British Queen celebrates

Millions across England are encouraged to ‘Hop Around for £2’ this spring as the £2 bus fare cap is extended to 30 June.

Thanks to £75 million of extra government investment, the fare cap means passengers can save on single bus tickets, helping them travel more affordably to education, work and medical appointments.

Extended from today (1 April 2023), the offer will apply to more than 5,000 routes in England from over 140 operators, as the government continues to help households through this difficult economic period, while levelling up transport and growing the economy.

With the average single local bus ticket costing £2.80, passengers can save almost a third of the ticket price and over 75% on some of the longest trips.

The scheme, which began in January this year, has already seen an uptick in passenger numbers. This extension will continue to encourage greater bus use and is expected to take up to 4 million cars off the road, supporting ambitions for greener journeys by minimising pollution and tackling congestion across the country.

A key part of the government’s Help for Households campaign, the fare cap is helping to deliver real savings for people most affected by the rising cost of living.

Some of the biggest savings on the longest routes up and down the country thanks to the fare cap include:

  • £12.50 from Lancaster to Kendall, a saving of 86% from £14.50
  • £9.20 from Plymouth to Exeter, a saving of 82% from £11.20
  • £6.00 from Newcastle to Middlesbrough, a saving of 75% from £8.00
  • £6.50 from Hull to York, a saving of 76% from £8.50
  • £13.00 from Leeds to Scarborough, a saving of 87% from £15.00

Roads Minister Richard Holden said:

Bus travel should be accessible and affordable for everyone. We know that people are struggling with rising costs, which is why we’re extending the £2 bus fare cap and continuing to put money back into passengers’ pockets.

This will help to ensure people can get around easily, no matter where they live – connecting them with work, education, doctors’ appointments as well as friends and families – in turn strengthening communities and growing local economies.

This measure builds on more than £2 billion already invested to protect buses in England since the pandemic and a further £1 billion for Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIP) to improve services and keep fares down as part of the National Bus Strategy, published in 2021.

Bus fare caps are also available across major cities and local authorities, such as Greater Manchester and the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, thanks to the £1 billion in BSIP funding.

Graham Vidler, Chief Executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said:

The continuation of the £2 fare cap is a welcome boost for passengers during a cost-of-living crisis, reminding people buses are a stress-free, affordable and environmental option for work, education, appointments, leisure or to see loved ones.

Alongside low fares, passengers need the government to continue to invest in bus services to help maintain connectivity across England, no matter where you live.

Today’s announcement will help deliver on our vision of a net zero transport network, with the cap estimated to take 4 million car journeys off the road and building on the nearly £300 million already invested by government for up to 1,400 zero emission buses in England from the Zero Emission Buses Regional Areas (ZEBRA).

David Bradford, Managing Director of National Express West Midlands, said:

It’s fantastic to see that the government recognises the important role bus services have on local communities, not only to help people travel more affordably or access work, but also reduces congestion and emissions on our roads.

The £2 fare scheme has been warmly received by our customers with over 3 million passengers taking advantage of cheaper bus fares since January, and we hope that news of this extension will encourage even more people to ditch their cars and switch to buses to get around.

The government will continue to work closely with bus operators and local authorities to help passengers continue to access reliable and affordable bus services after June.

Andrew Stokes, VisitEngland Director, said:

With spring upon us and as we head towards the Easter break the decision to extend the fare cap is welcome news, supporting people to get out and take day trips and mini-breaks across England, by keeping the cost of transport down.

Enabling people to get out and explore England affordably this spring also gives families the chance to make great memories together, and provides tourism and hospitality businesses with a welcome boost as the season gets underway. Photo by Mdw3, Wikimedia commons.