Mayor Dan Jarvis has condemned plans to introduce a 5% rise on some bus, tram and rail fares from June in South Yorkshire and has urged the operators to reconsider introducing the price increase.

In his speech today at the Northern Transport Summit he said: “This is beyond frustrating – it is unacceptable.

“Price rises just weeks before the final easing of lockdown measures will understandably be seen as an attempt to profit from the fare-paying public as they consider returning to public transport.

“It will damage efforts to get people back on the buses, and hit them in their pockets at a time of great economic uncertainty.”

Mayor Dan Jarvis and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive invested £17m to keep bus services running during the pandemic.

Mayor Dan Jarvis continued:

“After so much public support it’s not just tone deaf, it calls into question the effort to build a functioning partnership with bus companies as we reform our bus services.

First and Stagecoach talk to us about the value they attach to working in an ‘enhanced partnership’ – and then in practice their attitude seems to be: ‘You pay for the infrastructure; and we’ll put up the fares’. It’s just not good enough.

We need a fundamentally different partnership with the bus companies, and we are looking at all options, including franchising.”