£2 fares still a winner for passengers

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Bus operators have been keen to promote the £2 fare cap. TRANSDEV

More people are giving bus a go thanks to the £2 bus fare cap, according to independent passenger watchdog Transport Focus, which spoke to more than 1,000 people to understand the impact of the fare cap and how it was helping passengers with the cost of living. It found that more than one in 10 are using the bus to travel more, more than four in 10 thought the new fare might save them money, and 80% thought it would help people with the cost of living. More than four in 10 said the bus journeys were replacing ones they would have made by car.

Looking to the future, almost half said they might make use of the £2 fare and use the bus instead of making a car journey, while others said the £2 fare would help them travel to places they wouldn’t otherwise go. The watchdog also found that awareness of the £2 fare cap had increased slightly from 53% of those surveyed in January 2023 to 56%.

Transport Focus Director David Sidebottom said: “Our research shows the £2 bus fare is having a big impact in helping more people get around by bus and putting more money back in their pocket. Cheaper fares are vital in winning passengers back and providing a lifeline for bus routes up and down the country. It’s great to see the introduction of simpler, better value for money fares helping more people give bus a go. This comes at a critical time when many people are struggling and worried about the cost of travel.”

Roads Minister Richard Holden commented: “It’s fantastic to see how the £2 bus fare cap is helping people save money, get on the bus more and travel sustainably. That’s why we extended the fare cap for a further three months, with over 5,400 routes now part of the scheme, as we continue to help people keep money in their pockets while levelling up transport and growing the economy.”

Comments from passengers received by Transport Focus included: “It’s so much cheaper to get anywhere. If there are more than one of us we’d usually get a taxi as it’s the same price but this makes us use the bus more”; “Before it was about £4 for a single journey and £7 for a return which is so expensive. £2 is a great price”; and “I can get to nice coastal locations for days out at a far cheaper price than normal.”