Thursday, September 15, 2022

News: Second £50m bid to level up South Yorkshire's public transport


The South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) has submitted another bid to secure £50m from the Government's Levelling Up Fund (LUF) that is focused on improving the passenger journey experience on public transport in South Yorkshire.

The competitive fund is investing over £4 billion in infrastructure that improves everyday life across the UK, including regenerating town centres and high streets, upgrading local transport, and investing in cultural and heritage assets.

The fund focuses investment on projects of up to £20m however larger investments of up to £50m could be made in transport by exception. Combined Authorities are eligible to have one successful transport bid only.

SYMCA's first round £49m bid was unsuccessful and the authority's Local Enterprise Partnership is being told that "a more innovative approach, responding to the evolving needs of the passenger transport network has been developed for round two" - expected to be the final round of the Levelling Up Fund.

A report explains: "Following a review of the feedback from our original LUF submission and successes from other regions, it was determined that revision of the round one proposal was not suitable and a more innovative approach has been developed.

"The round two submission is centred on the modernisation of the passenger transport network and establishment of a SMART transport system to provide a greater customer offering and experience.

"The proposal has three main pillars; the ability to plan better journeys through the provision of technology and customer information improvements at stops and interchanges, the ability to ‘buy better’ through an integrated and simple ticket purchasing process and better travel opportunity through improvements to the reliability of scheduled services and the creation of a new Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service capability."

Demand Responsive Transport is a form of shared transport for groups or individuals, such as a bus, which alters its route based on demand rather using a fixed route or timetabled journeys. In addition for services that are already running, the service is designed to allow people, even in the most remote of locations to order a bus, as you would a taxi in the city centre.

A bid was submitted to the Government in August.

The Government recently confirmed SYMCA's allocation from the City Region Sustainable Transport Settlements (CRSTS) for transformative investment in the region’s transport network,

But ambitions plans for transforming bus services in the region were not been backed by any Government funding. A funding gap was estimated to be between £430 - £474m.

SYMCA website

Images: SYPTE


Anonymous,  September 15, 2022 at 11:50 AM  

So they finally realised that the first bid was not the fault of the national government,it was there fault.
That's a start.
Now they need to have learned from that and do it right this time.

Anonymous,  September 15, 2022 at 4:23 PM  

Is this the same pot of money that Rotherhams planned new railway station failed to get funding from?Is that being re-applied for?

Tom,  September 20, 2022 at 4:31 PM  

Levelling up Fund is the same pot that Rotherham did get £10m from for the station.

CRSTS is the pot that the region wanted to use £8m for the station but the Government said only £1m for now.

The region failed to secure anything from the government to deliver its Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP).

Tom,  September 21, 2022 at 10:36 AM  

Minutes show that the bid submitted in the second round is focussed on 3 pillars:

- Better Planning, which focussed on improving the quality of information provided to customers, such as real-time journey information and updates.

- Better Buying, which would seek to implement an integrated ticketing system and reduce journey times.

- Better Journey, which would implement a pilot Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) Service in 3 areas in the region. DRT would complement existing fixed services and, once software and vehicles are purchased, the running of the service would be relatively low cost and flexible.

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