£2 bus tickets – fare cap scheme sees prices slashed

Get around for £2 – a new government fare cap scheme in England means millions of people can get on the bus for less.

Rear View Of Woman Traveling In Bus
(Image credit: Getty)

More than 130 bus and coach operators outside of London are cutting the cost of single-fare bus tickets from January to the end of March, to help people during the cost of living crisis

Companies including National Express, First Group and Stagecoach are taking part and benefitting from the £60 million government funding in the scheme. The average single fare costs around £2.80 but in rural areas, it can cost as much as a hefty £5, meaning commuters could save around a third on a single journey. Not only will this help cut household spending, but the scheme aims to reduce emissions and congestion by taking an estimated two million cars off the road.

Buses Minister Richard Holden said: “Brits love buses. They’re the most popular form of public transport in England, making up half of all journeys. So we’re investing £60 million to cap single bus fares at £2 to help families, students and commuters and help get people back on the bus.”

The scheme runs from 1 January to 31 March 2023, in England. 

Tom Stables, CEO of National Express UK, said: “We’re also freezing child fares at £1. Bus travel is simple, cheap and easy and there’s never been a better time to get on board.”

Where is the £2 bus scheme running?

130 bus and coach operators across England are taking part in this scheme so there's a long list of towns and cities outside London, that are taking part – ranging from Dorchester to Durham and from Brighton to Burnley. 

Stagecoach has stressed that £2 tickets are available on most of its routes across England. There are some exclusions to services, for example, dedicated school services and note that this £2 scheme does not apply in London.  

Buses Minister Richard Holden said: “If you’re in Carlisle or Weston-Super-Mare, Birmingham or Doncaster, make sure you hop on the bus and ‘Get Around for £2’ between 1 January and 31 March.”

Some routes where you can make good savings are:

  • The X10 route between Newcastle and Middlesborough (usually costs £8)
  • The Regency Route between Brighton and Tunbridge Wells (usually costs £6.20)

Exclusions to the bus fare cap scheme

London, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire buses already have a long-term fare-capping scheme in place and have already introduced a price cap on single tickets.

Some bus operators have chosen not to take part in this scheme. The GOV.UK website has full details on all the bus operators taking part so check before you travel to see if your local bus company is part of the scheme.

Tips on using the £2 bus fare offer

 Bus company Stagecoach has shared a few tips on how best to make use of the £2 offer.  

  • Plan your journey: make sure you know what bus numbers you can get on 
  • When you get on the bus, make sure you ask for a single ticket to be eligible for the £2 ticket
  • You can pay for a bus ticket by cash, card or Apple/ Google Pay

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Vaishali Varu
Staff Writer

Vaishali graduated in journalism from Leeds University. She has gained experience writing local stories around Leeds and Leicester, which includes writing for a university publication and Leicester Mercury. 

She has also done some marketing and copywriting for businesses.

When she is not writing about personal finance, Vaishali likes to travel and she's a foodie.