£2 bus fare: Which routes will see fares cut and when will it be implemented?

It is hoped the cap on fares will help struggling households in England  (PA Archive)
It is hoped the cap on fares will help struggling households in England (PA Archive)

As part of government measures to help households with the cost-of-living crisis, bus prices are being capped at £2 on more than 4,600 routes in England.

The three-month “get around for £2” initiative, which was unveiled last month, will lower single tickets by more than 80 per cent on routes across England, including Leeds to Scarborough and Plymouth to Exeter in the southwest, although other parts of the UK are excluded from the scheme.

The initiative includes companies such as Arriva, National Express, and Stagecoach.

The cap is intended to assist individuals travelling for work, school, and medical appointments during the current crisis and is being paid for by the Government.

When does the £2 bus fare cap start?

The initiative began on January 1 and ends on March 31. It includes more than 120 operators, including Stagecoach and National Express taking in the scheme.

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 reasonable, with residents of Kingston, Sutton, Orpington, Uxbridge, Heathrow, and Barnet able to take advantage of bus rides for a price that is nearly comparable to TfL’s pricing.

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

Former transport secretary Grant Shapps warned Mayor Sadiq Khan that if he decided to freeze fares this year, he would have to pay out of his own mayoral budget because bus fares in London are typically less expensive than those in the rest of the country.

Outside of London, single rates for a three-mile trip average roughly £2.80, but tickets for lengthy rural trips can cost more than £5, according to the 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 only being carried out across 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, visit the government website, or check whether your route is included.