Mayoral contender Richard Caborn looks to bring buses back into public control

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Mayoral contender Richard Caborn looks to bring buses back into public control
Bus services across South Yorkshire could be brought back into public control if Richard Caborn is successfully elected South Yorkshire Mayor.

Richard Caborn met today with Sheffield Council’s Lead for Transport, Councillor Jack Scott, and discussed how buses could be re-regulated in the city. These powers could be extended across South Yorkshire, in consultation with local authorities.

 

New powers have been made available to re-regulate buses through the Bus Services Act 2017. This would enable South Yorkshire to improve the quality of local buses, with a single set of standards across all services. Re-regulation could see a return to the days of cheaper fares. In addition, timetables can be improved and routes redrawn to better connect outlying areas. The entire fleet of buses across South Yorkshire could even become the same colour and branded consistently.

Under a franchised system, like London’s, South Yorkshire could take control of bus planning, with services run under contract by private operators.

Currently South Yorkshire’s bus market is entirely deregulated, with most services provided by private firms. Councils and South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive have very limited say over how they are run. This means private bus operators like First and Stagecoach set the majority of their own routes, frequencies, timetables, fares, and standards for most services.

Richard Caborn is currently seeking to be selected as the Labour Party candidate for elected Mayor of South Yorkshire. Launching his campaign last week, Caborn promised to improve transport in the region. He also pledged to fight for better and fairer transport funding, highlighting a key disparity that currently allows ten times as much transport investment to be allocated to London, compared with South Yorkshire.

Seeking Selection as Labour Candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor, Richard Caborn said:

“For too long our buses have been run for the profit of the operator and not for the benefit of passengers. Deregulation has been an unmitigated disaster and, as Mayor, I will work with councils across South Yorkshire to bring our buses back into public control.

“Many people across South Yorkshire rely on a good bus service and what they get from the private bus companies at the moment quite frankly isn’t good enough, we need big changes to services in our region and this will be a priority for me. Better transport is also a key part of growing our economy.

“New powers are available, which will allow South Yorkshire to create a more efficient and affordable bus network, taking us back to the days of cheaper bus fares, with the added opportunity to better link services with trams and trains.”

Sheffield Council’s Lead for Transport, Councillor Jack Scott, said:

“I fully support Richard’s campaign to become Labour’s candidate for South Yorkshire Mayor and I am glad to see that he is prioritising public transport in this bold way.

“Many people in Sheffield travel by bus and, at present, passengers are getting a raw deal. Quite simply, fares are too high, buses are too infrequent and vehicles are too polluting. We need real action. That’s why I believe these new available powers to re-regulate bus services must be implemented urgently and in my view, Richard is the right person with the experience to deliver this.”

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