Commuters who use buses are set to see a further benefit this year, as a £2 cap on fares has been extended to now finish later in the year.

The scheme was initially set to end on June 30 but will now last until October 31.

The cap is in place for services outside of London, and will increase to £2.50 until November 30, 2024, before fares are reviewed, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

London, Greater Manchester, Merseyside and West Yorkshire are not covered by the £2 scheme, as they already have fare caps in place.

Sky News reports that extending the programme will cost the Exchequer an extra £200m - with Transport Secretary Mark Harper also pledging £300m to "protect vital routes and improve services".

Sidmouth Herald: The Government has pledged £300m to protect vital bus routesThe Government has pledged £300m to protect vital bus routes (Image: PA)

Mr Harper said: “Taking the bus is the most popular form of public transport and millions of people rely on these vital services every day.

“That’s why we’re investing half a billion pounds to help people save money amid cost-of-living pressures and continue to level up transport in all parts of the country, doing our bit to help halve inflation and grow the economy.”

Why is the bus fare cap being extended?

The extension comes as part of the Government’s Help for Households initiative to support the public with the increased cost of living.

Additionally, the DfT has said the cap will particularly benefit people on lower incomes, “who take nearly three times as many bus trips” than those on higher incomes.

It is understood operators such as Go-Ahead have carried more than 16 million passengers at £2 since the scheme began on January 1.

A spokesman for the DfT said: "While it is the responsibility of bus operators and local transport authorities to ensure an adequate provision of bus routes, the government continues to work closely with the sector to support local areas in dealing with changing travel patterns while managing pressures on the taxpayer."