Stocksbridge, Penistone and their surrounding communities are situated in a
rural locality to the north of Sheffield and west of Barnsley. An innovative and
sustainable package of transport solutions has been developed by the Transport
Executive and its partners, which are being delivered through a three-year
programme mostly funded by the DfT's 2001 Rural Bus Challenge competition.
The new network has been introduced in phases over the last 19 months and continues to develop as the remaining schemes are implemented and passenger awareness and confidence increases. Listed below are some of the features of the Penistone and Stocksbridge project:
Quality Rural Network
- The network offers a quality rural transport operation centred on Penistone, provided by nine new low-floor buses; six of which have already been introduced and with the final three to arrive during the spring of 2004. The QRN offers improved services to strategic employment sites, learning, health, retail and leisure facilities; and there have been many infrastructure improvements including bus stops, shelter upgrades, kerb height adjustments, bus stop cages and other traffic management measures.
- The plans to build a new interchange in Penistone are dependent upon proposals for a new supermarket development being approved. The supermarket site will accommodate a new Interchange facility in addition to enhancing local retail opportunities in the town. Detailed proposals are currently progressing through the local planning process although it is unlikely any ground works will start until 2005 at the earliest. Consequently the existing Market Place terminus in the town, which will continue to be used for some time, has been upgraded with improved waiting facilities and pavement works.
North Sheffield Link (201)
- The North Sheffield Link (201) has been operational since July 2002, and has proven to be a great success. The 201 connects rural communities to important facilities, such as the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospital and to many large employment sites, which have developed adjacent to the M1 Corridor. The service also feeds straight into the main public transport network at Sheffield, Meadowhall and Hillsborough Interchanges and Chapeltown railway station; it also provides a local town service for the topographically challenged communities of Deepcar and Stocksbridge. The service offers a simple and competitively priced zonal fare structure, and is operated by a fleet of distinctively branded Rural Links buses.
Penistone Rural Ride
- The Penistone Rural Ride operation was enhanced in the summer of 2002 with the introduction of a second vehicle and now offers a more comprehensive service for the mobility impaired residents of the area.
-The Stocksbridge Flyer has been in operation since March 2003. Utilisation of the service has not been as good as expected, however, the Transport Executive is continuing to work with the operator, Sheffield Community Transport, to increase local awareness and confidence in the service.
Mobile Shop Mobility Service
- The Mobile Shop Mobility Service will be based in the centre of Penistone and aims to help people with sensory and mobility problems to access facilities in the town centre, by using powered scooters or manual wheelchairs.
- Six services are operated in the Penistone and Stocksbridge areas connecting isolated and difficult to serve hamlets and villages with their local market towns and the improved Quality Rural Bus Network.
- This service between Barnsley and Stocksbridge serves many small
rural communities and is continuously being improved. The service now offers
significant quality standards which have enabled it to qualify as the first fully operational route in the Quality Rural Network.
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