A new survey detects vast difference in fair prices between London and the rest of England. Bus passengers in England pay up to £6 for a single journey, whereas Londoners pay only £1.50 for a bus ticket. An analysis of five-mile bus trips reported that bus passengers across England are paying four times more for far worse bus services than in the capital. The most expensive fare for a five-mile journey is recorded to be in Hampshire and Cumbria, where a single bus ticket costs £5.65.
Statistic reports by Department for Transport suggest that the local bus fares in England increased by 71% between March 2005 and March 2018. However in comparison prices of single tickets in London improved: in 2005, a single zone-one fare for Oyster card users was £1, and fourteen years later the fare to travel anywhere in the whole city is £1.50.
There are five major bus operators which provide services in England. They are estimated to 70% of the market share, these include Stagecoach, FirstGroup, Arriva, National Express, and Go-Ahead. A spokesperson for Stagecoach said that the bus fares in England is too high and badly priced, in addition to being ‘punishing’ for people who depend on it for a daily commute.
The main reason for the vast polarity between the bus fares according to him lies in the cost of running services. The bus operators in the UK cannot compete with London’s bus fares, mainly because the operation cost of London’s bus network is £700m, which is more than the income of Transport for London. “If London operated like the rest of the UK where fares reflect the true cost of running services, pricing would be far different,” he said.