Immediate future secured for rural bus service as long term funding solution investigated

The wheels on the bus will keep going round and round for one council-funded service in Penistone thanks to cash support.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 24th May 2019, 3:31 pm
Updated Monday, 27th May 2019, 3:56 pm
Coun Dave Griffin
Coun Dave Griffin

The circular service was introduced using South Pennine Community Transport around 18 months ago, with cash support from Penistone Area Council, a body which has a budget from Barnsley Council to spend on improving the community in that area.

It proved highly popular and has already been extended once, with the area council – made up of councillors representing the two Penistone wards – agreeing to support it again.

But this year’s grant is reduced because increased passenger numbers mean the service is getting closer to breaking even.

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The hope is now that the area council will be able to end its commitment without scrapping the service.

It was introduced after cuts to buses in the district, following a timetable review which had to be introduced following the collapse of bus firm Tates, which operated most routes around Penistone.

Coun Dave Griffin said: “South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive were concerned it would not last a year.

“It is moving into its second year and is a success. We are eager to get involved in Mayor Jarvis’s review of public transport to show him what our investment in Penistone is achieving,” he said.

Coun Robert Barnard added: “The subsidised bus has been a success, from a slow start.

“I would like to get to a position where it is totally sustainable. I would like to find some way of linking it to Sheffield.”