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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Mayor puts public transport at heart of plans

South Yorkshire’s mayor has vowed to make transport his main priority, in his first speech since his re-election.

Oliver Coppard said he wanted to integrate buses, Supertram, walking and cycling by 2028.

He is pursuing franchising to bring buses back under public control, with the depots and the fleet owned by the Mayoral Combined Authority.

Mr Coppard said he "refused to accept a situation" where people in South Yorkshire "aren't able to access opportunities in South Yorkshire".

Analysis commissioned by the combined authority found less than 1% of people across South Yorkshire lived within a 30-minute public transport journey of the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre in Waverley.

In a speech at the centre on Tuesday, Mr Coppard said: "That's not OK".

“Today, on day one back as South Yorkshire’s mayor, I’m setting out my vision to connect people and opportunity across South Yorkshire, through an integrated public transport network that puts people at its heart," he added.

Mr Coppard said that would include a commitment to begin the "rollout of an integrated public transport system across South Yorkshire that connects our buses, our South Yorkshire Supertram network and our active travel network, by 2028."

Additional connections

The mayor said there was "talent and opportunity" across the region, but South Yorkshire's "full potential" could only be unlocked by "connecting the two".

Plans for extending Supertram will be set out in 2025 and go out to public consultation, ahead of proposals being taken to the government.

The mayor is also looking at using tram-trains to operate between Sheffield and Stocksbridge, and along the Barrow Hill Line which runs between Chesterfield and Sheffield.

Additional connections across Sheffield, including to hospitals, are also being investigated.

All of the trams will be refurbished by March 2027 with a whole new fleet rolled out by 2032, he said.

Mr Coppard said there would also be a focus on progressing a Doncaster Sheffield Airport aviation hub alongside plans to reopen the airport.

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