Campaigners urge South Yorkshire mayoral candidates to back bringing buses into public control

Unions, environmentalists, and bus passengers have launched a campaign to urge South Yorkshire mayoral candidates to back bringing buses into public control.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 11:43 am

Campaigners at Better Buses South Yorkshire want a commitment to deliver a final decision on public control in the mayor’s first two years in office, as well as making the process ‘accountable, prompt, and transparent’.

The activists argue that by making the pledge, candidates will give residents ‘peace of mind’ that the region will not be left behind, after mayors in Manchester, Liverpool, and West Yorkshire have moved much faster towards a publicly controlled network.

Campaigners say South Yorkshire bus companies hold the final say on decisions to ‘axe routes, increase fares, or cut corners on reliability’.

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Campaigners believe that a system of public control, as used by the Mayor of London, would mean fares, timetables, and routes are set to benefit residents and businesses.

Campaigners believe that a system of public control, as used by the Mayor of London, would mean fares, timetables, and routes are set to benefit people and businesses.

The Better Buses South Yorkshire pledge criticises the vote taken earlier this month to start investigating public control as leaving the region “21 months behind schedule” according to Dan Jarvis’ own South Yorkshire Bus Review.

Matthew Topham from Better Buses for South Yorkshire, said “Between the cost of petrol hurtling over £2 at some service stations and the increasing risks of flooding due to the climate crisis, South Yorkshire cannot afford more delays to public control.

“Greater Manchester’s decision to bring buses into public control has allowed them to propose a £2 hopper fare that caps the cost of a single journey.

“At a time when people are having to choose between heating, eating, and meeting, a simple ticket you can trust to give you the best value would be such a transformative process for our region’s economy and environment.

“That’s why we’re asking candidates to make the Better Buses Pledge to give voters confidence that the next mayor will prioritise fixing our buses, to protect our climate and our pockets.”

The candidates for South Yorkshire mayoral election which takes place on May 5, 2022, includes:

Simon Biltcliffe – Yorkshire Party Oliver Coppard – Labour Joe Otten – Liberal Democrats Clive Watkinson – Conservative Bex Whyman – Green Party