People from across South Yorkshire are being asked for their views on buses which will be used to inform an independent review announced by Mayor Dan Jarvis earlier this year. The review will be carried out and chaired by Clive Betts MP.
An expert panel of commissioners, who have been personally appointed by Mr Betts to support him in this review, met for the first time today (24 May).
The remit of the panel is to conduct an independent review into the current bus network across South Yorkshire and make recommendations as to how it could be improved.
Mayor Jarvis said: “I know buses are a lifeline for communities across South Yorkshire. Bus services is one of the main topics of conversation that people raise with me as Mayor. But at the same time, over the last decade there has been an 18 per cent decrease in the number of people using buses in our region.
“That’s why I appointed Clive Betts MP to carry out this independent review. We need to understand what the current issues are that face South Yorkshire’s bus network and then, using that information, look at how we can make the changes people need to ensure our whole transport network, including bus services, fit for the 21st century and beyond.
“I would encourage people from across South Yorkshire’s communities, whether they currently use the bus or not, to have their say in our public consultation. Only then can gain the best possible picture of current services, and ensure that any changes we make are changes that will be of benefit to our residents, our businesses, and generations to come.”
The panel members include:
- Kristine Beuret OBE – Director of Social Research Associates
- Claire Haigh – Chief Executive of Greener Journeys
- Stephen Joseph – former CEO of Campaign for Better Transport
- Peter Kennan – Local Enterprise Partnership Board member, lead for transport
Following the first meeting of the panel, a public consultation has been launched, asking people what they think of the current bus network and what improvements they would recommend.
Clive Betts MP said: “The aim of the survey is to find out from as many people as possible if they use the bus and what they think of current services.
“We also really want to hear from those who don’t currently use the bus, as to why they don’t use it and what improvements could be made that might consider them to change the way they travel.
“The panel won’t be able to resolve issues with individual bus routes or services. But, based on the evidence from stakeholders and responses from the public, we will be make recommendations to the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region on what improvements could be made, long-term and what resources would be needed to implement these improvements. I look forward to this important work getting underway.”
The consultation questions centre on topics such as preferred modes of transport, the type of tickets people prefer to buy, frequency of buses, journey times, reliability and value for money.
Claire Haigh, Chief Executive of Greener Journeys, said: “I am delighted to be taking part in the South Yorkshire Bus Review. Strong local bus networks are key to achieving inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and should be at the heart of plans to improve air quality, to reduce carbon emissions and congestion, and to create more cohesive communities. I look forward to working with the Commission to understand better how South Yorkshire can maximise the benefits of its buses.”
The Bus Review survey is available here.