- The £2 bus fare lasts until 31 October to help cover living costs and then £2.5 until November 2024
- New government £300m investment will protect bus services by 2025 and keep travel affordable
- Increased funding will support the long-term recovery of the bus sector, bringing total bus investment to over £3.5 billion as of March 2020
Millions of passengers across the UK will continue to ‘Travel for £2’ and access key bus services thanks to a £500 million government grant, helping people with the cost of living and ensure long-term stability in the field.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper today (May 17, 2023) endorsed £300 million to protect critical roads and improve service through 2025 on which people rely to work, education, medical care and shopping.
To help those under pressure with the cost of living and save on their daily commuting costs, the government will also provide up to £200 million to further cap single bus fares at £2 outside. London until the end of October 2023 and then £2.50 until 30 November 2024 – when the government will review their effectiveness and future bus fares.
Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that inflation will halve by the end of the year and that capping fares at £2.50 until November 2024 will provide more lasting certainty for bus users next year . Maximum fares will be reviewed before November 2024.
This move is an essential part of the government Help for Household initiative to support everyone through the rising cost of living, and will particularly benefit lower income earners, who have to take the bus almost 3 times more often than those with higher income.
During the pandemic, bus usage dropped to as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels, and while passenger numbers have recovered to around 85 to 90%, the fare cap is intended to encourage people to return to the bus. bus, which can help reduce congestion and emissions.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
By extending the £2 fare cap, we’re ensuring bus travel remains accessible and affordable for everyone while helping ease cost-of-living pressures.
Buses connect our communities and play an important role in growing the economy; they drive people to work, send our kids to school, and make sure patients can get to their doctor’s appointments.
That’s why we’re committed to protecting local roads and encouraging more people to take the bus, making sure everyone can get around easily and affordably.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:
Taking the bus is the most popular form of public transport, and millions of people use these vital services every day.
That’s why we’re investing half a billion pounds to help people save money amid cost-of-living pressures and continue to improve transport in all parts of the country, doing our best. themselves to help halve inflation and grow the economy.
Graham Vidler, CEO of the Passenger Transport Federation, said:
We welcome this 2-year grant settlement. It shows recognition of the value of buses to the local economy and community. It will enable bus operators and local governments to plan, promote and develop services with more confidence.
However, the combination of funding settlement and £2 fare cap extension won’t save every service in all parts of the country. Operators and local authorities will now work together to study the government proposals in detail and ensure that funds are used to protect the best possible network for local passengers.
Some of the biggest savings on the longest routes up and down the country thanks to fare caps include:
|Trip||regular fare||Amount saved||% save|
|Lancaster to Kendal||£14.50||£12.50||eighty six%|
|Plymouth to Exeter||£11.20||£9.20||82%|
|Newcastle to Middlesbrough||£8.00||£6.00||75%|
|Hull to York||£8.50||£6.50||76%|
|Leeds to Scarborough||£15.00||£13.00||eighty seven%|
While initially introduced as a temporary measure, we are extending the £2 fare limit for the second time to continue helping people save money on travel. Since it started on 1 January this year, the £2 fare has encouraged more people to use the bus.
Operators like Go-Ahead have transported more than 16 million passengers for £2 since 1 January 2023, saving them an average of a third of fares. Bus operators are continuing their £2 fare cap program to be confirmed in due course.
The additional funding announced today will be shared between local transport authorities and bus operators to protect and improve roads across the UK and demonstrate our commitment. us in getting the bus sector back on a sustainable financial footing. New funding models will protect vulnerable routes while allowing local governments and operators to identify routes that are appropriate for local areas.
This builds on over 3 years of government support totaling over £2 billion to help the industry recover from the pandemic and over £1 billion to assist local governments in putting in place new initiatives. local long-term plans to improve services.
As part of £300 million to support services through 2025, £160 million will be made available to local transport authorities to improve fares, services and infrastructure while £140m will go directly to operators to help protect essential services across the UK.
While it is the responsibility of bus operators and local transport authorities to ensure adequate availability of bus routes, the government continues to work closely with the industry to support local communities. response to changing travel patterns while managing pressure on taxpayers.
This latest funding is part of the government’s multi-billion dollar overall support program for the bus sector. In 2021, the government published a National Bus Strategy and asked all local UK transport regulators outside London to put together plans to improve their bus service. (BSIP) explain their local vision for the step change in bus service needed to bring passengers back to the heart of the network.
Since then, more than £1 billion has been given to 34 boroughs, city areas and unit governments to improve service, bus priority measures and ambitious fare initiatives, includes local fares in Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and the Liverpool City Area.
In addition, a £5.7 billion investment has been made available to eight UK mayoral governments to support integrated, multimodal transport networks over the next five years through the Transport Agreement. Sustainable City Area (CRTS), including supporting bus infrastructure.
As part of the National Bus Strategy, the government is committed to achieving a zero-emission bus (ZEB) fleet. Since February 2020, we have supported about 3,400 ZEB pass UKincluding an investment of nearly £300 million for up to 1,400 ZEB in the UK outside London, bringing the vision of a net zero transport network closer to reality.