Going Green: Buses are a Great British institution

I’m looking at ways to save money on journeys and I’ve heard buses are only £2 a trip. Is this true? UK buses are great and I use them whenever I can. Buses not only help to reduce pollution and congestion they also save us money.
Buses are a great way to get around. Photo: AdobeBuses are a great way to get around. Photo: Adobe
Buses are a great way to get around. Photo: Adobe

The fabulous ‘Get around for £2’ scheme is valid until October 31st this year. The tickets for single journeys are available on over 5,000 routes across the UK outside London for just £2.

Better still, if you’re a pensioner, you get free a free bus pass and if you’re feeling adventurous you can do what Penny Ibbott, from Scotland did. The amazing grandma travelled 2,200 miles on her free bus pass going from Scotland down to the South of England.

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It's not just pensioners that get in on the fun though, children under 5 travel free and there are subsidies for children up to 16. Disabled people can often travel for free on a bus pass at off peak times too.

The benefits don’t just stop at subsidies or passes though. Jumping on a bus instead of driving also avoids paying car parking fees and congestion or clean air charges as well as fuel costs. There are plenty of other perks; there’s free wifi on most services so you can work while you’re on the move for a bit of multi-tasking and secretly all of us love bus travel. Whether it’s spying from the top deck on posh houses and gardens as you go by or little ones sitting at the front on the top deck pretending to be the driver – there’s something a little bit special about buses and the communal sense of them.

There can be lots of conversations sparking between people – especially on the last buses home when the pubs close and – of course – everyone knows headphones on means no conversation if you prefer some quiet time.

However, too many bus services have been cut of late. Cancelling buses isn’t great for so many reasons. Public spending on roads in the UK is around £11.13 billion a year. We’re investing in roads but unfortunately when bus services close or reduce, all this does is drive people into their cars.

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If you can’t get public transport you have no choice but to drive – if you have a car – and with that driving comes plenty of issues. Congestion charge and clean air zone charges, paying for parking, having to leave early to find parking and the cost of petrol. Not to mention the fact if you drive on a night out, you can’t enjoy a drink.

Buses are funded by central and local government – any cuts to services are a loss to the very communities served. Lots of us remember getting the bus to meet friends or go on first dates. Plenty of us have plonked into a bus seat after a long day and had a well meaning smile from someone nearby. Buses are a great British institution and they have to be protected and routes and services increased, not decreased.

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