New Mayor's bus boost as he extends cheap tickets for under-21s

New Mayor's bus boost as he extends cheap tickets for under-21s

By Gareth Dennison | 24/05/2022

New Mayor's bus boost as he extends cheap tickets for under-21s

SOUTH Yorkshire’s new mayor has appointed a team to assess franchising the region’s buses — and extended 80p fares for young people.

Oliver Coppard (pictured) has put together a group with responsibility of moving “at pace” on franchising, including by asking operators for six years’ finance data to help gauge the risks and benefits.

Elsewhere, the Zoom Beyond concession — allowing 18- to 21-year-olds 80p bus and tram fares — had been due to end in June but will be extended.

Mr Coppard — in his second week in office — said: “The government have said they want to see a London-style transport network here in South Yorkshire by 2030.

“But right now we’re a million miles away from that goal and the clock is ticking. Without investment from government things are going to get worse, not better.

“We’re doing everything we can, but they need to put their money where their mouth is. “We’re done with waiting.”

He added: “I’ve agreed to designate a director with a dedicated team who will take the so-called ‘franchising’ assessment forward at pace, and I’ve also taken one of the first major steps in delivering that process.

“I’m going to continue to use every lever I have to create a network that works for our communities.”

Mr Coppard has written to First Group challenging them to deliver better services, and met with Stagecoach at Rawmarsh to discuss decarbonisation.

He also said the free use of park and rides would be extended, and a successor to Dame Sarah Storey would be appointed as active travel commissioner.