Bus campaigners to give councillors inflatable clocks outside meeting to remind them 'time is running out' on franchising decision

Campaigners fighting for an improved bus service across South Yorkshire will give Barnsley councillors attending today’s council meeting inflatable clocks, to remind them that time to make a franchising agreement is running out.

Thursday, 25th November 2021, 7:09 am
Updated Thursday, 25th November 2021, 9:45 am

Bus passengers will rally outside Barnsley Town Hall today (November 25) to demand councillors vote in favour of a motion which commits the council to deliver on the findings of its South Yorkshire Bus Review.

Campaigners have called for Dan Jarvis in his capacity as South Yorkshire mayor to take back control of privately-run bus services, and hope Barnsley councillors will back their cause through the motion.

The review, released in June 2020, gave leaders across South Yorkshire three years to make a decision about bringing buses into public control.

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Campaigners have called for Dan Jarvis in his capacity as South Yorkshire mayor to take back control of privately-run bus services, and hope Barnsley councillors will back their cause through the motion.

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Next month marks the halfway point towards this deadline, but campaigners say there has been ‘no progress to date’, and fear time is running out to deliver on recommendations made in the review.

The activists plan to present councillors heading into the full council meeting at Barnsley Town Hall with large, inflatable clocks to highlight their concerns.

More than 160 people have emailed Barnsley Council’s cabinet members about the issue.

Campaigners have called for Dan Jarvis in his capacity as South Yorkshire mayor to take back control of privately-run bus services, and hope Barnsley councillors will back their cause through the motion.

Last week, Sheffield City Council passed the motion’s recommendations following protests by passengers outside Dan Jarvis’ mayoral office.

Activists taking part in the action include representatives from the South Yorkshire Freedom Riders, Unite Community, Yorkshire Pensioners Association and national campaign organisation, We Own It.

Matthew Topham, a campaigner for Better Buses and We Own It, said that he campaign is pushing for bus services to be brought back into public control, following a franchising model similar to the one used in London.

Campaigners have called for Dan Jarvis in his capacity as South Yorkshire mayor to take back control of privately-run bus services, and hope Barnsley councillors will back their cause through the motion.

“The [transport] network is designed by the local authority, so fares, routes and standards are all under their control.

“The first step is to release this so-called notice of intent, which is just like a letter that says that you intend to look into this.

“It doesn’t mean that they have to have made the decision, It’s just the first step and if they haven’t done that, then they’re definitely not going to be delivering within the next 18 months on the final decision.

Campaigners have called for Dan Jarvis in his capacity as South Yorkshire mayor to take back control of privately-run bus services, and hope Barnsley councillors will back their cause through the motion.

“Now we’re asking for Barnsley Council to make an official statement by passing a motion that says that’s what we want.”