Fury as bus companies announce devastating plan to slash services by a third in South Yorkshire

A devastating plan by bus companies to slash services across South Yorkshire by a third has sparked anger from politicians, business leaders and unions.

Sheffield and Rotherham will start to see reductions as soon as July 24 and more cuts are expected when the Government-issued Covid-19 grants end in October.

A tender process, which took place this week, listed a number of services in Sheffield and Rotherham being partially or axed completely.

South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppardd said he was furious by the decision and blamed central government for facilitating the ‘biggest and most damaging cuts for a generation’.

Plans to cut bus services will start in Sheffield and Rotherham as soon as July 24.

He’s called for £85 million over the next three years to keep services afloat while council leaders explore a franchise model.

Private operators have come under increasing pressure as patronage is still not back to pre-Covid levels and are planning for less income post October when government grants end.

Interim executive director of Sheffield Chamber, Louisa Harrison-Walker said that if London faced the closure of the Jubilee Line, Central Line and Circle Line, ‘there would be a national outrage’.

Sheffield

South Yorkshire mayor Oliver Coppardd said he was furious by the decision and blamed central government for facilitating the ‘biggest and most damaging cuts for a generation’.

The following routes will have no provider:

Service 32/32a Sheffield – Firth Park – Parson Cross : Entire service will be withdrawn.

Service 135/135a Rotherham – Sheffield via Chapeltown: Early morning, evening and Saturday/Sunday services will be withdrawn.

Service 208 Whiston – Sheffield: Last evening trip from Sheffield – Whiston will be withdrawn. Sunday daytime service will be withdrawn.

Service X74 Sheffield – Tinsley Park: Some early morning and evening journeys withdrawn.

Rotherham

Service 73: Early morning, evening, and Sunday services between Rotherham and Treeton will be withdrawn.

Service 114: Early morning and evening services between Rotherham and Herringthorpe will be withdrawn.

Service 116: Early morning, evening, and Sunday services between Rotherham, Thrybergh and Ravenfield will be withdrawn.

Service 135/135a: Early morning, evening and Saturday/Sunday services between Rotherham and Thorpe Hesley plus links to Chapeltown will be removed.

Service 208 Whiston – Sheffield: Last evening trip from Sheffield – Whiston will be withdrawn. Sunday daytime service will be withdrawn.

South Yorkshire mayor, Oliver Coppard said: “We are now facing the immediate threat of the biggest and most damaging cuts for a generation.

People in Sheffield and Rotherham will feel the brunt of these brutal cuts initially next month when private bus companies withdraw their services on the less profitable routes.

“On my first morning as ,ayor I wrote to the Prime Minister and challenged him to urgently deliver on his promise to level up our country. I made it clear that investment in our buses is vital for our region to flourish.

“Yet, despite the promises of the government, we’re far from seeing dramatic improvement on public transport, that would take us close to a London style connectivity. We are facing a dramatic cutting of funding, with devastating consequences for our communities.”