BUS passenger numbers across Devon are on the up, according to bus company Stagecoach.

Operators and Devon County Council hope the recent Government announcement to extend the £2 single bus fare scheme could encourage others to get on board and have welcomed the fare cap extension until the end of 2024.

Stagecoach, which operates the majority of bus services in Devon, has announced an increase of 3per cent in patronage since the DFT funded scheme has been running.

Not only are more people catching the bus, but passengers are happy with local services too, according to a survey carried out in the summer as part of the delivery of Devon’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

More than 2,400 responses were received through the survey which was funded and delivered jointly between Devon County Council, Torbay Council and Stagecoach.

It found that 87per cement of all respondents were ‘very satisfied’ or ‘satisfied’ with their experience on their bus journey. Most people were making their bus journey to travel to work, a shopping trip or for a day out.

Cllr Andrea Davis, Devon County Council’s cabinet member with responsibility for transport, said: ‘The extension of the £2 fare cap can only be good news for bus passengers and I hope it encourages more people across the county to catch the bus.

‘We’re starting to see passenger numbers move closer to pre-Covid levels and I think the extension of this support is the best possible way to persuade others to switch to using the bus.

‘This year’s survey received a fantastic response and the vast majority of people are pleased with their local bus service. I’m positive those results can continue to improve over the next year.’

Peter Knight, managing director of Stagecoach South West, said: ‘It was very pleasing to hear that the majority of people were very satisfied with their journey and with their driver on the day.

‘Every day around 70,000 people trust us to get them where they need to be. I do not underestimate the importance that our services have in the communities we connect.’