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£2 bus fare cap extended by three months

Paloma Kubiak
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Paloma Kubiak

The £2 bus fare cap for routes in England will be extended for three months to the end of June, the Government has confirmed.

Millions of passengers across England (outside of London) will be able to pay £2 for a single bus fare until 30 June, the Department for Transport has announced.

As part of the ‘Get Around for £2’ scheme, £75m in funding has been awarded to help people save on fares and get more people on the bus.

The ‘Get Around for £2’ scheme was first launched in January, and was expected to be in place for three months.

But it has been extended by three months, with participating bus operators expected to confirm in due course.

With the average single local bus tickets costing £2.80, passengers can save almost a third of the ticket price.

It comes as the Government attempts to get more people on board buses, after their use dropped as low as 10% of the pre-pandemic level.

It is still around 85-90% of pre-coronavirus levels, and the Government said bus operators face a number of ongoing challenges.

However, the launch of the scheme in January has already seen more people get on board, with an independent survey by Transport Focus revealing 7% of the 1,000 people polled saying they are using the bus more.

‘Bus sector still recovering from the pandemic’

Transport secretary, Mark Harper, said: “Travelling by bus remains the most popular option for commuters and families across the country, but the sector is still trying to recover after the end of the pandemic.

“We’re providing £155m to help passengers save money on fares, get more people on the bus and protect vital bus routes – helping with the cost of living and enabling people to get where they need to in an affordable and convenient way.

Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog, Transport Focus, said: “We know that around a half rely on the bus with no other option available to them, so this funding is welcome news.

“We also know that bus passengers want simpler, better value for money fares. Many are facing particular financial challenges at the moment. The extension of the £2 fare bus fare is a welcome step to help attract passengers back on board and or encourage non-users to give bus a go. Our recent data shows that satisfaction with value for money has increased since the £2 trial.”