First welcomes Sheffield improvement package

First South Yorkshire has welcomed the decision by the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority Transport Committee to approve a package of bus improvements in Sheffield. The enhancements include a revised, integrated, citywide bus network and a better value multi-operator ticket range on smartcard. The full package will be introduced from 31 October /1 November and will be implemented as part of the transport objectives of the Sheffield City Region Devolution Deal.

The new network has been shaped by a consultation led by the Sheffield Bus Partnership (SBP) in July, which attracted almost 2,500 responses. The feedback helped the SBP to develop and improve on the proposed network based on passenger travel patterns and community needs including retaining a number of local bus links. The network review has built on the existing successful SBP agreement model to create a network that is better coordinated and sustainable. Buses that are not well used have been removed and supply better matched to demand. Sheffield’s revised bus network will offer passengers a fully integrated, citywide bus service operated in partnership by First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach, Sheffield Community Transport and TM Travel. The revised network includes seven Qualifying Agreements which permit the joint or coordinated operation of a single route by more than one operator. Customers will also benefit from a better value multi-operator ticket range on a smartcard platform offering a discount of up to 23% on comparable existing tickets.

MD for First South Yorkshire, Kevin Belfield, said, ‘Agreements such as this in Sheffield help provide longer term stability for customers as well as certainty in the market for the transport partners to bring in further investment in new buses as well as maintaining great value fares.’

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