Sheffield bus services spared from funding cuts

Protected: Bus operators in Sheffield will keep their fuel rebate which is being reduced elsewhere.     PICTURE: BARRY RICHARDSON
Protected: Bus operators in Sheffield will keep their fuel rebate which is being reduced elsewhere. PICTURE: BARRY RICHARDSON

SHEFFIELD’S £572 million City Deal with the Government is bringing more good news - this time for bus passengers.

A grant paid to bus companies as a partial rebate for fuel costs is being reduced by 20 per cent around the country as part of Government cuts.

But in Sheffield, the funding - known as the Bus Service Operators’ Grant - is staying at its current level, using money from the City Deal.

The cash is coming from a total of £500 million available for transport and infrastructure projects over the next 10 years.

There were fears a cut in BSOG could lead to reduced services.

Its protection comes at the same time as the Sheffield Bus Partnership initiative to review the city’s network and improve ticketing.

Sheffield Hallam MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, who is in charge of the City Deals initiative, said: “Protecting Sheffield’s BSOG gives a boost to services.”

Linda Daniels, of Brushes Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said: “It’s some good news. There are a lot of people who don’t have a car and rely on buses.”

Penistone and Stocksbridge MP Angela Smith said: “I’m very pleased to have it confirmed that this cut won’t happen.”

Dave Alexander, regional MD for First, said: “We congratulate Sheffield for negotiating this City Deal.”

A Stagecoach spokesman said: “We are pleased that the Sheffield city region has won more funding from central Government to improve public transport.”

■ See Monday’s Star for passengers’ views on proposed changes to Sheffield’s bus network. Anyone with views should call 01709 515151 to request a freepost feedback form.