STAGECOACH has today (Friday) announced that all fares in East Scotland will rise by an average of 15 per cent next month.

Fifers will face an increased cost of travelling on services run by the bus operator across the region.

The changes will be introduced on Sunday, April 2.

Douglas Robertson, Managing Director of Stagecoach East Scotland said, “With operating costs continuing to rise, we will be making changes to our fares from 2nd April to prioritise investment in our people, our fleet, and our customers.

“We understand the cost-of-living pressures our customers face, and we realise that fare increases are not welcome.

"However, we strongly believe our fares still represent good value for money.”

Stagecoach has today said it has recently encountered several challenges including the global Covid 19 pandemic, industry-wide recruitment shortages, and rising costs.

The company added that the cost-of-living crisis has impacted businesses, and there have been significant increases to its three largest costs – wages, fuel, and engineering parts.

A spokesperson said: "Priorities and focus remains on securing and rebuilding networks where possible and taking positive steps toward achieving its vision for decarbonisation.

"All of this is vital to support the country's green recovery and meet net-zero ambitions, while supporting the policies set out by the Scottish Government and Local Authority Stakeholders.

"With bus passenger numbers still needing to return to the pre-pandemic level, it is vital that as a commercial bus operator, Stagecoach make decisions that will future-proof the viability of its network for their customers and colleagues.

"The emergency funding provided by the Scottish Government to ensure a level of bus service for people to access local amenities, which would not otherwise have been commercially sustainable, has been reduced over the past 12 months and from March 31 2023 will be withdrawn altogether.

"As a result of this change, from Sunday, April 2, all fares will increase by an average of 15 per cent across all bus services operated by Stagecoach East Scotland."