Apologies for the length of this post, but it contains a lot of useful information and links to the latest information from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE REDUCTIONS in response to Covid-19 crisis – from Sunday 17 January
I am writing to advise you of changes to public transport services in South Yorkshire in response following the introduction of the latest National Lockdown.
Passenger numbers continue to fall and are now between 20% and 25% of pre-COVID levels, and operators have been approached by DfT to reduce service levels to more appropriately reflect current demand and reduce the call on financial support that is required.
Following discussions with operators the following changes will be taking place.
What changes are being made to bus, tram, tram train, and train services in South Yorkshire?
Due to the current situation, operators have proposed a reduced service in response to falling passenger numbers and staff shortages due to Covid-19. Through collaboration with partners, it is hoped these changes will help to stabilise the network and ensure that customers are kept up to date with accurate information.
A summary of changes for each mode of transport is provided below:
Local bus services
A revised timetable, broadly similar to the one in operation in June last year, is being discussed with operators. The aim is to maintain network coverage with reduced service frequencies on routes. Timetables will be confirmed later this week and details circulated to stakeholders shortly. The majority of changes are planned to take effect from Sunday 24 January, although some minor changes are planned for Sunday 17 January.
All timetables will be available at www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges ahead of the changes taking place.
We are currently seeing higher than expected numbers of school journeys being made and as such are working with each school to understand what provision is required. In general terms dedicated services will continue to operate unless the school is closed or there is no requirement for public transport. In some cases, services may switch to ’open’ services to allow adult fare payers to use the service where this better reflects the number of journeys being made.
Up to date information is available on our website at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/journeyplanning/school-buses
Supertram will be making some changes to its timetables with effect from Sunday 17 January. These changes will ensure continued service reliability.
From Sunday 17 January Supertram services will operate as follows:
Blue and Yellow routes will operate a 15-minute frequency throughout the daytime Monday to Saturday, with a 20-minute frequency early morning and 30-minute frequency from 7pm.
• Purple route will continue to operate at the current frequency, although some timings may be altered
• Sunday frequencies will be every 30 minutes on all routes.
• Tram Train services will continue to operate two services per hour.
• Start and end of service times will be unchanged across all routes on all days.
The latest information and up to date timetables are available at https://www.stagecoachbus.com/news/yorkshire/2020/june/st-current-timetables
Network provision will continue to be monitored to ensure provision matches demand as closely as possible. If you have any questions or require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Train operators will be reducing the number of services operated to reflect the reduced passenger demand, with some changes coming into effect from Monday 18 January.
Further information and revised timetables can be found on the operators’ websites or at https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
What we want customers to do?
Do not use public transport if you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 – a new continuous cough, loss of sense of taste or smell or a high temperature.
Stay at home, do not travel out of their local area and only travel if they need to for things like work, to meet caring responsibilities, for medical appointments or to buy essential goods and services.
With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, it is more important than ever for everyone to play their part so those who need to can travel safely. Please think and check before you travel and only use public transport if you have no alternative. Wear a face covering, keep your distance and wash or sanitise your hands before and after using public transport.
How is this being communicated to customers?
Operators are keeping customers up to date via their websites and social media channels.
Details regarding how and where public transport services are operating in South Yorkshire can be found at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges/ via twitter at https://twitter.com/TSYalerts or by calling Traveline on 01709 515151.
How can you help?
Passengers are being urged to only use public transport if they have no alternative and check before they travel. It would be appreciated if you could please help by advising those who still need to travel by public transport to plan their journey ahead using the up to date timetables on operators’ websites or via www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges.
Please remind customers to keep a safe distance, wash or sanitise their hands frequently and use contactless payment or mobile tickets, where possible. Please inform customers that wearing a face covering on public transport, in stations and interchanges is mandatory. If they do not wear a face covering, they will be breaking the law and could be fined.
If a customer feels they are exempt they can download and print our exemption journey assistance card, available at travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-GB/LandingPage/Journey-Assistance-Cards, which they can show the driver or conductor to let them know. These will also be available on request from the customer service desks in our interchanges.