Sheffield buses need fair share of funding - Yorkshire Post Letters

From: Chris Broome, on behalf of South Yorkshire Climate Alliance, Hackthorn Road, Sheffield.

Sheffielders want more bus funding.
Sheffielders want more bus funding.

Sheffield South East MP Clive Betts makes a powerful case for our bus services to be improved (The Yorkshire Post, April 4). So many people, especially the less well off, rely on them for work and daily life.

Hard reality struck the next day when we learned that South Yorkshire was to receive nothing from a main round of Government funding for service improvements. Other areas did better, though the sums were hardly transformational.

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With so much attention on the cost of living crisis, it is worth emphasising how important a decent universal bus service is for tackling climate change.

The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) has published a climate response framework which finds that car travel in the region needs to be reduced by 25 per cent by 2040.

That would entail a large chunk of the South Yorkshire population making significant changes to their travel habits. If this is to be achieved manageably – as opposed to through sudden fuel price rises – then decent alternatives must be made available.

Perhaps, as Government Ministers claimed, the SYMCA’s bid was not ambitious enough. Nevertheless, the Government still needs to commit to providing enough financial support. Most of the already modest £3bn funding for its ‘Bus Back Better’ strategy was swallowed up for Covid support. A sound economic policy would recognise that support for such a one-off crisis needs to be treated separately.

Whatever the national deficit, enough money needs to be invested in transforming public transport everywhere to bring about a properly-functioning and sustainable economy.

From: Andy Barclay, Abbeydale Road, Sheffield.

RE ‘Mayor hails huge step as region wins funds for 221 electric buses’ (The Yorkshire Post, March 28), unless I’m thick something doesn’t add up.

In the article it quotes that:

- West Yorkshire will be getting £24m for 111 electric buses;

- South Yorkshire will be getting £8.3m for 27 electric buses;

- North Yorkshire will be getting £7.8m for 39 electric buses;

- York City Council has secured £8.5m towards 44 zero emission buses.

Why is it that South Yorkshire is only getting 27 electric buses with £8.3m, but North Yorkshire is getting 39 buses with £7.8m, 12 more than South Yorkshire, and York will be getting 17 more buses than South Yorkshire with £8.5m compared to £8.3m in South Yorkshire?

If £24m gets you 111 electric buses, as quoted for West Yorkshire, why cannot South/North Yorkshire be given £24m, then we all could have 111 electric buses?