PASSENGERS have reacted with anger to bus fare increases and timetable changes that have hit the area.

As reported in The Observer last week, First Berkshire introduced a new fare system from Saturday which has seen prices go up on many routes. This is because the area has been broken down into zones, with prices dependent on boundaries crossed and distance travelled. But there have also been timetable changes, with some services becoming less regular than before - and routes changed. First says some services are not being used enough and therefore are uneconomical to operate.

Sophie Wilson said on Twitter: “Eighty-four per cent increase in my journey price. Are you having a laugh?”

Tina K said: “I’m really not happy to be charged £3.50 for Slough to Langley (three miles) when you are only charging £3 Britwell to Slough Central (four miles) as on your announcement for price changes. Can you explain why...?”

Meanwhile, Service 3, from Slough to Uxbridge which goes through the Ivers, will no longer stop at the Stag in Hounds in Church Road, Iver Heath. It will also run every 30 minutes instead of every 20, stopping on the Slough Road. Passenger Sarah Cartin said the new service now effectively missed out Iver Heath altogether.

She added: “There are school children, elderly and daily commuters being put out because of this change.

“I rely completely on the bus to get to work, in and out of the village to see my family.”

First said there were bus stops at the junctions of Swallow Street and the Slough Road and new ones had been installed outside Iver Heath Post Office, also in Slough Road. The change still means the nearest bus stop is more than half a mile away from the previous one.

Service 6, from Slough to Wexham Court, will now run every 20 minutes instead of every 15. And services 12 and 13 have been merged to both operate between Slough and Burnham Garibaldi. It means during the morning peak that journeys from Slough will operate as service 13 via Burnham Station. Journeys from Burnham Garibaldi will operate as service 12, via Manor Park. In the evening peak the pattern is reversed. Services from Slough after 0925 will all operate as number 12 and services from Burnham between 3.34pm and 6.04pm will operate as service 13.

A spokesman said: “First Berkshire is making these changes as it looks to respond to the changing travel patterns of its passengers on these routes.”

The changes see minimum fares go up for adults from £2.10 to £2.50 for singles and from £2.90 to £3.50 for returns. For children, they go up from £1.10 to £1.50 for singles and from £1.50 to £2.50 for returns, a 66 per cent increase. First added that the fare changes were the first to happen in over 18 months and there had been no change to weekly, monthly or annual tickets. Passengers can still buy 10 single tickets available on the mTicket smartphone app.