Oliver Coppard: Labour candidate for South Yorkshire mayor launches 10-point plan manifesto

Labour’s candidate for South Yorkshire mayor has said improving cycling infrastructure and joining it up with a better public transport system will play a major part of their tenure, if elected.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 12th April 2022, 3:15 pm

Oliver Coppard, who is vying for votes come election day on May 5, launched his 10-point manifesto flanked by a number of campaigners on bikes.

Speaking along Sheffield city centre’s Grey to Green scheme on Castlegate, Coppard said he wanted to be the most ‘transparent mayor in the country’, launch a clean energy strategy and overhaul the public transport network.

Coppard wants to ‘follow the lead’ of Andy Burnham in Manchester by bringing the region’s buses under public control.

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Oliver Coppard, Labour's candidate for South Yorkshire mayor at the launch of his election manifesto. George Torr/LDRS

A so-called ‘franchised bus system’ would allow the Mayoral Combined Authority to set routes and control fares based on what local communities need, while private operators compete to run bus services to ensure ‘the best possible deal’.

He added he would ensure to work with and challenge the government when needed ‘to deliver on their promises to South Yorkshire’ as well as giving the ‘power, money and control South Yorkshire needs’.

Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Coppard said: “There’s loads of big ideas in there from a clean energy strategy for South Yorkshire, an inquiry into the future of work and something about me being the most transparent and accountable mayor in the country – taking on this government in order to make sure we’ve got the investment we need in South Yorkshire.

“There’s also a big commitment to active travel and on public transport in bringing our buses back into public control.

Oliver Coppard, Labour's candidate for South Yorkshire mayor at the launch of his election manifesto. George Torr/LDRS

“Active travel is fundamental, it’s not just about getting from A to B more quickly and efficiently, it’s also about an integrated travel network which links up with our buses, trams and trains without needing to get in a car.

“It’s important for the whole future of our region, our economy, our health and wellbeing. I’m really excited about active travel moving forward – this is a really big plan of mine over the next four years.”

To view the full 10-point manifesto, click here.

Oliver Coppard, Labour's candidate for South Yorkshire mayor at the launch of his election manifesto. George Torr/LDRS