‘Government has finally woken up’ – Bus and tram services get further financial aid following warning of ‘cliff edge’ for public transport in South Yorkshire

Bus and Supertram services in South Yorkshire have been handed a financial lifeline from government after politicians said half of services could be axed without further intervention.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 2nd March 2022, 12:39 pm

Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, announced a further £150 million for services across the country which will end in October as the final tranche of Covid-19 relief funding.

The news has been welcomed by South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis who, alongside regional politicians, said services faced a ‘cliff-edge’ without further help.

He added that ministers had ‘finally woken up’ to the ‘disaster’ facing buses across the country.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps announced a further £150 million for services across the country which will end in October as the final tranche of Covid-19 relief funding. The news has been welcomed by South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis (pictured) who, alongside regional politicians, said services faced a ‘cliff-edge’ without further help.

They said South Yorkshire’s bus network faced ‘50 per cent’ of services being scaled back or cut completely as passenger numbers continue to struggle at around 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels.

Mayor Jarvis, said: “It’s welcome that the government has belatedly woken up to the disaster facing our bus services.

“I have persistently pressed the government to put their hands in their pockets, to provide the critical funding we need to avoid a South Yorkshire bus crisis in the shadow of Covid-19.

“Local leaders and I have invested millions while exploring every option to improve our network. Now it is time for the government to match our ambition by providing the transformative investment their National Bus Strategy promised, to help us to deliver the bus network passengers in South Yorkshire need and deserve.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The funding I’ve announced will ensure millions of us can continue to use vital public transport services and brings the total we’ve provided to the sector to keep services running throughout the pandemic to over £2 billion.

“Not only that – as we look ahead and continue our work to overhaul services and build back better from the pandemic, this funding will also help authorities and operators work together to provide even better services for people right across the country.”