A student from Helston fears he might not be able to get to his university course some months after First Bus scrapped its travel contract with a local business - resulting in a price rise of more than £400 for the equivalent service.

Jake Riding, who is due to start a degree in marine and natural history photography this month at Falmouth University's Tremough campus, had been planning to buy the Fal Uni Mussel Card to travel between Helston and Penryn each day.

This would have provided him with access to the whole of the First Kernow bus network around Cornwall, including to the university campuses, as well as a selection of ferries and trains for an annual cost of £480.

He was therefore shocked to discover this week that First had ended its contract with Fal River Cornwall, which operates the card, and he only had until September 8 to buy one before the system changed.

His maintenance loan - funding received by students to cover day-to-day expenses while at university, which only has to be paid back once they start earning £25,000 - is not due to arrive into his bank account until the week after that date.

As a result he will have to go direct through First to buy one of its new 'bundles' - the equivalent to the Mussel Card costing £74.25 per month, or £891 for the year - a rise of £411.

Just accessing buses for the five days a week from Helston to the Tremough Campus and back would still cost him £810 for the equivalent 12 months - an increase of £330, representing a 69 per cent rise on the previous cost.

Read more: First Bus scraps Falmouth university campus £1 bus fare

Jake said: "First Bus has given me a week to find £480 to pay for the bus pass I want, otherwise I won’t get it. My maintenance comes in after that and they haven’t really given much notice. If I got a month notice I could find that money. But a week!

"We’re living in an age where it’s a climate emergency and students having very little money.

"Being on the bus is more eco friendly - where every bit of help is vital in this climate emergency.

"I even fear that I might not be able to get to university some months."

One month's all-access bus travel under the new bundle system costs £67.50 per month. Even taking into account the university summer break, when travel might not be needed, it still works out more expensive.

A spokesperson for Falmouth University, speaking on behalf of the University of Exeter also, said: "Increasing the cost of the Mussel Card was not something that the universities could affect, but a decision for Fal River Cornwall.

"We have however managed to negotiate a 25 per cent discount. Any students worried about their financial situation should contact the Compass helpdesk, who can provide them with advice.”

She added that revenue raised in its car parks, to encourage sustainable travel amongst students, was being used to provide every student with a free travel gift, worth up to £50 depending on the gift chosen, that could be claimed via the First Bus app.

A spokesman for Fal River Cornwall said their contract with First was ending, with the card in its current format and £480 price only on sale until September 8.

He added: "This was a commercially driven decision, not by us."

First Bus referred the Packet to universities' press teams for comment.