Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee has approved plans for a voluntary partnership with bus operators that will see many passengers benefitting from changes to the Rotherham bus network.
The Rotherham Bus Partnership is a voluntary agreement that brings together South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Yorkshire and East Midlands, TM Travel, Powells and Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council.
The aim is to improve bus provision in the area so that the numbers of people using it grow; making bus travel the preferred choice of transport.
The revised network is due to launch on 21 July this year.
The partners believe that by working together they can develop bus services throughout Rotherham and the surrounding areas for the benefit of the customer; making bus travel simpler, more flexible and more convenient.
Other improvements as part of the partnership include:
• A new range of value for money, multi operator tickets, giving customers more travel choice and greater convenience
• Increased frequencies and faster journey times on some services
• Fewer service changes during each year
• Improved links for smaller communities
• Better links for developing residential areas
Rotherham Bus Partnership has worked with TravelMaster to introduce a new range of value for money tickets that offer travel on any bus in Rotherham, regardless of who provides it. The Rotherham Connect tickets will give regular customers day, week and monthly unlimited travel across Rotherham’s bus network at very reasonable prices. The tickets will be available from 21 July, and ticket prices can be found at rotherhambuspartnership.co.uk/ticketing.
The partnership carried out consultation on its proposals in November 2013 and received around 1200 replies.
The proposals and consultation has resulted in a number of changes such as: faster journey times on the 72 service to Sheffield; increased frequencies on service 10 between Rotherham District General Hospital, Flanderwell and Maltby; improved connections to Meadowhall through the new 71 service; and services 108/109 restored to their popular route prior to January 2013.
SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, David Young, said: “This is a new start for bus services in Rotherham; one that offers the potential to grow the number of people using buses by offering an improved network.
“We are delighted so many people took the time to give us their feedback, which was very valuable in terms of planning the routes. We listened to our customers and altered our initial plans as a direct result, to make sure that when the Partnership goes live at the end of July, it will best serve the needs of the travelling public.”
Rotherham Borough Council’s Strategic Director for Environment and Development Services Karl Battersby said: “These changes will result in better quality, more reliable, and accessible services. This is the Rotherham people’s bus network, designed in consultation with them, for them. We hope it will persuade more people to make the switch from cars to buses.”
Stagecoach Managing Director Paul Lynch said: “We are very excited to, once again, be part of a partnership that will work solely to benefit people using buses in South Yorkshire. Sheffield Bus Partnership has truly improved bus services in the city, and we firmly believe that we can achieve the same within Rotherham. Local residents have helped us to shape this bus network, the way that they want it, and we hope that they really adopt bus use as part of Rotherham Bus Partnership.”
Managing Director for First South Yorkshire Ben Gilligan said: “All the partners involved in this fantastic initiative have worked hard to put together a network of bus services that will really work to benefit the people of Rotherham. We have demonstrated through the success of the Sheffield Bus Partnership that we can improve bus services by working together for customers and I’m sure this new partnership will attract more people onto Rotherham’s bus services.”
Full details of the new routes and tickets can be found at rotherhambuspartnership.co.uk now.