UK government extends £2 fare cap scheme to October 2023

Posted: 4 July 2023 | | No comments yet

The UK government’s extension of the ‘Get around for £2’ fare cap, which will run until October 2023, aims to support households amidst rising living costs while stimulating economic growth.

Millions in England enjoy cheaper fares thanks to UK government fare cap

Credit: Go-Ahead

The UK government has announced that it has extended the ‘Get Around for £2’ scheme for an additional four months, providing millions of people with an opportunity to save money on their daily commute and enjoy affordable outings during Summer 2023.

The scheme, initially scheduled to end on 30 June 2023, will now run until 31 October 2023. Passengers can take advantage of a fare cap of £2 on single bus tickets for over 5,000 routes in England, excluding London, resulting in a one-third reduction in the average ticket price.

To ensure sustained savings for passengers, the scheme will continue at £2.50 for one year until November 2024, thanks to a government funding of £200 million. This initiative is part of the government’s effort to assist households in managing the rising cost-of-living while stimulating economic growth. It will particularly benefit individuals with lower incomes, who take three times as many bus trips as those with higher incomes.

Since its introduction three months ago, the £2 fare cap has lowered bus fares in England (excluding London) by 8%. Transport Focus research has shown that 11% of respondents are using the bus more frequently due to the fare cap, with 80% acknowledging its assistance in managing the cost-of-living.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “Now we’ve extended the £2 fare cap, people can continue to ‘Get Around for £2’ throughout the summer – taking advantage of the bus for affordable holiday trips, to get to work, access medical appointments, and see loved ones.”

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The extension of the fare cap also aims to encourage people to return to bus travel, as passenger levels significantly declined during the pandemic. Although usage has recovered to around 85-90% of pre-pandemic levels, the scheme intends to further incentivise bus usage.

Over 140 bus operators covering more than 5,000 routes have confirmed their participation in the £2 fare cap scheme. The extension of the scheme aligns with the government’s broader commitment to the bus industry. An additional £200 million has been allocated to extend the fare cap, alongside £300 million to protect crucial bus routes and improve services until 2025. Since 2020, the government has invested a record £3.5 billion in buses to support the sector’s recovery from the pandemic.

Norman Baker from Campaign for Better Transport said: “Buses are integral to the economy and keep the country moving by helping to reduce congestion in our towns and cities and connecting rural communities. The extension of the single bus fare cap is a very welcome move that will save passengers money and encourage more people to get on board this summer.”

Martin Dean, Managing Director for UK Regional Bus, Go-Ahead Group said: “We welcome the extension of the £2 fare cap and we’re pleased to be working with the Department for Transport to continue to make buses as affordable as possible. The £2 fare cap is a great initiative to promote bus travel, encouraging people out of their cars and onto public transport – with significant savings for passengers – including on Go North East’s route X10.”