SYPTE’s ‘painful choices’
South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) has said it is ‘facing up to some painful choices’ as it looks to implement cuts of around 10% to its annual budget for next year. The latest reductions are expected to put a further 45 jobs at risk. It has warned that the cuts it is about to carry out will impact on locally funded services and travel benefits. Subsidised services, which make up a sixth of all bus miles operated in South Yorkshire, are likely to be targeted in order to make the necessary savings, according to SYPTE. This is on top of the 25% workforce reduction SYPTE has implemented in the last three years, which saw 61 posts lost in March. Half of these were achieved by compulsory redundancies, which it is seeking to minimise this year.
SYPTE Deputy Interim Director General, David Young, said, ‘We knew that making the required savings in the next year would be challenging to achieve, and so it was inevitable that in addition to our continual review of improving the ways we work, and the services which we provide, we would have to make further cuts to budgets and with much regret, to staff numbers too. These cuts are deep and will significantly affect the services we will be able to provide for the customer on street. Our employees are central to all we do and so decisions about staff reductions will follow full consultation with the trade union to ensure all relevant options are considered. We have been continually working with operators, our district council partners and any interested private sector businesses to see how we can mitigate the effect of some of these now inevitable cuts but sadly it will be impossible to protect our customers from what will be a reduction in the services we provide.’