Bus fares in many areas of England will cost no more than £2 (€2.26) until October 31st.
The government-backed scheme was introduced earlier this year to encourage people to choose public transport over private vehicles.
Passengers could hisse as little as a third of the usual ticket price and most major operators have signed up for the scheme.
The initiative is expected to curb emissions by saving as many as two million car journeys.
It is also the perfect opportunity to explore England’s countryside on a budget.
How much can you save with England’s £2 bus fares?
England’s £2 bus fares came into effect in January, capping the price for single tickets on most of the country’s services.
Dubbed ‘Get around for £2’, the campaign hopes to encourage people to use more public transport by making it cheaper.
The average national fare is £2.80 (€3.16) so travellers can save around 30 per cent on most routes or up to 87 per cent on some rural services.
Over 130 bus operators are participating in the initiative, including National Express and Stagecoach.
“Travelling for £2 on the bus both helps customers facing rising cost challenges and try a new travel option,” Graham Vidler, chief executive of the Confederation of Passenger Transport representing bus operators, told the Guardian.
The £2 fare limit was first introduced in autumn last year across Greater Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire while single tickets on buses in London cost £1.65 (€1.86).
The ‘Get around for £2’ scheme, funded by a £60 million (€67 million) government grant, will continue until the end of October.
The most scenic £2 bus routes in England
The cheap fares are also an opportunity to explore more of the English countryside.
Snaptrip, a company with holiday rentals across the UK, has compiled a guide to the most scenic bus routes in England.
The group’s top recommended route is the Stagecoach number 65 from Buxton to Sheffield, which takes approximately one hour 30 minutes.
The route wends its way through the forested Peak District National Park. There are “bucolic scenes and breathtaking views aplenty, without you having to worry about navigating steep descents, blind summits and sheep on the road,” according to the Snaptrip guide.
Before hopping on board, travellers can visit the 23 acres of Victorian-era pleasure gardens at Pavilion Gardens in Buxton.
At the end of the route, passengers can tour Sheffield’s botanical gardens or delve into the city’s industrial history at the Kelham Island Museum.
Second place was given to the 1A ‘Coastal Clipper’ from Lowestoft to Martham, run by First Norfolk & Suffolk.
The two hour route hugs the coastline passing grassy dunes and quiet beachside villages. Passengers can also hop on and off to explore some of the busier resort towns like Great Yarmouth, Hemsby, Winterton-on-Sea and Caister-on-Sea.
GO North East’s AD122 Hadrian’s Wall Country Bus from Hexham to Haltwhistle came in third (history buffs will appreciate the bus number).
The one hour 15 minute route is a whistlestop tour of northern England’s Roman past stopping at notable historic attractions like the Sill, the Roman Army Museum and various Roman forts along the wall.
Discount bus fares could prevent two million car journeys
The Department for Transport has hailed the scheme as a way to help the industry recover following the pandemic.
It is expected to help cut emissions across the country too.
“The scheme will also take 2 million car journeys off the road and it’s fantastic to see so many bus operators signing up,” MP Richard Holden said.
While green activists have praised the scheme, it still lags behind some of the more ambitious measures across Europe.
In Spain, the government introduced free rail travel on most short and medium journeys last year. The scheme has been extended to intercity bus services too.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said the scheme was instrumental in helping people out during the cost of living crisis.
Germany has launched a nationwide public transport ticket that costs €49 a month.
Germany had previously introduced a €9 public transport pass last summer. Over the three months offer period, 52 million tickets were purchased.
The Association of German Transport Companies estimated that roughly 1.8 million tons of CO2 were spared while the scheme was valid – a reduction equivalent to planting 90 million trees.