Pulic Transport jobs to be axed and child fares to go up

David Brown, Director General of SYPTE
David Brown, Director General of SYPTE

Public transport bosses in South Yorkshire have announced a “small number” of redundancies - and a 25 per cent increase in the cost of child fares.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive said it had lost a number of jobs through people leaving or retiring which were not being replaced and more redundancies were necessary.

The announcement was made as South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority and Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham councillors who run SYPTE voted to raise child concessionary bus fares from 40p to 50p.

The SYITA meeting also passed a recommendation for further 10p rises in April 2012 and April 2013.

Concerns have been raised about over which jobs at SYPTE are being cut.

A friend of one SYPTE worker, whose job is under threat, said: “She is close to the passenger care side and doesn’t want to go, while senior management and back room services like marketing have expanded in the last few years and are protected.

“She is also upset it will be compulsory redundancy while there are some staff who want to go but there is no voluntary redundancy available.”

SYPTE said to “minimise the impact on jobs and services” a vacancy management process - not filling jobs as people leave - has been in place for the last year but it still had to make redundancies.

The agency said it aims to minimise the need for compulsory redundancies and consultation will take place with Unison, which represents staff. The number of job losses has not been specified.

It follows redundancy announcements at South Yorkshire councils including Sheffield, which this week announced 270 staff are to go during the coming year, on top of 461 jobs already lost.

David Brown, SYPTE’s director general, said: “These are challenging times and we are doing our best to protect and maintain service levels, whilst at the same time trying to minimise the impact of budget cuts on our staff.

“But clearly we are not immune to the financial pressures facing all such public sector organisations.”

South Yorkshire Integrated Transport Authority said the new child fare will still be joint lowest in the country.

SYITA chairman Coun Mick Jameson said: “We are all under pressure to find savings. But we would say to people this is the first increase for many years. If child bus fares had gone up with inflation in those eight years they would be 60p rather than 40p.”