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ALL ABOARD FOR BETTER BUSES (16TH APRIL)

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All aboard for better buses in Penistone and Barnsley

Passengers who rely on the bus network to get around Barnsley and Penistone can look forward to an even better service with the arrival of three new, dedicated, low-floor, easy access buses for rural services.

"These are the last three of the 10 buses bought to run on routes 20-25 between Barnsley, Penistone and Stocksbridge," said David Brown, Passenger Services Director at the Transport Executive.

"This represents over £1 million of investment in new buses for this rural area, and we are proud to have been part of this success story.

"About a quarter of this has come through our efforts with the Government's Rural Bus Challenge project, and the rest from the operators, Yorkshire Traction.

"These improvements are modernising public transport throughout the area to the west of Barnsley, and are the result of long consultation in the Penistone and Stocksbridge area, and with the Western Barnsley Rural Transport Forum Group."

The new buses run on environmentally-friendly green diesel. They also have Euro 3 engines which mean low-floors with easy access and spaces for wheel chairs and buggies.

"Many people will benefit from the introduction of these vehicles, especially those who do not have ready access to a car," added Mr Brown.

Mike Power, Commercial Manager, of Yorkshire Traction explained that the new vehicles demonstrated the company's continued investment to improving public transport, and said: "We are committed to providing a high quality of service, which we feel sure will lead to an increase in patronage.

"The levels of frequency having been maintained - in fact, many parts of west Barnsley have the same frequency of bus service that existed 40 years ago, with hourly services between Barnsley and Thurgoland, and two buses an hour between Barnsley, Silkstone and Penistone from 06.30 to 23.00.

"Some villages such as Wortley even have a better frequency between Barnsley and Stocksbridge than they have ever had, thanks to this joint initiative."

In addition to providing residents with access to vital services like local health centres and the markets at Penistone and Barnsley, all the routes run through areas that are especially attractive to visitors, like Stainborough Castle, Wortley Top Forge and Thurgoland.

The buses are popular with walkers and hikers, providing good access to the Peak District around Langsett and Dunford Bridge in particular. A visit to Holmfirth costs as little as £3. 50 with a Day Tripper ticket (after 09.00 on Monday to Friday, all day Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays).

Weekly tickets for regular travellers cost as little as £10.70 between Barnsley and Penistone. Further details of fares and new timetables are available from Transport Executive Travel Information Centres, or by calling Traveline on 01709 515151.

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THE COUNTRYSIDE AGENCY BARNSLEY MBC DONCASTER MBC ROTHERHAM MBC SHEFFIELD CITY COUNCIL DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT