Bus Services and Railways: Fares

Department for Transport written question – answered on 11th March 2020.

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Photo of Bridget Phillipson Bridget Phillipson Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what assessment he has made of the potential effect of ticket prices on (a) train and (b) buses on the accessibility of public transport.

Photo of Chris Heaton-Harris Chris Heaton-Harris Minister of State (Department for Transport)

We have made no specific assessment of the effect of train ticket prices on the accessibility of public transport. However, we have frozen regulated rail fares in line with inflation for the seventh year in a row, cut costs for thousands of young people with the 26-30 and 16-17 Saver railcards, and will be rolling out a new Veteran’s Railcard later this year.

Bus fares are primarily a matter for the commercial judgement of bus operators. However, we support council spending of around £1 billion a year so older and disabled people can travel on buses up and down the country for free and a further £250 million in Bus Service Operators Grant to keep fares down and maintain an extensive network. Our commitments in the Better Deal for Bus Users will also help passengers secure best value tickets.

On 11 February the Government announced plans for £5 billion of new funding to overhaul bus and cycling links across England. This will include higher frequency services and more affordable and simpler fares. The details of these programmes will be announced in the upcoming National Bus Strategy, to be published later this year.

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