass on oil savings – Gosport MP

First Bus is one of many transport firms being called upon to pass on savings in oil costs to their passengers by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, pictured below
First Bus is one of many transport firms being called upon to pass on savings in oil costs to their passengers by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage, pictured below
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CALLS have been made for transport firms to look at lowering their prices following the fall in oil costs.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage spoke in parliament yesterday saying transport firms should pass on their savings to customers.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage ENGPPP00120130905140241

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage ENGPPP00120130905140241

It comes as parliament held a debate on energy companies lowering their prices to reflect the decrease in oil costs.

Ms Dinenage told The News: ‘There has been a debate in parliament talking about energy prices. They have been questioning the prices after the drop in oil prices. But what seems to be forgotten is the cost of transport.

‘This was a good opportunity to raise it with leader of the house William Hague.

‘Transport companies should be looking urgently at how to pass their savings onto their customers.

‘William Hague agreed that it is really important people think about the price of fuel for motorists and compare it to public transport.’

First Bus announced that some of their fares will see an increase of 10p for the first time in a 
year.

But Ms Dinenage said pressure from local politicians is not enough.

She added: ‘I have spoken to First Bus about the prices but you cannot do a lot locally.

‘If the government acts then maybe together we can get them to respond. Often transport companies increase their fares after there has been an increase in oil price but they seem to be keeping quiet about the decrease.’

A spokesman for First Bus said: ‘In order to protect our business from fluctuation in the oil prices, particularly increases, we take a very long-term approach.

‘We typically hedge our fuel prices many months and often years in advance.

‘Therefore we are seeing only very limited cost benefits at this stage. We are not benefitting from the low prices at the fuel pump that motorists are enjoying.’

A spokesman for Stagecoach and South West Trains added: ‘On bus, we protect customers and our business from fluctuations in the price of oil and provide greater certainty, by hedging the price of almost all of our fuel each year in 
advance.

‘Our fuel costs for the 2014/15 financial year are already fixed at a level that is significantly higher than the current market price, which means that we get virtually no benefit from recent falls in the price of oil.

‘We look to provide low cost travel all year round to attract more people to bus travel.

‘Even with recent falls in prices at the pumps, travelling by bus remains cheaper than commuting by car and paying daily car parking charges.

‘In terms of rail, rail fares are largely set by the government and the most recent overall increases at our South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance rail franchise were the lowest for five years.’

As reported in The News, Ukip councillor Chris Wood, who is the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Gosport, called on the owners of the Gosport Ferry to reduce ticket prices after the fall in the price of fuel.

Gosport Ferry declined to comment.