£4.91m bid to improve buses

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TRANSPORT managers in South Yorkshire are to ask the Government to contribute £4.91m to help make local buses quicker and more efficient.

A proposed package would see new bus priority measures, action at bottlenecks and the introduction of multi-operator smartcards.

One of the key aims, the Department of Transport is being told, is to improve access to jobs and services in the main employment areas.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, working with bus operators, is applying to the Better Bus Area Fund for £4.91m, which would attract £7.3m in local contributions.

Proposed improvements on Ecclesall Road include relieving bottlenecks at Moore Street roundabout, Hunters Bar and Bents Green by introducing bus pre-signals to junctions.

Technology would be used to control traffic signals and give priority to buses. Real-time information displays are planned at bus stops.

On the Sheffield to Halfway route, bus lanes are proposed at three pinch points, at Granville Road, Mansfield Road/Manor Top and City Road/Spring Lane. Work is also due to be carried out on other commuter routes.

If successful, SYPTE, in partnership with Jobcentre Plus, will providing a free public transport smartcard for up to three months to help 2,250 young people into work and training.

SYPTE director of strategy Ben Still said: “The Better Bus Area Fund will help to get public transport moving more efficiently on key corridors which support employment. That will help employees, employers and improve air quality for everyone.

“It will also allow us to directly help young people with their transport costs to make sure those costs aren’t a barrier to them getting into work or training.”