On 3 September, we announced plans to invest up to £60 million to introduce a £2 bus fare cap on a single bus ticket on most services in England outside London. It will begin no later than 1 January 2023 and shall be in place for a interval of three months till March 2023.
At a time when many are combating the rising price of dwelling, this can be a important funding that may lead to thousands and thousands of individuals throughout England saving on journey prices. This funding additionally makes clear our continued dedication to delivering on the daring imaginative and prescient for bus companies set out in ‘Bus Back Better’, the federal government’s nationwide bus technique, and significantly our ambition to make bus companies cheaper. The introduction of the £2 bus fare cap is a major step ahead to delivering this and continues the federal government’s observe file of offering the most important funding in bus companies in a technology, in England outdoors London.
This fare cap is not going to apply to bus companies in London as transport is devolved to the Mayor of London, together with fare setting. Nevertheless, I do know that colleagues throughout Parliament shall be happy that this announcement follows the settlement with Transport for London on a £1.2 billion multi-year settlement to secure the long-term future of London’s transport network, together with bus companies.
In addition to supporting passengers by decreasing the price of bus fares, we’ve got additionally continued to put money into bus companies, in response to the unprecedented impacts attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic however which might now be threatening the availability of companies at a time when the general public want bus companies greater than ever.
With almost £2 billion supplied to date, via the COVID-19 bus service support grant, the Bus Recovery Grant and most not too long ago the native transport fund, we’ve got mitigated the impacts of the pandemic on bus networks. This meant that buses have been stored operating over the course of the pandemic to make sure that those that needed to journey for work, training or healthcare have been in a position to entry these important companies and assist hold this nation operating.
As I announced to this House in March, this funding was originally due to end in April (2022), however on the time it was clear that the sector was nonetheless going through important monetary challenges because it sought to get well from the pandemic. That’s the reason we introduced we would supply an extra £150 million, and lengthen restoration funding for the sector till October, to permit bus companies the utmost period of time to get well.
On the time of asserting this funding, we have been clear that this might be the final such spherical of restoration funding. Nevertheless, with the sector persevering with to face important challenges, and many individuals going through pressures as a result of rising price of dwelling, we recognise that additional authorities assist is critical to stop important cuts to bus companies for the thousands and thousands of people that use them every single day.
That’s the reason on 19 August we introduced a six-month extension to the Bus Recovery Grant, price as much as £130 million, to proceed supporting bus companies in England outdoors London. This shall be in impact for six months beginning in October 2022 till the tip of the monetary yr in March 2023. This funding will present the sector and passengers with certainty within the short-term and make sure that these important companies will proceed to serve people who depend on them to stay, work and journey. Each of those additional investments in England’s bus companies exhibit our dedication to supporting bus companies. We are going to proceed to work carefully with the sector as we ship the nationwide bus technique, and fulfil our ambition for everybody, in every single place to have entry to nice bus companies.