UK News

£2 cap on bus fares extended

England's £2 cap on bus fares will now run until June 30 (Tony Smith/Alamy Stock Photo/PA)
Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

England's £2 cap on bus fares will be extended by three months, the Department for Transport (DfT) has announced.

The promotion – launched at the start of the year – was due to expire at the end of March but will now run until June 30.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he wants bus travel to be “affordable for all”.

A three-month extension to funding introduced at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic to keep bus services running despite the drop in demand was also confirmed by the DfT.

The current deal runs until March 31 but operators were keen for a new agreement to be secured before the end of Friday as they are required to give six weeks' notice about plans to cancel services or change routes.

The Confederation of Passenger Transport, which represents bus companies, warned earlier this week that up to 15% of England's bus services could be lost if Government funding was axed.

DfT figures show “ridership” on buses in Britain outside London was 19% below pre-coronavirus levels on Monday.

It is hoped the extension of the fares cap will boost passenger numbers, and help people travelling for education, work and medical appointments amid the cost-of-living crisis.

More than 130 operators outside London are charging no more than £2 for a single ticket.

The cap is being paid for by Government funding.

Single fares for a three-mile journey outside London normally cost an average of around £2.80 but tickets can exceed £5 for long journeys in rural areas, according to the DfT.

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