After many constituents made points relating to bus services in last year’s Big Conversation, I’ve been using every opportunity to press the concerns on high fares and the way that changes to routes, such as the no. 31, have made it harder to get around the city.
It’s an issue which I’ve raised previously in Parliament, making the link between high fares, a decline in the number of bus journeys and the 45% cut to bus budgets which Councils have been forced to make since 2010 – and today I raised it in a debate on decarbonising transport, saying:
“What we need is a modal shift away from, as far as we can, cars onto less carbon emitting transport. Buses are key, and in order to achieve that we need to shift bus pricing … by proper investment in our bus services.”
I’ll continue to press the issue and campaign for improvements to bus services, which are part of so many people’s daily life. High prices mean that fewer people use buses, resulting in services being cut. Ending this spiral of decline means lower prices, better services and reduced carbon emissions.
I submitted the comments from the Big Conversation, as well as in other correspondence, to my colleague Clive Betts MP who is leading an independent review of bus services in South Yorkshire, at the request of the Mayor of the Sheffield City Region Dan Jarvis. You can read more about the review here and here, and I look forward to their recommendations to improve services which will be published soon.