Improving public transport across the constituency of Penistone and Stocksbridge
Improving public transport links across our towns and villages is one of my top priorities, and it’s long been clear this is a priority for many local people too.
I’ve been working with local campaigners from the Thurgoland Parish Council Public Transport Working Group on this project for nearly two years, having got involved before my election as MP for Penistone and Stocksbridge. They rightly identified the major problems that poor public transport causes for residents of isolated rural communities like Thurgoland, and it is thanks to their determination that we have achieved this essential new service.
I’m particularly pleased that through engagement with local residents we’ve been able to design a route that prioritises access to schools, shops, and health services – the places that really matter. The services also includes onwards connections to Sheffield and Barnsley from transport hubs in Penistone and Stocksbridge.
The community-led model operated by South Pennine Community Transport (SPCT) offers a perfect fit for a service of this kind. It focuses on connecting our smaller towns and villages that commercial operators don't serve, and so can be more responsive to the needs of passengers and communities.
Following months of planning, SPCT agreed to fund and operate a trial service on the new route, which began on Saturday mornings in September 2020. This helped us to gauge the level of demand for the new bus, and so to build the case for public funding from the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).
The success of the trial service, particularly during the difficult conditions of the pandemic, showed the need for this new route and the high level of passenger demand. I then spent several months lobbying SYPTE alongside Kevin Carr of SPCT to secure long-term funding for the Number 26. This was finally confirmed in March 2021, enabling SPCT to begin providing an hourly service on Mondays to Saturdays from May 4.
Building a sustainable and reliable rural public transport network will play a key part in securing our post-pandemic recovery. We need buses to connect people with jobs, education, and services, and without them our villages will be unsustainable. The Number 26 will be a lifeline for local people, and is a clear example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to secure its own future.
I am incredibly proud to have been part of the team that has delivered this project. It is just one part of my plan to improve public transport across the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency, bringing new opportunities to all our towns and villages.
This new bus services is just one part of my wider plan to improve public transport links across the Penistone and Stocksbridge constituency, which you can read about here.
- The service works just like a normal bus service, no need to book, just turn up and go
- Concessionary passes and TravelMaster are valid
- See full timetable below, (Green Moor is served on demand, to book call 0759 385 2259 or to disembark there just ask the driver.)
- Cash and contactless are accepted for single fares and day tickets
- Dogs travel free
- Runs Monday to Saturday
- Commences on May 4th