In the News

Bus fares in England to be capped at £2 per journey for 3 months

Graham Watson

3rd September 2022

The Transport Minister, Grant Shapps, has announced that bus fares are going to be capped at £2 per single journey for three months from January 2023.

Such a scheme was first launched in mid August by Labour Mayor Andy Burnham for Greater Manchester.

An effective price cap needs to be set below the equilibrium price, and this instance this is certainly the case, with some journeys becoming £3 cheaper, although many people see the move as doing little to help resolve the cost of living crisis, and it's not the 9 euro ticket that was offered in Germany. Spain has brought in a scheme offering free rail travel

The subsidy for the price cap is expected to cost around £60 million. A drop in the ocean compared to the tens of billions of pounds extra that households and businesses will have to find to cope with the surge in energy bills.

As a contrast:

  • In Scotland, bus travel is free for under 22s.
  • In Edinburgh, where he was speaking from, a single fare is £1.80.

The wider long term issue is the frequency, reliability and extent of local bus services. In many parts of the country, particularly those not served by local rail and tram services, a basic bus network in simply does not exist to allow people to benefit from cheaper tickets.

Graham Watson

Graham Watson has taught Economics for over twenty years. He contributes to tutor2u, reads voraciously and is interested in all aspects of Teaching and Learning.

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