SYPTE budget cut should have limited impact on bus services

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Further reductions of £8.5m to South Yorkshire’s public transport budget have been agreed for the coming financial year.

The 10% cut in South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive’s (SYPTE) 2016/17 budget was passed by the Sheffield City Region (SCR) Combined Authority on February 1.

SYPTE achieved £7.5m of the required £8.5m savings through internal, cost and reserve efficiencies, which it said would lessen the impact the reductions will have on the public transport support services it provides.

Local enhancements to the Senior and Disabled English National Concessionary Travel Scheme have been protected, and the scope of these travel passes maintained. Supported bus services and passenger information are also unaffected.

However, SYPTE said the impact of a further £1m required budget savings means the cost of a standard single child concession fare will increase by 10p from September 2016. Parents will still be able to make savings on school travel with multi-operator child tickets, which will soon be available on smartcard.

SCR Combined Authority Chairman, Cllr Sir Stephen Houghton, said: “SYPTE is funded by the South Yorkshire Local Authorities it serves, and government cuts to these budgets have had an impact on the proportion of money that can be allocated to public transport.

“While this is not the route we want to take, we have had to make difficult decisions. To protect public transport services any further would mean cuts to other essential services in our region.

“We have looked at the best possible ways to make savings that will have the least impact on passengers, particularly those who are most vulnerable and depend on public transport to aid their independence, and the thousands of people who rely on it to go about their day to day lives.”