Budget cuts ‘to hit buses’

David Young, SYPTE.
David Young, SYPTE.
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As many as 45 members of staff are facing the axe at the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

The organisation is facing a 10 per cent cut to its budget next year and must reduce its costs.

As well as staff cuts, it means some evening, weekend and rural bus services subsidised by the organisation could be hit.

The staff cuts come on top of a 25 per cent reduction in the SYPTE’s workforce over the last three years, which included the axing of 61 posts in March.

The organisation has had its funding cut by £17 million over the last three years.

David Young, SYPTE deputy interim director general, said: “We knew that making the required savings in the next year would be challenging to achieve, and so it was inevitable that in addition to our continual review of improving the ways we work, and the services which we provide, we would have to make further cuts to budgets and, with much regret, to staff numbers too.

“These cuts are deep and will significantly affect the services we will be able to provide for the customer on the street.

“Our employees are central to all we do and so decisions about staff reductions will follow full consultation with the trade union to ensure all relevant options are considered.”

He added: “We have been working continually with operators, our district council partners and any interested private sector businesses to see how we can mitigate the effect of some of these cuts, but sadly it will be impossible to protect our customers from what will be a reduction in the services we provide.”

SYPTE oversees public transport services across South Yorkshire.

It is responsible for maintaining the county’s public transport infrastructure, including interchanges and bus stops.

The authority also subsidises evening, weekend and rural bus services which could be targeted in order to make savings.

Details have not yet been revealed of which services could be affected.