South Yorkshire transport staff travel passes worth £212,000 a year - and chief earns £115,000

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Free travel passes with a retail value of £212,000 are provided to staff working at South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive annually, The Star has learned.

All staff are entitled to the county-wide passes. Figures obtained under The Star’s Your Right To Know campaign show each pass has a retail value of £1,050.50 and there are 212 staff employed.

SYPTE said it negotiated ‘substantial discounted costs’ for the provision of passes and the cost was £43,000 less per year than if staff had submitted individual work-related travel expenses.

The same request also showed the executive’s interim director general, David Young, is the only executive employee to earn over £100,000 with a salary of £115,000. In the last five years the executive has also reduced its workforce by 201 posts, equating to a reducation of 51 per cent.

A total of 128 redundancies were made from November 2010 to October 2015.

The figures emerged as outrage over controversial cuts to bus services across Sheffield continues.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed that the new director of the executive, Steve Edwards, was appointed on November 2.

He replaces Mr Young, who reverted to his role as director of customer experience and also leaves at the end of November after 13 years with the executive. Mr Edwards’ salary will be £100,000, according to figures.

An executive spokesman said: “Budget reductions were not the driving force of the Sheffield Bus Partnership changes, and some operators have taken on extra services through the network review.

“The salary of SYPTE’s newly appointed executive director reflects the important role they will have in guiding SYPTE as the lead organisation in South Yorkshire for operational public transport delivery. The salary has been cut by over 21 per cent compared to the salary of the previous permanent director general.

“SYPTE is committed to making savings and the provision of travel passes to employees is a cost effective solution.”