'˜It will be one of the best in Europe' '“ South Yorkshire mayor Dan Jarvis promises bus review in 10 transport commitments Â

Metro mayor Dan Jarvis has claimed his South Yorkshire transport master plan will be '˜one of the best in Europe' once its fully implemented.Â

Monday, 17th December 2018, 4:57 pm
Updated Monday, 17th December 2018, 5:03 pm

The mayor said South Yorkshire's current transport system was '˜not for the 21st century'. 

Council leaders from the county who make up the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, signed off Mayor Jarvis' 10 commitments for transport at a meeting on Monday.

In documents presented to council leaders, Mayor Jarvis said: 'Our transport system will be safe, reliable, clean, green and affordable. It will be one of the best in the United Kingdom and Europe.'

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The Mayor has said he plans to review the bus network across South Yorkshire to see if services can be improved. 

Through devolved mayoral authorities, Mr Jarvis has the power to franchise bus services, which means that operators are given set standards to work to and local authorities have more control over routes, fares and standards. 

The report doesn't make it clear if Mr Jarvis will enact this despite calls from opposition councillors in Sheffield to do it.  

The other nine commitments include investing in the expansion of tram and tram-train, improve accessibility for isolated residents, road investment, improving rail connections to places like Leeds and Manchester and putting pedestrians and cyclists '˜at the centre' of any plan. 

The list also includes working towards a '˜zero-emission' public transport network, improving road safety, implement new technology,  supporting improved public transport connections to Doncaster Sheffield Airport and ensure that regional rail investment delivers fast and efficient rail links to major airports.

Mr Jarvis hopes by 2040 the region will have a '˜comprehensive, effective and integrated transport connections, which support economic growth and improve quality of life for all'.

Large capital spends will be sourced from a potential Transforming for Cities Fund pot. The city region has already drafted a bid to the Department for Transport and would be in line for around £120 million if successful. 

But it's understood the money would've been directly handed to the SCR if the 2015 devolution deal was signed.  

Mayor Jarvis said he wasn't '˜focusing on what we haven't achieved' in terms of the TCF cash. 

A more detailed proposal on proposed schemes and specific transport projects will be made available next month. 

Mayor Jarvis, who is also MP for Barnsley Central, said the '˜best in Europe' comment was a '˜statement of ambition'. 

'I don't think people in our city region should have a transport system that is any less good than other parts of the country and even Europe,' Mayor Jarvis said. 

'It's about saying our residents deserve the best and what I've done is put in place the basis of a plan that would see significant development with our public transport system.'

When asked what influence the mayor had over private companies such as Stagecoach and First as part of a bus overview, Mr Jarvis said: 'We've tended to focus on the pressures experience of rail commuters in recent months and for very good reason. 

"But the reality is a very significant proportion of our commuters and residents use our bus services. What I want to do is look very closely at how using the Bus Services Act of 2017 and all the powers that are bestowed upon me working with the operators we can improve services.

'I've committed to fully review those services and I'll be saying more on that in January but I think this is a important piece of work that needs to be done that looks at the powers are in place that looks at the progress being made in other parts of the country to see how we can improve our own services.'