Government extends £2 bus fare cap and protects vital services

Additional funding will help passengers save money on fares and support vulnerable bus routes.

  • £2 bus fare extended until 31 October to help passengers with cost of living and then £2.50 until November 2024
  • new £300 million government investment will protect bus services into 2025 and keep travel affordable
  • funding boost will support the bus sector’s long-term recovery, taking total investment for buses to more than £3.5 billion since March 2020

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

Government extends £2 bus fare cap and protects vital services

Millions of passengers across England will continue to ‘Get Around for £2’ and access vital bus services thanks to £500 million in government funding, supporting people with the cost of living and ensuring long-term stability in the sector.

The Transport Secretary Mark Harper today (17 May 2023) confirmed £300 million to protect vital routes and improve services until 2025 that people rely on for work, education, medical appointments and shopping.

To help people with cost of living pressures and save on everyday travel costs, the government will also provide up to £200 million to continue capping single bus fares at £2 outside London until the end of October 2023 and then at £2.50 until 30 November 2024 – when the government will review their effectiveness and future bus fares.

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) estimates that inflation will be halved by the end of this year, and capping fares at £2.50 until November 2024 will create longer-term certainty for bus users over the next year. The fare cap will be reviewed ahead of November 2024.

The move is an essential part of the government’s Help for Households initiative to support everyone through the increased cost of living, and will particularly benefit those on lower incomes who take nearly 3 times as many bus trips than those on higher incomes.

During the pandemic, bus usage dropped as low as 10% of pre-pandemic levels and, while passenger levels have recovered to around 85 to 90%, the fare cap aims to encourage people back on the bus, which can help reduce congestion and emissions.