£20m bid to boost buses and cycling

Improvements: Extra feeder buses like those already running from Stocksbridge, above, could make it easier to catch Supertram.

Improvements: Extra feeder buses like those already running from Stocksbridge, above, could make it easier to catch Supertram.

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TRANSPORT bosses are bidding for £20 million in government cash to provide extra buses and improve cycling routes in South Yorkshire.

The money is set to be prioritised for projects in four areas - the Don Valley between Sheffield and Rotherham, north and south Dearne Valley, and the northern area of Doncaster.

In Sheffield, additional feeder buses are proposed to run to and from the Supertram network at Malin Bridge, where minibus services already connect Stannington to the trams.

The plans also include creating new cycle routes along the Don Valley between Stocksbridge, Sheffield and Rotherham.

There are proposals to add an extra spaces to the car park at Elsecar rail station, Barnsley, to encourage car commuters onboard and cut pollution.

Some of the funding would help employers provide cycle parking at their workplaces.

And buses are set to be boosted across the Dearne Valley, with the X19 route through the area between Barnsley and Doncaster set to be improved to half-hourly.

Yaron Hollander, strategy and policy manager at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: “The money would be spent over three years between 2012 and 2015 but the improvements would be long term.

“It is hoped the bus routes would have enough passengers to keep running, while cycle improvements would just need maintenance.”

Other plans for the money involve helping employers fund safe cycling classes, some junction improvements on bus route 52 between Sheffield city centre and Woodhouse to cut journey times, and installation of charging points for electric cars at locations to be decided.

Mr Hollander said many of the changes would make life easier for people who do not have cars to get to work, boosting their job prospects.

“The projects are important because a higher than average number of people in South Yorkshire do not have access to a car,” he added.

The Government is to decide on the plans next year.

■ Log onto www.syltp.org.uk and go to the Local Sustainable Transport Fund page to comment on the plans.

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