Bus journeys in England to be capped at £2 amid fears of soaring costs this winter

3 September 2022, 00:05 | Updated: 3 September 2022, 08:17

Bus journeys in England will be capped at £2 from January to March.
Bus journeys in England will be capped at £2 from January to March. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Bus journeys in England will be capped at £2 from January to March next year, amid fears of spiralling costs this winter.

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The £60 million plan could see some passengers save more than £3 per single bus ticket, the government revealed, as it announced its plans to help hard-pressed Brits in the bleak winter months.

The Department for Transport (DfT) said the average fare for a three-mile journey is around £2.80, meaning that passengers will now save 30% of the price every time they travel.

Single fares that are already lower than £2 will not be affected by the cap.

The announcement comes as ministers face increasing pressure to help squeezed Brits with the rising cost of fuel, energy bills and food.

Earlier today, the Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi said the cost-of-living support from the Government will need to extend into 2023 to help defeat the tactics used by Vladimir Putin.

Read more: British hospitality 'freewheeling off a cliff edge' amid Tory inaction on energy crisis, expert warns

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He said the Treasury was preparing new financial support options for the incoming prime minister - who will be announced on Monday - including for households not in receipt of benefits and small businesses being rocked by the spike in energy prices.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the bus price cap will mean "everyone can affordably get to work, education, the shops and doctors' appointments".

"Buses are by far and away the most used form of public transport, so ensuring that almost all bus journeys are no more than £2 will assist passengers over the winter months and provide direct help to thousands of households across the country," he said.

"This £60 million boost will mean everyone can affordably get to work, education, the shops and doctors' appointments.

"We know people will be feeling the pressure of rising costs this winter, and so we have been working hard this summer to provide practical concrete help that will lower daily expenditure."

Read more: NHS manager shares harrowing plans to open warm banks for hospital staff

Bus prices will be capped at £2 from January to March next year.
Bus prices will be capped at £2 from January to March next year. Picture: Alamy

The new fare cap will see the Government working with operators and local authorities to introduce the scheme, with the Department of Transport claiming that bus operators representing 90% of the market have expressed support for the scheme.

Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said this will be "very welcome news" for millions of people who rely on the bus.

"Buses have great potential to cut traffic and carbon emissions, to connect communities and ease loneliness," he said.

"This £2 fare cap - which we have called for - will help set buses on the road to a bright future."

Severe cuts to bus services in England were avoided last month due to new Government funding, after it was announced £130 million will be made available to keep services running.

Brown: Cost of living crisis is national emergency

Alison Edwards, policy director at the Confederation of Passenger Transport, called it an "eye-catching initiative" and said she was looking "forward to understanding in detail how the proposed fare cap will work in practice to ensure it supports the long-term sustainability of bus networks".

Regulator Ofgem has confirmed the energy price cap will rise by 80%, which will mean the average household's yearly bill will go from £1,971 to £3,549 from October.

Businesses, whose bills are not subject to the price cap, are seeing rates rise even higher.

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