Greens expressed disappointment as South Yorkshire failed to win a penny of government funding for buses. Sheffield is the only major city to receive none of the £7 billion the government announced today.
Cllr Douglas Johnson, who leads the Green group on Sheffield City Council and is the Executive Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport, said,
“I am acutely disappointed and frustrated that Sheffield and South Yorkshire have lost out on this major investment in bus services. This can only be bad news for the travelling public trying to get to jobs, homes and friends right across South Yorkshire. Improved bus services are better for people on the buses and also better for those who still have to use other forms of transport.
“The Government said it would not fund areas that did not show sufficient ambition, including for improvements to bus priority. Sadly, the Bus Service Improvement Plan put forward under the Labour mayor Dan Jarvis’ leadership had so little ambition in it that – if fully successful – it would have meant fewer people using buses in the future.
“That is why I refused to vote to endorse it at the Transport and the Environment Board of the Mayoral Combined Authority. I argued there needed to be much greater input from the public and interested parties to draw up the plan. The plan was approved by the Labour-controlled South Yorkshire Combined Authority.”
Bex Whyman, the Green Party candidate to be the next South Yorkshire Mayor, commented,
“Dan Jarvis and the Labour leaders have really let South Yorkshire down at a time when people are crying out for better bus services and bus company employees for better pay and working conditions.
It’s clear to me that the only way forward is to elect a full time Green Mayor, I will disrupt the status quo and fight for the bus services that South Yorkshire deserves.
“Climate change and air pollution both demand that we get as many people as possible to switch from private cars to public transport. As long as councils across South Yorkshire continue to undermine bus services by subsidising low-cost parking, the public will suffer.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The government announcement on the new £7 billion funding is here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/cheaper-and-better-buses-in-7-billion-package-to-level-up-transport-outside-london/
- Other regions won funds of £90m (Manchester), £160m (Newcastle) and £70m (West Yorkshire)
- The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) is published here: https://southyorkshire-ca.gov.uk/Explore_Transport. Under this plan, the target is for passenger journeys to fall from 92 million / year in 2018/19 to 77 million in 2024/25.