Brutal bus cuts across Doncaster will lead to ‘social isolation’ says Mayor Ros Jones

Mayor Ros Jones has said brutal cuts to bus services across Doncaster and South Yorkshire ‘will lead to social isolation’.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 5th July 2022, 3:21 pm

A leaked plan seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service shows Doncaster will have just one bus service operating past 10pm.

From October, the latest bus service running in Doncaster will be the 50b route.

This serves the town centre, Roman Ridge, Scawthorpe and Woodlands before terminating at Skellow. No buses will run past 11pm.

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Doncaster mayor Ros Jones. Credit: Marie Caley/National World

The county more broadley will have just four services running past 10pm with buses stopping in Barnsley before 8pm.

South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppard said private companies did not even bid to run some routes and on others, they asked for 1,000 per cent more in resources to do so.

He said that as it stands today, private companies run the buses and keep the profits, while SYMCA have little or no control over where those buses go, or how much they charge

Mayor Jones said central government now needed to step in to avert the crisis. Cuts will begin in Sheffield and Rotherham at the end of July with more cuts across the board in October when Covid-19 grant funding ends.

She added that London had nearly £1,500 per head spending on transport whereas South Yorkshire has less than £500.

Mayor Jones said: “I just think these decisions are totally the wrong thing to do. It’s going to create social isolation as much as anything else.

“We’re continuing to work with Mayor Coppard and the bus companies to seek to minimise the cuts to services.

“But the bottom line is, unless we get support from central government, we’ll continue to see reductions in services.

“Improving buses is supposed to be a key part of Boris Johnson’s levelling up agenda. Again, we are not seeing anything but rhetoric.

Government initially announced £3bn, then it got reduced to £1.2bn and we’ve not seen any funding come to the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

“So if Boris really believes in levelling up, start giving us some money to begin bringing about improvements to our buses and trains.”