Bus travel in England will be much cheaper in the New Year.
More than 130 bus operators running bus services outside of London will cap single adult fares at £2 this month as part of the government-funded money-saving scheme.
The bus travel scheme, running from 1st January to 31st March, will include larger bus operators National Express and Stagecoach.
On average, a single adult bus fare in England costs £2.80. However, in some rural areas, the average is more than £5 a ticket.
The scheme follows the introduction of similar £2 caps in Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire, which all have Labour mayors.
The Department for Transport announced the scheme in September and said buses are the most popular form of public transport in England, responsible for half of the journeys.
It will cost the government £60 million to fund the fare cap, which they say will “help families, students and commuters” and take “two million car journeys off the road.”
The latest official figures show that bus passenger numbers are rising but remain below their pre-Covid levels.
However, average bus fares in England rose 4.2% in the three months to June 2022, compared with the same period last year.
The government scheme, as well as helping passengers save money, is designed to help the bus industry’s recovery. The government calls it “an important step” in ensuring passengers get a fair deal.
Commenting on the introduction of the £2 fare cap, charity The Campaign for Better Transport spokesperson Norman Baker said:
“Capping bus fares will help struggling households, cut traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and inject new life into dwindling bus services.
“It’s such a win-win that it shouldn’t be restricted to three months, but should be extended indefinitely, for the sake of our pockets, our economy and our environment.”