Calls to make £2 bus fare cap permanent as thousands of fares slashed from today

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There are calls to extend the bus fare cap beyond March (Image: Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)
There are calls to extend the bus fare cap beyond March (Image: Andy Commins / Daily Mirror)

A temporary £2 cap on bus fares should be made permanent to make travel cheaper for millions and boost the economy, ministers have been told.

Some 130 bus operators will slash maximum prices to £2 from today, with more than 4,600 routes across England set to introduce lower fares.

But the temporary cap, which will cost £60 million in subsidies to bus companies, is due to expire on 31 March.

Norman Baker, of the Campaign for Better Transport, welcomed the policy - but said it should be a permanent measure.

“This a welcome and much needed move to make bus travel more affordable for millions of people, helping reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, and breathe new life into dwindling bus services,” he told the Sunday Mirror

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Calls to make £2 bus fare cap permanent as thousands of fares slashed from todayRural bus fares can cost more than £5 (PA)

“But in order to prevent the benefits of this initiative ending along with the scheme, we want to see it extended indefinitely, for the sake of our pockets, our economy and our environment.

“The Government must also look at how buses are funded long term, as that is crucial for the survival of our local bus network once this scheme ends.”

The average single bus fare for a 3-mile journey outside London is £2.80 - meaning passengers will save almost a third of the single ticket price.

Passengers in rural areas, where tickets can cost more than £5, will see even greater savings.

People travelling from Plymouth to Exeter will save £9.20 - an 82% drop from the normal fare of £11.20.

While those making the journey from Lancaster to Kendall will save 86%, with fares for the 22-mile dropping reduced from an eye-watering £14.50.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper 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 £60 million to encourage everyone to hop on the bus and ‘Get Around for £2’.”

Mikey Smith

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