Cheaper bus fares 'vital' to win back passengers


The £2 cap on single bus fares outside London is having a positive impact on bus use and saving passengers money, according to new research from the passenger watchdog.

The government-funded cap was introduced in January for three months and has now been extended to the end of June.

Ipswich February 2023

Transport Focus spoke to more than 1,000 people outside London, where the cap applies, to understand the impact of the fare cap and how it was helping passengers with the cost of living.

More than half (56%) of respondents said they are now aware of the £2 capped fare – up from 53% in January  – and more than one in 10 (11%) respondents said they are using the bus to travel more.

Among those who were aware of the £2 cap, almost one in five (18%) said that it had increased their use of the bus. Surprisingly, 1% of people who were not aware of the maximum fare said it had increased their bus use.

More than four in ten 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 (42%) said that at least some of the bus journeys were replacing ones they would have made by car, with 34% saying they were going more often to places they already went to.

David Sidebottom, director at Transport Focus, said: ‘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.’

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