BUS SOS: Bus franchising would need “significant investment”, says Regional Mayor

The region’s elected Mayor says he is “deeply concerned” about declining bus passenger numbers but warns franchising isn’t easy.

Friday, 6th September 2019, 15:45 pm
Updated Friday, 6th September 2019, 15:46 pm
Dan Jarvis MP, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region

Dan Jarvis MP, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, has responded to complaints from passengers, councillors and MP Louise Haigh about unreliable and slashed services across Sheffield.

Coun Bob Johnson, cabinet member for transport, launched a new bus charter after more than 600 people signed a petition about poor services in Walkley, Gleadless and High Green.

A bus review is taking place and Coun Johnson said he hoped that will be a move towards a franchise model.

He said: “Ultimately that decision sits with the Sheffield City Regional Mayor.”

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But Mr Jarvis has warned that franchising services can be costly.

He said: “Buses are a lifeline for many in South Yorkshire and I’m deeply concerned about the impact declining passenger numbers are having on services.

“That’s why I asked Clive Betts MP and a panel of experts, to conduct an independent review into our bus network and to look at all available options to improve services.

“The 2017 Bus Services Act gives me the authority to make decisions about bus services, including options such as franchising, but these would require a significant amount of additional investment and resources from national Government.

“As soon as Clive makes his recommendations I will work with the Transport Board and others to ensure that we make robust and informed decisions that are in the best interest of communities and passengers in South Yorkshire.”

As part of this review, people are being asked to complete a short survey and share their views about the current bus network.

To have your say visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MCVNLH6 The survey closes on Friday, September 27.