MORE than 150 people have returned their Worcester bus passes after confusion over the price of fares.

The refunds were offered by the city council after passengers were angered about changes in ticket price structures introduced by bus company First.

Council leader Coun Stephen Inman said that in total 153 passes had been handed in since the authority made the offer on Friday, January 14.

A group representing pensioners said the figure did not reflect the high level of annoyance over the scheme.

Labour councillor Coun Roger Berry told Coun Inman he was not surprised with the figure after seeing bus passengers collect their refunds at the Guildhall.

"Those of us who visited the Guildhall will be aware of the antipathy towards the council and concerns about what they should do," he added.

"Wouldn't it be a good idea to produce an easy-to-read leaflet about the options and how the pricing works?"

But Coun Inman said it was not the council's role to offer advice about the best choice for pensioners and disabled people who could apply for concessionary travel.

He added, however, that bosses from First would again be invited to attend a scrutiny committee meeting to discuss problems over bus travel in Worcester.

Brian Hunt, chairman of the Worcester City Forum for Older People, backed Coun Berry for asking for the information leaflet but said it should not have reached that stage.

"There is still confusion and, to be quite honest, it should not have happened in the first place," he said.

"We are talking about vulnerable pensioners and the people making these decisions don't consult with them. They do not understand vulnerable people."

The group maintains it was misled by the council when changes in the passes, increased this year by £4 to £12, were being discussed. The council has always denied the accusation.