The Government has announced the extension of its “Get Around for £2” bus fare cap, with another £500 million being spent on the initiative which is designed to support people with the rising cost of living and ensure long-term stability in the sector.
The Transport Secretary Mark Harper has confirmed £300 million until 2025 with up to £200 million to continue capping single bus fares at £2 outside London until the end of October 2023 and then at £2.50 until 30 November 2024 – when the Government will review their effectiveness and future bus fares.
The Government says that the Office of Budget Responsibility estimates that inflation will be halved by the end of this year, and so capping fares at £2.50 until November 2024 “will create longer-term certainty for bus users over the next year”. The fare cap will be reviewed ahead of November 2024.
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 which can help reduce congestion and emissions.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “By extending the £2 fare cap, we’re making sure bus travel remains accessible and affordable for everyone, while helping to ease cost of living pressures.
“Buses connect our communities and play a vital role in growing the economy; they transport people to work, take our kids to school and make sure patients can get to doctors’ appointments.
“That’s why we’re determined to protect local routes and encourage more people onto the bus, ensuring people can get around easily and in an affordable way.”
Transport Secretary Mark Harper added: “Taking the bus is the most popular form of public transport and millions of people rely on these vital services everyday.
“That’s why we’re investing half a billion pounds to help people save money amid cost of living pressures and continue to level up transport in all parts of the country, doing our bit to help halve inflation and grow the economy.”
(Picture – Parliament UK)