New £2 transport scheme could take up to two million cars off the road

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Millions of people across England can now save money and “Get Around for £2”, thanks to £60million Government funding to cap single bus fares until the end of March. From today (January 1) until March 31, 2023, over 130 bus operators outside of London will charge no more than £2 for their single tickets.

This will apply across over 4,600 routes, helping families, commuters and other passengers save money on travel.

With the average single bus fare for a three-mile journey costing around £2.80 outside London, passengers will save almost a third of the single ticket price.

Savings are even greater in some rural areas, where tickets can reach over £5.

The initiative encourages people to get back on the bus to help the industry continue its recovery from the pandemic. 

It will also reduce CO2 emissions and tackle congestion by taking an estimated two million cars off the road.

The biggest saving will be for people looking to travel from Leeds to Scarborough, with an 87 percent reduction.

A ticket would normally cost £15, but people can now save £13 by using the scheme.

Other huge savings can be seen on routes like Hull to York (£6.50 saving), Newcastle to Middlesbrough (£6) and Lancaster to Kendall (£12.50).

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Mark Harper, Transport Secretary, said: “By helping passengers outside London save almost a third off the average single bus ticket and taking two million cars off the road, the £2 bus fare cap is a fantastic way to start the new year.

“Buses are a key part of our vision for a clean, efficient and modern transport network that is affordable for everyone. 

“That’s why we’re investing £60million to encourage everyone to hop on the bus and ‘Get Around for £2.'”

The scheme forms part of the Government’s Help for Households campaign, as the new cap can deliver real savings for those most affected by the rising cost of living. 

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This fare cap builds on the allocation of more than £2billion to support bus services in England through the pandemic.

It is also a commitment to fund improved services, new bus priority measures and new electric or hydrogen buses as part of the ambitious National Bus Strategy, published in 2021.

Martin McTague, National Chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), praised the move, saying: “More than a third of small firms consider public transport important to their business. 

“It is therefore encouraging to see support on bus fares as we battle tough economic conditions. 

“This move will likely encourage shoppers to go to towns and cities – just the fuel we need for economic growth.”

The Government will continue to work closely with bus operators and local authorities and consider future support to help passengers access reliable and affordable bus services after March.

Norman Baker from Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Affordable bus travel really is a win-win. 

“Capping bus fares in this way will help struggling households, cut traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and inject new life into dwindling bus services.”

Operators in the Greater Manchester, West Yorkshire and Liverpool Combined Authorities where an existing Government-funded £2 fare cap scheme exists are not participating in the BFCG scheme. 

These are being funded by the Government through the Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIPs) scheme.

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