Agenda item

Updates from the Transport Operators

1)    First Group


2)    Stagecoach


3)    South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive


4)    Rotherham Community Transport


5)    Robin Hood Airport - Consultative Committee meeting - minutes of 16 October, 2014 (pages 6 to 12)


(1) First Group – service punctuality continues to be affected by various road works, eg: Pool Green crossroads, Centenary Way, Rotherham and also in Hooton Roberts and in Maltby. There are likely to be further delays because of (i) the traffic congestion around Meadowhall during the pre-Christmas shopping period; and (ii) the increased amount of traffic on Centenary Way, Rotherham near to the new Tesco supermarket, which affects access to and egress from the Transport Interchange.  A further round of consultation will take place during 2015, as part of the Rotherham Voluntary Bus Partnership. A Councillor asked for further information about bus services 7, 8 and 22M and the Kimberworth route.


(2) Stagecoach – these services are also affected by the congestion near to the new supermarket at Centenary Way, Rotherham. In January 2015, minor alterations will be made to services 217 and 218, to improve reliability and punctuality. Similarly, the morning peak hours’ journeys for services 220, 221 and 221 will be revised. Before the end of January, 2015, the new X20 service will be operating between Barnsley and Doncaster. Travelling across the Deane Valley, this hourly service will have limited stops and therefore achieve faster journey times overall.


(3) South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) – reference was made to the changes to services affecting most areas of the Rotherham Borough. Passenger numbers, overall, have increased by 1½% during the past twelve months, a figure which represents a significant increase. The SYPTE website contains the response to the recently-undertaken public consultation exercise, entitled “have your say,” which examined customer priorities in terms of passenger transport provision, the impact of future budget changes, etc. The consultation response will be used to inform the Transport Authority’s budget deliberations in February 2015. Discussion took place on the impact of world-wide oil prices on the costs of bus services and the cost of passenger fares. It was acknowledged that there are many factors which affect bus operating costs and the amounts of passenger fares. There was a consensus for the view that larger passenger numbers, overall, would be a principal factor in helping to reduce the cost of fares. A Councillor asked for information about service 73 (serving Rotherham, Canklow, Brinsworth and Treeton) and whether it will be possible to provide increased passenger-carrying capacity during the pre-Christmas period.


(4) Rotherham Community Transport – Members noted that Stephen Hewitson had retired from the Community Transport Service during the Summer 2014 and his successor is Adrian Parkinson. This year is the 25th Anniversary of Rotherham Community Transport and the organisation has won the ‘project category’ award in the Voluntary Action Rotherham’s eleventh annual community achievement award scheme. Community transport passenger numbers are increasing throughout South Yorkshire. The Rotherham organisation is working with Rotherfed (tenants’ and residents’ association) to provide accessible, safe and affordable transport (eg: for shopping excursions) for people who have difficulty using public transport. Staff training will be completed in January 2015, enabling Rotherham Community Transport to achieve accreditation from the Dementia Action Alliance. This is a county-wide scheme in which community transport vehicles will be eligible to display the dementia friendly logo and employees are trained to provide appropriate assistance to dementia sufferers. It was confirmed that the SYPTE sometimes uses the Community Transport services to supplement tendered bus services. Community transport services are now provided for the wider community, are not age-dependent and aim to serve people who may be socially and geographically isolated, as well as people who have mobility difficulties.  Reference was made to the Department for Transport capital grants scheme for innovative small schemes. Small, not-for-profit groups which hold Section 19 (Transport Act 1985) permits will be eligible to apply for these grants and the Community Transport organisations in South Yorkshire are currently preparing a bid.


(5) Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport – consideration was given to the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Robin Hood Airport Consultative Committee, held on 16th October, 2014. The contents of these minutes were noted.

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