James Gray, Member of Parliament for North Wiltshire has welcomed £2,115,269 of Conservative Government funding for bus companies and Wiltshire to extend the £2 bus fare cap, as part of a £500 million investment to freeze bus fares nationally and improve vital local routes – ensuring passengers can continue to ‘Get Around for £2’ while ensuring the long-term sustainability of the sector.
The Government is investing £200 million in extending the cap for single bus fares at £2 outside of London until October 2023, and then at £2.50 until 30 November 2024.
Although the initial cap – announced at the start of this year – was introduced as a temporary measure, the scheme has successfully encouraged many more people to use local bus services, benefitting local economies, supporting jobs, and helping passengers with the cost of living.
A further £300 million has been announced to protect routes and services that are relied on for work, education, medical appointments, and shopping. As part of this, local transport authorities will receive £160 million to improve fares, services, and infrastructure, while £140 million will directly support operators in protecting essential services.
Across North Wiltshire, journeys including on the 55 bus route linking Chippenham, Calne, Royal Wootton Bassett and Swindon will be reduced to £2.
Commenting, James Gray said:
“Buses are vital to people across North Wiltshire helping people to access work, education, shops, and appointments – and keeping the cost of fares down will make a real difference to the lives of the millions of people who use them every day.
“That is why I am delighted the Government will be committing £500 million across the country, extending the £2 cap fare and protecting and improving vital local routes.
“This will help people to keep costs down, as the Government works to halve inflation, grow the economy, and reduce debt.”
Commenting, 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.
“This half a billion pounds investment will 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.”