Bus cuts: Ex-mayor hits back at Sheffield council LibDem leader over 'absent from job' criticism

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Former South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis has hit back at criticisms of him made by Sheffield City Council’s LibDem leader over city bus cuts.

During a debate at last Wednesday’s (July 20) full council meeting about looming cuts to a third of city bus routes, Coun Shaffaq Mohammed criticised the ex-mayor and current Barnsley Central MP.

He said: “Dan Jarvis was absent from his job and as a result the bus passengers of our region are paying the price because he’s allowed the bus services to get away with it.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Sheffield Bus Partnership, which brought together the council, the mayoral authority and South Yorkshire Passenger Executive with bus operators, was called ‘no longer fit for purpose’ by Labour and LibDem councillors.

The ex-mayor was also criticised for not moving more decisively to bring in franchising, which would give more democratic control over bus services, fares, routes and timetables.

Mr Jarvis retorted to Coun Mohammed: “I wish Shaffaq a speedy recovery from the amnesia he’s obviously suffering from.

Read More
Sheffield LGBTQ+: Councillors call for return of Pride event, city LGBT+ quarter...

“On my watch — despite the herculean challenges of unlocking a devolution deal and dealing with the worst pandemic in living history, we kept the buses and trams going throughout so that our key workers could get to work and residents could access public services.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We did all we possibly could to invest in our bus services and undertook the necessary hard graft to integrate the Passenger Transport Executive into the Mayoral Combined Authority, reduce fares for young people and crucially, to bring forward highly credible funding proposals to Government.

“That our bus network faces the big challenges it does, is entirely because of the complete failure of national Government to fund our Bus Services Improvement Plan and a Levelling Up Fund bid based on improving our bus network.

“As for the bus operators, when they told me they were going to increase fares I immediately led a successful campaign to stop them doing it.

“Throughout I was in regular and constructive contact with a range of stakeholders including on a cross-party basis and including with members of Shaffaq’s own party.

“Not once did he bring forward a single idea that would have helped. He was in fact completely invisible throughout.”

Read more: