Travel centres in South Yorkshire to shut for good this weekend

Transport information centre, Arundel Gate, Sheffield.
Transport information centre, Arundel Gate, Sheffield.

Travel information centres across South Yorkshire are to close for good this weekend as transport cuts bite.

The centres at Barnsley, Doncaster, Meadowhall, Rotherham and Sheffield interchanges will be shut from Saturday May 30 as the result of measures to save £7.6m.

One on Arundel Street, Sheffield city centre, will be a bus interchange only and be staffed by customer service assistants.

The plans from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive were decided in January and are thought to affect around 50 jobs in total.

Money-saving proposals agreed by the executive also included scrapping paper timetables funded by the executive to save £118,000 and cleaning bus shelters once every three months rather than every month.

Bus passengers said the changes would have an impact on those without internet access.

Star reader Nadeem Akram said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous, they don’t think and consider passengers who don’t have access to the internet.”

Mick Jenkinson added: “What happens now for the issue of bus passes or lost and stolen ones?”

It is thought the space occupied by the travel centres could be used as retail space in the future.

Passengers have been advised that they can use information posters, digital screens and electronic kiosks, as well as information hubs, in interchanges.

David Young, interim director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “Budget reductions have forced the closure of travel information centres, but we are focused on continuing to develop smarter and more efficient ways of providing information, timetables and tickets, and expanding the number of places where people can get them when and where they want.”

He said passengers could obtain passes and tickets on the personal account function on Travel South Yorkshire’s website, some tickets were available on smartcards and mobile ticketing would be introduced shortly.

Mr Young added: “SYPTE is modernising its retail offer to make things more convenient for customers.”

Bus operators have agreed to provide paper timetables for some of their services after protests were made after the decision to scrap them.