A survey was conducted at busy bus stations where five women stood with signs saying ‘Ask me to pay your bus fare and I will’. However, an average of only eight people at each station actually took up the offer of free travel. %u2028%u2028

The women were located at stations in Newcastle, Medway, Manchester, Perth and Leicester in rush hour for a week but the results showed that people are generally wary of something that looks too good to be true. %u2028%u2028

The majority of people that did take up the offer of a free bus journey were teenagers, the research revealed, showing that as we get older we get more cynical. %u2028

The research was carried out by Ice, a loyalty scheme that rewards customers for spending on eco-friendly services and goods. %u2028%u2028

Ice chief executive Jude Thorne said: “Our experiment shows that we simply do not accept the notion of genuine bargains, discounts and offers with no catch, despite admitting that difficult times are forcing us to seek them out.”%u2028%u2028