MILLIONS of people can save money on everyday 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 June 30, will now continue until October 31, helping passengers save a third off the average ticket price.
The offer will be available for single bus tickets on more than 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 eight per cent.
Research from Transport Focus has also revealed that 11 per cent of respondents are using the bus more thanks to the cap, with 80 per cent 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.
Some of the biggest savings on the longest routes up and down the country thanks to the fare cap include Plymouth to Exeter which normally costs £7.50, now reduced to £5.50, meaning a 73 per cent saving.
During the pandemic, bus usage dropped as low as 10 per cent of pre-pandemic levels and, while passenger levels have recovered to around 85 to 90 per cent, the fare cap aims to encourage people back on the bus.
More than 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.
The £200 million to extend the fare cap, first at £2 until October 31 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.”