Here at the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority we’re working to create a transport system that’s fit for the 21st century.
We will build a transport system that works for everyone, connecting people to the places they want to go within the region as well as nationally and internationally. Our transport system will be safe, reliable, clean, green and affordable.
Bus Franchising Scheme
South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) has authorised the assessment of a proposed bus franchising scheme in South Yorkshire.
The notice of intention, confirmed on 4 March 2022, sets in motion the legally-required work to see whether a franchising model – which would bring regulation of routes, frequencies, fares, and tickets under local control – could help efforts to transform the region’s transport.
Read the Notice of intention to prepare a franchising assessment (PDF, 100kb)
Under a franchising scheme, accountability for bus services would transfer from private operators to SYMCA.
The assessment of bus franchising follows the approval of a formal Enhanced Bus Partnership Scheme (PDF, 107Kb), in response to the government’s National Bus Strategy (Bus Back Better), to deliver the region’s Bus Service Improvement Plan (PDF, 5Mb).
The initial Enhanced Bus Partnership agreement between SYMCA and local bus operators will remain in place for an initial period of between 3 and 5 years, allowing progress to be made on bus improvements at the same time as the formal assessment of bus franchising is undertaken.
Transport Strategy & Vision
The Mayor’s transport vision sets out how we are going to transform the region’s transport network. By 2040 we will be a South Yorkshire region with comprehensive, effective and integrated transport connections, which support economic growth and improves quality of life for all.
The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Transport Strategy sets out the transport priorities for our region up to 2040. It sets out on a strategic level how we intend to better connect our major urban and economic growth centres to enable the better flow of people, goods, businesses and ideas across the City Region, as well as promoting our rural and visitor economies.
Read the Transport Vision document (PDF, 5Mb)
Read the Transport Strategy (PDF, 6Mb)
Integrated Rail Plan
Poor rail connections limit the flow of people, ideas and businesses both within our region and between other parts of the north of England.
We now have a clear plan of action, one that draws together planned national, pan-regional projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) and local investment in community rail stations and transport interchanges.
This Integrated Rail Plan is the first time we have brought these things together in one place.
Integrated Rail Plan (PDF, 4Mb)
South Yorkshire Bus Review
The Bus Review Report, which was concluded before the Coronavirus pandemic, took into consideration the experiences and feedback from 5,900 members of the public, bus users, community groups, businesses and interest groups, of the impact poor and unreliable bus services have had on their lives.
This evidence, as well as evidence from bus operators, local authorities, the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) and others, has contributed towards the findings and a number of recommendations aimed at providing passengers with a bus service that meets their needs.
Work is now progressing on the development of a 7 Point Plan to take forward the recommendations for delivery.
Read the Bus Review report (PDF, 2Mb)
Visit the Bus Review page to find out more about the Bus Review panel of commissioners.
South Yorkshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP)
Buses play a vital role in creating a stronger, greener and fairer South Yorkshire. Buses connect people to jobs, education, shops, health, leisure, family and friends; they are part of the fundamental fabric that shapes economic and social cohesion in our places and communities.
In March 2021, the Government launched ‘Bus Back Better’ – a National Bus Strategy for England. This Strategy set out a requirement for local transport authorities to prepare and publish a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) by 31 October 2021, with the aim of making bus the mode of choice for the many.
South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority’s BSIP responds to the priorities highlighted in the South Yorkshire Bus Review and outlines our ambitious plans for improving the region’s bus services. The BSIP lays the groundwork for the Enhanced Partnership agreement between SYMCA and the bus operators, which will include a clear vision and plan for the delivery of our joint ambitions, together with the actions required to achieve a world class bus network fit for the future.
The Government has pledged £3 billion in funding across the country to help realise the aims of the National Bus Strategy and BSIPs, and we are aiming to secure a fair share of that funding to achieve our goals for the region.
Our aspirations include free travel for under 18s and capped fares for everyone to make bus best value, bus priority infrastructure and other infrastructure to make journeys quicker and improve the customer experience, better passenger information and journey planning support with ‘turn up and go’ options, and zero emission buses to make travel cleaner and greener towards a net-zero future.
To find out more, read the South Yorkshire Bus Service Improvement Plan (PDF, 5Mb)
In order to be open and transparent we have published a notice of the names of Bus operators objecting to proposed enhanced partnership plan and enhanced partnership scheme.
Read the Notice of names of operators objecting (PDF, 113Kb)
South Yorkshire Enhanced Partnership
At the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Meeting on 21 March 2022, the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Enhanced Partnership Scheme – which set out our ambitions to improve bus services in South Yorkshire – were formally agreed from 1 April 2022. The Plan and Scheme will then come into operation on 10 June 2022.
We ran a public consultation on our Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme from Friday 7 January until Sunday 20 February. The Enhanced Partnership for South Yorkshire will allow local leaders to work together with operators to improve ticketing, routes, and frequency of services across the region.
Together, the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme form a legally binding agreement between SYMCA and local bus operators. The agreement will give us a way to deliver the actions set out in our Bus Service Improvement Plan, subject to funding availability.
Read the Statutory Notice which states that a South Yorkshire Enhanced Partnership has been made, along with details of the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Enhanced Partnership Scheme below:
- Statutory Notice (PDF, 58kb)
- Enhanced Partnership Plan (PDF, 4.6mb)
- Enhanced Partnership Scheme (Revised 30 Sept 2022, PDF, 233kb)
The Enhanced Partnership will come into effect from 10 June 2022, and we’ll start to work on delivering the outputs in the Enhanced Partnership Plan and Scheme subject to funding availability.
Here in South Yorkshire we are passionate about active travel and how we can improve people’s lives and wellbeing.
Ed Clancy OBE, triple Olympic cycling champion, joined us in February 2023 as South Yorkshire’s new Active Travel Commissioner. Ed’s priority is to improve the region’s walking and cycling networks, so everyone feels safe and able to walk or cycle.
To find out more about our ambitions plans for the cycling and walking in South Yorkshire visit our Active Travel section.
Transforming Cities Fund
Ambitious proposals for the future of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority's transport network were submitted to the government’s Transforming Cities Fund in November 2019.
The bid, for up to £220m in funding, focussed on three large areas which could most benefit from significant improvements across rail, public transport and active travel schemes. In March 2020, the Department for Transport confirmed that we had been successful in securing £166m through the Transforming Cities Fund.
The three areas the programme focuses on are the River Don “corridor” between Sheffield city centre and the Unity site north of Doncaster; the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District (AMID) on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham, and the Dearne Valley Corridor.
Read more on the Transforming Cities fund page.