Update – March 2024

Update on 51 Bus Service

I have been informed by South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority that Arriva have made the decision to not implement the proposed changes to the 51 bus service that they consulted on last month.

Only 9.2% of respondents to the consultation supported the change, with 137 out of 163 respondents opposing them, mainly because of a reduction in the proposed service in Campsall.

I am told that Arriva are open to further discussions on what changes they could make to ensure they had community support before making the changes. The challenge will be around the funding constraints for the service.

I am deeply disappointed that a solution has still not been found to improve the service to ensure it meets the needs of local people.

I now plan to meet with Mayor Oliver Coppard, Arriva, and local representatives to discuss the possible next steps.

Update – February 2024

As you may be aware, last October a meeting was held in Norton with Mayor Oliver Coppard about bus services in the area. I asked for this meeting because I knew the very justified strength of feeling around the service not meeting the needs of local people.
Following on from this meeting a follow up meeting was held with Arriva, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and local representatives to discuss options to improve the service.
Arriva have now reviewed the service and proposed some changes, which Arriva and SYMCA are now asking for your views on.
It is proposed that the 51 service is replaced by a new 44 and 45/45a network. You can see images of the proposed route below and see full details at https://www.arrivabus.co.uk/…/proposed-changes-to-some…
You can share your views on the proposals at https://survey.alchemer.eu/…/Bus-Service-Changes-April-24
The deadline for sharing your views is Thursday 15th February and, if you live in the area that this route serves, I would strongly encourage you to take a few minutes to do so.

Update – December 2023

Following the meeting held in October regarding bus services in the Askern, Norton and Campsall area, a follow up meeting was held with Arriva, South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority (SYMCA) and local representatives to discuss options to improve the service.

It was left that Arriva were going to put together some options based on the feedback received and share these with SYMCA. An email update has now been sent out from Mayor Oliver Coppard to residents who attended the meeting in October which you can see below.

Good afternoon,
Thank you for attending the community bus meeting in Norton in October.
As you will remember, at that meeting Ed Miliband MP and I promised to do everything we could to get Arriva to look again at services in Norton, and to deliver some of the changes that our community wants to see.
We promised to call together a working meeting with Dwayne from Arriva to review potential changes, including borough and parish councillors, my team and Ed’s team, and other members of the community.
Together, we pressed Arriva to act on the concerns you raised in our meeting (including services to and from Askern, Norton and Instoneville as well as bus routes and frequency). Those in the meeting reiterated the challenges that our communities currently face, and set out well-considered alternative suggestions which might be viable.
I’m grateful to Arriva for the constructive approach they have taken, including following up in writing to me. They have proposed a set of reforms, including:
• Options to provide separate services with a quicker direct hourly service complemented with a less frequent service for smaller communities.
• Options to relink services with the 408/409, that is wholly funded by West Yorkshire Combined Authority, that provide a link to Pontefract.
• Options to extend service 496 from South Elmsall via Askern to improve access to employment and links to Pontefract.
Before we implement those changes, we need to make sure that they work for the people of Askern, Norton and Instoneville, too. Our final step, before any changes take effect, is to come back to you with a formal consultation. This will be issued soon, when we’ve finalised the last few details with Arriva. I will email you again to make you aware of the details of that formal consultation as soon as it is available.
As I explained when we met, I wish we could go further and faster in reforming how our buses operate, and in bringing in additional funding for our bus network. We are constrained by the legal limits imposed on us by the Government in London, and by the lack of funding allocated to South Yorkshire for buses by the Department for Transport. We will make the changes we can in the short-term, while I push forward with our bus franchising assessment to make sure we have the powers we need in South Yorkshire to reshape routes and services.
Thank you once again for giving up your valuable time to join me in Norton.
With my best wishes,
Oliver Coppard
South Yorkshire’s Mayor


Update – October 2023

Askern, Campsall and Norton Bus Services

I wanted to say a big thank you  to everyone who attended the meeting in Norton on Friday with Oliver Coppard about bus services. I asked for the meeting because I know the very justified strength of feeling and it was incredibly well attended with almost 100 local residents attending.I know some couldn’t attend because it was during working hours.

Many residents shared their experiences of the bus service and how recent changes have had a significant impact on them from kids trying to get to school to those trying to get to work to the elderly and those with disabilities.

Oliver Coppard explained that funding for buses in South Yorkshire has been reduced significantly by the Conservative government, with another round of reduction in services at the end of this month. The Mayor had requested a further £205 million for buses but this had been rejected by the government.

Some routes are run by bus companies for profit and others are funded by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, so the reductions in funding means that they are unable to provide as many journeys as they would like to. Oliver Coppard explained that he is passionate about delivering a much better bus service for South Yorkshire, but some of the plans are medium to long term plans due to legislation.

Current legislation stops Oliver Copppard setting up a municipal bus company and makes him jump through hoops to get the control over services that London has. The Labour Party has committed to change this if we get into government.

Residents understood that transformation couldn’t happen overnight, but wanted as much done now as possible because the situation is so urgent.

Arriva also attended the meeting and it was agreed at the meeting that they are going to work with SYMCA to discuss amending the route of the 51 bus so it better met the needs of local residents. They will work with local representatives to ensure the views of local people are taken into account. This will be looked at in the next month and I will keep you updated.I know there is scepticism about whether Arriva will deliver what local people want and I understand that.

I will continue to do everything that I can to listen to constituents and press for a better service that meets the needs of local people–working alongside the Mayor and all local and parish councillors, including my Labour colleagues Austen White and Iris Beech who attended the meeting.

The meeting was a good start because the Mayor knows the strength of feeling, but I will keep fighting for change and improvement.


Update – September 2023

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard is campaigning for a fair funding deal for public transport in South Yorkshire. He is holding meetings across the region to meet members of the community to listen to views and explain in detail what the funding position is for public transport and what can be done about it.
I am pleased that some of these events are being held in Doncaster North. They are:
Friday 13th October, 3pm (Registrations from 2:30pm) – Norton Coronation Working Men’s Club, 21 West End Road, Norton, Doncaster, DN6 9DH
Wednesday 8th November, 5pm (Registrations from 4:30pm) – Stainforth Community Resource Centre, 167 Church Road, Stainforth, Doncaster, DN7 5NJ
You don’t need to book for these events, but seating is limited and will be available in order of arrival at the venue.
There are also some virtual meetings being held if you are unable to make one of these. Information on these with booking links is available at https://southyorkshire-ca.gov.uk/fair-deal
There is also a form at the link above where you can share your views on public transport with Mayor Oliver Coppard.

Update – June 2023

I met with representatives from First Buses last week to talk about our local bus services and pass on concerns that have been raised with me.
Constituents in Bentley had raised concerns that the 66 bus is often delayed due to it coming across town from Intake. First are aware of these issues and tell me that this route will be part of their
network review where they use data intelligence around road conditions to support planning of new timetables. They also note that some of the delays had been due to construction work in the town centre which has now been completed.
I asked First about some areas such as Arksey and Sprotbrough that are only served by one bus per hour. Any additional journeys would be subject to the availability of funding, and this is something that I will continue to raise with South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and the government.
Please get in touch at ed.miliband.mp@parliament.uk with any issues around buses in your area and I will try to help.


Rosie Winterton and I have written to the Department for Transport to ask it to urgently accelerate reform for local bus funding.

Residents have been in touch about the impact of the changes to bus services.

I am particularly concerned by the loss of the 405 and 408/409. These were important services that linked residents to jobs, family, education and health care in Pontefract and Selby. Constituents have told me that local people have lost their jobs and children can no longer get to college due to bus services being withdrawn

I met officers from Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, before Christmas to discuss these concerns. I have contacted bus operators and Dame Rosie and I have raised this with the Government.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority is trying to plug the gaps for as long as it can but we need a sensible, sustainable funding solution before we lose more services.


Doncaster MPs call for government to fix region’s bus service | Doncaster Free Press

16.2 percent of South Yorkshire’s buses axed in five years, according to Labour | Doncaster Free Press

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