Bus journeys in England will be capped at £2 between January and March next year to help people deal with the rising cost of living.

The Department for Transport said the plan could see some passengers save more than £3 per single bus ticket.

The average fare for a three-mile journey is around £2.80, the DfT said, adding that this means passengers will save 30% each time they travel.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who announced the scheme, said: “This £60m boost will mean everyone can affordably get to work, education, the shops and doctors’ appointments.

“We know people will be feeling the pressure of rising costs this winter, and so we have been working hard this summer to provide practical concrete help that will lower daily expenditure.”

Bus operators representing 90% of the market have expressed support for the plan, the DfT said.

Paul Tuohy, chief executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said: “This will be very welcome news for the millions of people who rely on the bus to get to work, to the shops, to medical appointments, and to connect with friends and family.

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“Buses have great potential to cut traffic and carbon emissions, to connect communities and ease loneliness.

“This £2 fare cap – which we have called for – will help set buses on the road to a bright future.”

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Alison Edwards, policy director at the Confederation of Passenger Transport, said the idea was “eye-catching” – adding that she is looking forward to “understanding in detail how the proposed fare cap will work in practice to ensure it supports the long-term sustainability of bus networks”.

In August, the government announced £130m in funding to keep England’s bus services running in the face of severe cuts.

Labour said the fare cap plan was an inadequate “half measure”, with shadow transport secretary Louise Haigh adding: “This weekend Labour mayors will be lowering bus fares for millions of people for the long-term.

“The government’s temporary 90-day reprieve after years of soaring fares fails to match the scale of the crisis.

“Passengers across the country facing a cost of living emergency need more than half measures.”