The “Get Around For £2” bus fare cap has been extended to the end of 2024, and an additional £3.5 million allocated to North Yorkshire Council to improve bus services for the next financial year, as part of the new Network North plan.
This is the first round of a £1 billion investment into bus services across the North and Midlands through Network North, which reinvests HS2 funding into local and regional transport projects that matter most to people, benefitting more people, in more places, more quickly.
Options for the council will include more regular and reliable services, including the reintroduction of evening services, introducing new routes to link up previously unconnected areas, cheaper fares through fare initiatives, and ticket price caps.
Since 2020, the Government has invested over £3.5 billion into bus services to support recovery from the pandemic. The popular £2 cap was due to rise to £2.50 from the end of the month and then be reviewed in November next year, but will now remain at £2 until 31 December 2024.
Since the cap was introduced across the UK at the beginning of this year, bus fares in England, outside London, have fallen by 7.4 per cent, with savings even larger in rural areas where fares have dropped by almost 11 per cent.
Additionally, Yorkshire and Humberside’s community services for older people and vulnerable passengers will also see a 60 per cent funding increase, aiding ‘life-saver’ services to help get these passengers to the shops, medical appointments and to see loved ones.
Julian Smith said, “The announcement today is fantastic news for everyone across Skipton and Ripon. The £2 bus fare cap makes a real difference in rural areas like ours and I’m delighted that the Government have extended it to the end of next year.
“It’s also great to see such an extensive support package in place for our local bus services. They are the most popular means of travel and ensuring people, particularly the elderly and the vulnerable, can access more regular, reliable, extensive and affordable services will have a big impact on everyday lives.
“I know there are some vocal proponents of completing the HS2 line in full, but these announcements show what this government can do, today, to tangibly improve the lives of people across Skipton and Ripon. I look forward to further funding announcements in due course.”