BUS fares are set to be increased later this month, with bosses blaming the 'challenging economic climate' for the hike.

It is more than two years since Reading Buses put up rates on most of the services and the company vowed to keep fare changes as small as possible when they are rolled out on October 29.

As part of the changes, some adult weekly tickets will increase by around £1 and the Boost weekly tickets by around 50p.

Some adult 30-day tickets will go up by £2, both online and on the app. The app will match these price changes.

Tony Pettitt, chief finance and information officer, said: “We are proud that we have been able to keep most fares static for around two years as we have worked hard to increase the number of passengers thus ensuring increasing revenue counteracts rising costs.

"And we are also happy to reassure our customers that our walk-up fares from the driver are being frozen once again to encourage new, as well as occasional, customers to try the bus.

"However, we are now at the stage where costs have risen too sharply which means we have to look at changing some of our main, longer-term, fares.

"With careful planning, we have now been able to limit changes to the longer-term period tickets allowing us to keep on-bus pricing the same."

The app will also see the simplyReading single fares for Boost and adults match the on-bus prices of £1.50 and £2 respectively – with the simplyNetwork adult 7 day ticket on the app also changing to become the same as the online price of £20.

Reading Buses say introductory prices on the special simplyNewbury 7 and 30 will no longer apply.

The prices will not return to their full previous levels, but will still be at a ‘special rate’ compared to the equivalent products elsewhere on the network.

The simplyNewbury Boost 7 day will be £9.50 and 30 day will be £35 with adult 7 and 30 day tickets priced at £12.50 and £49 respectively.

Added Tony: “Even with these changes, our tickets and passes still represent great value for money and are extremely competitive with equivalent tickets up and down the country. We are continuing to work hard to provide the best bus services for the people of Reading and the surrounding area.”

All other fares will stay the same.