300 shelters upgraded in £3.2m spend on South Yorkshire bus network
Three hundred bus shelters will be upgraded under plans to spend £3.2m on the network.
The cash, from the Sheffield City Region, will also pay for electronic displays at 250 bus stops. And a third of community transport buses will be replaced with electric vehicles.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “Our bus services across South Yorkshire have been in managed decline for many years and the comprehensive Bus Review led by Clive Betts MP laid out the challenges we face in stark detail. COVID has only exacerbated the challenge.
“This is the power of devolution in action, where local leaders can invest in the priorities that matter to people in South Yorkshire. And this is only the beginning. Alongside this investment, we are developing a comprehensive plan to recover and renew our bus network in light of COVID and the “Bus Review, including action on fares, services, integration with other forms of transport and the conversion to zero-emission vehicles.
The investment follows the announcement by the mayor that the under 22s will pay concessionary fares for bus and tram journeys, an extension of the current 11–18 policy.
Clive Betts MP, said: “I welcome this announcement as the first step by the Mayor and the Combined Authority towards implementing the proposals in the bus review and creating a better service for all bus users and those who need to be attracted to use buses again. I particularly welcome the concessionary fares scheme extension to the 21-year olds and under.”
Meanwhile, Mr Betts has called for the roll out of bus franchising to be speeded up after the government this week announced a £3bn new bus strategy.
He asked Transport Secretary Grant Shapps to remove time consuming procedues and provide direct funds to transport authorities.
Mr Shapps reportedly did not commit to either but said further detail may be announced to address these points.Mr Betts said later: “While some elements of this plan are welcome, it is still not enough to make up for the 34m miles of bus routes lost over the past decade, and where bus coverage has hit a 30 year low. In particular, we need to see empowered local transport authorities being able to make decisions with the necessary funds, not centralised Government dictating from London.”