Reduced bus fares are being offered over the next few months to help passengers to save money.
Bus passengers in Devon can take advantage of a cap on single bus fares as part of the Department for Transport’s new fares initiative, through the Government’s Help for Households campaign.
Bus users will pay no more than £2 for a single journey when boarding the bus anytime in January, February and March.
With people up and down the country facing the impacts of the cost-of-living crisis, many can save money whilst choosing a more sustainable method of transport. A recent report by Stagecoach found that motorists replacing some journeys by bus and active travel could save consumers up to £6,000 a year. In addition, the report found that having the right measures in place to encourage people to make the switch, including cheaper fares, could help remove one billion miles of car journeys each week and cut CO2 by nearly 400,000 tonnes per week.
New Stagecoach South West Managing Director Peter Knight said: “2023 is here and it’s time for a fresh start. Whilst we deeply regret the level of service experienced by some of our passengers during much of 2022, I’m pleased to say that we have worked hard to stabilise our service delivery with over 99.3% of our scheduled services now operating reliably on a daily basis. We are committed to working with our local authority partners to ensure these improvements continue and are sustained. Our absolute focus remains in delivering a service our passengers can rely upon. We are pleased to be involved in this new initiative launched by the Department for Transport, which will help so many people at a time where money needs to stretch further and at the same time aims to reduce car use and encourage people onto more sustainable public transport.
“We’ve already seen a great take up on our 12 bus route connecting Newton Abbot and Brixham. A popular journey being between Paignton and Torquay, where customers are now paying just £2 to travel compared to on average £3.30. Journeys between Exeter and Exmouth and between Exeter and Tiverton have also proved very popular with customers across South West.”
The scheme means all adult, concession and child single tickets on eligible routes will be capped at £2, with any single tickets previously cheaper than this remaining the same price.
One of the longest journeys customers can take advantage of is available on Route X38 from Plymouth to Exeter. Customers can travel the length of route for just £2, whereas the usual adult single price is £7.80, that’s a massive saving of £5.80 or 74%! Buses travel via Drumbridges, Ashburton, Buckfastleigh, South Brent and Ivybridge.
The new year also sees the launch of a new campaign to promote bus services across the region. Our ‘Miles of Smiles’ Campaign will highlight to communities across the South West the benefits of getting back on board. Launching alongside the £2 single fare initiative, the campaign is set to run across the year. Plans are underway to deliver, in partnership, a range of improvements and benefits for bus users over the coming months.
Councillor Andrea Davis, Cabinet Member for Climate Change Environment and Transport, said: “The cost of living crisis is impacting on everyone’s daily lives so these reduced fares can potentially make a big difference to local residents. When we’re all feeling the pinch on our household budgets every little helps, but there are some impressive savings to be had on some journeys. We’re committed to supporting public transport to encourage more people to travel sustainably, and these £2 bus fares over the next few months are the ideal opportunity to either give it a try or get back on the bus.”
Don McIntosh, Managing Director of Kingsbridge based Tally Ho Coaches also commented: “We are delighted to support this new campaign which promotes the many benefits of travelling by bus. We hope through strong partnership working we can better deliver attractive, affordable and sustainable services to encourage modal shift from private cars to more sustainable public transport. Now really is the time to get back on the bus.”