Letter: Help support Better Buses

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Thus, Dan Jarvis mayor of the Sheffield City region (SCR) has decided to run the region’s buses with a reinforced partnership (EP) rather than going for the franchise (Star, June 8).

It’s really disappointing, but people who want a suitable bus service for South Yorkshire should not despair: it can begin the franchise application process at a later date.

We must continue to pressure him to do it!

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An EP is certainly cheaper than the franchise, but bus operators like First and Stagecoach can still decide on routes, times and prices and decide whether or not to cooperate.

Only franchising can give the public control of route coverage, bus frequency and a much simpler cross-ticketing that we can use with all bus operators.

An EP still allows operators to prioritize their profits and dividends to shareholders while the franchise gives the SCR (the transport organizing authority) the power to make public service its top priority.

Dan Jarvis hasn’t completely ruled out the franchise.

He is aware of the degradation of service over the years and said franchising was a possibility at a later date.

He probably thinks it’s best to spend the money SCR has on tangible things like better bus shelters, bus time indicators, etc.

I guess he also hopes the operators will play the game and work to improve the service.

But their record is rather poor: between 1986 and 2016, London saw the franchise and the use of buses doubled.

During those same 30 years South Yorkshire buses were controlled by the bus operators and the use of buses halved because fares went up, service was cut and we couldn’t rely on them. buses that arrived and were on time.

I doubt that these operators can guarantee anything other than the same constant drop: higher fares, less frequent buses, loss of services and increasing isolation for more and more people.

If you would like to show your support for the franchise and for better buses, please join Better Buses South Yorkshire (BBSY) in the SCR office lobby, near the large Parkway roundabout on Broad Street West (S1 2BQ), 11:30 am , Friday, June 18.

We look forward to seeing you! (Broad St West is on Wilko’s side in Sheffield city center and next to Wilko is called Dixon Lane!)

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