“Get around for £2” this summer as bus fare cap extended until 31 October

General / Sat 1st Jul 2023 at 11:20am

MILLIONS of people can save money on every day travel to work, and make the most of affordable days out this summer, as the “Get Around for £2” scheme is extended for another four months, supporting households with the cost of living while growing the economy.

The £2 bus fare cap, previously due to come to an end on 30 June, will now continue until 31 October, helping passengers save a third off the average ticket price.

The offer will be available for single bus tickets on over 5,000 routes in England outside London, helping people get to work, see loved ones, access medical appointments and travel to holiday hotspots for less.

The scheme will then continue at £2.50 for another year until November 2024 thanks to £200 million in Government funding to help people save money on travel while growing the economy.

The move is an essential part of the Government’s Help for Households initiative to support everyone through the increased cost of living and will particularly benefit those on lower incomes who take nearly three times as many bus trips than those on higher incomes.

In its first three months, the £2 fare cap has brought down bus fares in England outside London by 8%. Research from Transport Focus has also revealed that 11% of respondents are using the bus more thanks to the cap, with 80% agreeing that the £2 tickets have helped with the cost of living.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:

“For the past six months, people across England have made the most of £2 bus tickets, which is one of the key ways we’re supporting households with the cost of living.

“Now we’ve extended the £2 fare cap, people can continue to ‘Get Around for £2’ throughout the summer – taking advantage of the bus for affordable holiday trips, to get to work, access medical appointments, and see loved ones.”

In addition to helping people make essential journeys on the bus, the £2 bus fare also offers savings to passengers travelling longer distances, either for work or leisure.

From a trip to the beach on the 12 Coaster between Brighton and Eastbourne, to exploring the Lake District on board the 599 Bowness to Grasmere, the £2 bus tickets offer an affordable and sustainable way to visit some of England’s most idyllic spots this summer.

During the pandemic, bus usage dropped as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels and, while passenger levels have recovered to around 85 to 90%, the fare cap aims to encourage people back on the bus.

Go-Ahead have carried more than 16 million passengers at £2 since 1 January 2023 while Transdev has seen its passenger numbers increase by 11% on some routes.

Over 140 bus operators covering more than 5,000 routes have confirmed they will continue to take part in the £2 fare cap scheme, and final details will be published on GOV.UK. Passengers can also find the updated routes when planning their journey on Traveline.

Martin Dean, Managing Director for UK Regional Bus, Go-Ahead Group said:

“We welcome the extension of the £2 fare cap and we’re pleased to be working with the Department for Transport to continue to make buses as affordable as possible.

“The £2 fare cap is a great initiative to promote bus travel, encouraging people out of their cars and onto public transport – with significant savings for passengers – including on Go North East’s route X10”.

The £200 million to extend the fare cap, first at £2 until 31 October and then at £2.50 until November 2024, comes on top of £300 million to protect vital bus routes and improve services into 2025, providing long-term certainty and security for the bus industry, and improving transport connections to grow the economy.

This latest funding is part of a record £3.5 billion investment for buses since 2020, most of which has been used to help the sector recover from the pandemic.

Norman Baker from Campaign for Better Transport said:

“Buses are integral to the economy and keep the country moving by helping to reduce congestion in our towns and cities and connecting rural communities.

“The extension of the single bus fare cap is a very welcome move that will save passengers money and encourage more people to get on board this summer.”

In addition, £5.7 billion investment has been provided to 8 mayoral combined authorities in England to support integrated, cross-modal transport networks over the next 5 years through the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlement (CRSTS), including supporting bus infrastructure.

As part of the National Bus Strategy, the government committed to achieving a zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet. Since February 2020, we have supported an estimated 3,400 ZEBs across the UK, including a near £300 million investment for up to 1,400 ZEBs in England outside London, taking the vision of a net zero transport network closer to reality.

Graham Vidler, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport said: 

“Our members will be working hard to ensure people across the country can get out and about for just £2 wherever they’re heading this summer.”

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