SOUTH YORKSHIRE'S MAYOR OLIVER COPPARD RESPONDS TO BUS RECOVERY GRANT EXTENSION ANNOUNCEMENT
Published 17 May 2023 at 4:08pm
Responding to today’s announcement of an extension to the Bus Recovery Grant, South Yorkshire’s Mayor Oliver Coppard said:
“Today’s announcement will not stop further cuts to our broken bus network. The government is saying there is no alternative to the managed decline of our buses. I fundamentally disagree. We need a partner in Government who will match our ambition for South Yorkshire’s public transport network, rather than inflicting further damage on our communities.
“Here in our region we lost 15% of our network in the last year, and this announcement threatens at least another 10% of our buses; routes that are a lifeline for thousands of people.
“But there is an alternative. We’re doing what we can to save services. We are urgently working through the legal process that will allow us to decide if we can radically change how buses are run in South Yorkshire, through a move to franchising. And we are taking our trams back into public control and public ownership. The clue is in the name; public transport should be a public service.
“Repeated, short-term extensions to bus funding are at best a sticking plaster, preventing our bus system bleeding out. I believe that the root of our problem is the decision to take buses out of public control nearly forty years ago; a problem our communities desperately want us to fix. Today’s announcement does nothing to fix that fundamental problem.”
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