50 days to save South Yorkshire’s bus network

Today, South Yorkshire’s Mayor, Oliver Coppard, will launch a campaign to highlight the devastating downgrade of bus routes across South Yorkshire inflicted by cuts in Government funding.
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Within 50 days, evening and weekend bus routes will be affected unless further support is secured.

The Bus Service Improvement Plan announced by the UK Government in May 2023 distributed funding for bus services across Manchester, West Midlands and West Yorkshire, but denied South Yorkshire a boost.

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Young people are worst hit, with the removal of the Zoom Beyond pass providing concessionary travel for 18-21 year olds, and increases to children’s fares.

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver CoppardSouth Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard
South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard

The evening economy is also adversely affected, as the Government penalises South Yorkshire and pits regions across the country against each other instead of providing this essential public service.

Oliver Coppard, South Yorkshire’s Mayor said: “Wherever we look in our country, public services are crumbling. But public services aren’t added extras – the clue is in the title, they should be there to serve the public, when we need them, where we need them.

“I’m determined to fight for a fair funding deal that gives us a public transport network that is reliable, efficient and affordable, and that actually serves the needs of our communities. Because as it stands we’re losing out. The government promised us that levelling-up would mean a London style transport system here in South Yorkshire, but that vision is further away than ever.

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“That’s because we simply haven’t had the investment we need to make that promise a reality. That’s why I’m asking the Secretary of State for Transport to meet me, urgently, because the challenges we now face across our public transport network deserve to be a priority.”

The Mayor will conduct a tour of the region which will reach over 600 people at 23 locations including: Cudworth in Barnsley, Stainforth in Doncaster, Maltby in Rotherham and Stocksbridge in Sheffield, visiting those areas that will be affected most.

The campaign will highlight the impact of bus closures on people’s ability to get to work, health appointments, childcare, and school as well as the knock-on effect on air pollution and our climate due to the likelihood of heavier car use.

The downgrade and closures will become live from 1st November unless funding is secured.