Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel will cap single fares at £2 on bus journeys from January 1 to March 31.

The offer which is available on all Go-Ahead Group operating companies is designed to help people combat the increased cost of living.

It is funded through a £60m scheme under the Government’s “Help for Households” programme to help the public with cost-of-living pressures over the winter.

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All single fares are covered by the scheme, with a handful of exceptions including the Airline service, City Sightseeing Oxford and most day school services. Passengers can make big savings via the scheme, for example Oxford Bus Company’s 26-mile River Rapid route from Oxford to Reading is usually £5.

The government has estimated that the average single fare for a three-mile journey is £2.80, meaning the special fare will save passengers almost 30%.

Across the UK the initiative will help millions of Go-Ahead passengers with travel costs for work, education, and essential journeys.

Oxford Mail:

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel Interim Managing Director, said: “Bus travel remains fantastic value for money and this generous initiative makes it even more attractive.

"We know it is a challenging time for many currently and this three-month offer will help people at a crucial time. We hope it encourages many people to give our bus services a try and I’d encourage people to visit our website for the full details.”

Martin Dean, Go-Ahead’s Managing Director, UK Regional Bus, said: “Many of our passengers are feeling the pinch this winter as household bills mount. So, we’re proud that all our UK bus companies are supporting this Government initiative to help people with their travel costs.

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“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.”

Buses Minister Richard Holden said: “Bus travel remains the most popular form of public transport in England, making up around half of all journeys. That’s why we’re investing £60 million to cap single bus fares at £2 to support every passenger and help get people back on the bus.  

“With the scheme set to take two million car journeys off the road, it’s fantastic to see so many bus operators signing up to the fare cap, helping people to ‘Get Around for £2’ between the 1st January and 31st March.”  

Oxford Mail:

A few ‘short hop’ single and return fares will remain less than £2 and passengers will not pay any more than usual for such journeys.

Most school day services are excluded. The £2 fare will not be available on: Thames Travel BB1/BB1A, BB2, BB3, BB5, and 94S and Oxford Bus Company’s city3B.

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Passengers can buy a £2 fare via operators’ mobile apps, directly from drivers or via Freeflow tap on tap off.

Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel also announced there will be some minor revision to fares from the start of next year.

The "short hop" adult single will change from £1.20 to £1.40 and the equivalent child fares will be revised to 70p single and £1.10 return. 

Additionally, multi-trip tickets and a range of period passes are being withdrawn from the Park&Ride service, as they have become less relevant due to service pattern changes.

The Transport Secretary announced in September that the Government would provide up to £60m from January to March to help bus operators to cap single adult fares at £2 per journey.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF