• Devolution deal objectives start to drive bus network and ticket improvements
• Sheffield bus network public consultation 6 – 31 July 2015
AMBITIOUS proposals to optimise Sheffield’s bus network will go to public consultation next week, as authorities look to progress the public transport aims drawn in Sheffield City Region’s (SCR) Devolution Deal.
SCR’s Devolution Deal passed a range of local public transport and investment powers and responsibilities from Government to local authority and business leaders in 2014.
The Deal’s public transport commitments include delivering improvements to local bus services by developing an efficient, integrated bus network that meets the needs of a growing economy, and is financially sustainable for fare payers, the taxpayer and bus operators.
Plans for the city’s optimised bus network build on the success of the Sheffield Bus Partnership – a voluntary agreement between Sheffield City Council (SCC), South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and bus operators First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach in Sheffield and Sheffield Community Transport.
Proposals developed by the Partnership include improved key routes into the city centre to remove excess services, keep traffic flowing, aid faster bus journey times and minimise congestion and pollution; reinvestment of services to improve access to employment and training sites and other public transport modes; a simple, affordable commercial fare structure and inter-operable smart ticketing scheme; and real time information improvements across South Yorkshire.
Public consultation on Sheffield’s bus routes takes place between Monday 6 July and Friday 31 July 2015 online at travelsouthyorkshire.com/sbp. Paper feedback forms will be available from Customer Service Desks at Sheffield, Meadowhall, Arundel Gate, Hillsborough, Dinnington and Rotherham Interchange for those without access to the internet. Consultation drop-in sessions with Sheffield Bus Partnership representatives will take place at:
• Woodseats Library, 6 July from 4 – 6.30pm
• Meadowhall Interchange, 8 July from 4 – 6.30pm
• Bradway Community Hall, 10 July from 4 – 7pm
• Chapeltown Community Centre, 11 July from 12.15 – 2.15pm
• Ecclesfield Library, 13 July from 4 - 6.30pm
• Fox Hill Involve Community Hub, 14 July from 4 – 7pm
• Firth Park Centre For Life, 15 July from 4 – 6.30pm
• Woodhouse Library, 16 July from 3 – 5.30pm
• Sheffield Interchange, 17 July from 4 – 6.30pm
• Arundel Gate Interchange, 18 July from 2 – 4.30pm
• Crystal Peaks Library, 20 July from 3 – 5.30pm
• Hillsborough Interchange, 21 July from 4 – 6.30pm
• Bents Green Methodist Church, 22 July from 4 – 7pm
Feedback will be used to inform bus service changes, which are expected to be implemented from 31 October 2015.
Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development, Councillor Leigh Bramall, said: “We are committed to improving public transport in our region. This Deal provides the welcome step-change needed to completely transform the city’s bus offer, focussing on network developments and ticketing improvements that are centred on customer and community requirements.
“By delivering plans through our existing Sheffield Bus Partnership agreement, we are able to use the established relationships between the public sector and commercial bus operators to negotiate an optimum network that is co-ordinated, efficient and affordable.
“Our vision is to deliver bus services that meet passenger needs, supporting access to jobs, training and leisure to boost economic growth, and that offer a viable alternative to car travel, whilst cutting congestion and improving air quality in our region.”
Future Devolution Deal transport improvement objectives include network development and consultation in Rotherham, Doncaster and Barnsley as plans for further Bus Partnerships are put in place.