Bus fares in England will be capped at £2 until the end of March
Millions of people across England can save money on bus travel as a new fare ceiling has been introduced on more than 4,600 routes.
More than 130 operators outside of London are charging no more than £2 for a one-way ticket until the end of March.
The cap will be paid for by state funds of £60m.
Single journey tickets for a three-mile journey outside of London average around £2.80, but tickets for long journeys in rural areas can top £5, according to the Department for Transport.
It is hoped the cap will help passengers traveling for education, work and doctor appointments amid the cost of living crisis.
Travel with some of the biggest savings includes between Leeds and Scarborough (£13), Lancaster and Kendall (£12.50) and Plymouth and Exeter (£9.20).
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “By helping passengers outside London save almost a third of the average single bus fare and taking two million cars off the road, the cap on bus fares is a fantastic way to start the new year.
“Buses are an essential part of our vision of a clean, efficient and modern transport network that is affordable for everyone.
“So we’re investing £60m to encourage everyone to hop on the bus and get around for £2.”
A report released in July by advocacy group Campaign for Better Transport (CBT) highlighted how funding pressures have resulted in more than a quarter of England’s bus services being grounded in a decade.
Responding to the introduction of the cap, CBT Director of Foreign Affairs and former Lib Dem Transport Minister Norman Baker said: “Affordable bus travel is really a win-win.
“Capping bus fares in this way will help struggling households, reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and breathe new life into dwindling bus services.
“We think the £2 cap should be extended indefinitely.”
The DfT provided bus operators with more than £2billion to keep operations running in England during the coronavirus pandemic.
It said it would “consider future support”, with the current emergency funding deal expiring in March.
DfT figures show bus ridership in the UK outside London in recent weeks has been around 10% below pre-coronavirus levels.
Martin McTague, national chair of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “More than a third of small businesses consider public transport important to their business.
“It is therefore encouraging to see support on bus fares as we grapple with difficult economic conditions.
“This move will likely encourage buyers to move to cities — the very fuel we need for economic growth.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23222929.bus-fares-england-capped-2-end-march/?ref=rss Bus fares in England will be capped at £2 until the end of March