BUS chiefs have scrapped moves to impose inflation-busting rises in fares on the unemployed that would have seen jobseekers pay hundreds of pounds extra every year.

First Glasgow last week announced that unemployed passengers would be hit with a 10 per cent hike in fares which campaigners claimed would make it hard for some to sign on for benefits.

But in a victory for The Herald and following a public outcry, First Glasgow yesterday announced it had scrapped the rises for unemployed passengers in the wake of job centre closures across the city.

Tickets for under-16s have also risen by more than 40 per cent as single adult tickets on the firm's routes have gone up by more than 15 per cent overall.

It came as train fares rise by 3.4 per cent on average and make the daily commute increasingly unaffordable.

First Glasgow acknowledged the fare rises would have an impact on household budgets, but insisted that overall prices offered "value for money", adding that fares bought electronically had been frozen.

First Glasgow Commercial Director, Graeme McFarlan said: "On reflection, and given the recent closures of a number of Job Centres within our network area, we have taken the decision to overturn the proposed 10p and 20p increase in the tickets for Jobseekers and freeze these fares at the pre-7th January prices with immediate effect.

"This is a decision which we feel represents the best interests of this customer group as we recognise there is a potential for increased travel; this is at the root of our decision to reverse the proposed fare increase.

"The frozen rate was made available to passengers as of 3pm on Friday 12th January.”

Following the revelation of the fare hikes in The Herald, pressure mounted on First Glasgow to reverse the rises all seven Glasgow MPs raised concerns over the rises.

Nicola Sturgeon said she "shared the concerns" of many passengers and would approach FirstBus about the increases.

She said: "I am an MSP for part of the city of Glasgow and I share the concerns that have been expressed by my constituents and by many people across Scotland about bus fare increases, including the FirstBus increase that was announced."

A national consultation on the future of bus services across Scotland closed last month amid growing anger at rising fares.

The Scottish Government consultation proposes local transport authorities be given the power to take buses into public ownership and operate highly regulated franchises.

Campaigners are now calling for Glasgow City Council and surrounding councils, which presently make up Strathclyde Partnership for Transport, to assume ownership of services as happens in Edinburgh where fares are much cheaper.

The latest fare rises come as the number of bus journeys fell from 436 million in 2011-12 to 409 million in 2015-16, with provisional estimates of a further fall to 393 million last year.

Over the same period fares have risen by nearly 60 per cent, which has contributed to a six per cent decline in bus journeys in Scotland.