Bus Service Improvement Plan announced


Published 1 November 2021 at 4:42pm

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis and the four Local Authority leaders have set out an ambitious roadmap to transform South Yorkshire’s bus services. 

The submission of the Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) to government marks the culmination of months of work, hearing the voices of bus passengers, operators and stakeholders. It brings together local initiatives and successful recent funding bids, as well as new demands to government, intended to transform local bus services.

The plan includes:

  • A cap on daily and weekly fares, plus access to cashless ticketing to create an easy to use system.

  • A faster, more reliable and punctual system helped by significant bus priority measures. 

  • A better bus experience with new bus shelters, on-street information, backed by a new customer charter to improve passenger journeys. 

  • A new zero emission bus fleet and on-demand bus service. 

  •  A proposal to make bus travel free for everyone aged 18 and under in South Yorkshire.

South Yorkshire is asking the government for investment to make multi-operator tickets the cheapest way to travel on any bus, guaranteeing a daily price cap. 

If fully funded, South Yorkshire’s proposal will see 1,500 bus shelters replaced, with 1,250 new real-time displays installed. Buses will take on the same branding irrespective of the operator, and a new all-electric bus fleet will be introduced before 2040, starting with community transport vehicles. 

Already more than £70 million of investment has been secured by the Mayor and South Yorkshire Local Authorities to upgrade bus lanes, improve bus routes and tackle bus congestion.

South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis said:
“This is the blueprint for the transformation of our bus services I’ve been working towards since I took office. 

“It’s about a fundamentally different future for transport in our region. I want to build an affordable, accessible, efficient, sustainable network so we can move away from the ever-growing reliance on cars which will eventually choke our region if we continue as we are.

“This plan is about improving our quality of life, helping people get to better jobs, boosting our businesses, and safeguarding the health of our children and of our communities. And it is vital to help us to our target of Net Zero carbon emissions.” 
“We need to make it cheaper and simpler for people to use our buses so they become the default choice for travel. We need to make them more accessible, fast and reliable, because a cheap bus is not enough if it doesn’t get you where you need to go, when you need to go. And we need to make them emissions-free so the air we all breathe is cleaner and we do our bit to tackle the climate crisis.”

Chris Read, the leader of Rotherham Council and chair of the South Yorkshire Transport and Environment Board, said: 

“At the heart of this plan is our intention to make travelling by bus as easy, reliable and cheap as possible. We’ve already committed significant investment to improve on-street facilities; new bus stops and real time information, and we want to do more of that. We’ve secured significant government money to begin to tackle the points of congestion on the roads that mean that buses get stuck in traffic. And we’ve begun to work with the bus companies to roll out easy tap-on, tap-off fares. But like other parts of the country we also need government to step up and ensure we have the funding in place to bring down fares and help to make travelling by bus as attractive an option as it can be.”

Barnsley Council leader, Sir Steve Houghton said:
"This would be a major step forward for bus travel in Barnsley, helping young families and increasing patronage. We want to ensure that our residents can enjoy a cheaper, greener and more reliable public transport system that connects them to jobs and their communities. The BSIP is ambitious, but so is our borough, as one of our strategic ambitions is to make Barnsley greener and more sustainable.

Doncaster Council Leader, Mayor Ros Jones said: “This plan sets out a clear intention to fundamentally change bus travel in Doncaster by providing residents with quality, affordable and reliable bus services which we hope will lead to greater bus usage. We want to make bus use truly affordable, this plan will see the expansion of the successful First Bus trial of ‘tap and cap’ fares in Doncaster which will ensure residents pay the cheapest price possible for their journey. 

“The South Yorkshire Bus Service Improvement Plan will help more people travel safely and quickly across the borough and wider region, in cleaner, emission-free buses, which is essential to the achievement of our Net Zero ambitions.  

“Public transport needs to become the most desirable choice of travel in order to work towards creating a greener society as well as improving the local economy, which is why it is essential for government to get behind these plans and provide this much-needed investment for our region.” 

Sheffield City Council Leader, Terry Fox said: “We have real ambition for the city’s public transport. Quite simply it must play an integral part in everyday life – helping to get people to the right places, quickly and cheaply. 

“For too long government underfunding and privatisation has stripped away local services. We’re hoping to turn the tide and the city’s roadmap for transformation can help do this and to get our bus service to where it should be.

“We’re committed to doing everything we can and we are already working on plans to improve the reliability for bus services in Sheffield through the Transforming Cities Fund, and the Bus Service Improvement Plan will support us in our ambition to make public transport an accessible, realistic option for everyone, to get them where they need to go quickly and reliably.”

The full Bus Service Improvement Plan can be found on the Transport page.


Last Updated: 02/11/2021

Published In: Transport, Featured

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