South Yorkshire mayoral elections 2022: what is the plan for buses?

Written by Jessica Lionnel

The Green and Yorkshire Party mayoral candidates have vowed to tackle bus issues across the region after reports of mass cancellations and delays.

Both candidates agreed that the current situation affects people’s lives on a daily basis and limits accessibility to other parts of the county for those that have disabilities or who are old.

Bex Whyman, Green Party candidate, said current routes are not fit for purpose. She has pledged an open conversation with residents and let them highlight any changes they want with monthly public transport forums and introduce more inter-community services in a bid to link more remote areas to one another.

Green party candidate Bex Whyman.

Ms Whyman also said the community would benefit from green changes.

She continued: “We need to retrofit our newer buses to electric or hydrogen power and retire our older buses. This is how we encourage people out of cars and onto public transport.”

Simon Biltcliffe, candidate for The Yorkshire party, echoed this point of view.

If  the region got more money from London, he said, South Yorkshire would get world class services such as decarbonising buses and getting hydrogen and electric buses on board.

Dr Biltcliffe added: ” It makes my blood boil listening to Boris Johnson claiming how good TFL is, you know. For every pound we get, London gets about seven. It just doesn’t seem fair. God knows how many billons they get for transportation and we get nothing like that. This is unfair and needs to change.”

He continued that the lack of funding not only affects people’s lives on a daily basis, but also the productivity of the whole region.

Mayor candidate Simon Biltcliffe.

What has happened with the buses so far?

According to Liberal Democrat mayor candidate Councillor Joe Otten, not a lot. In a hustings debate yesterday evening, Councillor Otten said that while taking control of the bus network was something current mayor Dan Jarvis promised to do four years ago, limited progress has been made.

“He started a few months ago, but he has had four years,” Otten told the event, run by Yorkshire Live.

In a bus report released by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority in October 2021, it was stated that in the month prior, 20% of all buses across South Yorkshire were delayed.

Sheffield was the area with the most bus delays standing at 22%.

 

For both Green Party and Yorkshire mayor candidates, increasing service times across the county would be hugely beneficial.

The results for a new mayor will be announced this Friday. Polls will open in person on Thursday.

 

 

 

Written by Jessica Lionnel

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