Bus fares slashed to £2-a-ticket across Northamptonshire for first three months of 2023 in bid to get more people on board

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Operators back £60m government scheme to make public transport more affordable in cost of living crisis

Bus fares across Northamptonshire will be slashed for the first three months of 2023 as the government chips in to make public transport more affordable during the cost of the living crisis.

Every adult single journey on Stagecoach and Uno services will be capped £2 from January 1 knocking around 70 percent off the price of some cross-county tickets until the end of March. Operator Stagecoach, which is backing the £60 million scheme, says it offers a new incentive for people to move away from cars and onto buses to improve air quality and reflects pressure on the costs of running bus services.

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A Stagecoach spokesman said: “The £2 fare cap applies to single fares. So if you normally travel on more than one bus and buy a single ticket for each part of your journey, then you will still need to do that, but each ticket will cost no more than £2 for the duration of the scheme.

Single fares will be capped at £2 on Northamptonshire's buses for the first three months of 2023Single fares will be capped at £2 on Northamptonshire's buses for the first three months of 2023
Single fares will be capped at £2 on Northamptonshire's buses for the first three months of 2023

“If you normally jump on and off a few buses a day or week it’s likely that a dayrider or other longer term ticket will still be the best value for you. If your current ticket is less than £2, don’t worry it’ll stay the same price!”

Stagecoach recently announced a second hike in its fares this year as maintenance and fuel costs soared. Most cross-town fares in Northampton which went up to £3.20 will be reduced to £2 for three months but the big winners are longer–distance travellers and shoppers heading for Rushden Lakes. A few of the fares which will be reduced include:

■ Between Northampton and Rushden Lakes, Kettering, Corby or Towcester £6.50.

■ Kettering and Rushden Lakes £5.40

■ Daventry and Northampton £5.40

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Even longer trips, such as from Milton Keynes to Corby, could cost just £4 using two buses.

The government, which originally announced the scheme in September, hopes its initiative will help passengers get to work, school and appointments more cheaply amid 10.1 percent inflation.

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Stagecoach managing director, Carla Stockton-Jones, said: “We are pleased to be involved in this new initiative by the Department for Transport, which will help so many people at a time where money needs to stretch further and at the same time aims to reduce car use and encourage people onto more sustainable public transport.

“We hope that this new promotion helps more people to get on board with us, and continue benefitting from our value-for-money tickets after the government scheme has ended.

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“However, fares are just one tool that can make buses more attractive. We also need a focus on priority measures which will keep buses out of congestion, speed up journey times, help keep fares low, and ensure buses are reliable, factors which we know are important for passengers and which we are actively working with local and national governments on.”

Stagecoach recently announced 14 new buses with low-emission engines will be added to its fleet in Northampton in early 2023 replacing some of the oldest vehicles as part of a £50 million investment.