Shops asked to pay for buses
South Yorkshire PTE (SYPTE) is writing to major out-of-town retail sites and supermarkets to ask for financial contributions to tendered bus services. It comes amid pressure to cut budgets as Government funding to councils continues to be scaled back. Bosses at SYPTE say they have made cuts right across the organisation, but claim further cuts could mean some tendered bus services will be unaffordable. Last year, SYPTE made more than £6.2m worth of budget reductions and lost 16% of its workforce, half of which were compulsory redundancies.
SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, David Young, said, ‘These are hard times and they call for creative measures. We have made big cuts to our budgets over the past few years and have lost significant numbers of staff. But whilst we have tried to limit the effect on public transport users we have reached a point where further cuts are likely to hit services. The last thing we want to do is cut bus services and so we are asking shops and supermarkets in some areas to dig deep and support the services which run to their shops and help keep their tills ringing.’