There’s even more reason to take the bus after the government announced a national bus fare cap of £2 for a single fare bus journey from 1 January 2023, an initiative which complements the Bus Fares Pilot scheme already in place here in Cornwall since April 2022.
The Bus Fares Pilot scheme means bus passengers in Cornwall have already saved hundreds of thousands of pounds with more than 625,000 reduced fares tickets sold between April and July.
From 1 January to 31 March 2023, if you’re making a single bus trip, this new government initiative means you will pay no more than £2 for your journey. There is even better value for some single journeys thanks to the Bus Fares Pilot scheme, with some as low as £1.60, as well as for those passengers who use the bus for multiple daily or weekly. New technology introduced over the summer means passengers making contactless payments can ‘tap on and tap off’ – capping their payments so that no matter how many journeys they make, they pay no more than £5 a day or £20 a week for bus travel in Cornwall.
A first for a local authority, the pilot follows the Council’s successful bid for £23.5m in government funding and involves bus companies including Cornwall by Kernow and Go Cornwall Bus working in partnership as Transport for Cornwall.
Connor Donnithorne, Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for transport, said:
“We’ll be running a campaign to encourage even more people to back the bus and take advantage of these great value fares. Residents have previously told us that one of the biggest barriers to travelling by bus was the cost – with fares now significantly cheaper and with tickets valid on all buses, no matter who operates the service, I encourage everyone to jump onboard!
“Cutting the cost of bus travel in Cornwall is another step in encouraging more people to look to more sustainable ways of travel – for example taking the bus for shorter journeys that they may usually make by car. This complementary government flat fare initiative means that cross border single bus journeys between Devon and Cornwall will cost just £2.
“Many car journeys are of less than five kilometres, often with just one person in the car – it all adds up, creating congestion and increasing our carbon emissions. In our busier areas we’ve put the infrastructure in place to help keep buses moving on congested roads, giving priority to public transport – meaning passengers spend less time stuck in queues than they would if they were driving.”
Richard Stevens, Managing Director of Go SouthWest, said: “Many of our passengers are dealing with increasing bills this winter, so we’re proud to support this Government initiative to help people with their travel costs.
“Under this special fare, you’ll be able to go further than ever for £2. We hope it will encourage people to try some new routes, have some adventures and to explore the freedom of travelling by bus.”
Simon Goff, Managing Director, First South West said: “With great value fares already in place across Cornwall owing to the bus fares pilot, this additional £2 flat fare initiative is great news for the people of Cornwall. We really hope this will encourage people to leave the car at home and give the bus a go, even if you swap the car for just for a few journeys a month, it will make a huge difference to our environment and reduce congestion.”
More information about the variety of tickets and discounts available can be found on the Transport for Cornwall website https://www.transportforcornwall.co.uk/