Bus fare £2 cap extended: when will the scheme end?

The cap on fares is aimed at helping struggling households in England amid the cost in living crisis  (PA Archive)
The cap on fares is aimed at helping struggling households in England amid the cost in living crisis (PA Archive)

The £2 cap on bus fares in England has been extended for the second time until the end of October, the Government has announced.

The cap will then rise in November to £2.50 for 12 months before the cost is reviewed.

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the Government will invest £200 million to extend the cap and a further £300 million to support bus services until 2025.

Here’s all you need to know about the £2 bus fare cap.

What is the £2 bus fare cap and when did it start?

The “get around for £2” scheme applies to more than 130 bus operators outside of London and had been set to end by June 30. The initiative began on January 1 and will now end on October 31.

It lowers single tickets by more than 80 per cent on routes across England, including Leeds and Scarborough in the north-east and Plymouth to Exeter in the south-west.

Companies involved in the scheme include Arriva, Stagecoach and National Express.

Where does the £2 bus fare apply?

Despite the fact that the policy is intended to help areas outside London, several routes that reach the city from the home counties will still benefit from the fare cap.

The main advantage of this move for Londoners is that cross-border lines will be much more affordable. Residents of Kingston, Sutton, Orpington, Uxbridge, Heathrow, and Barnet will be able to enjoy bus rides for a price that is nearly comparable to Transport for London’s (TfL’s) pricing.

However, many routes into Kent, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire are exempt.

Outside of London, single rates for a three-mile trip average roughly £2.80. However, tickets for lengthy rural trips can cost more than £5, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

The most cost-effective trips are those between Plymouth and Exeter (£9.20), Lancaster and Kendall (£12.50), and Leeds and Scarborough (£13).

Discounted routes in north London

  • Arriva 508 : Mount Vernon Hospital - Northwood - Carpenders Park - Watford - Hemel Hempstead

  • Arriva Greenline 724 : Heathrow Central - Uxbridge - Denham - Rickmansworth - Watford - St Albans - Hertford - Harlow

  • Carousel Chiltern Hundreds 101/102/104 : Heathrow Central (102) - Stockley Park (102) - Uxbridge - High Wycombe

  • Carousel 581/583 : Uxbridge - Denham (581)/Iver (583)

  • First Beeline 3 : Uxbridge - Uxbridge Moor - Iver - Slough

  • First Beeline 4/7/8 : Heathrow Central - Terminal 5 (7/8) - Windsor (8) - Slough - Britwell (7)/Maidenhead (4)

  • Reading Buses Greenline 702/703 : Victoria (702) - Kensington (702) - Hammersmith (702)/Heathrow (703) - Slough - Windsor - Legoland - Bracknell - Reading (702)

  • Red Eagle Shopper buses R1/R2/R17 : Mount Vernon Hospital (R1/R2)/Hatch End (R17 ) - Chorleywood (R1/R2)/Carpenders Park (R17)

  • Uno Comet 614/644 : Queensbury - Burnt Oak - Edgware -Barnet (614) /Borehamwood (644) - Hatfield

  • Uno Dragonfly 610 : Cockfosters - Potters Bar - Hatfield - Harpenden - Luton

Discounted routes in south London

  • Arriva 477 : Orpington - St Mary Cray High St - Crockenhill - Swanley - Dartford

  • Falcon 461/514/515 : Kingston - St Peters Hospital (461)/Brooklands via Hersham (514/515)

  • Falcon E16 : Worcester Park - Epsom

  • Metrobus 420 : Sutton - Belmont - Banstead - Tadworth- Reigate - Redhill

  • Southdown 409/411 : Selsdon - Warlingham - Caterham - East Grinstead via Godstone (409)/Reigate via Redhill (411)

Who will not benefit from the cap?

The initiative is being carried out in only England. Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are not included in the scheme.

Arriva buses have said certain routes, throughout the south-east, Midlands, and the north, are also excluded.

For further information about the £2 bus fare cap and check the routes involved or exempt, visit the Government website.