The Bus Fare Cap Grant (BFCG) mechanism in England outside London is “the right idea at the right time,” Go-Ahead Group has said. It came after the group announced on 24 January that two million passenger journeys on its regional bus businesses had been made to that point under the government-funded £60 million scheme.
The remarks were made by Managing Director, Regional Bus, Martin Dean. He adds that Go-Ahead is “keen to work closely with the Department for Transport and with other operators” to further promote Bus Fare Cap Grant “in order to get the maximum benefit from it.”
Go-Ahead’s position on BFCG echoes that of other large groups, although some medium-sized and smaller operators have elected not to participate on the grounds of insufficient funding via the scheme’s lump sum award approach.
Go-Ahead says that demand created by BFCG has allowed its regional bus subsidiaries “to launch several new routes.”
Among those is one operated by Carousel Buses between High Wycombe and Great Missenden – where it stepped in after Arriva withdrew – and another by Konectbus between Norwich and Heartsease Estate. The latter observes an hourly off-peak timetable.
BFGC was launched in late 2020 at Go North East’s Riverside depot in Gateshead by Under-Secretary of State for Transport Richard Holden. It runs to 31 March. Stagecoach previously announced that it had carried 300,000 passengers using the capped £2 fare by 6 January after its introduction at the beginning of the year, with UK Managing Director Carla Stockton-Jones describing BFCG as a “great initiative.”