Bus users in Somerset can now travel on most routes in the county for just £2 until October 31.
The major fare cut is part of a national initiative funded by the Government aimed at boosting bus use while helping passengers to save money. It was due to finish on 30 June having been extended from the end of March.
Now thanks to further funding it will continue for another four months and from 1 November fares for single journeys in the county will be capped at £2.50. Welcome news for people in Somerset as the cost of living crisis continues to bite, fuelled in part by high petrol and diesel prices.
The £2 single fare is available from all participating operators. The initiative will apply to the majority of routes in Somerset until 31 October. You can check here Bus it – You know it makes sense (somerset.gov.uk) to see which operators are currently involved in the scheme.
It’s worth remembering that the initiative applies to cross-county services, which means for example you can travel from Street to Bristol for just £2.
Somerset Council and the Somerset Bus Partnership have launched the ‘Bus It’ campaign to encourage more people to use bus services at a time when some routes are under threat due to lack of use. It’s hoped the extended £2 fare will provide a continuing boost to patronage and support these aims.
Councillor Mike Rigby, Somerset Council’s Lead Member for Transport and Digital said:
“In order to protect bus services in Somerset more people need to use them. We know the £2 has been instrumental in boosting numbers, so it’s great news that it’s being extended until the autumn, and then only rising to £2.50 for the next year after that.
“We saw the benefit that the £2 fare cap brought in both increased usage and assisting family budgets. That’s why I wrote to the Secretary of State last month, requesting that he extend this very successful initiative. I’m very pleased that he’s now done just that.
“If we’re going to make bus travel attractive we have to start with making fares attractive. Getting on the bus supports our climate change objectives, it could well save you money, and it’s the best way to help preserve bus routes.”
Since the introduction of the £2 fare cap along with other initiatives in Somerset there’s been nearly a 15 per cent increase in bus usage across the county.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:
“Taking the bus is the most popular form of public transport and millions of people rely on these vital services every day.
“That’s why we’re investing half a billion pounds to help people save money amid cost of living pressures and continue to level up transport in all parts of the country, doing our bit to help halve inflation and grow the economy.”
Visit Bus it – You know it makes sense (somerset.gov.uk) to find out about ticket deals and calculate how much you could save.