Rotherham Borough Council has committed to the launch of an innovative new bus partnership this summer that aims to make travel in the town easier and cheaper.
The Rotherham Bus Partnership will bring together Rotherham Borough Council (RMBC), South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and local bus operators in a bid to improve the town’s bus offer so that the amount of people using it grows.
Rotherham Borough Council has given its formal go-ahead to join the five-year agreement that aims to improve bus punctuality, reliability and customer satisfaction by introducing simpler, more flexible tickets and better coordinated services, newer and more environmentally friendly buses, and investment in Rotherham’s bus lanes and stops.
The new network, due to be put in place on 21 July, is being developed following public consultation on proposals to make changes to improve the town’s buses and routes.
David Young, SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, said: “We are delighted that Rotherham Council has joined the Rotherham Bus Partnership Agreement, bringing this exciting new start for bus services in Rotherham a step closer.
“The Rotherham Bus Partnership scheme is being built around the direct customer feedback we received following our public consultation into proposed changes to the town’s bus services. We’ve addressed nearly 90 per cent of the issues raised by residents in the consultation and revised proposals are in the process of being agreed.
“Together with our partners, we aim to create a new bus network for Rotherham from this summer that is more affordable, more convenient, and best serves the needs of the travelling public.”
Rotherham Borough Council’s Strategic Director of Environment and Development Services, Karl Battersby, said: “Public transport plays a key role in supporting Rotherham’s economic growth by linking people to key facilities, education and job opportunities. This innovative Partnership aims to improve bus services in the town by creating a network that is simple to understand, easy to use, affordable, and delivers the right customer experience so more people see it as a viable alternative to the car. We are pleased to work together with our partners on this exciting new future for buses in Rotherham.”
SYPTE, together with RMBC, First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach (Yorkshire and East Midlands), Powells, and TM Travel consulted with members of the public on proposals for a new Rotherham Bus Partnership network from 4 November to 2 December 2013 and received 1,192 replies. Four petitions were collected during the process, with 483 signatures in total.
The Rotherham Bus Partnership Voluntary Agreement will go before the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee meeting for formal approval by all partners on 19 May. Changes to current bus services that will take place as part of the improvements will be available at rotherhambuspartnership.co.uk from Monday 12 May.