New bus service launched to connect rural Barnsley villages

A community bus scheme to connect rural Barnsley villages has added a second service for even more isolated communities and could be expanded further in the years ahead.

Friday, 29th November 2019, 12:02 pm
The 25 service provides more choice than traditional services like this in Penistone

The number 25 service is provided by South Pennine Community Transport to provide a circular service around villages in the Penistone district, and has been financially backed by the Penistone Area Council (PAC).

The PAC, which is made up of Barnsley councillors who represent the area, have an annual budget to spend on projects aimed at improving the community.

The service has proved popular enough for a 25a to be introduced.

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Councillor Dave Griffin said the service was ‘now connecting some remote communities with the rest of the bus services’ in a meeting of Barnsley Council.

He said he had also attended a five year strategy launch for the organisation, during which the possibility of extending the service to the east of Penistone, covering communities including Thurgoland and Silkstone Common, was discussed. Bus services in the district had previously been provided by Tates Travel, which ceased trading several years ago.

Following this, a number of big bus companies stepped in to take over their routes but they needed heavy subsidies from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

This was not regarded to be a sustainable option for the long term, and led to services being reduced.

PAC’s contribution to finding an answer was to use their cash to get the new service off the ground.