SOUTH YORKSHIRE transport bosses, local authorities, bus operators and highway agencies are working together under a new agreement to improve bus punctuality and reliability in Barnsley.

The Punctuality Improvement Partnership (PIP) is a five year commitment that will see transport authorities working with Barnsley’s bus operators to reduce congestion and improve time keeping on bus routes. Minimum targets have been set for 98% of bus journeys to operate and 90.5% to run on time.

The PIP programme is supported by the Department for Transport and aims to see a real positive difference to the local bus services which support businesses and connect communities.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) will lead the project with support from Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and bus companies First South Yorkshire, Stagecoach Yorkshire, and TM Travel. All parties agree that partnership working is essential to achieving reliable and punctual bus services.

The PIPs will utilise the knowledge within the project teams to introduce positive developments that will further enhance customers’ experience on bus.

South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive Interim Director General, David Young, said: “This partnership approach acknowledges that improving punctuality and reliability is a collective responsibility. We will work tirelessly together to further improve the customer offer, and make buses a reliable alternative to car travel.”

Paul Castle, Service Director for Environment and Transport at Barnsley Council, said: “We have been working in partnership for many years with the Passenger Transport Executive and bus companies to identify bus hotspots where delays occur, and to find ways to improve punctuality through signal improvements and traffic enforcement. Making roads across the borough easily accessible by public transport is key to improving access to jobs and growing our economy.”

Paul Lynch, Managing Director at Stagecoach Yorkshire, said: “We have already achieved great things for Sheffield and Rotherham bus services through our Bus Partnership’s, and working closely together with our partners in the Punctuality Improvement Partnership means that we can make further strides in maintaining high standards of punctuality and reliability across South Yorkshire, encouraging people out of cars and onto buses, which have continually developed as a realistic alternative to the car.”

Ben Gilligan, Managing Director for First South Yorkshire said: “Providing punctual and reliable services on a consistent basis is crucial to attracting even more people onto public transport. By working together in partnership we have already been able to improve services for customers. First therefore welcomes the renewed focus of all the partners in improving bus punctuality for customers across South Yorkshire and further boosting the number of people switching to using buses.”

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