Extension to £2 single journey bus fare cap announced

Stagecoach Credit Leon Frampton

The £2 bus fare cap has been extended until 31 October and then £2.50 until November 2024

The Transport Secretary Mark Harper yesterday (17 May) confirmed the government will provide up to £200 million to continue capping single bus fares at £2 outside London.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that inflation will be halved by the end of this year, and 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.

The move is a part of the government’s Help for Households initiative.

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.”

Graham Vidler, CEO of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, welcomed the funding but added: “The combination of the funding settlement and the £2 fare cap extension will not save every service in every part of the country.

“Operators and local authorities will now work together to study the detail of the government’s proposals and ensure that the funding is used to safeguard the best possible network for local passengers.”

The £2 fare cap was introduced as a temporary measure on 1 January this year and had been due to end on March 31 but has since been extended twice.

Nationally – inclusive of London – government will provide £500 million to freeze bus fares and improve local routes. Transport authorities will receive £160 million to improve fares, services, and infrastructure, while £140 million will directly support operators in protecting essential services.

South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay said: “Buses are vital to people across South Thanet helping people to access work, education, shops, and appointments – and keeping the cost of fares down will make a real difference to the lives of the millions of people around our country who use them every day.

“That is why I am pleased the Conservative Government will extend the £2 cap fare and protect and improve vital local routes.

“This will help commuters to keep costs down.”

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  1. Craig MacKinlay says “That is why I am pleased the Conservative Government will extend the £2 cap fare and protect and improve vital local routes.”
    How does cutting the 45 to 1 bus every 90 minutes improve anything?
    Wasn’t the 9 to Canterbury a vital route?
    How do people get home from Minster after mid-afternoon?
    The £2 cap is great, but not much use if you can’t catch a bus.

  2. How does this help when routes are cut and you can’t even get around in the country villages because you have to change several times just to get where you want to go to

  3. This is called locking the garage door after the bus has gone. The DFT don’t really understand buses mainly because they hardly ever travel on them. It if were a form of transport they use like cabs, or jet airliners, or possibly trains, then something of a more permanent nature would be done.
    To drive up bus you need to address the 3 C’s, comfort, convenience and cash. Comfort: The bus be well appointed, quiet and reliable; a sad old clapped out 20 year old Dennis Dart just will not do. Convenience: A proper bus shelter with information boards showing the next bus, and fast frequent services, going to places you want to visit, not rambling 90 minute services calling at every hamlet en-route, with an average speed of under 12mph.Cash: Low fares, with tap on tap off facilities.
    This week I was having breakfast in a café located within a northern city, and no less than 30 buses passed by within an hour. Here, you are more like to meet a penguin than see a bus, they are becoming that rare.
    Like climate change I think we may well be reaching a tipping point, where bus services can no longer be operated. The future is therefore more cars, more pollution, even more parking wars, an increase in fatalities on the road. Look at all the various local news outlets, Road Traffic Accidents vie with stabbing incidents in frequency of reports.

  4. Good news, thanet parkway railway station has a bus stop outside, bad news there will NO buses going to the rail station due to tories austerity, £2 limit only works if there is a proper bus service in rural areas.£60 million to build more roads but cutbacks on buses, vote Tory get chaos

    • Probably because public transport is full of people who can’t wash themselves, or their clothes properly. Kids that parents refuse to control. And druggies, stinking up the buses with the 10 bag in their pockets.

    • Hmm addicted. If addicted means i get to work in 20 mins rather than an hour and a change of buses, plus the ability to pick up the shopping with a additional 5 mins added to my journey rather than another 45 mins, plus the ability to get all the family shopping home before the frozen goods are a soggy mess on the floor of the bus, then, yes, totally addicted.

        • At one time you could, but one corner shop, two barbers, and a couple of take aways doesnt exactly tick many boxes.

          • And the reason why so many local shops have gone? People driving to bigger and cheaper places elsewhere!

      • The reason that we have such a poor bus service is that too many people chose to drive cars. This gas several consequences: out-of-town shopping malls spring up with “free” parking; the roads become even more choked up with cars; the local environment deteriorates; global warming gets worse.
        In nit too long, soggy frozen peas will be the least of your worries.

  5. One way to deliver fast, reliable bus services is to install bus lanes. However if you do that, motorists complain that their freedoms are being affected.
    There are 32m cars on the road and most spend 95% of their time parked. Another way to encourage better public transport is to do away with road fund licences and fuel taxes and increase VAT and car tax still further on luxury and polluting vehicles. The introduction of road use charges is an option, but as we have seen with ULEZ in London, the noisiest wheels get the most attention.
    There are lots of things we can do, but is there the will to do them?
    Stuart will find that his peas will become evermore soggy as he waits in a traffic jam, and if the climate really goes haywire, peas may no longer be available.
    I sometimes think that the UK lives in a bubble, because the weather is often temperate, and kind to life on earth. Perhaps we need to suffer a catastrophic weather event, far worse than was experienced last summer, before complacent Britain is convinced of the need for change. Unfortunately that means someone will suffer catastrophic harm and there is no guarantee that catastrophe will touch those who react like Stuart, in a complacent manner.

    • You want people to dump cars? Then produce a viable alternative. As for London, just been there, strange how all the important people still drive huge gas guzzling vehicles, why? Because the daily charge is peanuts, want real change? Then start from the top and sort out the sorry mess, they dont want cars in Canterbury?, so they pull the park and ride, vehicles pay massive ammounts of tax already, invest it in the infrastructure, maybe less roadworks dragging on for months will help the stationary traffic you complain of, maybe use that money to upgrade charging points not three in a car park holding hundreds of cars but simply taxing the average person to death is not the answer.

  6. It’s not people like George Nokes , Andrew and me who need to produce a viable alternative!

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