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Fury as Go North East still won’t give bus passengers change

July 16, 2020 12:22 PM
By George Smith

Councillor George Smith is demanding that bus company Go North East does a U-turn on its policy of refusing to give passengers change when they pay their bus fare in cash - or let older people use the buses for free before 9.30am.

Councillor George Smith at a bus stop on Hylton Road ()

Pallion and Ford councillor George Smith

Bus company Go North East are facing calls to scrap their "exact fare only" policy which means if passengers pay with cash they don't receive any change.

Sunderland councillor George Smith has taken the issue up with Go North East's Commercial Director Stephen King after receiving a string of complaints from local residents who are up in arms at not receiving change.

Commenting, local Lib Dem councillor for Pallion and Ford Estate George Smith said:

"Contactless bank cards and mobile apps are all well and good, and I understand why Go North East want people to use these payments methods if possible during the COVID-19 crisis.

"But lots of older or vulnerable people who can't or don't want to use electronic payment methods are being punished by Go North East for paying with cash. They should start giving out change or let people with concessionary bus passes use the buses for free before 9.30am whilst this exact fare only policy stays in place.

"People are being left without significant amounts of change if they are regular bus users. If you're paying with a £2 coin for a £1.20 fare that's 80p per trip you're missing out on, which is enough for a loaf and a pint of milk or pot of jam. It beggars belief.

"Go North East should scrap their exact fare only policy and find a way to safely allow people to pay with cash without being constantly ripped off."