The recent fares increases by Stagecoach on local journeys between Largs and Fairlie are a complete rip off and a blatant attempt to place a surcharge on people for living or working in Fairlie.

I spent a wee while on Stagecoach’s own web site comparing prices and it was really quite interesting.

The new single journey fare from Fairlie to Largs is a staggering £3 or £1 per mile travelled.

Charges are not necessarily higher across the North Coast as a whole. To travel to Largs from West Kilbride costs £0.54 per mile, from Saltcoats it is £0.46 and from Ayr £0.38.

Similar journeys elsewhere in Ayrshire are in fact 20 per cent cheaper than Fairlie-Largs. Ardrossan to Stevenston and Ayr to Prestwick are both slightly longer journeys but only cost £2.40 for a single fare.

Whilst I appreciate that bus companies have to have pricing structures, it is grossly unfair to heap such a massive and out of proportion increase onto a very short journey like Fairlie to Largs.

Huge increases on this scale simply put people off bus travel and encourage them back into cars. This is a massively retrograde step and I would urge Stagecoach to think again.

Councillor Alan Hill

North Coast and Cumbraes