The £2 bus fare has been extended to 31st October 2023 and after that a £2.50 fare will be in place until November 2024.
Officially the £2 scheme was due to run until 30th June but had been widely reported that it would be extended to October 2023 and the £2.50 for another year.
This notification was embargoed by the Department Of Transport until today, so we were unable to share this great news as other media outlets and bus companies had already announced this move.
It has seen an increase in bus travellers, and the move is all an essential part of the Government’s Help For Households initiative and it’s a scheme everyone no matter what age can benefit from.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: “For the past six months, people across England have made the most of £2 bus tickets, which is one of the key ways we’re supporting households with the cost of living.
“Now we’ve extended the £2 fare cap, people can continue to ‘Get Around for £2’ throughout the summer – taking advantage of the bus for affordable holiday trips, to get to work, access medical appointments, and see loved ones.”
During the pandemic, bus usage dropped as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels, passenger levels have seen a steady increase boosted by this scheme.
The Government has invested another £200m into extending the fare cap and part of the record £3.5 billion investment in buses since 2020, as they have tried to recover from the pandemic.
Sadly, as we know here this has put pressure on our bus services in Weymouth, with regular cancellations and buses with Southampton Red services and other areas of buses that have seen better days.
Just down the road, in Bournemouth, we saw the closure of Yellow Buses and a similar picture in Southampton too.
While we commend the bus price cap, it seems to be at the detriment of bus services as they continue to be cut and last-minute cancellations, leaving those of us who rely on public transport, stranded for hours on end.