New bus route offers convenient, quicker journeys

Developing a new bus route to connect the city of Sheffield and neighbouring Rotherham looks set to tempt car users onto public transport with the promise of fast, efficient journeys. Stops along the South Yorkshire Bus Rapid Transit Northern Route have been carefully chosen to be of maximum benefit to local commuters and shoppers.

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The new bus route runs through key redevelopment sites that are vital to the region’s economic future. It also provides an efficient way of crossing the busy M1 motorway, bypassing congested junctions. The project design includes priority lanes for buses travelling along the route. In addition, bus gates are equipped with intelligent vehicle detection systems which speed the buses to the front of traffic queues in congested areas.

Smart technology

Other aspects of the scheme have been optimised in order to speed up travel times and make the service more competitive with car journeys. For example, the route only has ten stops in each direction along its 10 km length, which contributes to a smoother, less stop-start journey. Passengers are also encouraged to buy their tickets in advance using smart-card technology, which reduces the time it takes for people to board the buses.

These measures reduce travel times on the service by between two and ten minutes, depending on the time of day. They are also expected to encourage about 650 people a day to switch from car use to public transport. This should have a knock-on effect of reducing congestion on local roads.

Care has been taken to make the journey appealing to travellers in terms of comfort as well as speed. The stops will be furnished with high-quality shelters, and good lighting promises to makes waiting pleasant and safe.

Careful planning

From Sheffield city centre, the route runs around a loop which offers good access to a range of destinations, and provides convenient links with rail, tram and bus services. It then runs through the lower Don Valley and Templeborough, two important areas of employment. There is also a stop at the Meadowhall Shopping Centre, which is the largest retail outlet in the county and a sizeable local employer. In Rotherham, the service stops close to the railway station and offers good access local shops and businesses.

The project is expected to create 500 jobs during its implementation.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “South Yorkshire Bus Rapid Transit Northern Route” is EUR 53 751 502, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund is contributing EUR 14 307 429 from the Operational Programme “Yorkshire and the Humber” for the 2007 to 2013 programming period. Work falls under the priority "Economic Infrastructure for a Competitive Economy".

Draft date