A new initiative capping single fares at £2 on bus journeys is growing as further companies hop on board with the scheme.

The offer is designed to help people combat the increased cost of living and 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.

It will be taking place from from January 1 to March 31.

Before Christmas it was announced that Oxford Bus Company and Thames Travel were partaking in the scheme but the number of companies has now increased to seven in total.

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The other bus providers in Oxfordshire which have opted in are: Arriva, Redline Buses, Stagecoach, Reading Buses, and Thames Valley Buses.

Councillor Liz Leffman, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, said: “It is great that so many bus operators in Oxfordshire have signed up to take part in the bus fare cap scheme.

“We know cost of living pressures are affecting many people and hopefully these discounted fares will help residents to cut costs as they use buses to get to school, to work and to visit our town and city centres.

Oxford Mail: Liz Leffman, leader of Oxfordshire County Council Liz Leffman, leader of Oxfordshire County Council

“Swapping car journeys for bus trips also helps reduce the number of cars in our town and city centres, reducing congestion, cutting emissions, and improving the environment.”

 The temporary £2 bus fare cap on adult fares does not change the concessionary fare scheme or impact free travel.

Services where singles already cost less than £2 are also not included, and there are some exemptions such as dedicated school services, services which only run-on school days and coach services including the Oxford Tube.

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More details are available on the Government’s website or by visiting bus providers’ websites.

Despite bus companies stating the initiative is ‘generous’, not all commuters are convinced the move will be beneficial.

Resident Charlie Rowland said the move ‘saves people little to nothing’ as single tickets tend to be cheaper regardless.

He added that the issue the council should be addressing is the reliability of services.

“Buses are continuously late,” he said “It’s the drivers who are at the brunt of it. I’ve witnessed multiple times now, a scene in which people complain and shout at the drivers yet it’s the companies who are the problem, not the drivers.

“These drivers are powerless to the high prices and poor reliability of our bus services. Services from Oxford City do tend to be much fairer in prices but absolutely shocking in reliability.

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“People end up waiting hours for a bus, just for it to be full. People shouldn’t be waiting in the cold to get home or see loved ones, especially in a time like Christmas.

“I’ve seen the public transport in our area decline in reliability slowly but damagingly for the last year.”


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This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Abingdon, Didcot, Wallingford and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @geeharland