The Milton Keynes Liberal Democrats will propose a motion at Full Council Wednesday 15 March urging the Government to extend the £2 bus fare cap until the end of the year.
The £2 cap on single journeys was first introduced by the Government back in September to help passengers with travel costs, increase passenger numbers, and to protect vital bus routes. The scheme was due to run from January until March 2023.
In February, the Government announced the cap would remain in place for a further 3 months and continue until the end of June.
Before the cap was in place the average cost of a single adult journey in Milton Keynes was £2.90, now at the reduced price of £2, this is saving residents almost a third of the ticket price.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Paul Trendall who represents Campbell Park and Old Woughton will move the motion. He will ask the Chief Executive of the City Council to write to the Secretary of State for Transport and the Chancellor to request the £2 bus fare cap be extended until 31 December 2023.
Councillor Paul Trendall, said:
“Thousands of people rely on the bus services every day to get to work, school, and to attend medical appointments. As the cost-of-living crisis continues, many people are facing financial difficulties and this reduced fare is lifeline for many. The Government put this cap in place to help passengers with travel costs, increase passenger numbers, and to protect vital bus routes, but what makes them think these problems will be solved by the end of June?”
Although the buses in Milton Keynes are run by private companies, the City Council subsidises concessionary fares for the over 65s (which includes ENCTS passes), disabled residents, and the All in 1 Card for under 19s.
To help minimise the impact on residents during the cost-of-living crisis, the City Council has upped financial support for the All in 1 Card holders to cover inflationary fare increases across private bus companies. The City Council already pays 50p per trip, but they will provide an extra 20p to help reduce the cost for residents.
Liberal Democrat Leader on Milton Keynes City Council, Councillor Robin Bradburn added:
“The City Council gets less money from Central Government year after year and by subsidising fares and providing extra money to support residents, we are already doing all that we can to help. We know private bus companies are struggling and we are continuing to support residents where we can, but we can’t do it all. The Conservative Government need to step up and provide long-term funding so that our communities don’t suffer.”