MP urges government to fund buses in Rotherham long-term
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Sarah Champion, Rotherham’s Labour MP has written to Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for Transport, to ensure funding is in place for a “fit for purpose” bus system.
First announced that services throughout Rotherham would be affected from October 2, including withdrawals of service, reduced services and amended timetables.
Nigel Eggleton, managing director at First South Yorkshire, said earlier this year that bus services had been affected by covid, and the network will be adapted in line with “post-pandemic demand for services”.
Sarah Champion has slammed the government for failing “completely to address the flawed regulatory framework that allows private companies to pick and choose which services will operate.”
The MP added: “With bus services continuing to worsen, passenger numbers will inevitably continue to fall, leaving fewer and fewer profitable routes.
“As a result, existing funding will be unable to fill all the gaps and services will decline further still.
“This is a vicious cycle that is quite simply unsustainable, the result of ill-thought out privatisation, deregulation and decades of under-investment.”
In her letter to the Transport Secretary, Ms Champion added: “A robust public transport system is vital if Rotherham is to reach its potential.
“If the government is serious about levelling up, it cannot continue to allow services to decline.
“I would urge you to engage with the South Yorkshire Mayor, local authorities and elected members to ensure that both funding and a regulatory framework fit for purpose are in place not only to protect existing services, but to grow our network.”