Councillor tells Regional Mayor to “get on” with franchising buses
A Sheffield councillor has spoken of his frustration with the city’s buses and has called on the Regional Mayor to “get on” with franchising them.
Gleadless councillor Paul Turpin organised a meeting at Hagglers Corner for members of the public to meet Jo Kaczmarek, the lead coordinator of the Sheffield City Region bus consultation.
About 30 people attended and discussed recent changes to services, how they are being delivered and communicated, public ownership and franchising and electric buses.
Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, says there is a serious shortage of funding to subsidise buses but Coun Turpin says people are fed up.
He said: “Sheffield Green Party has frequently called for franchising of the bus service and for Dan Jarvis to get on with it.
“We support public services being run for people not profit and it is very frustrating we cannot currently move to bring them back in-house.
“Nottingham has a great transport system and the Workplace Parking Levy has been a big success for them in encouraging people not to take cars to work and businesses not to build car intensive travel plans, while funding serious public transport improvements such as an extension to the tram line.
“This event was a wonderful example of people working together in a constructive manner. Those attending were delighted to be able to partake in such a detailed and open discussion.”
Mr Jarvis says public transport is “at the heart” of his £220m Transforming Cities Fund bid to the Government.
He said: “The 2017 Bus Services Act gives me the authority to make decisions about bus services, including options such as franchising.
“What it doesn’t give me is the money needed to invest in our bus system to improve services.
“The latest figures show that London is able to subsidise its bus system by around £700 million a year. None of our Metro Mayors across the country, including me, are able to do this.
“Only when the Government takes meaningful action to address our country’s regional imbalances and give our communities their fair share of funding and resources, as well as powers, will we begin to close the gap with London.
“Buses are a lifeline for many in South Yorkshire, which is why I’ve asked Clive Betts and a panel of experts to conduct an independent review into how we improve our bus network.”
To have your say on buses visit https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MCVNLH6 The survey closes on September 27.