Bus fares to be capped at £2 for those not eligible for free pass
Sadiq Khan quizzed by pensioner on future of free bus passes
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Earlier this month, the Government announced a £2 on fares for single bus journeys in England between January and March 2023. This is part of a £60million scheme to make public transport more affordable in the UK amid the cost of living crisis. Those who are not eligible for the free bus pass scheme will be able to benefit from this initiative which will cut travel costs for millions across the country.
In its announcement, the Government cited that a single bus journey in rural areas can reach almost £6 for travellers.
As a result of the new cap, passengers in rural areas could save more than £60 a month if they take around four single trips a week.
Overall, the average single bus fare for a three-mile journey is estimated to be just over £2.80 which cuts costs by around 30 percent.
On the travel policy, Grant Shapps, the Transport Secretary, explained: “Buses are by far and away the most used form of public transport, so ensuring that almost all bus journeys are no more than £2 will assist passengers over the winter months and provide direct help to thousands of households across the country.
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“This £60million boost will mean everyone can affordably get to work, education, the shops and doctor’s appointments.
“We know people will be feeling the pressure of rising costs this winter, and so we have been working hard this summer to provide practical concrete help that will lower daily expenditure.”
Dawn Badminton-Capps, the director of the charity Bus Users, added: “The cap on fares being announced today will bring welcome, short-term relief to the millions of people who rely on buses to access education, employment and health services.
“Buses make a vital contribution to society and government support is critical in protecting services for the future.”
Who is eligible for a free bus pass?
While the £2 bus fare cap benefits those of working age, older Britons are able to access the freebie benefit.
In England, residents are eligible for a free bus pass once they reach the state pension age which is currently 66 – although some may get free local travel from 60.
However, the state pension age is gradually increasing which means people will have to wait longer to get the benefit.
The state pension age threshold is expected to reach 67, according to current Government proposals.
Other economically vulnerable groups are also eligible for the free bus pass, including those who have a long-term disability, illness or injury.
People who are affected by any of these conditions would qualify for a disabled person’s bus pass.
Discounts on bus travel are also available for people who are diagnosed blind, partially sighted, deaf or unable to speak.
Anyone who does not have use of their arms or legs, or does not have arms or legs at all, can also get a free bus pass.
Citizens Advice shared advice on its website to those with a disability who are looking to receive a free bus pass.
The charity stated: “You can apply for a disabled person’s bus pass or railcard if you have a condition that makes it hard to get around.
“You don’t need to have a physical health problem – people with learning disabilities can apply too.
“Someone else can apply on your behalf, if you need help with the application. You’ll be able to travel for free by bus, or get 30 percent off your train tickets. Your nearest Citizens Advice can help you with the application if you need it.”
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