THE cheapest single bus fare in Britain has been found on a route in Perthshire.

An annual survey of fare prices found that an 80p single ticket charged by Stagecoach to journey between East Haugh and Pitlochry town centre was the cheapest in the country.

The journey, on the number 24 Pitlochry-Perth service, takes just five minutes.

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The National Fares Survey, carried out by passenger transport analysts TAS, compares prices of single fares for journeys of three miles.

The most expensive was a £5 fare charged by Pennine Bus to travel between Skipton and Gargrave in Yorkshire.

Stagecoach, chaired and founded by Perth businessman Sir Brian Souter, were also found to offer their passengers the cheapest weekly tickets of any operator for the third year in a row.

Researchers at TAS found that Stagecoach charged an average of £12.50 for a weekly bus pass, compared to £14 for National Express and £17 for First.

Publicly-owned Lothian Buses, the main operator in Edinburgh, was also noted to have the lowest single fares on average across all its routes.

The company charges a flat fare of £1.50 for all one-way journeys.

First Bus were close behind with an average of £1.60 for single fares in its Scotland East division, but was also ranked among the highest with average single fares of £2.50 on its services in Aberdeen.

Despite the cost pressures facing operators, TAS found that the average price of a three-mile bus journey in Britain has fallen in real terms over the last two years.

The 2013 survey found that the cost of a typical three-mile journey was £2.00, up 5% from £1.90 in 2011. However, this compares with a 6% increase in general prices over the same two year period.

There is also a suggested north-south split, with areas of high population density and low car ownership in the north generally pushing down bus fares because the operating costs per passenger are lower.